This week's dose of organic headlines, updates, resources, goodies, and recipes courtesy of dsnodgrass...
This article gives me the excuse to include a Black Sabbath video. Depending on where you fall on the band, either you're welcome, or all apologies. I count myself as a fan.
London Rocker Ozzy Osbourne has reformed his lifestyle with organic food and exercises to keep himself healthy.
The 61-year-old actor whose wife, Sharon overcame bowel cancerno longer eats junk food and tries to dine only on organic products.
"I don't like junk foodany more. It's easy for me to say that as I can afford all the organic stuff. Not everyone can afford healthy they say we're meant to eat," he said.
Osbourne admits he is paranoid about getting sick and exercises regularly to stop himself from getting ill. "I'm a hypochondriac. I love exercise though, I like breaking out in a sweat. I don't do stretching or any of it but I go on the cross-trainer of the bike," he added.
...but is anybody listening?
“Governments and international agencies urgently need to boost ecological farming techniques to increase food production and save the climate,” said UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, while presenting the findings at an international meeting on agroecology held in Brussels on 21 and 22 June.
Along with 25 of the world’s most renowned experts on agroecology, the UN expert urged the international community to re-think current agricultural policies and build on the potential of agroecology.
“One year ago, Heads of States at the G20 gathering in Italy committed to mobilizing $22 billion over a period of three years to improve global food security. This was welcome news, but the most pressing issue regarding reinvestment in agriculture is not how much, but how,” Olivier De Schutter said .
“Today, most efforts are made towards large-scale investments in land – including many instances of land grabbing – and towards a ‘Green Revolution’ model to boost food production: improved seeds, chemical fertilisers and machines,” the Special Rapporteur remarked. “But scant attention has been paid to agroecological methods that have been shown to improve food production and farmers’ incomes, while at the same time protecting the soil, water, and climate.”
The widest study ever conducted on agroecological approaches (Jules Pretty, Essex University, UK) covered 286 projects in 57 developing countries, representing a total surface of 37 million hectares: the average crop yield gain was 79%. Concrete examples of ‘agroecological success stories’ abound in Africa.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has imposed penalties on a Santa Rosa grower as a result of violations pertaining to the National Organic Program.
Valley End Farm sold produce mislabeled as organic to consumers and did not maintain adequate records to substantiate the sale and production of organic products.
Findings by the organic certifier for the operation, California Certified Organic Farmers Certification Services, LLC (CCOF), triggered the investigation and enforcement actions by CDFA.
The enforcement action was based on the following violations:
Valley End Farm sold non-organic produce labeled as organic to community supported agriculture members;
Valley End Farm labeled non-organic produce as “transitional organic”;
Valley End Farm did not provide adequate records to substantiate sale and production of organic products.
If you want to grow a bigger potato, organic farming may be the way.
The balanced mix of insects and fungi in organic fields does a superior job of keeping pests in check, leading to larger plants, according to researchers at Washington State University in Pullman. Potato plants exposed to conditions typical of pesticide-treated fields fared more poorly in the research team's experiments.
The findings may help potato growers cut back on spraying and make more effective use of natural predators to control pests, said entomologist David Crowder, who led the study published Thursday in the journal Nature.
"The goal is to learn as much as we can about how these natural enemies are doing their jobs and what impact they're having, so we can incorporate their effects into management practices," he said.
Washington is second only to Idaho in potato production in the nation, and the state's crop is valued at nearly $700 million a year. But potatoes can be very vulnerable to pests. Washington potato farmers applied more than 19 million pounds of weed- and bug-killing chemicals in 2005, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.