First Harvey, now Irma. As a reporter at Rolling Stone put it, “Mother Nature is coming for us.”
Here in the OCA offices, we’re watching and worrying along with the rest of the world.
First and foremost, our thoughts are with those most deeply affected by these storms—not just those affected by Harvey and Irma, but also those in Sierra Leone and South Asia, and Los Cabos, Mexico, where flooding has also recently destroyed homes and taken lives.
For us, these climate-related tragedies also heighten the sense of urgency around the work we do. They remind us that the time to transform the world’s degenerative industrial food and farming system to a regenerative alternative, one that can both reverse global warming and feed more people, is now.
Industrial agriculture overall contributes more to global warming than any other industry. Regenerative agriculture has the power to reverse global warming. Yet most of our politicians and business leaders, and many well-intentioned NGOs, still focus with tunnel vision on reducing fossil fuel emissions as the only solution to global warming.
Yes, we absolutely must reduce fossil fuel emissions. But that strategy alone won't save us.
At a conference this week on the “climate economy” one of the speakers said: “The future is not what it used to be.” We disagree, at least when it comes to agriculture.
In the energy sector, sure—bring on the solar and wind power, the electric cars, the clean energy.
But when it comes to food, we need to look back. We need to work with Mother Nature. Not try to outsmart her. We need to use the “tools and technology” we already have, to produce nutrient-dense, pesticide-free food, while we also increase biodiversity (critical for resiliency), and improve the soil’s capacity to both absorb and retain water, and draw down and sequester carbon.
As terrifying as they are, Harvey and Irma should come as no surprise. As Rolling Stone reports:
This was a disaster foretold. In the 1990s, climate scientist Wallace Broecker said that the Earth's climate was "an angry beast" and that by dumping massive quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, we were "poking it with sticks" – and nobody could say how the beast would react.
We’re just beginning to see how the beast will react. The question is: How will we react?
This week, as we prepare to gather nearly 100 people in Mexico to work on regenerative agriculture solutions to climate change, we ask four things.
First, please read the four articles below on how organic and regenerative agriculture can reverse global warming. Second, please do whatever you can to help the victims of these latest storms. Third, please support our Regeneration International project.
Finally, please use your consumer power to move our food and farming system to one that regenerates our soil, our health, our economies—our common Earth.
Time is running out.
Read ‘Regeneration: The Next Stage of Organic Food and Farming—And Civilization’
Read ‘A Climate Change Solution Beneath Our Feet’
Read ‘Hope Below Our Feet: Soil as a Climate Solution’
Read ‘Using Soil to Fight Climate Change’
TAKE ACTION: Support OCA's Regeneration International Project (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic, regenerative agriculture and climate change)
Photo: Toby Talbot, AP
You know what they say—strength in numbers.
As we continue to pressure Ben & Jerry’s to live up to its promises of caring about the climate, the environment and social justice, we’re pleased to announce that other groups are joining us in this campaign.
So far, more than 130 organizations and businesses have signed on to a letter to Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim, asking the company to go organic. We continue to reach out to other groups to sign on, before we present the letter to Ben & Jerry’s.
And between today and October 1, in a show of solidarity, six other organizations will send Ben & Jerry’s petitions to their members.
Those groups are:
Beyond PesticidesDaily Kos FoodRevolution NetworkFriends of the EarthLabel GMOsPresente.org
To make this joint effort a success, we need you to sign this new version of the Ben & Jerry’s petition—even if you signed our original.
It's critical that the decision makers at Ben & Jerry's know that there are a growing number of allies in the food and social justice movements who are behind this campaign. Soon, they will—thanks to a little help from our friends.
Read our organization/business sign-on letter (To sign your organization or business on to this letter, email firstname.lastname@example.org).
NEW PETITION! TAKE ACTION: Tell Ben & Jerry's CEO: Get pesticides out of your ice cream. Go Organic!
Support our ‘Ben & Jerry’s: Go Organic!’ campaign (donations to OCA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, are tax deductible)
Sewer systems were first built, on a grand scale, in classical Rome. Sending waste underneath the city was about being “civilized.” Out of sight, out of mind.
That was 2,500 years ago. Today, the sewage flowing under our cities is a hazardous mix of billions of litres of water, combined with unknown quantities of chemicals, solvents, heavy metals, human waste and food.
Where does it all go?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that more than 50 percent of the seven million dry tons of sewage sludge produced nationally ends up on farmland—where it’s used to grow food.
Thankfully, USDA organic standards prohibit the use of sewage sludge on organic farms—a regulation OCA fought for, and won, nearly two decades ago. We’ve also fought efforts to sell sewage sludge as “organic” fertilizer.
But we still have a huge problem, as this new documentary reveals. Do we also have solutions?
Read Mercola.com’s ‘Crapshoot’—How Sewage Contaminates Our Food Supply’
Watch ‘Crapshoot: The Gamble with our Waters’
Do protests make a difference? We think so—here’s a recent case in point.
On August 10, 2017, members of the Asociación de Consumidores Orgánicos (ACO), the Mexico City-based arm of the Organic Consumers Association, participated in our eight-city international protest against Ben & Jerry’s (a subsidiary of London-based Unilever). The protest followed OCA’s announcement that 10 of 11 samples of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream tested positive for Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
The Mexico City “Dump Ben & Jerry’s” protest caught the attention of officials at the Federal Commission for the Protection of Sanitary Risks (Cofepris), who requested a meeting with the Mexico team. (The Commission, an agency of Mexico’s Ministry of Health, is in charge of preventing and controlling environmental factors potentially harmful to the population, as well as the sanitation and the sanitary control of products and their marketing and labeling).
On August 27 (2017), ACO representatives met with Cofepris officials to discuss concerns about Monsanto’s Roundup in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The meeting produced few surprises. Not unlike what has occurred for decades here in the U.S.— corporations heavily influencing government agencies that are supposed to protect their citizens—Cofepris defended its safety assessment process and its determination about “safe” levels of glyphosate and other pesticides.
Still, because ACO Mexico met with Cofepris, the agency is by law required to direct our concerns to Unilever—which means Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s is now on notice that Mexico consumers know what’s in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. And they want answers.
Read ‘Mexico City Ben & Jerry’s Protest Leads to Government Meeting’
We know that the routine use of antibiotics on factory farms led to antibiotic-resistance and a huge public health crisis.
Now new research by scientists at Dalian University of Technology in China have uncovered another factory farm-related source of antibiotic resistance: antibiotic-resistant genes in the fishmeal, meat-and-bone meal and chicken meal fed to animals imprisoned in factory farms.
The Independent reports that researchers have determined that fishmeal, “one of the most globally traded commodities,” is serving as “a vehicle to promote antibiotic-resistant gene dissemination internationally.”
What happens when antibiotics can no longer kill harmful bacteria? Major (but all too often routine) surgery—caesarean sections, hip replacements, organ transplants and cancer chemotherapy—become “very high risk.”
What happens if we don’t fix the superbugs problem? By 2050, 10 million people could die every year.
Read ‘Antibiotic-Resistant Genes Are Being Spread All Over the World in Animal Feed, Scientists Discover’
Read the research report
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