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Can Meat Actually Save The Planet?

Meat has had a rough few years. Since a shocking 2006 report found that livestock are a major contributor to climate change, there has been a nationwide ― if not global ― movement to eat less meat.

But many experts say that the war on meat is missing the point. There is an extensive body of research suggesting that livestock should not shoulder blame for the climate crisis. In fact, these experts would argue that grazing animals are a crucial part of the solution.

“The current methods of meat production are absolutely unacceptable from an environmental and animal welfare standpoint, but that doesn’t logically lead us to the conclusion that we should get rid of meat,” said Nicolette Hahn Niman, an environmental-lawyer-turned-cattle-rancher and author of “Defending Beef.” “The conversation tends to miss this basic point: It’s not whether or not we have animals, it’s how they’re managed.”

Niman’s bookexplains in great scientific detail how, through proper management systems, livestock have the potential to positively impact ― even reverse ― the effects of climate change.

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The Green New Deal Must Include Regenerative Agriculture and an End to Factory Farming

This week, a petition signed by more than 100,000 people was delivered to Congress, outlining issues that should be addressed in Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey’s (D-MA) Green New Deal. This petition shows overwhelming support for the Green New Deal, and calls for more attention to be brought to how our food system can be reformed to combat climate change. With the food and farming sector being the United States’ largest employer, and the country being one of the highest contributors toward climate change, citizens are calling for action to be taken to protect our world.

As someone in their mid-twenties, I have grown up seeing how climate change is actively impacting me and my community. Here in California, I expect droughts in the summer and extreme wildfires or mudslides in the fall; learning from a young age to always conserve water because the next shortage is just around the corner. Young activists from all across the U.S. have seen similar changes in their home states, and we recognize that our future depends on action being taken to stop the climate crisis before it is too late.

A unique opportunity to address climate change can be found in our agriculture sector—an area which must be made sustainable if we’re going to survive. Climate scientists have identified agriculture as one of the largest contributors to climate change. This an opportunity to shift agricultural practices away from the large scale, conventional farms that currently dominate our food system to a regenerative, locally-focused, small-scale system that values the welfare of the land and those who work it. CFS has identified several focus points that should be implemented with the passing of the GND resolution to cut back greenhouse gas emissions and create a healthier, more sustainable food system.

1. Invest in regenerative, local agriculture

The future of agriculture lies in the shifting of practices away from large scale monocultures towards small and medium-sized diversified farms. We must wean away from the mass amounts of toxic chemical pesticides and fertilizers being used, and instead integrate regenerative practices such as cover cropping, the use of compost, and the implementation of hedgerows as alternatives that not only add nutrients into the soil, but provide many other ecosystem services. Among these, regenerative agriculture protects biodiversity, including the native bees and pollinators that are currently being decimated by conventional agriculture. Our “Regenerating Paradise” video series covers many practices currently being practiced in Hawai’i—including several that can be implemented nationwide—to reduce carbon emissions and protect our soils. Implementing these practices can sustain our food production all while sequestering carbon, protecting pollinators, and promoting on-farm biodiversity.

Switching to these regenerative agriculture practices will not be easy, but it will be beneficial. Despite research showing the vast benefits that come from cover cropping and other regenerative practices, farmers have been slow to start implementing them. Government and university grants, technical assistance, and further research should be funded to help promote these practices, transition farms, and aid the continuous education of farmers and farmworkers. This investment will have far-reaching effects on farms—preserving native pollinator habitat, sequestering carbon, and providing climate-smart food to local communities.

2. Cut meat consumption and shut down environmentally-harmful animal factory farms

Disinvestment from factory farms is necessary, not only from a climate standpoint, but from a larger human and environmental health perspective as well. Large scale animal operations pollute the water, lead to a higher risk of disease in humans, and contributelarge amounts of methane and other greenhouse gases into the air. Cutting back meat consumption, purchasing meat from local sources, and shifting toward plant-based sources of protein are all ways that individuals can help. More people than ever, especially young people, have recognized the harmful impacts of meat consumption and we are turning toward a flexitarian diet, vegetarianism, and veganism as a way to cut back on our carbon footprint. The government has the opportunity to support this effort on a larger scale by providing financial support and technical assistance to ranchers to help them transition to pasture-based and integrated livestock operations that reduce livestock’s impact on climate change and help sequester carbon in the soil.

