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The Changing Face and Structure of Agriculture

Touch the Soil News #1226 (Feature photo – Amy Hicks from Amy’s Organic Garden – USDA) While policy makers stress over the lack of younger people in mainstream farming, are they actually missing the boat? While the farmer of a 15,000 acre enterprise may be approaching retirement, thousands of younger people – including women – are entering farming. They are not large corn or soybean farmers. They are often a new breed of entrepreneurs and social activists that are shaping the food scene around cities. AgriNews Journalist Erica Quinlan takes us to Indiana to explore how women are changing who farms and how agriculture is changing: http://www.agrinews-pubs.com/news/women-who-farm/article_1c58637d-d052-5e55-8916-0aa936fd4ea0.html Want More? -…

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Clean Energy Investments – $300 billion in 2018

Positive Future #359 (Feature photo – Modern Solar Farm in California – BLM) Bloomberg New Energy Finance reports that clean energy investments exceeded $300 billion in 2018. While that is slightly less than 2017, the big news is that 100GW of new solar energy came on line in 2018. Using an average of 725,000 homes being powered by 1 gigawatt, the 100GW new capacity could theoretically power 72.5 million homes. You can read the full story here: https://about.bnef.com/blog/clean-energy-investment-exceeded-300-billion-2018/ On another solar front, scientists are working to develop ever more efficient solar cells. The current efficiency of solar cells is that they are the cheapest form of power generation in over…

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Has Agriculture & the Food Chain Compromised the Worlds Wildlife?

  Touch the Soil News #1225 (Feature photo – Grain Fire, Industrial Farming and Global Warming – Public Domain) Many champions of humanity explain the world can feed 9.5 billion people by 2040 in the context of a warming planet. The present population is 7.5 billion. The problem is that the world can’t feed who’s here. The problem is deeper than just numbers of people. There are things like a materially unsustainable industrial farming system, a financial system whose purchasing power is underpinned by low wages and a competitive system of economics that wastes 1/3 of all food produced. Phil Lempert (https://www.supermarketguru.com/) looks into the recent the World Wildlife Fund’s…

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Land – What Everyone Wants

Touch the Soil News #1224 (Feature photo – Controlled Environment Agriculture – courtesy of NASA) It’s no secret that the number of people in the world is growing by about 80 million a year – roughly two Californias. Populous nations around the world want to expand their control over agricultural land, even though it is overseas. One of the least populated nations – Australia – has been targeted by foreigners for its agricultural lands. Australia, about three fourths the size of America, has only 25 million people – a drop in the bucket compared to the U.S. population of 325 million. It is unclear as to who all the foreign…

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Hemp – Rescuing the World from Plastics

Touch the Soil News #1223 (Feature photo – Hemp Bioplastic Car Door Interior – CCA SA3.0 Unported) The National Hemp Association recently explored the problem of plastic and how the world has created a type of waste that nature cannot digest. Hemp contains nearly 70 percent cellulose fibers from which bioplastics (material that can decompose) can be made. To replace all the plastics with hemp or other bio-plastic materials is not going to happen overnight. But if hemp gets the world jump-started on a different path, its importance so far has certainly been underrated. You can read the full story here: https://nationalhempassociation.org/the-need-for-hemp-bioplastics/ Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals…

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Altius Farms – Another Foray into Changing Agriculture

Touch the Soil News #1222 (Feature photo – Altius Farms Towers – courtesy of Altius Farms) Just coming into production is Altius Farms in Denver. Denver, the center of a metro area of 2.4 million people, is in need of more urban food. Altius claims to be one of the largest rooftop operations with over 8,000 square feet. Different from other hydroponics operations, Altius Farms is centered on growing towers. With almost two years in the design, building and business planning, Altius farms will be in full production this year. 303 Magazine from Denver provides insights as operations are winding up: https://303magazine.com/2019/01/altius-rino-rooftop-farm/ You can learn more about their operation at:…

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Five (5) Plant Resolutions for 2019

Touch the Soil News #1221 (Feature photo – House Plants – CCA SA 3.0 Unported) Farmer Nick recently published 5 resolutions we should make for 2019. Since plants are one of those cornerstones to human survival and health, it’s worth taking a look. Farmer Nick provides “plant consulting” for your household plants. Farmer Nick provides the full story here: https://www.farmernicknyc.com/blog-1/2019/1/6/new-years-plant-resolutions Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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FDA Reduces Food Inspections

Touch the Soil News #1220 (Feature photo – FDA Logo – courtesy of FDA ) As hundreds of Food and Drug Administration (FD) inspectors are laid off, the FDA must also curtail the number of inspections that ensure a safe food supply. How many other critical services will the government shutdown impact? Trend News World has more of the story at the following link: https://trendnewsworld.com/2019/01/10/its-not-business-as-usual-federal-shutdown-brings-fda-cutbacks-fewer-food-inspections/ Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Natural Food Ingredients – What Does That Mean?

Touch the Soil News #1219 (Feature photo – Natural Food – USDA) The Food and Drug Administration wants to come up with a definition of natural – something that they have not been able to do. Critics argue that a whole slate of unnatural things have been allowed under the term “natural” when it comes to food. Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert (https://www.supermarketguru.com/ ) tackles the problem and determines that we would be best served to rid ourselves of the term “natural” when it comes to food ingredients. Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Underground Farming

Touch the Soil News #1218 (Feature photo – Controlled Environment Agriculture – courtesy of NASA) Urban farming advocates and pioneers are scouring urban landscapes for every possible site for growing food. That search has broadened to include old bomb shelters, abandoned subway systems and even abandoned coal mines. Borgen Magazine explores the new trends in underground farming around the world. You can read the full article here: https://www.borgenmagazine.com/urban-underground-farming/ Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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