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Science versus the Money Trail

Touch the Soil News #1069 (Feature photo – Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) wrote a disconcerting book called the Jungle, which was an expose of the meat and livestock industry) – public domain) Upton Sinclair once said: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his paycheck depends upon his not understanding it.” Today, especially in the food chain, bewilderment is often the situation. What can one believe when the science put forth is funded by interests that want the world to accept a biased position? Phil Lempert alerts us in the following video of a new book coming to market that seeks to shed light on where the…

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The Big Food Bill

Touch the Soil News #1068 (Feature photo – bulk carriers are the foundation of global food trade – public domain) While Americans feel their nation can produce a lot of food, much of the food American’s like must be imported. Imported foods like fruit, vegetables, nuts, livestock, dairy and poultry now amount to around $120 billion a year – and that is before some of the other costs such as distribution and retailing are added on. Almost 90 percent of America’s croplands are planted into four crops – corn, soybeans wheat and hay. It is doubtful that a diet of these genetically constrained mega-crops can provide all the nutrition Americans…

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May the Egg Be With You

Touch the Soil News #1067 (Feature photo – The Egg – CCA SA 2.0 Generic) Finding that perfect banana, strain of wheat, dairy cow or egg-laying hen is couched in the human mind as finding highest-yielding and lowest cost solution. Generally this path leads to a decline in genetic diversity and a building-up of drugs and chemicals to combat disease. The world’s largest chicken genetics and seller of commercial laying chickens is a private company called Hy-Line International. Headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, the company has over 60 distributors in more than 50 countries world-wide. Hy-line recently made news when it announced the opening of the world’s largest layer…

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The FDA Tackles Lab-Grown Meat

Touch the Soil News #1066 (Feature photo – The first cultured meat sample produced in 2013 – CCA 3.0 Unported) Often called “cultured meat”, lab-grown meat has attracted millions of venture capital dollars to bring the process to commercialization. The production of animal meat amidst growing demand has pushed environmental and resource limitations to the forefront of public debate. Land to graze and feed meat animals has been at the forefront of global rainforest decimation. The growing interest for meat grown from animal cells in a laboratory environment raises questions about safety, cleanliness and manufacturing processes. Recently, AgFunder News published a news piece on the issues as the FDA is…

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Americans Spend More Eating Out Than Eating at Home

Touch the Soil News #1065 (Feature photo – Chipotle, Part of the Eating-Out Scene – CCA SA 3.0 Unported) Total U.S. Food Expenditures are pushing past $1.5 trillion a year. Recent USDA reports reveal that over half of this total is now spent on eating out. The food chain is changing and Phil Lempert explains some of the major trends unfolding in the following video clip: Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Farming the Desert Sands

Touch the Soil News #1064 (Feature photo – Desert sands on the outskirts of Abu Dubai, the largest city in the UAE – CCA SA 2.5 Generic) Technologies are emerging which allows sand to hold water and for microbes to flourish that maintain the soil and bring nutrients to plant roots. At the forefront of these technologies is China, which has demonstrated successes in turning deserts into farmable areas that can produce over 40 different kinds of crop. The United Arab Emirates is a desert nation that must import up to 90 percent of its food. The UAE, in cooperation with Chinese firms, is planning to start testing/developing desert soilisation…

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Grow it Yourself

Touch the Soil News #1063 (Feature photo – Grow Your Own – public domain) Agritecture just came out with a great guide called the 8 Sustainable Steps to the Ultimate Urban Garden. In short, you don’t have to have a large backyard or farm on the outskirts of town. Patios do great and it is not that complicated. You can read the full story here: http://www.agri-tecture.com/ Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Trade Wars & Food Tremors – Lots of Questions

Touch the Soil News #1062 (Feature photo – Bulk Freighter – public domain) Now that there is open war over trade between the U.S. and China, the wars will be fought with monetary increases on goods that the citizens of both countries buy (the new tax). The billions in tax collections will be pocketed by both the American and Chinese governments. Amid lots of talk about earlier tax cuts, major indirect tax increases are in the works. One must ask, will the American government take the tariffs collected on Chinese goods coming in and share it with the American public who is paying the price and the farmers who lost…

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Cargo Bikes Keep Showing Up in Commerce

Touch the Soil News #1061 (Feature photo – A Sainsbury’s Supermarket in the UK – CCA SA 2.0 Generic) Sainsbury’s, the second largest grocer in the UK, is testing grocery delivery with cargo bikes. The company has over 1,400 grocery outlets and employs over 180,000 people. Some American grocery stores are exploring things like autonomous vehicle delivery. Looks like the British are trying something more down to earth. Phil Lempert has the story: Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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Build Your Edible Landscape

Touch the Soil News #1060 (Feature photo – Indigo tomatoes as part of the landscape – CCA SA 2.0 Generic) CleanTechnica just came out with an interesting article about transforming your lawn with edible landscaping. While people historically have separated their flower gardens from their food gardens, there is an argument to combine both. You can read the full story here:   https://cleantechnica.com/2018/07/08/transforming-your-lawn-with-edible-landscaping/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IM-cleantechnica+%28CleanTechnica%29 Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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