CFS’s recently launched EndIndustrialMeat.org, a website that highlights some of the negative impacts that come with factory farming, including the vast amount of carbon released into the air and heavy metals being drained into the ground; serious consequences that disproportionately affect rural populations and disadvantaged communities. The GND’s goal to secure clean air and water, healthy food, and a sustainable environment for all communities mean that shutting down these harmful operations is imperative.

3. Reverse the trend of consolidation within the agriculture sector

For decades now, there has been increasing consolidation of seed, livestock, and other agriculture-related companies. These mega-corporations have purchased vast quantities of land and set the rules for how a farm has to run, undercutting disadvantaged farmers and farmworkers, and wrecking rural communities. GND policies can be used to break up these mega-farms, and empower local communities to take back the food system. Breaking up these predatory mega-farms would not only reinvigorate the economies of rural areas, but it would also give these communities access to the healthy, climate-friendly food necessary to slow the rate of climate change.

The growth of small and medium-sized farms would allow farmers and farmworkers to set fair wages and provide safe and humane conditions for themselves and a future for their children. Doing so would not only allow current farmers to continue their operations, but also would open the door for young farmers to have access to the land, resources, and funds needed to operate for a viable, sustainable farm. 

4.  Support young and disadvantaged farmers

Finally, we must utilize the GND to support disadvantaged and young farmers, paving the way for a climate-friendly food future. For a long time, people have been turning away from farming, instead opting for job opportunities found in cities. For the past several years, there has been a renewed interest in working the land in a regenerative, holistic manner. We must support these new farmers, along with the farmworkers who have been subjugated to the abuses of industrial agriculture, to forage a community-focused, regenerative food system.

The principles of equity and justice outlined in the GND must guide our transition away from industrial monocultures, and toward a food system that supports and uplifts disadvantaged groups, providing the economic assistance and infrastructure needed to improve these communities, and ultimately improving our economy as a whole. Likewise, many young and disadvantaged farmers have limited access to the equipment and mentorship needed to run a successful farm enterprise. Having grants and training programs available to take on the huge costs of tractors, land, and resources necessary to start a farm should be central to the Green New Deal.

Young people have paved the way for the Green New Deal and our future depends on immediate action being taken to stop climate change. Not only will this resolution allow for the huge changes needed to prevent climate change, but will allow for new opportunities for farmers. While the challenge ahead of us won’t be easy, there are many things that can be done to mitigate current greenhouse gas emissions that aren’t being implemented. The GND is an opportunity to reform our way of farming to allow for huge cuts to current emissions, all while creating a more equitable food system.

Posted with permission from Common Dreams

Expertos instan a integrar la agroecología con otras formas de producción

Roma, 3 jul (EFE).- La agricultura ecológica debe integrarse con otros métodos de innovación con el fin de que los sistemas alimentarios se vuelvan sostenibles, afirmaron este miércoles asesores de la ONU en un nuevo informe.

El Grupo de expertos de alto nivel del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial (CSA), un foro intergubernamental de Naciones Unidas en el que también participan el sector privado y la sociedad civil, presentó en Roma las conclusiones de un estudio centrado en la agroecología.

En las últimas décadas ese concepto “dinámico” se ha expandido del terreno a los paisajes y a los sistemas alimentarios en general, dijo en el acto el jefe del equipo encargado del informe, Fergus Sinclair.

Entre los principios generales por los que se rige la agroecología a nivel local están el reciclaje, la reducción de insumos externos, la salud del suelo y de los animales, la diversificación económica, la gobernanza de los recursos naturales y la participación de distintos actores.

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Agroecology as Innovation

On July 3, the High Level Panel of Experts of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its much-anticipated report on agroecology in Rome. The report signals the continuing shift in emphasis in the UN agency’s approach to agricultural development. As outgoing FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva has indicated, “We need to promote a transformative change in the way that we produce and consume food. We need to put forward sustainable food systems that offer healthy and nutritious food, and also preserve the environment. Agroecology can offer several contributions to this process.”

The commissioned report, Agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition, two years in the making, is clear on the urgent need for change. “Food systems are at a crossroads. Profound transformation is needed,” the summary begins. It goes on to stress the importance of ecological agriculture, which supports “diversified and resilient production systems, including mixed livestock, fish, cropping and agroforestry, that preserve and enhance biodiversity, as well as the natural resource base.”

It is not surprising, of course, that those with financial interests in the current input-intensive systems are responding to growing calls for agroecology with attacks on its efficacy as a systematic approach that can sustainably feed a growing population. What is surprising is that such responses are so ill-informed about the scientific innovations agroecology offers to small-scale farmers who are being so poorly served by “green revolution” approaches.

