It’s impossible to put out a “newsletter” this week without acknowledging what’s going on in the streets in so many cities across this country—and how those actions are tied to the systemic and institutionalized social, environmental and economic injustice that runs throughout our society.
So we share this video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who sums it up this way:
“The way we end this [violence], and the way we move through this, is by establishing justice. That is the ultimate way of creating peace and prosperity.”
Words spoken like a genuine leader—and perhaps future president?
AOC also this week called out the hypocrisy of corporations, including fast-food king, McDonald’s, rejecting what she called “bland statements” of support for Black Lives Matter.
As reported in Common Dreams, AOC “called out a number of companies which publicly expressed support for the protests in the past week but sell products that aid racial discrimination, tolerate racism on their platforms, and fail to support black families and businesses.”
The Common Dreams article also included sage advice from Judd Legum, editor of Popular Information:
"If you want to understand a corporation's values, ignore its tweets, and pay attention to its FEC filings.”
As the COVID-19 crisis has laid bare, injustice runs rampant through the U.S. food system—and nowhere has that injustice been more evident than in the industrial “Big Meat” industry, where thousands of slaughterhouse workers, forced to return to work, are now infected with the virus.
Ricardo Salvador, senior scientist and director of the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, lays out how injustice and exploitation runs through our food and farming system in this recent article (and podcast). From farmers who aren’t paid a fair price, to slaughterhouse workers forced to work in unsafe conditions, to farmworkers who are “politically invisible,” what you have is:
“. . . the top of this pyramid . . . which is essentially the highly concentrated agribusiness sector, attempting to exploit the moment to cut as many costs as possible . . .”
Whether we’re talking food system or any other “system” in this country, injustice ultimately leads to “unrest.”
As AOC says in her instagram video: “True peace is a just society.”
And as she tweeted last week,“This moment calls for transformation.”
Watch Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on peace and justice
Read 'Yes, I Will Name Names': AOC Leads Charge Against Empty Corporate Claims of #BlackLivesMatter’
Read 'Our Food System Is Very Much Modeled on Plantation Economics’
Whether you’re looking to treat yourself to a breakfast garnished with smoked salmon, or planning to serve up pre-dinner appetizers of sliced smoked salmon atop crackers, buyer beware . . .
When it comes to the claims made on smoked Atlantic salmon packages and websites, brands are often just blowing smoke.
Popular smoked Atlantic salmon brands entice consumers with promises like “premium,” “all natural,” “super fresh” and “healthy and nutritious.”
Some brands claim their products are “sustainably sourced.” On the issue of animal welfare, one owner of multiple smoked Atlantic salmon brands claims on its website that the company’s approach to fish health and welfare is “second to none.”
It all sounds great to the consumer. But here’s the real deal: All of these smoked Atlantic salmon products are made from salmon raised on massive industrial fish farms, and in some cases, nowhere near the Atlantic Ocean.
Here’s a wild idea: Unless the label on your smoked salmon includes the words “wild” or “wild caught,” (words you’ll find on Sockeye or King salmon, but never on packages of Atlantic salmon), there’s probably nothing “natural” or “sustainably sourced” about it.
We took a look at some popular brands of smoked Atlantic salmon, and the product claims made by the companies behind those brands. Health-conscious consumers, including those who also care about the environment and animal rights, may want to think twice about taking these claims at face value.
Read ‘That ‘All-Natural’ Smoked Atlantic Salmon You Bought? It Came from an Industrial Fish Farm.’
OCA has always vigorously opposed genetic engineering in our food system, citing unintended consequences as just one of the many reasons.
That’s why the possibility (and increasing probability) that COVID-19 was genetically engineered—by researchers funded by both Chinese and U.S. governments and institutions—and that the virus somehow escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), is a story we believe everyone has the right to know about.
Yet as Jonathan Latham writes this week.
"Unfortunately, in the US at least, the question of the pandemic’s origin has become a political football; either an opportunity for Sinophobia or a partisan ‘blame game.’”
Latham is quick to warn, however, that “the potential of a catastrophic lab release is not a game.” Especially considering that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is currently constructing a new and expanded national Bio and Agro-defense facility in Manhattan, Kansas—one that the DHS itself estimates has a 70-percent risk of an accident occurring over a 50-year period.
A 70-percent risk is nothing to sneeze at. But according to Latham, when a National Research Council committee inspected the DHS estimates they concluded that the risks and costs "could well be significantly higher than that."
This week we feature Latham’s latest article, and also an article by André Leu that digs into the science of how researchers can genetically engineer viruses—without a trace.
Genetically engineered food is so bad for your health, it may kill you over time. Genetically engineered viruses can spell almost instant death.
