Nicholas Kristofferson of the New York Times tells us that Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are two competitors creating meat-like products in laboratories with the backing of, “Bill Gates and both Biz Stone and Ev Williams of Twitter fame, not to mention Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the venture capital firm that backed Google and Amazon.” Didn’t take long for Big Tech to figure out how much money and power lies in controlling people’s food supply.
Beyond Meat’s, “best-selling product, the Beast Burger, is loaded with protein, vitamins, antioxidants and Omega-3s.” A healthy product, if you believe that eating a dinner of chemicals is good for your health. I actually don’t. I’d rather eat a chick pea curry or a falafel sandwich. They don’t taste anything like meat, but they’re filling, delicious and nutritious.
If you’re wanting to reduce your meat consumption, check out Ellie Krieger’s suggestions for truly healthy substitutes. And forget the chemicals.
John Boyd was interviewed by Grist writer Madeleine Thomas on the state of Black farmers in America. Mr. Boyd has been a driving force in the movement to procure support for Black farmers – and even funding to help cover the personal and community cost of Black farmers being denied USDA support that was made readily available to Caucasians.
Boyd’s work helped spark a landmark legal case in 1997. In the class-action lawsuit Pigford v. Glickman, 400 black farmers alleged that the United States Department of Agriculture had denied them loans based on racial discrimination. The decision eventually awarded thousands of black farmers payments up to $50,000 for discrimination claims. In 2010, President Obama announced an additional $1.25 billion settlement, known as Pigford II, to fund any additional unfiled claims. Native American, female, and Latino farmers were also eventually awarded similar settlements, too.
…What has happened is that a lot of family farms have been left to the next generation, and they’re really not set up to continue farming. That has created a huge challenge for black people in this country as far as being agriculturalists and maintaining and contributing to America’s fabric, which is why black people were brought into this country in the first place. We were brought to this country to work the land and we’ve done it for hundreds of years for scot-free. Here we are hundreds of years later, barely holding on here.
Mr. Boyd advises taking back control over our connection to land and food by investing in back gardening, small scale farming and even larger scale farming. On the particular subject of land, he shares this wisdom:
We need people to become concerned that God doesn’t make any more land. They make a new Cadillac and a new Mercedes-Benz every day, but the actual land, once it gets away from you and your family loses that land, it’s very difficult to go back and buy it from a white farmer because they’re not going to sell it back to you. We can’t continue to give our land away for pennies on the dollar and move to suburbs and condominiums. That’s a real problem.
…As my grandfather said, “I can’t leave my PhD to my children, but I can leave my raggedy farm to them.”
No matter how many times we’re reminded that 40 percent of the food we produce in the U.S. goes to waste, it still manages to be a pretty shocking number…
According to Dana Gunders, NRDC’s resident food waste expert, the date labeling system in the U.S. is “not a system at all.” Instead, she says: “It’s like the Wild West. Laws vary across states and, for most labels on a vast majority of products, the manufacturers choose whether to have a date at all, which kind to apply, what they interpret that label to mean, and how to determine when to set that date.”
The result? People are throwing away food on those dates because they believe it’s no longer safe to eat — up to 90 percent of us. And, conversely, we might be eating unsafe food because we’re placing more trust in those dates than we should.
Rob Greenfield dives in the name of ending hunger – dumpster dives! 40% of US food goes uneaten so Rob travels around the country collecting food which he brings to parks and puts on display to show how much good food ends up being a waste problem instead of a hunger solution. After the media he invites have the chance to inspect his bounty, Rob gives it away:
“After leaving it out on display for a little while, if people want to take it home and eat it, they can.”
Rob finds perfectly good fruits, vegetables – both whole and prepackaged/cut up, canned foods, blocks of cheese, pizzas, bags full of bread and bagels. He’s eaten from 3-500 dumpsters and has never gotten sick from the food he’s found in them.
Rob’s goal is to connect the many people who are food insecure – who lack regular access to food – with the stream of food items that are discarded by restaurants and grocery stores even though there is nothing wrong with them .. except for being past a sell by date, which Rob says, “means nothing.” In the future Rob imagines, no good food will ever end up in a dumpster.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree is the type of modern Democrat we need to keep in Washington, representing the American People’s interests at the federal level. Like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Cong. Pingree is a thoughtful, well educated, hard working and egalitarian woman with a quirky (but fun) sense of humor. She too believes that the American people can triumph over corporate greed and interests and works very hard to make sure this becomes reality.
