the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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june 3rd sign on letter

Farm_6

June 3, 2015

Dear Senator/Assemblyperson:

New York’s $47 billion farm and food sector is a vital component of the state’s economy and provides jobs for thousands of residents. Growing this important part of New York’s economy requires cultivating a next generation of farmers. One of the biggest challenges facing the next generation of farmers in New York is access to affordable farmland. Beginning farmers find themselves competing with real estate developers and others for land whose price is frequently beyond their ability to purchase. At the same time, farms being passed from one generation to the next are vulnerable to being lost to development as farm families grapple with the challenges of successfully transferring their land and businesses. Continue reading


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8 days left! support family farms in fight against Monsanto!

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Monsanto is notorious for launching court battles to financially and legally bulldoze whomever dare stand in its way. The company has sued farms, counties, states, and countries to subvert democratic processes that threaten its corporate interests. In its latest battle, the agriculture giant is backing a lawsuit against a county is Southern Oregon that recently passed a ballot initiative banning genetically engineered foods in the county.

Read more on Our Family Farms Coalition’s website and donate now! to support Jackson County’s legal defense. Protect their ban on GMO crops!

It is important to remember that all local battles are part of a greater national campaign to resist pesticides, GMOs, and industrial agriculture. A win here is a win everywhere. We are powerful when we stand together. Please donate and share! Boost, boost, boost!


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merry merry men and maidens of the forest of dean

beet the bullly

Despite the brutish encroach of bailiffs and foresters, farming activists in the UK continue to squat the 40 acres of Yorkley Court Community Farm. Since 2012, forty or so residents have established a biodynamic farm and off-grid settlement of treehouses, greenhouses, and a “sphere of high energy improbability” in the Gloucestershire woodlands.

By all accounts, the rightful owners of the property died in the 1800s leaving no clear heirs to the land. The land had been largely neglected until 2012, when the activists set up shop. This past year, the solicitor trustees sold the land out from under them to a local business man who’d like to evict the residents of Yorkley Court and develop the woodland. Residents have no intention to yield to pressure to leave.

“Many protest sites see people parachute in for a purpose, the land isn’t quite so important,” says resident and unofficial spokesperson Frank White, “We have a connection to the land, one which is shared with the community. We’re taking unused land and living off grid. We’re not anti-this, or anti-that, we’re creating a new form of society, one that is healthy, one that can survive.”

Read the original article here and follow developments at the Yorkley Court Community Farm Facebook page.


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on decay: dental, moral, and otherwise

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In delightfully unsurprising news for conspiracy theorists, a recent paper published in PLOS Medicine Journal reveals a rather crooked historical alliance between the National Institute of Dental Research and the cane and beet sugar industry.

The distillation of the story is alarmingly familiar: federal health organization caves to pressure from big ag and industry groups, turning a blind eye to risk to Americans’ health.

Thousands of internal industry documents analyzed by the paper’s authors reveal that the Sugar Industry knew as early as 1950 that sugar was a key player in dental decay. In order to prevent dentists from doing what dentists arguably do best (handing out apples on Halloween?), trade organizations attempted to deflect attention from the sugar question towards research on enzymes that reduce dental plaque and a dubious vaccine against cavities.

The study notes that a whopping “78% of a report submitted to the NIDR by the sugar industry was directly incorporated into the NIDR’s first request for research proposals” for its National Caries Program (NCP), whose purported goal was to eliminate tooth decay in America. Meanwhile, the NIDR neglected to call for research that would potentially damage sugar industry interests, and, when the agency launched the NCP, it omitted this kind of research from its priorities.

The Sugar Industry responded to the paper by calling its tactics “‘a textbook’ play from the activist agenda.”

To which we say, “Carie on!”


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gmo right to know and april 28 rally in new york

Big money is trying to kill the effort to label GMOs in the state of New York, but GMO Right to Know bills are moving forward. If you’re a New Yorker, please attend the GMO Labeling Rally & Lobby Day at the NY State Capitol in Albany on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Reserve your seat on a bus today!

Logo with green state of New York shape and "GMO Free NY" text on top of the imageUpdate on GMO Labeling Bills in New York
The GMO labeling bill numbers you need to know are NY State Assembly bill A.617 and NY State Senate bill S.485. Bill A.617 was successfully voted out of the NY Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection committee in early March and is now awaiting a vote in the Codes committee. The companion bill in the Senate, S.485, has not yet seen any action; it’s in the Consumer Protection committee and will hopefully be voted on soon.

Vote With Your Voices and Feet
Assembly members need to be told to push Bill A.617  forward because people should be able to know if it’s GMO. Go to www.gmofreeny.net to learn how to contact your Assembly member and Senator and what you should say when you call. Even better if you can stop by one of their offices in Albany in person!

Rally for Your Right to Know on April 28
On Tuesday, April 28th, 2015, the NY GMO Labeling Rally & Lobby Day will take place at the State Capitol in Albany, from 11:30 am – 3 pm. The rally will have food, great speakers, and like-minded people. Bus transportation is available from Manhattan, Westchester, Hudson Valley, Long Island, Rochester, Syracuse, Ithaca, and Binghamton and student scholarships are available.

No matter how you get there, just get there and make some NOISE in Albany! See this flyer for more information: April28Rally


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sisters’ camelot free fresh organic produce

Since 1997, we have distributed millions of dollars worth of free fresh organic produce and whole foods through our Food Share program. Maybe you’ve seen us around Minneapolis and St. Paul, out in our brightly painted former Metro Transit bus, distributing the kinds of foods you could buy at the Seward Co-op or the Wedge. We make weekly rounds to distributors – Co-op Partners, Albert’s Organics, and other organic food distribution centers.  On any given day, we may pick up and then distribute fresh ripe organic produce, prepackaged whole foods, bulk goods, and other items that may be overstock or approaching their expiration dates. The food share coordinator and volunteers make random stops where we share food unannounced at a busy intersection or neighborhood park in low-income neighborhoods around the Twin Cities metro area. We meet people, discuss good nutrition, and share food. After sharing, cardboard boxes are recycled and overripe produce is composted at local community gardens, with minimal waste going into the waste stream.

Food Share happens twice a week in the winter and three times a week during the growing season, when we add a Farmers’ Market pick-up to our schedule.  Every week we distribute thousands of pounds of fresh, organic produce.

Foodshare can be reached at foodsharebus@sisterscamelot.org. Volunteers are always welcome, and we’d love to have your help. Click here to get involved


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malnutrition mapping project

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 9.04.05 AMThe map includes a number of indicators describing “the double/multiple burden of malnutrition” — the co-existence of malnutrition and rising overweight and obesity — at the population level. The map brings together data from many different sources such as the Global Nutrition Report 2014, the World Health Organization, The International Diabetes Federation, and others. The map is not static or fixed; it will be evolving over time.
One of the exciting aspects of this tool is that it has the potential to include diverse data, across multiple sectors. This allows for the potential of cross-sector data integration and analysis. Understanding the complex interactions between nutrition and other sectors like climate change, agriculture or seasonality, among others, can help program implementers improve the delivery of nutrition interventions and result in more joined-up policy making. In the future, we will seek to include data on status of policies for undernutrition or obesity. To view this map, click HERE!!
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