One recent article from a researcher associated with a pro-biotechnology institute in Uganda was downright dismissive, equating agroecology with “traditional agriculture,” a step backward toward the low-productivity practices that prevail today. “The practices that agroecology promotes are not qualitatively different from those currently in widespread use among smallholder farmers in Uganda and sub-Saharan Africa more broadly,” writes Nassib Mugwanya of the Uganda Biosciences Research Center. I have come to conclude that agroecology is a dead end for Africa, for the rather obvious reason that most African agriculture already follows its principles.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. As the new expert report shows, and as countless ecological scientists around the world can attest, agroecology brings much-needed innovations to prevailing smallholder practices. With a long track record of achievements in widely varying environments, the approach has been shown to improve soil fertility, increase crop and diet diversity, raise total food productivity, improve resilience to climate change, and increase farmers’ food and income security while decreasing their dependence on costly inputs.

The failing policies of the present

The predominant input-intensive approach to agricultural development can hardly claim such successes, which is precisely why international institutions are actively seeking alternatives. The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is the poster child for the promotion of input-intensive agriculture in Africa. At its outset 13 years ago, AGRA and its main sponsor, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, set the goals of doubling the productivity and incomes of 30 million smallholder households on the continent.

There is no evidence that approach will come anywhere near meeting those worthy objectives, even with many African governments spending large portions of their agricultural budgets to subsidize the purchase of green revolution inputs of commercial seeds and synthetic fertilizers. National-level data, summarized in the conclusion to my book Eating Tomorrow, attests to this failure:

  • Smallholders mostly cannot afford the inputs, and the added production they see does not cover their costs.
  • Rural poverty has barely improved since AGRA’s launch; neither has rural food insecurity. Global Hunger Index scores remained in the “serious” to “alarming” category for 12 of the 13 AGRA countries.
  • Even in priority crops like maize and rice, few of AGRA’s 13 priority countries have seen sustained productivity increases.
  • Production increases such as for maize in Zambia have come as much from shifting land into subsidized maize production as from raising productivity from commercial seeds and fertilizers.
  • There is no evidence of improved soil fertility; in fact, many farmers have experienced a decline as monocropping and synthetic fertilizers have increased acidification and reduced much-needed organic matter.
  • Costly input subsidies have shifted land out of drought-tolerant, nutritious crops such as sorghum and millet in favor of commercial alternatives. Crop diversity and diet diversity have decreased as a result.

recent article in the journal Food Policy surveyed the evidence from seven countries with input subsidy programs and found little evidence of sustained—or sustainable—success. “The empirical record is increasingly clear that improved seed and fertilizer are not sufficient to achieve profitable, productive, and sustainable farming systems in most parts of Africa,” wrote the authors in the conclusion.

Agroecology: Solving farmers’ problems

Branding agroecology as a backward-looking, do-nothing approach to traditional agriculture is a defensive response to the failures of Green Revolution practices. In fact, agroecological sciences offer just the kinds of innovations small-scale farmers need to increase soil fertility, raise productivity, improve food and nutrition security, and build climate resilience.

Do these innovations sound backward looking to you?

  • Biological pest control: Scientist Hans Herren won a World Food Prize for halting the spread of a cassava pest in Africa by introducing a wasp that naturally controlled the infestation.
  • Push-pull technology: Using a scientifically proven mix of crops to push pests away from food crops and pull them out of the field, farmers have been able to reduce pesticide use while increasing productivity.
  • Participatory plant breeding: Agronomists work with farmers to identify the most productive and desirable seed varieties and improve them through careful seed selection and farm management. In the process, degraded local varieties can be improved or replaced with locally adapted alternatives.
  • Agro-forestry: A wide range of scientists has demonstrated the soil-building potential of incorporating trees and cover crops onto small-scale farms. Carefully selected tree varieties can fix nitrogen in the soil, reduce erosion, and give farmers a much-needed cash crop while restoring degraded land.
  • Small livestock: Reintroducing goats or other small livestock onto farms has been shown to provide farmers with a sustainable source of manure while adding needed protein to local diets. Science-driven production of compost can dramatically improve soil quality.

These innovations and many others are explored in depth in the new HLPE report, the full version of which will be available in English in mid-July. Those advocates of industrial agriculture would do well to read it closely so they can update their understanding of the sustainable innovations agroecological sciences offer to small-scale farmers, most of whom have seen no improvements in their farms, incomes, or food security using Green Revolution approaches. Many farmers have concluded that the Green Revolution, not agroecology, is a dead end for Africa.

