|Food-focused conferences to bring up lots to chew on|
Portland Press Herald - 10/7/2009.By Avery Yale Kamila – These days, it's impossible to talk about living more lightly on the planet without talking about what you're putting on your plate. A report from Greenpeace is a good example. It cites industrial agriculture – with its reliance on harsh chemicals, foreign oil, factory farms and intensive land-use practices – as contributing from 17 to 32 percent of all human-related greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere. A similar story can be found in a frequently referenced 2006 report from the United Nations, which calculated greenhouse gas releases from the livestock sector alone at 18 percent of total emissions, putting it ahead of the worldwide transportation sector. These statistics, and others like them, are clearly on the minds of organizers bringing two food-focused conferences to Portland this month.
|Regulators plan to study risks of atrazine|
The New York Times - 10/7/2009.By Charles Duhigg – The Environmental Protection Agency plans to conduct a new study about the potential health risks of atrazine, a widely used weedkiller that recent research suggests may be more dangerous to humans than previously thought. Atrazine – a herbicide often used on corn fields, golf courses and even lawns – has become one of the most common contaminants in American drinking water.
|The chemical treadmill breaks down and the superweeds did it|
Grist - 10/6/2009.By Tom Laskawy – Tom Philpott has been tracking the rise of so-called “superweeds”—i.e. herbicide-resistant weeds—for a while now. He’s talked about the chemical treadmill—“the situation wherein weeds and other pests develop resistance to poisons, demanding ever higher doses of old poisons and constant development of novel ones.” Due in part to its reliance on genetically modified crops that are designed to be doused with Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, the South has to date faced the worst of this problem.
|Farmers learn how to milk their energy|
Kennebec Journal - 10/6/2009.By Betty Adams – Litchfield: Nothing interferes with the milking of cows. Not a news conference, not the presence of a congressman, not even other farmers. After the 52 Holsteins were milked, about three dozen people learned recently how farmers Lance Gatcomb and Ann Weston slashed their energy costs with the help of solar tubes, a more efficient hot water heater and a vacuum pump.