Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
News

News

The impact of glyphosate on waterways, marine life, and agriculture

November 30, 2019 – By Frank Dean, Moms Across America – Moms Across America received funding to test water samples in Florida and make an educational video with Frank Dean and Dr. Don Huber about the impact of glyphosate, specifically in Florida, on waterways crops, and health. Citrus farming use is the major focus, but glyphosate herbicides are also used directly in the water, on streets, sidewalks, gardens, parks, and on food crops such as sugar in Florida. Frank generously offered to also write this report on glyphosate and the impact on waterways and agriculture and we hope you will share it with your local farmers, city managers, Parks & Rec Departments, and landscapers.

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This world map rates countries by the sustainability of their food systems

November 30, 2019 – By Kristin Toussaint, Fast Company – What we choose to eat can affect climate change, and that means all the factors involved in feeding our growing population—from agriculture to fair trade to food waste to the labor force—can have an impact on how sustainable our food system is. That’s a lot of information to track, but it’s important to have that big-picture perspective. And now we’re closer to it, thanks to a map created by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) that rates food sustainability for different countries around the world.

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Our country is out of touch with our food system. Can we shift the tide here in Maine?

November 29, 2019 – By Sarah Walker Caron, Bangor Daily News – To be honest, I didn’t want to learn more about the recent recall on romaine lettuce because I knew once I did, I’d have to toss the five beautiful romaine hearts dwelling in my fridge. But it was the responsible thing to do. So on Saturday morning, with the sun streaming in my windows, I finally read the news story, checked out packages and tossed them into the kitchen garbage.

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'They're Trying to Wipe Us Off the Map.' Small American Farmers Are Nearing Extinction

November 27, 2019 – By Alana Semuels, Time – For nearly two centuries, the Rieckmann family has raised cows for milk in this muddy patch of land in the middle of Wisconsin. Mary and John Rieckmann, who now run the farm and its 45 cows, have seen all manners of ups and downs — droughts, floods, oversupplies of milk that sent prices tumbling. But they’ve never seen a crisis quite like this one.

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FDA comes down hard against CBD-infused food and beverage, ending months of silence

November 27, 2019 – By Laura Reiley, The Washington Post – A recent industry study predicted the global cannabidiol (CBD) market will grow from $311.7 million this year to a staggering $1.25 billion by 2024. Hemp farming quadrupled in 2019 as the crop, which was legalized in the 2018 farm bill, was seen as a huge new growth opportunity for beleaguered American farmers. More than 1,000 CBD-infused products are now available online.

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Apples of his eye

November 26, 2019 – By Kate Cough, The Ellsworth American – It was perhaps a marker of his celebrity that John Bunker, apple sleuth, founder of Fedco trees and lover of baseball, got a fist bump from an audience member as he made his way to the podium at the Blue Hill Public Library on a recent Tuesday evening.

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13 new books and reports about the future of food

November 26, 2019 – By Michael Svoboda, Yale Climate Connections – Thanksgiving is a traditional time for Americans to celebrate Earth’s bounty. The whole of humanity, however, can be thankful that extraordinary advances in agriculture have enabled food producers to keep pace with a fourfold increase in population since 1900 and rising standards of living in the developing world. Can that progress be sustained in the face of climate change? This month’s selection of books and reports addresses this fundamental question from a variety of perspectives. Their answers may cause you to look more closely at what’s on your plate over the holiday.

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The Devastating Role of Light Pollution in the ‘Insect Apocalypse’

November 25, 2019 – By Jason Daley, Smithsonian – Insect numbers have plummeted at an alarming rate due to a variety of factors, including increased use of pesticides, farming practices that destroy habitat, and industrial pollution. A new study in the journal Biological Conservation adds another major cause to the list: human-created light pollution.

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Understanding what makes a food ‘organic’

November 25, 2019 – By Consumer Reports, in The Washington Post – No doubt you’ve seen the organic label on a variety of foods — from produce and meat to bread and cereal — even in the smallest grocery stores. But how can one little word like “organic” cover all those different foods?

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Vegan Kitchen: Tribes growing heirloom seeds for heritage, health reasons

November 24, 2019 – By Avery Yale Kamila, Portland Press Herald –  Maine’s Passamaquoddy people are once again growing and eating ancestral crops and saving the often rare seeds. These simple yet significant acts are tied to new research that sheds light on the sophisticated agriculture and accompanying plant-centric diet of the early Wabanaki people of northeastern North America, who lived and farmed in what we call Maine for 12,000 years before the European migration and colonization.

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How heritage barley could be a valuable and vital food in the fight against climate change

November 22, 2019 – By David McKenzie, Sustainable Food Trust – Re-discovering how to cook and eat heritage barley – especially in the world’s biggest barley-growing nations of Europe, Australia and North America – could encourage farmers to grow special landrace heritage varieties. These could be grown in marginal climates and make a substantial contribution to ensuring global food security in the face of climate change.

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