Posted with permission from Food Tank

Comida falsa, carne falsa: el intento desesperado de las grandes corporaciones alimentarias para intensificar la industrialización de nuestra comida

Traducido por Carlo Voli 

La ontología y ecología de la comida.

La comida no es una mercancía, no es una “cosa” ensamblada mecánica y artificialmente en laboratorios y fábricas. La comida es vida. La comida contiene el aporte de todos los seres que componen la red alimenticia, y tiene el potencial de mantener y regenerar la red de la vida. La comida también tiene el potencial para la salud y la enfermedad, dependiendo de cómo se cultivó y procesó. La comida es, por tanto, la moneda viva de la red de la vida.

Como un antiguo Upanishad nos recuerda: “Todo es comida, todo es comida de otra cosa”. “

La buena comida y la comida real son la base de la salud.

La mala comida, la comida industrial y la comida falsa son la base de la enfermedad.

Hipócrates dijo: “Deja que la comida sea tu medicina”. En Ayurveda, la antigua ciencia de la vida de la India, a la comida se la llama “sarvausadha”, la medicina que cura todas las enfermedades.

Los sistemas alimentarios industriales han reducido la comida a una mera mercancía, a “cosas” que luego pueden constituirse en el laboratorio. En el proceso tanto la salud del planeta como nuestra salud han sido casi destruidas.

El 75% de la destrucción planetaria del suelo, el agua, la biodiversidad y el 50% de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero provienen de la agricultura industrial, que también contribuye al 75% de las enfermedades crónicas relacionadas con los alimentos. Es culpable del 50% de los gases de efecto invernadero responsables del cambio climático. La agricultura química no devuelve la materia orgánica y la fertilidad al suelo. En cambio, está contribuyendo a la desertificación y la degradación de la tierra. También requiere de más agua, ya que destruye la capacidad natural de retención de agua del suelo. Los sistemas alimentarios industriales han destruido la biodiversidad del planeta mediante la difusión de monocultivos y mediante el uso de tóxicos y venenos que están matando a las abejas, mariposas, insectos y aves, causando la sexta extinción masiva.

En cambio, una agricultura llena de biodiversidad y libre de venenos, produce más nutrición por acre y rejuvenece el planeta. Nos muestra el camino hacia el “Hambre Cero” en los tiempos del cambio climático.

El modelo de agricultura industrial y alimentos tóxicos ha sido promovido como la única respuesta a la seguridad económica y alimentaria. Sin embargo, a nivel mundial, más de mil millones de personas padecen hambre. Más de 3 mil millones padecen enfermedades crónicas relacionadas con la alimentación.

La agricultura industrial basada en el uso de combustibles fósiles, los monocultivos y el uso intensivo de químicos utiliza el 75% de la tierra, sin embargo sólo produce el 30% de los alimentos que comemos. Mientras que las granjas pequeñas y biodiversas que utilizan el 25% de la tierra proporcionan el 70% de los alimentos. A este ritmo, si la proporción de la agricultura industrial y los alimentos industriales en nuestra dieta se incrementa al 45%, tendremos un planeta muerto. Uno sin vida ni comida.

La loca fiebre de la comida falsa y la carne falsa, ignorante de la diversidad de nuestros alimentos y culturas alimentarias, y el papel de la biodiversidad en el mantenimiento de nuestra salud, es una receta para acelerar la destrucción del planeta y nuestra salud.

La soya transgénica no es segura  ni para el medio ambiente ni para el consumidor

En un artículo reciente llamado “Cómo nuestro compromiso con los consumidores y nuestro planeta nos llevó a utilizar la soya GM”, Pat Brown, director ejecutivo  y fundador de Impossible Foods afirma que:

“Buscamos la opción más segura y ambientalmente responsable que nos permitiera escalar nuestra producción y ofrecer la Hamburguesa Imposible a un costo razonable a los consumidores”.

Dado que el 90% de las mariposas monarca han desaparecido debido a los cultivos Roundup Ready, y que estamos viviendo lo que los científicos han llamado un “insectageddon”, el uso de la soya OGM no es realmente una “opción ambientalmente responsable”.

Al escribir esto, Pat Brown demuestra su total ignorancia de que las malezas han desarrollado resistencia al Roundup y se han convertido en super malezas que ahora requieren de mayor cantidad de herbicidas letales.

Bill Gates y DARPA incluso están pidiendo que se usen impulsores genéticos para exterminar el amaranto, un alimento sagrado y nutritivo en la India, porque el Amaranthus Palmeri se ha convertido en una súper maleza en los campos de soya Roundup-Ready de los Estados Unidos.

