Comedy Break, Consumerism, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease — by Marc Roberts April 22, 2009
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Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Population, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor April 20, 2009
French illustrator and printmaker Gustave Doré shows the
squalid conditions in London, England created for the urban
labouring classes by the Industrial Revolution
From the very beginning proponents of the industrial revolution looked upon nature as a pirate might look upon a defenseless gold-laden ship – as easy pickings. A long term view of stewardship gave way to the short term mindset of a plunderer.Comments (0)
GMOs, Health & Disease — by Peter Montague April 17, 2009
By Peter Montague of Rachel’s Democracy & Health News
Felix Ballarin spent 15 years of his life developing a special organically-grown variety of red corn. It would bring a high price on the market because local chicken farmers said the red color lent a rosy hue to the meat and eggs from their corn-fed chickens. But when the corn emerged from the ground last year, yellow kernels were mixed with the red. Government officials later confirmed with DNA tests that Mr. Ballarin’s crop had become contaminated with a genetically modified (GMO) strain of corn.Comments (9)
Food Plants - Annual, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Seeds — by Isabell Shipard April 6, 2009
Editor’s Note: Today we get some practical tips from Isabell Shipard, a lady whose work I featured recently. You’ll hear from Isabell from time to time – helping us get to know a little more about the herbs and other plants whose attributes, uses and benefits are often unknown or ignored. For a lot more info like this, consider purchasing one of Isabell’s really excellent books – you can find them in our book section.
Chia (Salvia rhyacophila) is a hardy annual herb 1-1.5m high, that belongs to the Salvia family, with its name coming from the Latin ‘salare’ which means to save, referring to its curative properties. Blue flowers spike to 10cm long, set on terminal stems, and fill out to a seed head (that is similar in appearance to a wheat seed head) with pin-head sized, brown, shiny seeds. Plants adapt to a wide range of soils, climates and minimal rainfall.
In the plant’s native habitat of South-west America, it has been highly valued as a staple food for hundreds of years. In Mexico, it was used as money and to pay taxes. A small handful of seeds and plenty of water supplied energy and sustenance, for a man traveling for 24 hours, and it is said that an Indian can exist on it for many days if necessary. Several USA universities have researched the endurance properties of chia and found that a tablespoon of seed could sustain a person for 24 hours, with hard labour. Richard Lucas, in his book, ‘Common and uncommon uses of herbs for healthy living’, encourages anyone to try it, and discover its unique ability to provide the go power to get through a busy day with a hop, skip and a jump. The seeds have valuable medicinal properties and nutritional content, with essential vitamins, minerals, fibre and 30% protein. In USA it is grown as a commercial crop and seed is available in Health Food Shops.Comments (100)
Biodiversity, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 31, 2009
Big Biotech is gearing up to substantially increase their market share in the face of a global food and climate crisis — in hopes of cashing in on desperation. The patenting office has never been so busy.
Do you remember the pulitzer prize-winning photo that shocked the world back in 1994? You know, that macabre shot of an emaciated child struggling hopelessly towards a feeding station a kilometre away, with a vulture waiting patiently, and wistfully, behind. With that single image, the photographer, Kevin Carter, brought the Sudan famine into stark relief for an astonished public.
Well-framed images can evoke sympathy and outrage, so I am thus left almost desperately wondering how to frame what I see happening with the current international food crisis — as sympathy and outrage are needed now like never before.Comments (0)
Biodiversity, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
We’ve made mention of the social and environmental costs of monocultures and genetically modified crops often. Amongst these has been many mentions of a humanitarian disaster occuring on a daily basis in India, where thousands of farmers have been committing suicide as a result of failed harvests — the failed harvests being the result of failed promises from the likes of Monsanto. The following documentary, produced in India, by Indians, paints the clearest picture of this situation that I’ve yet seen. In addition, the documentary compares the failure of those sucked into input-intensive industrialised agriculture with the success of those who have reverted to organic methods.
Part I: Duration 00:38:00 (drag slider to the 30 second mark to skip an awful beep!)Comments (0)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Health & Disease, Society — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 19, 2009
A potential new legally enforced system of regulating how food is produced and processed currently before the U.S. Congress has profound and worrying implications for everyone who eats – and all those seeking to work towards sustainability. Significantly, the Bills before Congress may give a new ‘Food Safety Authority’ enormous powers of control – despite not specifically detailing exactly what this new authority intends to do with this power…. This post needs to be read, considered and acted upon by all.
I have a dream.
I dream of an age where governments stop pandering to big business lobbyists, and start incentivising a sensible, transitional shift to small-scale, localised food systems. This dream has our current dependence on (rapidly diminishing) supplies of oil – with its extreme cost in human life and economic and environmental destruction – effectively short-circuited. With current industrialised agriculture consuming ten calories of fossil fuels to create a single calorie of food, I see that this dream, if it doesn’t crystalise into reality, and soon, could quickly become a nightmare.Comments (4)
DVDs/Books, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor March 17, 2009
Isabell Shipard – herbalist/educator
One of the best aspects of Permaculture is being able to begin to take control back over our own lives. Rather than being just a captive cog in the huge destructive machine that is our present globalised industrial society (a machine running full speed towards a great yawning precipice), transitioning to Permaculture systems enables us to stand as individuals, making our own choices and, as far as possible, creating our own destiny.
