Posts tagged food.
Canada International Development Agency (CIDA) is a government agency that assists developing countries with disasters, food security, education, health, and sustainability. It is now a conduit for selling military equipment.
The Harper government is merging Canada’s foreign aid agency with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
It also plans to leverage billions in spending on military equipment into making Canada an arms exporter.
The two moves, revealed in Thursday’s federal budget, put to sleep any doubts about the government’s desire to use all means possible to advance Canadian business and commercial interests throughout the world.
The government says its decision to roll the Canadian International Development Agency into Foreign Affairs was a reflection of increased “linkages between our foreign policy, development and trade objectives.”
The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will continue to tackle poverty in developing countries, the government said, and there were no immediate signs it was planning to implement new cuts to Canada’s approximately $4.5-billion aid budget.
The government will also retain a minister for development and humanitarian assistance, and said it plans to strengthen the minister’s position by enshrining its roles and responsibilities in law for the first time.
teavelo asked: I'll ask the same question I see many NYT commentors did: where the heck is China going to grow food!? Their country is already so polluted you can't breathe and the rivers are filled with dead pigs... and farmland is going to what? What will they eat? Are they counting on their emerging middle-and-upper-classes to want to import the best of everything from around the world, which I guess is already popular in Hong Kong and other affluent areas?
No worries. The Chinese are very smart, and planned for that years ago… The only thing westerners can do is be armchair-appalled.
One of the Pentagon’s top strategists said climate change is fundamentally altering how the Defense Department (DOD) evaluates future conflict areas. Daniel Chiu, the deputy assistant secretary of DOD strategy, said climate change has the Pentagon thinking about impacts on global food and water scarcity, mass migration and the potential for those issues to ignite clashes around the world.
This is a sweet moment between mom and son. I think a lot of parents have this same conversation, when their child connects their food to viable creatures. An old friend of mine has 5(!) kids, and I was there when one of them discovered that the chicken on her plate was from a “real chicken.” O’ the horror that ensued… This kid’s mom is quite level-headed, but other parents, unfortunately, have a more forceful “eat your food!” response. Well worth your time, especially if you’ve hung out with kids and witnessed their incredible perceptions.
Heartbreaking and absolutely infuriating. Click through for article and video.
Like basmati rice? There may be less of it soon. Climate change is altering monsoon seasons in India, meaning less rice and more corn is being planted.
Food safety, bee keepers, and environmental groups sue EPA over honey bee deaths, blame some insecticides ›
(Reuters) - U.S. environmental regulators are failing to protect honey bees and their role in pollinating important food crops, and should immediately suspend use of some toxic insecticides tied to the widespread deaths of the bees, a lawsuit filed on Thursday charges.
On Thursday four professional beekeepers and five environmental and consumer groups said they would try to get a court to order the EPA to take action. The groups filed their lawsuit against the EPA in the Northern District Court of California, demanding that the regulatory agency suspend the use of pesticides clothianidin and thiamethoxam.
The pesticides, which are part of a class of systemic insecticides known as neonicotinoids, are absorbed by plants and transported throughout a plant’s vascular tissue, making the plant potentially toxic to insects, the groups said.
Clothianidin and thiamethoxam first came into heavy use in the mid-2000s, at the same time beekeepers started observing widespread cases of colony loses, leaving beekeepers unable to recoup their losses, they said.
“Beekeepers and environmental and consumer groups have demonstrated time and time again over the last several years that EPA needs to protect bees. The agency has refused, so we’ve been compelled to sue,” said Peter Jenkins, a lawyer for the Center for Food Safety who is representing the coalition of plaintiffs.
The groups said they have obtained records that show several “legal violations” by EPA officials connected to the approvals for clothianidin and thiamethoxam products.
The case also challenges the EPA’s use of “conditional registrations,” which expedite the approval process for chemical companies seeking to bring new products to market. Since 2000, over two-thirds of pesticide products, including clothianidin and thiamethoxam, have been brought to market as conditional registrations, the groups said.
I don’t see the suit being won, but will be interesting to follow during 2013.
Meet John Bunker. He wants to bring back the thousands of apple varieties that made American great.
Great article. Click through! Here in Western Mass., I enjoy dozens of apple varieties. Fresh, cider, pies, cider, and turnovers forever! (also cider)
Could one of life’s simple pleasures, the apple, be endangered by changes in our climate?
It could, according to some experts, who maintain that apples, like other fruit, depend heavily on a certain amount of what is called “winter chill,” before they bloom in the spring.
“If there’s not enough winter chill that happens in a certain year there can be anywhere from a decreased production of fruit to a complete crop failure,” says Evan Girvetz, the senior scientist on climate change for the non-profit Nature Conservancy.
If that were to happen, it would be troubling news for the state’s apple industry, which according to the Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program is the fourth biggest apple producer in the country.
Starbucks tiny-mini-rant P1
- This advertisement was on my G+ page. It’s called “The Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino.” How, how, how does it have four types of caramel? FOUR!
- Who drinks this stuff? I feel so detached from reality right now. Like, what type of person is this targeting?
Floating agriculture in Bangladesh. Bangladesh experiences severe flooding every year, mostly in the south. Residents are pretty much stranded. For weeks, sometimes months, kids are blocked from going to school and parents lose income and access to food. The above shows one method for dealing with food shortages. A floating mat is created, soil piled on top, and crops planted in the soil. After harvest, the mat and soil are used as fertilizer for regular land cultivation.
It’s a clever solution, but keep in mind doesn’t scale up to meet the needs of 100’s of thousands of people affected by the floods.
More doom reality:
Bottled Water Sales: The Shocking Reality
The Beverage Marketing Corporation, which tracks sales and consumption of beverages, is reporting that sales of bottled water grew nearly 7 percent between 2011 and 2012, with consumption reaching a staggering 30.8 gallons per person.
Despite having one of the best municipal tap water systems in the world, American consumers are flocking to commercial bottled water, which costs thousands of times more per gallon. Why? Four reasons:
- First, we have been bombarded with advertisements that claim that our tap water is unsafe, or that bottled water is safer, healthier, and more hip, often with celebrity endorsements. (Thanks a lot, Jennifer.)
- Second, public drinking water fountains have become increasingly hard to find. And the ones that exist are not being adequately maintained by our communities.
- Third, people are increasingly fearful of our tap water, hearing stories about contamination, new chemicals that our treatment systems aren’t designed to remove, or occasional failures of infrastructure that isn’t being adequately maintained or improved.
- Fourth, some people don’t like the taste of their tap water, or think they don’t.
Some people, including the bottled water industry, argue that drinking bottled water is better than drinking soft drinks. I agree. But that’s not what’s happening. The vast increase in bottled water sales have largely come at the expense of tap water, not soft drinks. And even if we pushed (as we should) to replace carbonated soft drinks with water, it should be tap water, not expensive bottled water.
This industry has very successfully turned a public resource into a private commodity.
From the Atlantic: