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Sketchy Pork Info – But Worth Following

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Touch the Soil News #421 In the world of commodities – including agricultural – when China consumes, the whole world feels it. Global Meat News (http://www.globalmeatnews.com/Industry-Markets/China-s-pork-imports-booming) recently reported that environmental and economic issues in China are causing domestic reductions in the production of pork. While there are no definitive statistics, pollution problems with large pork operations near cities has resulted in some closures. In addition, there have been many closures of small “mom “and “pop” pork farms contributing to supply declines. China leads the world in pork consumption and per-capita consumption is going up. The net result is significant: Pork prices in China have gone up almost 40 percent over the past 12…

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Food Resilience – Are the Challenges to Food Calling for a Spiritual Awakening?

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Ten years ago, food resilience focused on sustainably- produced foods, with discussions focusing on organic versus chemical farming. Since that time, the world has changed in two ways – 850 million more people at the dinner table and an increase in the number of shocks that the production of food encounters. With this background, the Food Security Information Network (FSIN) provides an explanation of food resilience: “Resilience is the capacity that ensures adverse stressors and shocks do not have long-lasting adverse development effects.” This must mean that negative shocks to food must be overcome in the near term and not allowed to fester for extended periods of time. The focus…

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Abundant Life Farm – Illustrating Career and Life Options Around Growing Food

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Linda Borghi is on her third farm. Her present farm is in Walker Valley, New York – about a one and a half hour drive north of the Big Apple. Abundant Life Biodynamic SPIN Farm is situated in the Shawngunk Mountains that has been turned into a “terraced” farm that hints of centuries old practices in exotic places like Nepal and China. Borghi came from an Italian family, the oldest of eight in a family of fine art dealers. Beginning her career in the corporate world, she ultimately broke away and got into raising and marketing local food. “It was a big change for me, considering where I came from,”…

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Food Hardship – Is the Solution Food Gardening?

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The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) recently published its 2014 National, State and Local Index of Food Hardship. Food hardship is a state of being in which there is struggle to put food on the table.  According to the report, food hardship afflicted between 17.2 and 18.6 percent of Americans at various times over the last seven years – that’s between 55 and 61 million people. Here are some of the highlights: Mississippi has the highest food hardship rate of any state at 24.7 percent. About one out of every 4 people in Mississippi is food challenged. North Dakota has the lowest food hardship rate of any state at…

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Hooligan Farm – David Elias Rises to the Challenge

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David Elias from New Jersey (see photo of David with daughter Jasmin) started food gardening in 2010 after losing his job. The immediate economic need to supplement his family’s nutritional needs precipitated the gardening effort. “What motivates me is giving my family an opportunity to eat better at affordable prices and allow them to eat real food that is not processes junk,” says Elias. For Elias, food gardening for the family awakened other visions and opportunities. As a jujitsu teacher and competitor, Elias started seeing the benefits of eating cleaner. Soon he was growing so much that he could sell the extra to friends, family, co-workers, fellow athletes and coaches.…

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World Health Organization – We Need Safe Food from Farm to Plate

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April 7, 2015 │ Geneva, Switzerland In a recent press release, World Health Organization Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan (see photo), recently said:  “Food production has been industrialized and its trade and distribution have been globalized. These changes introduce multiple new opportunities for food to become contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemicals.” No small warning from the world’s top health official – Dr. Margaret Chan – which dedicated World Health Day (April 7, 2015) to the issue of food safety. Dr. Chan further stated: “A local food safety problem can rapidly become an international emergency. Investigation of an outbreak of foodborne disease is vastly more complicated when a single…

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Emerging Specs of a Food-Chain Mega Trend (Part 2 of 2)

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In the realm of theory, our culture likes to believe it is possible for the world to produce (and distribute) enough food for everyone – a world with abundant food. In contrast, investment funds are accumulating – like a storm cloud – to take financial advantage of a world in which food is less than abundant. The largest pension fund management company in the U.S. makes no secret about its emerging target of farmland or why it is doing so. The pension company is called Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF).  TIAA-CREF manages $426 billion in retirement assets for 3.7 million employees with…

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Emerging Specs of a Food-Chain Mega Trend (Part 1 of 2)

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There is an emerging correlation between retirement savings and the future of food. Most of us don’t know where our pension funds and retirement plans are invested. In many cases, retirement funds end up in the hands of an institutional investor. Institutional investors handle large sums of money for high net worth individuals, pension plans, endowment funds and municipal treasurers. By far and away, the largest source of investment funds in the U.S. is the retirement arena. Research, by the Investment Company Institute, reveals that at the end of 2008, assets in the U.S. retirement market totaled $14.2 trillion. By year end 2014, that number was $24.7 trillion – a…

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Is Food Banking at the Baseline of Trends in How Humanity Will Save Itself?

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The world’s largest food banking network is in America. It is called Feeding America. What does it mean that a wealthy nation has the most developed food-banking system? Feeding America reports that 1 in 6 Americans are sufficiently externalized from the nation’s mainstream economics (poor) so as to default to the food banking system Feeding America has a nationwide network of 200 food banks that distribute food through some 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. Walmart, the nation’s largest grocer, has only 5,000 stores and clubs in America. The mission of Feeding America is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country…

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Calling Organic Farmers – You’re Needed in More Places

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April 3, 2015 │The Wall Street Journal According to the Wall Street Journal, the supply chain for certain organic crops is falling short of meeting the demand. Over the past 10 years, sales of organic foods has tripled – with projections of exceeding $45 billion in 2015. It’s not so much the organic veggies and fruits that are falling short, but primarily in the grains such as wheat, oats and corn. In addition there is a need for organic soybeans and even chickens. To try and manage the shortage, a number of companies have reached beyond their normal operations to dabble in farming and work with farmers more directly. Following…

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