agriculture

Seeing Red: Eating Locally and Debunking the Red-Blue Divide -- by Barbara Kingsolver

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I just found this excellent article regarding (at least) two issues that I find extremely interesting, and which are rarely mentioned together -- food sovereignty and the false dichotomy of 'red states vs. blue states'. And of all the ways those issues are tangential, the author approaches it from a somewhat unexpected angle...cutting through the conventional symbolism and stereotypes by relating refreshingly real anecdotes. (continued...)

The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race -- by Jared Diamond

To science we owe dramatic changes in our smug self-image. Astronomy taught us that our earth isn’t the center of the universe but merely one of billions of heavenly bodies. From biology we learned that we weren’t specially created by God but evolved along with millions of other species. Now archaeology is demolishing another sacred belief: that human history over the past million years has been a long tale of progress. In particular, recent discoveries suggest that the adoption of agriculture, supposedly our most decisive step toward a better life, was in many ways a catastrophe from which we have never recovered. (continued...)

Doomsday vault to avert world famine -- New Scientist

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The government of Norway has decided to do a service to humanity, by building a huge 'doomsday seed vault' for our post-apocalyptic future. They hope to have represented ALL of the world's varieties of domesticated crops. A monumental task... like backing up the hard drive of human civilization. (continued...)

Honeybee Die-Off Threatens U.S. Food Supply

I've been meaning to post something about the widening crisis among apiculturists in some of the world's most important food exporting nations. For those who havent been paying attention; beekeepers are reporting massive mysterious dieoffs in their hives...hives totally abandoned, without even the bodies of dead bees, yet untouched by foragers, among other strange symptoms. It's been termed Colony Collapse Disorder and I havent read one article about it that isnt quite alarmist (and rightly so), but this article from the Associated Press stood out. Not only is it thoroughly "mainstream", it's probably the most apocalyptic of all the bee extinction articles I've seen. (continued...)

You Are What You Grow -- by Michael Pollan

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Published: April 22, 2007
New York Times

A few years ago, an obesity researcher at the University of Washington named Adam Drewnowski ventured into the supermarket to solve a mystery. He wanted to figure out why it is that the most reliable predictor of obesity in America today is a person’s wealth. For most of history, after all, the poor have typically suffered from a shortage of calories, not a surfeit. So how is it that today the people with the least amount of money to spend on food are the ones most likely to be overweight? (continued...)

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