Some of you have asked us: Why is a consumer advocacy organization, with a focus on food and the environment, so invested in the climate movement?
Here’s why: Because agriculture is an environmental issue—after all, it’s the leading cause of water pollution in this country, and one of the biggest contributors to global warming. And because the climate emergency is leading us toward a global food crisis.
In August, the United Nations warned that the world’s land and water resources are being exploited at unprecedented rates. Combine that with climate change, and you have “dire pressure” on the ability of humanity to feed itself.
The latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change clearly stated: Reducing emissions and transitioning to renewable energy, while critically necessary, won’t be enough to cool the planet. According to the report, how we manage land—including how we grow food—will determine our success, or failure, when it comes to preserving life on Earth.
In a recent Washington Post interview, former Vice President and climate activist Al Gore, said this in response to a question about what role consumers can or should play in transforming our food system:
“There’s a danger in focusing on consumer behavior. There’s a danger of giving the impression that the solutions to the climate crisis have to be shouldered by women and men who care enough about it to change their personal choices. They do. But as important as it is to change a lightbulb, it is way more important to change policies. And in order to change policies, we have to have new policymakers. So the most important role that individuals can play is in taking their concern and passion for a better world into the voting booth and turning out in large numbers to overcome the dominance of our political system by big money.”
We couldn’t agree more. As consumers, we absolutely must support the organic, regenerative, biodynamic farmers who are not only producing healthy, high-quality food, but also stewarding the land.
But consumers and farmers can’t change the system without help on the policy front. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Regeneration International and the Sunrise Movement, to build a national coalition of U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal. The coalition is committed to working with local, state and federal lawmakers to scale up regenerative agriculture by rapidly scaling up policy change.
This is why we continue to support the Sunrise Movement, and why we are committed to educating millions of young climate activists about the potential of regenerative agriculture, in combination with renewable energy, to address our climate emergency.
The Sunrise Movement is planning its next round of climate strikes, on December 6. Our ask this week? Get involved. Organize a climate strike.
And when you’re striking, side by side with young climate activists, engage them in a conversation about food and climate.
We’re running out of time. Let's not run out of food.
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TAKE ACTION: Support the national coalition of U.S. Farmers and Ranchers for a Green New Deal!
TAKE ACTION: Pledge to organize a #ClimateStrike on December 6
Of the 90 million pounds of chocolate candies on track to be sold this Halloween, just a tiny fraction will be fair trade.
That’s scary enough, but here’s what’s scarier: It’s been this way for so long, that most people have just come to accept that cocoa farmers work in poverty, that children work in dangerous conditions and that forests around the globe are destroyed for the treats that we hand out to children.
Consumers will buy 300,000 tons of candy—more than $2.5 billion worth—this month.
Not all of it will be chocolate, but a lot of it will be. And much of the chocolate consumers buy will come from three brands—Hershey’s, Mars and Nestlé—companies that admit they won’t meet their self-declared 2020 deadline for eliminating child labor from their supply chains.
That’s not surprising. According to the Washington Post, Big Chocolate companies have set deadlines before, and always failed to meet them.
Child labor isn’t the only issue in conventional chocolate supply chains. But as millions of people stock up on candy to hand out to costumed kiddos who appear at their doors, the cruel irony is unavoidable.
What can you do? If you buy chocolate to hand out this Halloween, make sure it’s a brand that doesn’t allow child labor in its supply chain. Here’s a list.
Read ‘Conventional Chocolate Is Scary. Fair Trade Your Halloween’
When you hear “factory farm” you probably think cows and pigs and chickens.
But there’s another type of factory farm, one that pollutes our oceans and produces one of the most toxic foods in the world: industrial ocean fish farms.
Industrial fish farms endanger human health and the environment. Yet their numbers are growing.
Why? To meet the growing demand for salmon in both grocery stores and restaurants. And because the Trump administration is aggressively pushing to expand this dirty industry.
Fortunately, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) has introduced the “Keep Fin Fish Free Act,” a bill that would place a moratorium on granting commercial permits for industrial fish farms in federally controlled ocean waters.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress: Support the “Keep Fin Fish Free Act” to Ban Industrial Ocean Fish Farms!
We’d hoped to be in St. Louis, Missouri this month.
We planned to bring in scientists to hold teach-ins on glyphosate. We planned demonstrations in front of Monsanto headquarters.
The plan was timed to coincide with the next Monsanto Roundup trials. What happened?
Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer, are doing everything in their power to delay the next trials.
According to the latest news reports, the next trial won’t happen until early next year—and it may be moved out of St. Louis.
The longer the trials are delayed, the longer justice is delayed for Monsanto’s victims.
Bayer remains "unfazed," according to a recent Bloomberg report.
A smug Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer, recently told Bloomberg that despite his company’s plummeting stock price, and despite a 12-hour meeting with angry shareholders ending in a no-confidence vote (the first ever in Bayer’s history), a “tan and relaxed” Baumann said he “wasn’t losing sleep” over the ligitigation.
Meanwhile, Monsanto’s victims are losing their health. And their lives.
Monsanto-Bayer can play all the legal games they want. But sooner or later, they’ll have to face the music again.
And we’ll be there. Armed with the truth.
Make a tax-deductible donation to our Millions Against Monsanto campaign
Make a tax-deductible donation to Organic Consumers Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby, OCA’s 501(c)(4) lobbying arm (not tax-deductible)
Click here for more ways to support our work
This week’s video spotlights everything that’s wrong with factory farms.
But the video also highlights one thing that’s trending in the right direction: More people are fighting back.
When a company revealed plans to build a 35-acre, 26,000-hog factory farm in Trade Lake, Wisconsin, people in that town had a lot of questions. And they weren’t taking the answers being tossed around by the project’s developers at face value.
Without any environmental impact study, the project proposed to spread 6.5 million gallons of hog manure over 1,000 acres of land—in a town situated near a major tributary of the St. Croix River and a nearby wildlife refuge.
One resident summed it up this way at a town meeting: “Basically, we’re a flush toilet in their eyes.”
Residents fought back. In August, they won a one-year countywide moratorium on farms with 1,000 or more animals.
The fight isn’t over yet. But getting started is half the battle.
Watch ‘Farmers, Residents Try to Stop Massive Hog Farm’
Eco-restoration is “the great work of our time.”
That’s what one of the participants in last year’s land-restoration camp said about her experience at the Vía Orgánica Ranch, a regenerative teaching farm and ranch near San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
What’s an “ecorestoration camp?” The best explanation is here, in this video produced by OCA’s Vía Orgánica project in collaboration with Ecosystem Restoration Camps and Regeneration International.
Want to participate?
Join Vía Orgánica and the Ecosystem Restoration Camp Movement in Mexico, March 3 - 15, 2020, at the land-restoration camp at Vía Orgánica Ranch.
Volunteer to camp, work, study, connect with the earth and meet new friends in this beautiful ranch near San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Camp activities will include restoration work such as tree planting, composting, seed collecting, earthworks, cooking, listening to music, campfires, making new friends and much more.
Ecosystem restoration is a growing global strategy to naturally draw down and sequester carbon from the atmosphere and store it in our soils, forests and vegetation to reverse global warming.
Learn more and sign up
Watch this beautiful video filmed on site at the last Vía Orgánica Ecosystem Restoration Camp
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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