No Nourishment To Be Found In Suffering

The Humane Society’s graphic footage of animal abuse at two industrial pig farms is making wave, and rightly so. The arrogance of the farms’ owners is unfettered, as they claim they’re not doing anything wrong, and are adhering to strict animal welfare guidelines—another way of saying that the same horrific scenes can be found at all other industrial pig farms in the country. The good news is that Walmart is getting involved, as the retail giant is eager to mitigate any damage caused to its brand and business by the bad rap of one of its pork suppliers. And so here’s the really good news: consumers do have the power to change the meat industry, and to have it improve its practices. It’s about animal welfare. It’s also about human welfare in a industry where the mistreatment of animals famously breeds the mistreatment of its workers.

Pig farms under fire after Humane Society investigation (Medill Reports)

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Public Debate Shifting On Farms Subsidies

Credit: Bob MacInnes

The budget crisis has emerged as the ideal context for a critical public debate about farm [perverse] subsidies. Here’s an enlightening article about the Farm Bill that makes the case against supporting Big Ag—in the mainstream media, no less! Farmers Making $100 Billion Don’t Need Subsidies to Grow(Bloomberg)

Purdue University scientists may have identified one of the factors that cause bee deaths around agricultural fields: neonicotinoid insecticides, which are commonly used to coat corn and soybean seeds before planting. Honeybee Deaths Linked to Seed Insecticide Exposure (Science Daily)

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European Victory Against GMO

BASF's genetically modified potato, Amflora.

BASF quit. The German chemicals and biotech giant, who had been fighting hard for 13 years to get approval for Amflora, its genetically modified starched-up potato for industrial use, is giving up on the European market for GMO (genetically modified organisms). The reason? “A lack of acceptance from the majority of consumers, farmers and politicians,” said Stefan Marcinowski, a BASF board member. “Therefore, it does not make business sense to continue investing in products exclusively for cultivation in this market.” BASF is moving its plant science headquarters from Limburgerhof, Germany, to Raleigh, North Carolina.

The decision occurred 18 months after an attempt by the European Commission to put an end to a 12-year moratorium on GM crops by allowing individual countries to decide whether or not to grow GM crops. Seemingly, that initiative is not going anywhere, and BASF decided to finally cut its losses, and move to greener pastures. The company said that it has decided to focus on “attractive markets”… in the Americas and in Asia.

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Here’s To A Happy, Healthy New Year!

The dawn of a New Year is the time that many of us choose to make good resolutions. Starting with our health. Now, how about if, on top (or instead) of goals set in numbers of daily calories consumed, weekly workout sessions and pounds lost, we were to commit to mindfulness? Mindfulness about the food we consume.

To support you along the way, I have put these guidelines together. I hope you find them helpful. And as an extra-incentive, bear in mind that improved health (ours and that of the planet) remains wishful thinking until we transform our mindset and lifestyle. Enjoy the process!

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