En estos días en el que el movimiento para prohibir los OGM y el Roundup está creciendo en el mundo, la promoción de la soya OGM como “carne falsa” es engañosa para el consumidor tanto en términos de la ontología de la hamburguesa como en las afirmaciones sobre su seguridad.

La “Hamburguesa Imposible” elaborada a base de soya OGM rociada con Roundup no es una opción “segura”, como acaba de anunciar Zen Honeycutt de la organización  “Moms Across America”:

“la Hamburguesa Imposible dio positivo en glifosato”. Los niveles de glifosato detectados en la “Impossible Burger” por los Laboratorios del Instituto de Investigación de la Salud fueron 11 veces más altos que los de la hamburguesa de Beyond Meat. El resultado total (glifosato y la descomposición de AMPA) fue de 11.3 ppb. Moms Across America también probó Beyond Meat Burger y los resultados fueron de 1 ppb.

“Nos sorprende descubrir que los niveles de residuos de glifosato de la hamburguesa imposible pueden ser hasta 11 veces mayores que la hamburguesa Beyond Meat según estas muestras analizadas. Este nuevo producto se está comercializando como una solución para una alimentación “saludable”, cuando en realidad el consumo de 11 ppb de herbicida con glifosato puede ser altamente peligroso. Se ha demostrado que solo 0.1 ppb de glifosato destruye las bacterias intestinales, que es donde se encuentra el bastión del sistema inmunológico. Estoy muy preocupada de que los consumidores estén siendo engañados para creer que la Hamburguesa Imposible es saludable “.

Los recientes procesos judiciales han mostrado la relación entre el Roundup y el cáncer. Con la acumulación de responsabilidades legales relacionadas con los casos de cáncer, las inversiones en la soya OGM Roundup Ready son la ceguera para el mercado.

O la esperanza de que engañando a los consumidores se pueda rescatar a Bayer/Monsanto.

Hay otra confusión ontológica relacionada con la comida falsa. Al mismo tiempo que proclaman alejarse de la carne, la “carne falsa” no es más que vender productos similares a la carne.

Pat Brown declara que “usamos levadura modificada genéticamente para producir heno, la molécula” mágica “que hace que la carne sepa a carne, y hace que la Hamburguesa Imposible sea el único producto de origen vegetal que ofrece la deliciosa explosión de sabor y aroma que los consumidores de carne ansían.”

Pensaba que la dieta basada en plantas era para veganos y vegetarianos, y no para los amantes de la carne.

Las grandes corporaciones alimentarias y los grandes intereses económicos son los impulsores de la fiebre de la comida falsa

De hecho, la promoción de los alimentos falsos parece tener más que ver con darle nueva vida a la agricultura de los OGM y a la industria de comida chatarra, y con la amenaza que supone el aumento de la conciencia que los alimentos orgánicos, locales y frescos es comida real que regenera el planeta y nuestra salud. En consecuencia, las inversiones en “empresas de elaboración de alimentos basados ​​en plantas” se ha disparado de casi 0 en 2009 a 600 millones de dólares en 2018. Y estas empresas están buscando más.

Pat Brown dice: “Si hay algo que sabemos, es que cuando una tecnología antigua que no se puede mejorar se encuentra con una mejor tecnología que se puede mejorar continuamente, es solo una cuestión de tiempo antes de que termine el juego”. Agregó: “creo que nuestros inversores ven esto como una oportunidad de $3 billones “.

Esto se trata de ganancias y control. Él, y aquellos otros que se unen a la fiebre de la comida falsa, no tienen conocimiento discernible, ni conciencia, ni compasión por los seres vivos, la red de la vida, ni el papel de la comida viva en el tejido de esa red.

Su repentino despertar ante las “dietas basadas en plantas”, incluida la soya OGM, es una violación ontológica de la comida como un sistema vivo que nos conecta con el ecosistema y otros seres, y demuestra ignorancia sobre la diversidad de culturas que han utilizado una diversidad de plantas en sus dietas.

Las ciencias ecológicas se han basado en el reconocimiento de las interconexiones y la interrelación entre los seres humanos y la naturaleza, entre diversos organismos y dentro de todos los sistemas vivos, incluido el cuerpo humano. Ha evolucionado así como una ciencia ecológica y de sistemas, no fragmentada y reduccionista. Las dietas han evolucionado según los climas y la biodiversidad local que permite el clima. La biodiversidad del suelo, de las plantas y de nuestro microbioma intestinal es un continuo. En la civilización India, las tecnologías son herramientas. Las herramientas deben ser evaluadas según criterios éticos, sociales y ecológicos. Las herramientas / tecnologías nunca han sido vistas como autorreferenciales. Han sido evaluadas en el contexto de cómo contribuyen al bienestar de todos.

