What is the USDA’s Plan For ‘Agricultural Coexistence?’

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.

Seattle’s Mayoral Candidates Talk Regional Food System

Candidates for Seattle’s mayoral election, Ed Murray and Mike McGinn, responded to questions by the Puget Sound food policy, planning, and advocacy community. Seattle is just part of the Regional Food Policy Council, so the city and our mayor do not drive policy decisions, but strive to influence them. At GoodFood World, we’ve reviewed the candidates’ answers and we have a few comments of our own.

The Illusion of Diversity – Seed Patents

Around 100 years ago there were hundreds of varieties of vegetable and fruit seed available to the farmer and home gardener. By 1983 those varieties had been reduced by more than a factor of 10. Seed breeders like Frank Morton who focus on “open-pollinated” varieties specialize in varieties that breed true, unlike the many hybrid varieties offered by giant seed companies – and protected by a web of intellectual property rights methods.

Keep Farmland for Farmers

We have a real problem now in Washington state; especially close to cities where bankers and real estate hacks are turning protected farm easements into horse ranches for the wealthy. There is nothing strong to protect valuable farm soils in critical service areas, to insure that the resource will be used to grow good food for local markets.

Sounding the Wake-Up Call

We keep saying this but, of course, the “big boys” don’t want to hear it: the wake-up call is being sounded! In fact, Big Food and Big Ag (Monsanto, et al) are covering their ears. La, la, la – no one wants to listen! And why? That’s the way our economic system operates – “big” is rewarded. But only at a rapidly increasing social and environmental cost.

Should We Support ‘Food Studies?’

How far exactly are our colleges and universities able to embrace our current food/health crisis? Or should we teach the science of food at all? Of course we should. People should indeed know where their food comes from but college may not be the only place to learn.

Global Food Waste Tops $1 Trillion

According to the World Resources Institute (WRI), each year an estimated one third of all food produced ends up spoiling in the bins of consumers, retailers, farmers and transporters. Together, this spoiled food totals 1.3 billion tonnes and is worth an estimated $1 trillion every year.