One of the most important aspects of this is taking control back over our own health and personal well-being. In a world where industry profits from illness, and where institutions like the FDA (in cahoots with pharmaceutical companies and governments) seek to maximise their profiteering by outlawing more natural alternatives (see the disconcerting ‘Codex Alimentarius’ video at bottom, narrated by Judi Dench, and even has an appearance from Mel Gibson), the good news is that nature is always there for us – we just need to tap into the wealth of knowledge that is out there to help us to sustainably take advantage of it.Comments (0)
Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Society, peak oil — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor February 20, 2009
Imagine a United States President that was aware – aware of Peak Oil (and all that this means for our ability to feed ourselves), aware of Peak Soil, aware of Peak Water, aware of the health implications of industrial agriculture, a system that locks us into a cycle of stupidity and is doomed to fail us in every way. Imagine a President that realised that we’re facing an economic and environmental crisis without precedent, where consumer demands will soon become far simpler than they have been – where the desire for cheap electronics and holidays is already giving way to the more pressing need to put affordable food on the table. Such a President might be tempted to set an example to his nation (and, indeed, the world) with the land at his disposal, might he not?
During WWII, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt planted a large Victory Garden on the White House lawn, inspiring millions of Americans by her example. If ever there was a time to inspire citizens with the potential of their lawns to solve a great many problems – now is that time!
Click here to sign the petition to urge the Obamas to ‘Eat the View’.Comments (3)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Economics, Health & Disease, Society — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor February 17, 2009
Here’s a great behind the scenes look at modern supermarket and supply chain practices that have significant implications on the health of our environment, our animals, our food – and ultimately our own health. If you don’t have more than a few minutes up your sleeve, bookmark this to watch when you do — as these are two full (and very interesting!) 49 minute documentary episodes.
Part I: 49 minutes
Biodiversity, Food Shortages, GMOs, Health & Disease, Insects — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor February 5, 2009
Preamble: The issue of massive bee die-offs was hot in the mainstream media news last year, but now it seems they’ve moved on to more ‘interesting’ things…. Despite the lack of recent coverage, this extremely serious issue is not going away. About a year and a half ago I wrote the article below, and since the content of the post is still very relevant, and as it attracted a lot of attention at the time (before the administrators lost them all through website adjustments, it had attracted more than 200 comments – from beekeepers, scientists, gardeners and other interested people), I thought I’d post it again here to bring some attention back to this subject. The beautiful thing about Permaculture is it is completely holistic in nature. Industry and reductionist science tend to look at things in isolation, thus never seeing the bigger picture. The article below is an attempt to join the dots. Unless we take a broad view of the impacts of our industrial systems, we will never find solutions to such potentially cataclysmic problems as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
Our previous posts on the mysterious bee disappearances have been a very interesting exercise. We’ve had great feedback from farmers, amateur and professional beekeepers, scientists, and dozens of other interested/concerned observers. In the meantime, accumulating reports tell us that the problem is not constrained to the U.S. alone – but that, to one degree or another, empty hives are becoming common in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Poland, and now the UK.Comments (4)
GMOs, Health & Disease — by Jeffrey M. Smith January 4, 2009
Here’s looking at you kid. Genetically modified crops are linked to death, disease, sterility and more. Big Biotech are effectively turning us into lab rats…
Genetically modified (GM) foods are inherently unsafe, and current safety assessments are not competent to protect us from or even identify most dangers. Overwhelming evidence to support this conclusion is now compiled in the book Genetic Roulette: The documented health risks of genetically engineered foods, which presents an abundance of adverse findings and theoretical risks associated with GM foods.1 The book documents lab animals with damage to virtually every system studied; thousands of sick, sterile, or dead livestock; and people around the world who have traced toxic or allergic reactions to eating GM products, breathing GM pollen, or touching GM crops at harvest. It also exposes many incorrect assumptions that were used to support GM approvals. This article, excerpted from my book, summarizes some of the findings related to allergic and immune responses.Comments (2)
Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Musical Interlude, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor December 15, 2008Comments (0)
Building, Health & Disease — by Alanna Moore November 25, 2008
Extracted from: ‘Third Skin’ A. Vasella, Dip Arch., P.I.J. #14. ‘Biotechture’ S.Lesiuk, P.I.J.#8. ‘Biotectual Systems’ R. Doernach P.I.J. #7. International Institute for Building Biology and Ecology PO Box 387 Clearwater FL 34615 USA.
Edited by Alanna Moore
In the western, urban world the average person spends around 90% of their time indoors. Evidence is mounting to show that such prolonged exposure to modern building materials and architecture can be detrimental to health. There is now a growing ‘bio-house’ movement where only natural and renewable resources are used in building people friendly homes.
Biological architecture, originating from the German ‘baubiologie’ movement, addresses the ecological nature of building and the integral relationships between people and their built environment. Building biology makes for good preventative medicine. It aims to re-establish the lost balance between technology, culture and biology. The three should play an equal role in the building activity.Comments (0)
Biodiversity, Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Population, Society, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor November 14, 2008
A recently released study, the largest of its kind, examines the root causes of, and solutions for, a food crisis that will likely get much worse before it gets better — and that will never get better if we continue with business as usual
No, not because I don’t have enough food to eat, but because I’m too busy typing and too lazy to walk to the refrigerator. How I wish it were this simple for the people I keep reading about.Comments (4)