Desde la perspectiva de la comida falsa, la evolución, la biodiversidad y la red de la vida se están redefiniendo como “tecnologías antiguas que no se pueden mejorar”; como la ignorancia de los sofisticados conocimientos que han evolucionado en diversas culturas agrícolas y alimentarias en diversos climas y ecosistemas para sostener y renovar la biodiversidad, los ecosistemas, la salud de las personas y el planeta.

El foro Eat que publicó un informe que trató de imponer al mundo una dieta monocultural de alimentos producidos con químicos e  ​​hiper-industrialmente procesados, está asociada a través de FrESH con la industria de la comida chatarra, y las grandes corporaciones agroindustriales como Bayer, BASF, Cargill, Pepsico, entre otros.

La comida falsa se basa así en un siglo y medio de imperialismo alimentario y la colonización de nuestros diversos conocimientos y culturas alimentarias.

Las corporaciones alimentarias y los grandes intereses económicos están detrás de la industria de la comida falsa. Bill Gates y Jeff Bezos están financiando nuevas empresas.

Necesitamos descolonizar nuestras culturas alimentarias y nuestras mentes del imperialismo alimentario

El occidente industrial siempre ha sido arrogante e ignorante de las culturas que ha colonizado. La “comida falsa” es simplemente lo mas nuevo en la historia del imperialismo alimentario.

La soya es un regalo de Asia oriental, donde ha sido un alimento durante milenios. Solo se consumía como alimento fermentado para eliminar sus factores antinutritivos. Pero recientemente, la soya OGM ha creado un imperialismo de soya, destruyendo la diversidad de plantas. Continúa con la destrucción de la diversidad de los ricos aceites comestibles y las proteínas de origen vegetal de los dals (legumbres) indios que hemos documentado.

Las mujeres de los barrios marginales de la India me pidieron que trajera nuestra mostaza de vuelta cuando se comenzó a inundar el mercado de India con aceite de soya OGM, y se prohibieron los aceites locales y  las unidades de prensado en frío en las aldeas. Fue entonces cuando empezamos el “sarson (mostaza) satyagraha” para defender nuestros aceites saludables prensados ​​en frío del dumping de aceite de soya OGM extraído con hexano. El hexano es una neurotoxina.

Si bien los campesinos de la India sabían que las legumbres fijan el nitrógeno, el occidente estaba industrializando la agricultura basada en nitrógeno sintético que contribuye a los gases de efecto invernadero, las zonas muertas en el océano y los suelos muertos. Mientras comíamos una diversidad de “dals” en nuestro diario “dal roti” (pan indio), los colonizadores británicos, que no tenían idea de la riqueza nutritiva de nuestras legumbres, las redujeron a la alimentación animal. Chana (garbanzo) se empezó a usar como pienso para gallinas, gahat se convirtió en pienso para caballos, y tur en pienso para palomas.

Nos encontramos ante un precipicio de una emergencia planetaria, una emergencia de salud, y una crisis por el sustento de los agricultores. La comida falsa acelerará la carrera hacia el colapso. La comida real nos da la oportunidad de rejuvenecer la tierra, nuestras economías alimentarias, la soberanía alimentaria y las culturas alimentarias. A través de la comida real podemos descolonizar nuestras culturas alimentarias y nuestra conciencia. Podemos recordar que la comida está viva y nos da vida.

Boicotea las hamburguesas OGM de Impossible. Haz tofu. Cocina dal (legumbres).

Si este artículo te fue útil, por favor considera compartirlo con tus redes.

Publicado con permiso de Independent Science News

Fake Food, Fake Meat: Big Food’s Desperate Attempt to Further the Industrialisation of Food

The ontology and ecology of food

Food is not a commodity, it is not “stuff” put together mechanically and artificially in labs and factories. Food is life. Food holds the contributions of all beings that make the food web, and it holds the potential of maintaining and regenerating the web of life. Food also holds the potential for health and disease, depending on how it was grown and processed. Food is therefore the living currency of the web of life.

As an ancient Upanishad reminds us “Everything is food, everything is something else’s food. “

Good Food and Real Food are the basis of health .

Bad food, industrial food, fake food is the basis of disease.

Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine”. In Ayurveda, India’s ancient science of life, food is called “sarvausadha” the medicine that cures all disease.

KEEP READING ON INDEPENDENT SCIENCE NEWS

How Will We Produce Food in the New Era of Climate Extremes? The Solution Lies in The Soil

At the recent Nebraska Farmers Union Convention Dr. Martha Shulski, our State Climatologist who co-authored the 4th National Climate Assessment, eerily foretold to a large group of farmers that we are moving into a new era of weather extremes. Dr. Shulski also noted it was likely that as farmers, we would need to consider a change in our farming practices due to extreme climatic events if we expected to maintain sustainable businesses. Only 3 months later the 2019 Bomb Cyclone hit the midwest, and a perfect storm of conditions led to a series of catastrophic flooding events that cost our farmers millions of dollars. Many of these costs took years of sweat investment and will never be recovered.

As the water recedes, at least for now, Nebraskans face an unknown climatic future. While the future may be uncertain, there is no doubt the recent events have sent a ripple across the Great Plains.

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Is Regenerative Agriculture the Answer to the Guilt-Free Burger?

In sustainability circles familiar with programs such as Meatless Monday and author Michael Pollan’s often quoted words — “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” — the message to eat less meat is a known adage. The recent update on dietary guidelines from medical journal Lancet reinforces this message and stresses that agriculture accounts for roughly a quarter of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, most produced by raising of cattle and lamb.

In early April, the Grassfed Exchange conference provided a different message, that restorative or regenerative agriculture — which includes grass-fed, pasture-raised beef — is part of the solution to climate change. I must confess that my body craves a good hamburger every once in a while, and when I indulge this craving, I often feel a twinge of guilt. Last weekend, when I ordered a Marin Sun Farms grass-fed, pasture-raised burger, here are three reasons why I didn’t feel guilty:

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Grassland Ecology 101 for Vegans and Synthetic Meat Marketers

First, congratulations on your commitment to making the world a better place. It’s not always popular (or safe) to take a stand on principle when the rest of the world is unaware or insensitive to matters you find extremely important.

However (you knew that was coming), many of your arguments and statements about global ecology have been clouded by a misunderstanding perpetuated by biotech and global corporate agricultural interests. Briefly, let’s look at the two big Red Herrings. Afterwards, I will suggest a path forward to bring strength and resilience to the plant-based movement. [Read Part 2 at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/grassfed-ecology-101-vegans-calling-change-makes-sense-alan-lewis]

Grassland ecology is quite simple.

  1. Grass puts green leaves upward and roots downward during the growing season. The leaves use air, water and sunlight to make sugars. The carbon and water are stored in the roots as carbohydrates: carbon + water.
  2. If the plant is a food crop, we can often eat the leaves, stem and roots and derive lots of nourishment from them. If the plants are mainly cellulose, our stomachs have no way to digest them.
  3. Grasses (and other plants) evolved with ruminant animals. Ruminants have extra stomachs and sturdy mouths to break down, ferment and digest the cellulose in grasses so the nutrients in them can be absorbed and converted to meat, fat and energy for the animal. What’s left is piss and poop, burps and farts.
  4. Grass must be eaten down by ruminants to survive. Without grazing, grasses grow high, desiccate and oxidize. They slough off their roots and after a few years stop growing altogether. By grazing most of the plant leaves and moving on to new pastures,ruminants revitalize grasslands. Without grazing, the land dies.
  5. Grass is not just what you see above ground. Perennial grasses put down deep roots during the growing season; around the roots a universe of biological activity occurs. The roots exude sugars to attract the previously unconnected microbes and fungi underground. These organisms network themselves and begin to breakdown bedrock into minerals the plant’s roots can absorb. The plant can signal for nutrients and water, or tell the underground miners it is under attack and to create substances to help the plant fight insects and diseases
  6. After a grazing animal eats its leaves, the plant lets most of its root system go dormant. Later it begins growing new roots to reestablish its nutrient and immune support system underground. Here is the magic: the old roots, made of carbon and water, serve as the foundation of new topsoil. Carbon rich soil continues to generate biological activity underground. It forms a sponge that can absorb huge amounts of water from rainfall or flooding, which it slowly releases over time: drought tolerance and flood resilience. This process is critical to carbon sequestration. Health grasslands take carbon from the atmosphere and place it safely underground.
  7. Grasslands without ruminant herds moving from place to place are called deserts. The grass cannot survive. Herds that are left to roam and graze at will don’t hack it. Grasslands need animals to trample the soil crust, digest the leafy matter, deposit poop and pee, and then move on so it can resurrect itself and the soil below: managed grazing.

