covid-19 exposes the industrial food regime

posted May 13, 2020

“The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the cracks in a corporate-focused system supported by polices that favor profits at any cost.”

Christopher Cook, author of the author of Diet for a Dead Planet: Big Business and the Coming Food Crisis, writes this article in the Guardian May 7, 2020:

Farmers are destroying mountains of food. Here’s what to do about it.

“Crises tend to expose pre-existing societal malfunctions, and the Covid-19 pandemic has provided a bleak view into our political and economic soul. This March and April, even as an astounding 30 million Americans plunged into unemployment and food bank needs soared, farmers across the US destroyed heartbreaking amounts of food to stem mounting financial losses.”

Some clarifying comments from the public:

Food is not a commodity, it is a human right. As are healthcare and shelter or housing. Capitalism has surreptitiously moved the goalposts with a few false arguments and the appearance of prosperity, subverting Democracy. Let us be reminded that modern democracy was born alongside Utilitarianism, in its goal to provide the greatest good for the greatest number: not for kings or lords but everyone–with corrective measures for inclusion of the uncounted (the various civil rights corrections): democracy is an ethical project.
Vertical integration of food, speculation on housing and healthcare are a wolf in sheep’s clothing: the greatest good for the 1%, and while the going is good, the mirage that everyone can be part of that 1%–a mathematical impossibility. When disaster strikes, the 99% goes to hell, our current predicament.
Democracy needs a new ethical correction.

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Food produced by these monster agribusinesses is also low quality and most of it is full of hormones and chemicals they use to grow their products and fast rates. In addition, they are so big, that of e-coli or other bacteria get into the production stream it infects hundreds of thousands of pounds of meat that must be destroyed (if they even catch it on time) lest it taint the consumption supply. Support your niche locally produced organic meat and poultry producers and local organic farms from smaller sourced producers and enjoy better quality, safer, and healthier foods. Turn away from the giant producers.


agtools technology to reduce waste for growers, shippers and buyers

posted October 25, 2017

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credit: Agtools

Despite the fact that 1 in 7 Americans if food insecure, every year, American consumers, businesses, and farms spend $218 billion a year, or 1.3% of GDP, growing, processing, transporting, and disposing  of food that is never eaten. That’s 52 million tons of food sent to landfill annually, plus another 10 million tons that is discarded or left unharvested on farms. Food waste occurs because of low market prices and high labor costs, which makes it uneconomical for farmers to harvest all that they produce. There is currently a lack of streamlined technology in the agriculture industry to provide accurate information that is timely and useful to industry operations.

AgTools hopes to reduce the amount of food that is wasted and increase sustainability by bringing new intelligence to the agriculture market. Their system employs real time information and statistics regarding time, cost, supply, demand, and more throughout the food supply chain and aims to optimize the economic results of all stakeholders in the industry but addressing the major communication gaps that exist between farmers and retailers. Their proprietary technology incorporates all levels of business operations from farm production to various stages of logistics, suppliers and buyers for Tier I, II or III and provides alerts and information that will directly benefit and influence decisions in the industry on a regular basis such as weather patterns and consumer trends.

Growers can use the software to plan their harvest based on solid information to get the most out of their crop. Shippers can get the data they need to have to ensure the timely and most efficient delivery of products. And buyers can get real time data to plan their purchases, know what is going on in the market every day in terms of product, availability, surplus, shortfalls, and basis for shifts in pricing

To find out more (and to try their free trial) click HERE


to reduce food waste, farm insects

posted March 13, 2017

It’s called protaculture, and Robert Olivier has made it accessible using an invention he calls the “biopod.” The idea is simple: put food waste into an enclosed space with the black soldier fly to bioconvert the food into proteins and fats that can then be used for livestock feed. Unlike composting, the biopod can even be used to convert animals products. The paradigm shift he proposes is this, what if we didn’t need to grow corn and soy to feed livestock? What if we could do it with our food waste alone.

Tune into the Greenhorns Radio Show on Heritage Radio Network tomorrow at 4:00 to learn more when Sev interviews Robert Olivier. Or, as always, catch the podcast!

 


vegetables without the plastic

posted April 5, 2016

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Able and Cole, a produce delivery service in the UK, is now using the UK’s first fully-compostable bag for vegetables. They are formed from non-GMO starch potatoes and a compostable polymer, and they are available in larger trash bag sizes for kitchen waste or yard debris. If you live in the UK, you can order these bags for your own home, here. If you want to order from inside US, or you just want more information on the bags, check their producer’s website!

 


expired! watch the film!

posted February 14, 2016

Together, the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) and Racing Horse Productions presents Expired? Food Waste in America. The film is visually compelling, full of all kinds of trivia worth knowing (for instance: there’s no federal standard on how to create an expiration date?), and poses some real compelling food for thought about how our conceptions of “expired” contribute to gross food waste in the United States.

monetizing charity is deeply problematic, in france they say NO!

posted July 14, 2015

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France to force big supermarkets to give unsold food to charities 
By Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian, May 22, 2015

French supermarkets will be banned from throwing away or destroying unsold food and must instead donate it to charities or for animal feed, under a law set to crack down on food waste.

The French national assembly voted unanimously to pass the legislation as France battles an epidemic of wasted food that has highlighted the divide between giant food firms and people who are struggling to eat.

As MPs united in a rare cross-party consensus, the centre-right deputy Yves Jégo told parliament: “There’s an absolute urgency – charities are desperate for food. The most moving part of this law is that it opens us up to others who are suffering.”

Supermarkets will be barred from deliberately spoiling unsold food so it cannot be eaten. Those with a footprint of 4,305 sq ft (400 sq m) or more will have to sign contracts with charities by July next year or face penalties including fines of up to €75,000 (£53,000) or two years in jail.

“It’s scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods,” said the Socialist deputy Guillaume Garot, a former food minister who proposed the bill. Continue reading full article.