Now more than ever is the right time to bridge the rural-urban divide. Cities are closing in on rural areas, with distances shrinking both physically through better road networks and also virtually through a better network of mobile phones and Internet connections.
Read more: Urban Ecology and Rural Resources
The fundamental problem with genetically engineered food crops in US soil today: rather than reduce pesticide inputs GMOs are causing them to skyrocket in amount and toxicity.
Read more: Op Ed: The Problem With GMOs
The problem is this: seeds need a place to grow; not just a place to grow but also a place that matches the seed. Not a new place, but the pre-existing ecosystem where the seed was produced, or something that closely mimics the original ecology. The challenge then is to rediscover and restore as much of the local resiliency expressed in the natural ecosystems we have left and to replant the seed accordingly. The quality of the soil and water is as important as the seed; that is to say, without it (like we humans), the seed will die.
Read more: Seed is Life. Soil is Life. Water is Life.
How do we really know what to eat? Perhaps it’s environmental. Sure enough! If nothing but markets decide now – and they seem to be careening out of control – and history doesn’t count, everybody can be like everybody else and have any kind of food. Then maybe it isn’t so much a matter of knowing what to eat as it is regaining a sense of who we are. Perhaps the first step is to reconnect our food to place, good places – not industrial wastelands.
Read more: An ‘Ecological Diet?’
Even in a short time – just the last few years – the shellfish industry in Washington State has deteriorated because of bad management and pollution. We can’t afford to let this gross negligence continue.
Read more: Op Ed: Loaves and Fishes
Double speak by the media is distorting the very identity of “farmer” for the average American. In fact, most of our food production – the food chain we’ve become so dependent on and can’t do without – is controlled by only a half dozen “chemical corporations.” What is a farmer? A farmer is NOT a global chemical corporation!
Read more: What Is ‘Farming?’
US industrial agriculture has turned the Central Valley of California from a natural paradise of biodiversity into a desert waste land. It’s sad for everyone. The Valley was one of Americas most beautiful places; today it has become a demonstration of the worst agricultural practice in the US over time and a standing model of bad public food policy.
Read more: California’s Central Valley Is Sinking
This is my last word on the Initiative 522 GMO labeling failure in Washington State; it is time to move on. It’s always easy to criticize a campaign after it is over but with the Washington GMO Labeling Initiative 522, three serious weaknesses stand out that I believe kept us from winning our very just cause and that is too bad.
Read more: The Last Word on WA I-522
Yes, we need GMO education but we need it now most strongly at the grass roots level in the home and in our local communities. Major money-driven top-down movements forget that – with food – people speak most directly from their eating habits and culture.
Read more: WA I-522 Defeated: Back to the Grass Roots
Yes, US farmers do indeed apply a wide variety of farming methods, however the idea that they can “coexist through cooperation” is a stretch. “Coexistence” puts an undue burden on organic farmers trying to protect the integrity of their crops.
Read more: What is the USDA’s Plan For ‘Agricultural Coexistence?’