So where does that leave us? The Big Lie you have been told over and over is that plant-based foods will save the environment. Don’t eat meat! But notice that Mother Earth disagrees. She needs those animals, whether humans eat them or not. The Big Lie depends on you dismissing the natural laws of grassland ecology and focusing solely on industrial livestock practices. You know this one, so I’ll summarize.

Most meat animals are fed by growing GMO corn and soybeans in vast chemical-intensive monocultures that devastate the land (and farmers and rural communities, but I’ve covered that elsewhere). The animals are kept in concentrated feeding areas, served rations that are inappropriate to their digestive systems, fed antibiotics and hormones to make them grow faster, given medications to keep them somewhat healthy in horrible circumstances, then led off to slaughter without ever having set hoof on vegetation or having grazed fresh grass. Their contaminated manure is collected in fetid lagoons until it floods into waterways or is sprayed on fields. Yeah, that’s all horrible and it rightfully has led many folks, including not a few ranchers, to swear off meat. Agreed.

The problem is, many vegans and vegetarians have become convinced that concentrated animal feeding operations described above are the only standard by which to judge plant-based foods and synthetic meat. Nope. We need to judge what we eat based on the best practices of livestock husbandry as it is done in concert with natural systems that we as a species on this planet are fundamentally dependent on. We must have managed ruminant grazing to stop and reverse desertification. We must integrate livestock into agriculture to place atmospheric carbon back underground and provide protection against floods and droughts brought on by climate change. A plant-based diet, and anti-livestock advocacy, fails to take this ecological science into account.

After considering this article, take another look at the marketing messages used by synthetic meat companies like Impossible Burger. They state their product is fundamentally better than beef, but their measures are all based on bad industrial livestock practices. Let’s be blunt: if we all ate Impossible Burgers and abandoned livestock husbandry, the planet would die within a few years. Impossible Burger depends on your ignorance of Grassland Ecology 101. Comparing lab-grown meat only to industrial beef is the Red Herring that keeps the plant-based food movement from being taken seriously by real farmers and ranchers. When you repeat the claims of the makers of synthetic food, especially meat, you are repeating nonsense created by marketing teams and tested on people just like you.

Synthetic meat (and “heme”) is grown by organisms that have been genetically modified, and which are fed steeps derived from genetically modified crops. These are things the human species has never eaten or digested before. They are unregulated, unlabeled and undisclosed. It’s not normal, which is why the global biotech lobby is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on influence campaigns to make it seem normal.

Here’s what’s normal: ruminant animals grazing in a herd and moving along when the grass is sufficiently low. Happy health animals with no need for medicines or grain. Healthy soil with no need of fertilizers or herbicides. So, sure, go plant-based. But don’t fail to respect the plants.

It makes sense to advocate against the terrible practices of the livestock industry. It also makes sense to advocate for regenerative humane practices that global ecology depends on. And it’s not a bad idea to reduce consumption of good meat, too. The Earth can support a finite number of grassland animals.

Last word, to head off some comments. It’s true that there is no such thing as “humane” slaughter. I get that. I’ve seen cattle “put down” (shot through the head with a .357 magnum, in case the euphemism is offensive). You don’t get used to it. However (you knew that was coming), animals are going to die one way or another. It’s not “humane” either when an old cow or young calf is left to be attacked by predators, or when disease takes hold and an animal suffers at the edge of the pasture. If we are not going to kill and eat the animals, but we want to save our planet, we must accept their deaths either way. And if ranchers can’t harvest animals to pay the cost of managing herds and improving the soil, eating vegan will require a hefty tax to keep those farmers on the land and providing those services.

Otherwise, we better get used to a dry, sandy planet.

Reposted with permission from Alan Lewis

How to Rehab Our Soil for a Changing Climate

Author: Wanqing Zhou | Published on: December 13, 2016

“Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”

This year’s message from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization for World Food Day is timely as the planet emerges from yet another summer of record heat. With changing climates and increasingly frequent extreme weather events, the world is facing real challenges with food production, exacerbated by the declining capacity of soils to hold water, buffer temperature shocks and supply nutrients to food crops.

In global climate negotiations and agreements, agriculture is listed primarily as a victim of adverse climate impacts.

While this is true, it is equally important to recognize that food production is also a major contributor to climate change. The silver lining? Recognizing that food production is a major emitter of greenhouse gases could open a new range of solutions to climate change.

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