One of the businesses Cong. Pingree owns is an organic chicken processing operation. She says she never fails to remind her colleagues that she’s an “expert chicken eviscerater.” Pingree jokes, “that’s a useful skill to have in Congress.”
In this TEDX Talk, Pingree talks about her history as a Maine Farmer and her ongoing work reforming national food policy and the federal Farm Bill. She challenges us to support the production of sustainably grown organic food in any ways we can, and charges us with helping to protect the butterflies and bees we need to help our food get naturally pollinated and thrive.
Wary consumers who aren’t interested in waiting for FDA to ramp up its testing of Chinese food imports can take their own measures to minimize the possibility of contamination. Local, as in American-grown produce, will trump labels such as “organic,” if the food in question was grown in a potentially polluted place.
In fact, if it’s grown in a polluted place, organic produce could contain more heavy metals than conventionally grown food. Organic agriculture practices include the use of manure, which could add heavy metals to the soil if the cattle were eating contaminated feed, such as hay grown in a contaminated field, according to Michael Schmitt, a soil scientist at the University of Minnesota. “Once you put metals in a field,” he said, “they don’t go away.”
Thus, organic food from a polluted area of China could carry significantly more heavy metals than nonorganic food from the U.S. This puts a new spin on the idea of eating locally. In this case it could mean from anywhere in this vast continent—Canada and Mexico don’t seem to have heavy metal problems. But in a way, the reasons are similar to why many people prefer buying from the local farm stand: you have more information about how something is grown.
Not all food is required by law to be labeled with a country of origin. Foods purchased abroad and processed in the USA, for example, are exempt, as are foods containing multiple ingredients. The safest way to confirm a food item didn’t come from China is to look for labels that announce where it is from. If no information is given, avoid it.
Best practices are: eat local; avoid foods not labelled with country of origin and eat only foods minimally processed. And, be wary of nutrition supplements because they concentrate ingredients, including poisonous ones.
Seed Diversity means Food Security! The best way to provide for enough good food across the globe is to let nature do what it was created to do. Seeds and crops adapt to environmental and geographical changes much better than anything man can invent. So let’s respect nature, and let food be food! If you don’t believe me, watch this little graphic cartoon. It’s very convincing.
Green Drinks celebrated Food Day and World Food Day in November at our Paterson-Clifton gathering. We discussed the relationship between producers, consumers and the food that binds us together … and read stories of how sustainable ag lifts us up by creating economic opportunities, healthy lives and a sustainable planet.
The organic designation in the United States doesn’t have the quality guarantee that it once did. That’s because major corporations have taken over the organic industry and are obviously looking to increase profits. That means buying up independent organic brands and then diluting the “organic” label by throwing their mega-billions of dollars behind lobbying to lower the standards that have protected the organic designation. Lower standards mean more profit, after all.
Is there something else going on here as well? For example, do major corps want to sell us frankenfood because they’re heavily invested in nursing homes, the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries? Well, maybe. That research is still waiting to be done, so stand by, folks.
For today, I can give you this graphic showing all of the once truly “organic” brands that are now owned by major food corporations.
I hope all my Jersey friends went out and voted for Board of Education candidates today. Let me know …
As we learn of help and resources available in New Jersey towns for victims of Hurricane Sandy, we’re posting them, along with special information about school closures and other important local information.
Emergency Information: Overnight parking restriction suspended (you may park on the street) until Monday, Nov. 5 2012. Check for parking updates at 201-794-5399
Garbage pick-up is suspended temporarily. Residents may bring household garbage and recyclables to the DPW at 20-05 Saddle River Road
Fair Lawn Community Center on Kipp Street and Berdan Road on Thursday 11/1 Friday 11/2 7am-9pm Sat 11/3 9am-9pm & Sun 11/3 9am-5pm. Fair Lawn High School has charging stations from 10am-2pm Fri on 11/2
Showers available at the Community Center on Kipp Street and Berdan Road
Emergency information: for all emergencies call 911. City offices re-opened Thursday, Nov. 1 2012. They are experiencing limited telephone service. Curfew is in effect from 6pm to 6am daily until further notice. Schools are closed until Monday, Nov 5 2012.
