Rick Dove, a founding member of Waterkeeper Alliance, lives in New Bern, North Carolina. From small planes, he and some of his colleagues have been been monitoring the millions of gallons of untreated animal waste overflowing across the state since Hurricane Florence struck the area.
Dove wrote about what he’s seen, in a piece for the Washington Post:
Though the skies were rough at first, we’ve had beautiful flying weather for the past few mornings. I’m a Marine vet who did two tours in Vietnam, but the devastation I’ve witnessed here still shocks and grieves me.
According to Dove, the 2.2 million hogs in North Carolina’s Duplin County alone produce twice as much manure as the waste produced by the entire New York City metro area—and not one ounce goes to a sewer plant.
Hog farms aren’t the only scourge on North Carolina. The state is also a favorite location for industrial chicken farms. Dove writes:
I also saw how the industrial chicken production facilities had flooded. Water had gone over the chicken barns, washing the waste from their floors down our streams. I didn’t see the corpses of animals, though I knew they were inside. In the past, the facilities used to open the doors during storms to let the animals out, but the images we collected were so horrific that the practice ended.
As global warming rages on largely unchecked, more hurricanes and more floods will lead to more environmental disasters, especially in areas populated by industrial factory farms. That’s a good reason to end industrial factory farming. But it’s hardly the only reason.
As we speak, companies like Costco are looking to expand industrial meat production, not curb it. And while Costco has its sights set on Nebraska, not North Carolina, the damage to Nebraska’s already impaired waterways will be just as devastating.
Factory farms must go. What can you do? Eat less meat—and choose meat produced by farmers who use organic regenerative practices.
Read ‘I Saw Florence Sending Millions of Gallons of Animal Poop Flooding Across North Carolina’
TAKE ACTION: Tell Costco: Consumers Don’t Want Your Giant Factory Farm!
If you frequent the Pret A Manger restaurant near you, because the restaurant chain touts itself as “natural” and “organic,” you’re not alone.
A National Restaurant Association survey of 700 chefs entitled “Top 10 Concept Trends of 2018,” ranked “natural ingredients/clean menus” as one of the top three consumer dining trends. Why? Because restaurant owners know that consumers increasingly seek out healthy foods—and that they equate “natural” with healthy.
Consumers also believe “natural” means no synthetic chemicals, including pesticides.
This week, OCA joined GMO Free USA and Beyond Pesticides in a lawsuit against Pret A Manger, a popular retail restaurant chain that promotes the food it sells as “natural”—when clearly, some of it isn’t.
Turns out, some of that food contains glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller.
Read our press release
Read the lawsuit
More on the Myth of Natural
Demand for locally grown food is on the rise, as consumers take more interest in how their food is produced, and how food production affects their own health, and the health of their communities.
That’s a positive trend. But if consumers want more local food, we have to help ensure the economic success of the independent farmers who grow that food.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) is leading a bipartisan effort to convince leaders of the Farm Bill conference committee to include the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) in the legislation’s final text. LAMP would consolidate numerous existing programs that support new market development into a single streamlined program with permanent, mandatory funding.
In a press release, Pingree said:
“Across the country, farmers are looking for new markets as they deal with trade uncertainty and a strained farm economy. Meanwhile consumer interest in growing markets, such as local food, is creating new opportunities for farmers in their own communities. While USDA has a number of successful programs to help farmers take advantage of these new market opportunities, they can be hard to navigate and funding remains uncertain year-to-year. Putting these programs under one roof and solidifying funding would go a long way toward helping more farmers and organizations reliably access them.”
As Pingree says on her website: Local farmers shouldn’t be in the dark about the resources available to them. It’s time to light the LAMP!
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress: Pass the Local FARMS Act!
Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby (CRL), OCA’s sister lobbying organization Donations to CRL, a 501(c) (4) nonprofit, are not tax-deductible
“My name is Fabián Carlos Tomasi. I hope you won’t forget me.”
Fabián Tomasi was a farmworker and crop duster who sprayed agrochemicals, including Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, in Argentina.
Tomasi died on September 7, as reported by Real Food Media, from “complications related to severe toxic polyneuropathy, a debilitating neurological disorder that doctors attribute to his occupational exposure to agrochemicals.”
Before he died, and as he became increasingly weak from the poisons that attacked his health, Tomasi was an outspoken advocate for ridding the world of Roundup and other toxic weedkillers.
He was persecuted for his outspokenness. But he never backed down.
In an article he wrote a few months before he died, Tomasi expressed his fear, and also his determination to speak out despite death threats, this way:
“I do not want to swallow my words. I want to scream.”
Fabián Tomasi’s voice is silent now. It’s up to us now to scream for him.
Make a tax-deductible donation to OCA’s Millions Against Monsanto campaign
Make a tax-deductible donation to the Organic Consumers Association
Click here to learn about other ways to support our work
What does “fair trade” mean? And why does it matter?
The concept of fair trade dates back to the mid-1900s. It came about as a means to shift the balance of power in supply chains by empowering small-scale farmers and producers, and connecting them to markets that support consumer demand for ethically produced products.
But fair trade and fair trade certifications are nothing more than that—a concept—unless consumers step up to make that concept meaningful.
In an effort to learn more about how consumers can support small-scale farmers, we caught up with Anna Canning, the communications manager for Fair World Project (FWP), which recently released a new report: “Fairness for Farmers: A Report Assessing the Fair Trade Movement and the Role of Certification.”
Read ‘Fairness for Farmers—Consumers Hold the Key’
Check out this fact sheet
How do we save civilization? Which, experts tell us, can’t survive without healthy soil? If you ask Allan Savory, the answer is simple: Manage livestock in ways that mimic nature. Savory, founder and president of Savory Institute, has been touting this solution to global desertification and climate change since the 1960s, after he made a significant breakthrough in understanding why the world’s grasslands had become so degraded. Now, with two-thirds of the world’s land experiencing some level of desertification—causing hunger, poverty, violence, immigration and war worldwide—Savory is more confident than ever in the theory he discovered more than 40 years ago: The root cause of the problem lies in how we choose to manage land. Watch the interview with Alan Savory Watch Savory’s 2003 viral TEDx Talk Support Regeneration International with a tax-deductible donation
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