Read ‘The Case Is Building That COVID-19 Had a Lab Origin’
Read ‘COVID-19: The Spike and the Furin
SIGN THE PETITION: Stop the Genetic Engineering of Viruses! Shut Down All Biowarfare Labs Now!
We’ve called them out before. And we’ll call them out again.
Impossible Foods with its Impossible Burger is an impossible disaster for the environment. And with its GMO ingredients, not so great for your health, either.
Last week, an article published on Medium by one of our colleagues in the regenerative ag movement caught the eye of Dr. Shawn Baker.
Baker brought up the article, “Software to Swallow—Impossible Foods Should Be Called Impossible Patents,” to his YouTube followers. Baker agreed with the author’s premise:
“Impossible Foods should really be called Impossible Patents. It’s not food; it’s software, intellectual property—14 patents, in fact, in each bite of Impossible Burger with over 100 additional patents pending for animal proxies from chicken to fish.”
Then Baker followed up with his take on corporate consolidation in the industrial meat industry, and the lack of enforcement of antitrust laws that allow Big Meat companies to unfairly dominate the market—a timely topic, as Pilgrim’s Pride was sued this week for price fixing.
Watch Dr. Shawn Baker talk about Impossible Foods and corporate consolidation in the meat industry
Read ‘Opinion: Software to Swallow — Impossible Foods Should Be Called Impossible Patents’
Read ‘‘Something Isn’t Right’: U.S. Probes Soaring Beef Prices’
TAKE ACTION to ban factory farms! Tell Congress to pass the Farm System Reform Act
The Minnesota Twin Cities area has been devastated, both by the murder of George Floyd and the events triggered by this latest injustice.
Communities there are trying to heal. Can you help by supporting this project to provide COVID-19 care packages for community members in need?
Many peaceful protesters have likely been exposed to COVID-19. And the COVID-19 data clearly shows that Black people who get the virus are more likely to have negative outcomes.
To prepare for this crisis, organizers of the Twin Cities Mutual Aid Society are collecting donations of money and supplies.
Some of the money will be used to create wellness kits which include traditional/alternative medicines and other immune-support products, such as electrolyte powder packets and vitamins. Other items will include a thermometer and PPE (masks, gloves, etc) as available, to help manage COVID-19 symptoms.
Funds will also be used to offer small stipends to outreach workers who will distribute the packs throughout the Twin Cities.
OCA was founded and is based in Minnesota, and some of our staff live in the Twin Cities area. This is our way of supporting our home community.
Please make a generous donation at this time, if you are able. And please stay safe.
Make a tax-deductible donation for the Twin Cities Mutual Aid Society
“Regenerative agriculture is going to be a key phrase in the decades ahead—and this book will get you in on the ground floor, so to speak. Not much could be more important!”— Bill McKibben, author of “Falter”
When Ronnie started this book, COVID-19 wasn’t on his mind.
But during this unprecedented global crisis, “Grassroots Rising” is the playbook we all need.
We’re guessing most of you—except those of you who are the pandemic frontline heroes providing essential services—probably have more time to read, or listen, to books right now.
And you’re probably in dire need of any message that offers hope—and concrete action steps for creating a better world.
Ronnie’s new book, your “good news” instruction manual for fixing our broken food and farming system and our broken climate, is now available on audible.com. You can also order the paperback online.
Regrettably, Ronnie had to cancel his book tour, even as he was driving throughout the southwest for scheduled speaking events. The cancelations were necessary, in the interest of public health.
Fortunately, we’re planning an online book tour. Stay tuned for details!
In the meantime, stay healthy, stay sane and above all, stay engaged.
Listen up! ‘Grassroots Rising’ now available on audible.com
Listen (free) to the first 17 minutes of Ronnie's book
Buy your copy of ‘Grassroots Rising’
TAKE ACTION: Donate $100 or more and get a copy of Ronnie’s book
Sign up for Regeneration International’s newsletter
SIGN THE PETITION: Consumers Want a Regenerative Green New Deal!
One in 10 COVID-19 Patients With Diabetes Die Within a Week, Study Finds
21 Individuals and Organizations Building Stronger Black Communities and Food Systems
Big Ag Lets Hundreds of Thousands of Farm Animals Die in Barn Fires Every Year
A deadly ‘Checkerboard’: Covid-19’s New Surge Across Rural America
Farmworkers Are Dying, COVID-19 Cases Are Spiking, and the Food System Is in Peril
May the Screams and Tears and Protests Shake the Very Conscience of This Nation
Gardens Have Pulled America out of Some of Its Darkest Times. We Need Another Revival.