Local businesses open
Target on Hackensack Ave
Home Depot on Hackensack Avenue
Costco on So. River Street
Burger King on Hackensack Avenue
711 on Main Street & State Street
Deli Mart on Main Street
Farmers Market on Passaic Street
Lucky Farms on South Summit Avenue
A food truck capable of serving hundreds of meals will be at the Capital One Bank parking lot (3rd and Washington) serving free meals to the public this afternoon. Food trucks from throughout the region are invited into Hoboken to help feed our community.
The Elks Club will also be serving food to the public this afternoon. The Fire Department pumped out the loading dock for the A&P supermarket, which is expecting a delivery and hoping to open today.
Water tankers are available at 1st & Washington and 315 Hudson St (bring your own container)
Resources are being organized and communicated by Mayor Wayne Smith. Call his cell at 973-219-5245 or text him a number so he can call you back. Mayor Smith’s Facebook Page
CITY CONTACT INFO (may not be working)
Fire Dept: 973-399-6555
Police Dept: 973-399-6600
First Congressional Christian United Methodist Church at 1240 Clinton Avenue Irvington Ave (off civic Square). Call if you have mobility difficulties and need transportation.
Chris Gatling Center at 285 Union Avenue Irvington 973-399-6597
There are food stores open on Springfield Avenue in Irvington from Grove Street up to the Maplewood line
Emergency information: Curfew is in effect from 7pm to 7am daily until further notice.
Resources and advisories are being communicated by the mayor via Twitter @corybooker or for non-emergency assistance call 973-266-4111 (if not working try 973-877-9323, 973-733-9326, 973-733-9321 or 973-733-9325)
Hot meals are being served daily to residents in Newark affected by Sandy at these locations
502 Summer Avenue
595 Mt. Prospect Avenue
444 Mt. Prospect Avenue
136 Tiffany Boulevard
1 Court Street
2 Speedway Drive
285 Burnett Street
1060 Broad Street
Shabazz High School
JFK High School
SHELTERS NPS is hosting shelters for those in need at West Side, MX Shabazz, and Samuel Berliner. You can go to a shelter to stay overnight or just to warm up, and you can shower at some of them. Some serve food too.
Newark Public Schools closed Monday and Tuesday (Nov 5&6) for CHILDREN
Xtra Super 930 Broadway; meat counter open till 8pm store open till 9pm (973) 484-7200
Pathmark Supermarket 281 Ferry St Open 24 hours (973) 589-3922
Met Food Market 514 Ferry St Open till 8 pm (973) 817-9333
Extra Supermarket 125 Avon Ave Open till 8 pm (973) 504-9696
C Town Supermarket 120 Clinton Ave #Newark Open till 6 or 7. Call (973) 642-3363
Brothers Supermarket 525 Springfield Ave #Newark (973) 481-6499 Open till 8 pm
Bravo Supermarket 260 Roseville Ave Open till 8 pm (973) 485-6170
Twin City 611 Broadway open till 8 pm.
Fatima Supermarket 111 Wilson open till 10 pm, lines are not long.
Pathmark 167 Bergen St. restocking shelves now. Open 24 hours with average lines.
Seabra’s Ferry Street & Wilson Ave. locations are open. Chestnut Street is closed
Newark Museum writes: As we deal with the aftermath of the storm, we invite you to come in, relax, get warm, and enjoy the beautiful art in our 80 galleries. The Museum is offering free admission this Saturday and Sunday, and we welcome you to participate in art and science activities for children, and group tours; charge your smart phone; and enjoy free WiFi.
New Brunswick Elks Lodge is hosting a FREE SOUP KITCHEN to help those that would like a warm meal and something warm to drink.
Street parking enforcement suspended through 11/4
UPO on Myrtle Avenue by #11 school is open Fri/Sat/Sun Nov 3-4 12-5pm. All are welcome to come and drink coffee, charge your phone or plan a meeting.
Emergency information: Curfew is in effect from 7pm to 6am daily.
Ralph Froehlich Public Safety Building, lower lobby, 300 North Avenue East, Westfield – free public mobile phone(only) charging station, laptops and other devices cannot be charged here.
Warren County: The Trinity Church, 213 Main Street – overnight shelter for Hackettstown residents only, bring own pillows, blankets, food, medicines, books, games, or sleeping bags. Charging station – NO PETS