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Peach & Blueberry Tremors

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Touch the Soil News #673 In mid-March, South Carolina (rated as the #2 peach growing state behind California) experienced and unseasonal freeze. The frost destroyed 85 percent of the state’s peach crop – a loss of over 100 million pounds of peaches – 5 percent of the nation’s peaches. On average, American’s consume about 3 lbs. of peaches/nectarines each year. The loss is equivalent to the peach/nectarine consumption of 33 million Americans. The same frost hit Georgia, the nation’s largest producer of blueberries. Estimates are that around 70 million pounds were lost – equal to roughly 5 percent of the nation’s blueberry crop. On average, Americans consume 4.5 lbs. of…

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Global Meat Scandal – Food Tremor

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Touch the Soil News #656 (feature photo – Michael Bennett CC SA 3.0) A global food scandal is unfolding as Federal authorities in Brazil arrested and investigate almost 30 Brazilian meat companies. Included in the investigation are JBS SA and BRF SA. JBS SA is the world’s largest meat company overall. BRF SA is the world’s largest poultry exporter. Allegations include bribes to conceal unsanitary meat packing and processing conditions along with using chemicals to doctor up spoiled meat for export. The Federal probe in Brazil has been going on for over 2 years. Now that proof has been obtained for wrongdoing, the impact is having shock waves around the…

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What is a Food Tremor?

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Touch the Soil News #635 A food tremor is something more than background noise. It casts a hint of what a food problem can grow into. For example, in nature tremors often foreshadow a volcanic eruption or earthquake.   Food Tremors Now Happening The global demand for vegetable cooking oil is so great it is driving rainforest demolition and people exploitation. Peoples of all nations are competing voraciously for the same pool of cooking oils (palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil and olive oil). This tremor can drive food inflation. Congested crop farming leaves little room for nature to mitigate disease. Wheat rust is a fungal disease that compromises wheat,…

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The FAO Reports on Global Food Tremors

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Touch the Soil News #614 The FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations keeps tabs on global food tremors. While some of the issues may be far from home, our interconnected world – politically, socially and ecologically acts like dominoes – we simply cannot completely separate ourselves from ourselves. So, here are some of the food tremors unfolding: Wheat Rust. It’s a fungal disease that is pushing the edges of an epidemic. New strains of wheat rust are popping up around the world and in recent times. Areas vulnerable to wheat rust account for approximately 37 percent of global wheat production (see video below). Cost of basic…

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Low-Price Food Tremor

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Touch the Soil News #465 Wheat farmers in America rise and fall on the USDA’s reports of production. If the USDA reports production is up, speculators say there is an oversupply and farm prices often collapse. The USDA’s August 2016 World Supply Report reveals that the world will produce 743 million metric tonnes of wheat this season. This is 4 percent more than what was produced in the 2013 season. Since 2013, wheat prices and profitability of wheat farming have plummeted. The seal of the USDA. Unfortunately, the production estimates of the USDA often are the basis for speculation that can artificially drive prices down (hurting farmers) or drive prices…

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