Archive for February, 2008
It was unusually warm yesterday but super nice weather to get outside in. After all the rain we’ve been having on the Central Coast of California, the recent sunshine has been welcome. So my sweetie took me to a little section of cliff overlooking Monterey Bay and New Brighton Beach, just south of Capitola. There were so many people out, it felt like summer!
Check out the photo sideshow I made from the little adventure. Unfortunately the flora that i love so much is all invasive species! Note the eucalyptus, both fully grown trees and little baby shoots, the ice plant covering the ground and side of the cliff and the wild grass… you know that grass that you find all up and down Highway 1, what is it called?
I heard recently that if all farming was done using organic methods, enough carbon (and nitrogren) would be held within the soil to reduce the greenhouse gasses to pre-industrial levels. This is because soil that is farmed organically retains more nutrients of all kinds. When farming conventionally, with spray pesticides and fertilizers, the nutrients that plants need are sprayed on. In organic, the nutrients have to come from the soil itself, necessitating healthier soil. Dirt First.
That’s why it was so great to see this article come across my inbox this morning by Kathleen O’Hara, “Farming carbon as a cash crop.” Check it out.
My birthday was last week and on the morning of, I arrived at my desk to find this amazing bouquet of branches from a peach tree from my co-worker, Amy. There were a zillion little pink buds! Just one morning later, they started to open into little pink flowers. Gorgeous! And what a great gift to give without spending any money as long as you can find a large enough vase to hold the branches. Amy cut about 25 fairly long ones, about 2-3 feet long for a very impressive bouquet. Try it! (more…)
Today on Super Primary Tuesday, I’m focusing more on what’s going on in the organic industry. Today it was announced that Coca Cola bought 40% of the organic tea company, Honest Tea. This marks yet another notch in the consolidation of the organic industry as the niche becomes more mainstream and consumer demand increases. While it is great news for the environment that more people are demanding our food come from organic methods, as organic grows, more and more powerful companies get involved to take their share of the profits. Last summer Wal-Mart starting selling organic and in one month became the world’s largest reseller of organic tomatoes prompting some to consider the effects big box demand would have on organic production.
Be sure to check out the “Who Owns Organic” chart produced by Phil Howard, Assistant Professor at Michigan State University. The diagram is featured at The Cornucopia Institute website where you can also find past versions of the chart and watch the organic industry consolidate into the hands of large corporations.
A side note: I saw Persepolis last night and would highly recommend it. In the film, there is a joke where some characters are discussing the materialism of Christmas in the West and jokingly refer to Santa Claus as wearing a “Coca Cola” suit.
If you haven’t watched “The Story of Stuff” yet, then you should. It’s a 20 minute video of a great illustration of where our stuff comes from, how it’s made and why we just can’t seem to stop buying more of it. Below is a teaser, but you can watch it online here.
The dramatically increasing food prices have been blamed in part by the U.S. subsidies of corn for biofuel, not to mention that corn is in most processed foods and the basis for the (unhealthy) American diet. Here is another example of the rest of the world fighting back. Mexican corn farmers protested the end of the tax on imported corn products into Mexico yesterday. Tens of thousands of people joined them, jamming the Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City.
“How are you going to compete with the enormous subsidized farms in the United States and Canada?” said Francisco Hernández Juárez, the president of the National Union of Workers. “It’s totally unequal.”