Forget Oil, the New Global Crisis is Food
January 8, 2008 04:49 PM - , Organic Consumers Association
A new crisis is emerging, a global food catastrophe that will reach further and be more crippling than anything the world has ever seen. The credit crunch and the reverberations of soaring oil prices around the world will pale in comparison to what is about to transpire, Donald Coxe, global portfolio strategist at BMO Financial Group said at the Empire Club's 14th annual investment outlook in Toronto on Thursday. "It's not a matter of if, but when," he warned investors. "It's going to hit this year hard."
Cornell patents a pink lily look-alike that blooms all summer long
January 8, 2008 04:32 PM - Cornell University Communications
Mauve Majesty is one cool lily look-alike. This new pinkish-purple ornamental flower, just patented by Cornell, can last for two weeks in a vase, but when left in the garden, it blooms all summer long in the cooler, northern states until the first hard freeze in the fall. The new hybrid of the Inca lily (Alstroemeria), which was developed by a Cornell professor, is a non-fragrant perennial that is set apart by its lavender-lilac flower color (which is adorned with dark speckling and a creamy yellow throat), its strong, upright flower stems and its winter hardiness. In greenhouses, the new hybrid never goes dormant and grows year-round.
Overgrazing Accelerating Soil Erosion In Northern Mexico
January 8, 2008 09:57 AM - Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement.
As part of field studies conducted from 1993 to 2000 on the mountain crests of the western Sierra Madre and in the more arid regions in the south of the Chihuahua Desert, the scientific team established a soil classification according to climatic and topographic characteristics. They used a rainfall index type hydrological model which gives real-time simulation of the humidity state of soil on the basis of a range of parameters including soil humidity, runoff rate, water storage capacity. This measurement method also takes into account the volume of rain collected at a given moment and the time lapsed since it fell.
Corn... fuel... fire! U.S. corn subsidies promote Amazon deforestation
January 8, 2008 09:35 AM - Smithsonian Tropial Research Institute
Amazon deforestation and fires are being aggravated by US farm subsidies, claims STRI’s staff scientist William Laurance. According to Laurance, whose findings are reported this week in Science (December 14), a recent spike in Amazonian fires is being promoted by massive US subsidies that promote American corn production for ethanol. The ethanol is being blended with gasoline as an automobile fuel.
Carbon Credits to be Used to Fund GM Food Crops
January 8, 2008 09:03 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
US biotech firm Arcadia Biosciences has announced a plan to help fund the planting of genetically modified rice with carbon credits. The company will work with the Chinese government to give farmers who plant their crops carbon credits, which they can then sell on the global carbon trading market.
Nepal "health food joint" boosts vulture numbers
January 7, 2008 05:37 AM - Reuters
The number of rare vultures in one of Nepal's few conservation sites has nearly doubled after a special feeding facility started serving drug-free, safe carcasses to the birds, a leading conservation group said. Scientists say the survival of vultures eating dead cattle treated with the anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac, was threatened in South Asia because the drug poisoned the scavenging birds.
High oil a blessing and a curse for farmers
January 5, 2008 02:25 AM - Reuters
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Sky-high crude oil prices are both a blessing and a curse for U.S. farmers, who have seen a sharp jump in their energy-based input costs but also higher revenues from crops used for renewable fuel production.
Low prices seen threat to UK organic beef
January 5, 2008 02:17 AM - Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) - British retailers must pay more for domestically produced organic beef because current prices are unfair and unsustainable, a leading organic food certification body said on Friday. The Soil Association said in a report issued on Friday that some key supermarkets are not paying enough to cover production costs and choosing to import organic beef even though there could easily be enough supply in Britain.
Mexican Farmers Protest NAFTA
January 4, 2008 10:14 AM - CommonDreams.org
MEXICO CITY - Farmers in this country organized scattered protests Tuesday and Wednesday as the final trade barriers on U.S. corn, beans, sugar and milk fell with the full implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement on New Year's Day. Corn and beans are staples of the Mexican diet and subsistence crops for millions of farmers. Opponents of NAFTA said the free entry of relatively cheap U.S. corn would devastate rural Mexico and help spur more immigration.
Food for thought: delivering the promise of food processing
January 4, 2008 10:09 AM - European Science Foundation
Humans have transformed raw ingredients into food since prehistoric times. But scientists are still looking for new ways to make food taste better and survive longer. Presenting their findings at a recent European Science Foundation (ESF) and European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST) conference, scientists show how new food technologies are changing European diets.