Need more facts
(Re: “Local food shift,” cover story, Aug. 25.) Mr. Brownlee wrote, “The idea that farmers can grow whatever they want to grow, using whatever methods or technology they choose, and then sell their products anywhere they want or can is an artifact of an era that produced devastating long-term climate change and the greatest planetary extinction of 60 million years.” This statement implies that governments have the right to control what farmers grow, the technology they use, and [their ability] to sell their products where they want, for the greater good of a community. The last time I checked, this is communism.
Also, what facts does Mr. Brownlee have to back up his implication that conventional farming is one of the major causes of climate change and extinction? Mr. Brownlee also mentioned that local farming uses less fuel than conventional farming. Has there been a study of the fuel use per ton of food for Boulder County? I predict that if such a study were made, it would likely show that local, small-scale farming uses as much, if not more, fuel per ton of food than conventional farming.
By the way, a citation at the end of the article shows that Mike Brownlee works for Transition Colorado and has a financial interest in the local food movement. The author of this article will likely have a large financial gain if public policy is changed to his favor.
Collin Johnston/via Internet
Editor’s note: Transition Colorado is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization.
The importance of food
(Re: “Local food shift,” cover story, Aug. 25.) I wanted to express my appreciation to Boulder Weekly for its continued coverage of food-related issues, from the importance of transitioning to a locally based food economy to prevent ing the cultivation of GMOs on our publicly owned open space lands.
What I hope our elected officials understand is that these issues are of paramount importance to many people in Boulder County. They’re not going to go away until they’re resolved the way voters want them to be resolved.
We as a community have a chance to make decisions that will protect our food supply, our soil and our croplands for generations to come. We have an opportunity to keep millions in food dollars here in Boulder County, to prevent an explosion in superweeds on open space lands and to establish food sovereignty that will help keep our decendents fed when this current conomic system, which cannot last, finally buckles under the weight of its own waste, corruption and inhumanity.
This will require citizen participation, as well as true leadership on the part of the county commissioners and others. Ultimately it comes down to this: who should control Boulder County’s food future, Monsanto or the people of Boulder County?
The answer should be obvious. Robert Gordon/via Internet
Buck Uncle Sam on GMOs
It looks like Boulder County residents are bucking Uncle Sam by objecting to genetically engineered (GE) crops on county open space. The news source Truthout has reported that Uncle Sam has been acting as agent for Monsanto and Dupont. This has just been confirmed by Wikileaks.
New cables reveal details of the U.S. effort to push foreign governments to approve GE crops and promote the worldwide interests of those GE hucksters. Spain and France and other targets are in Africa, Asia and South America. For more info, go to http://tinyurl. com/3btvc67. Watch out Boulder! We could be targeted as well.
11th & Pearl
(Re: “Redeveloping 11th and Pearl,” Danish Plan, Aug. 25.) Briefly: How about something we really need for a change, like a performing arts center?
Lynne Langmaid/via Internet
Thinking inside the box
I believe that it would be a big mistake for Boulder County to allow genetically modified crops to be grown on our Open Space land. I believe the risks far outweigh the benefits, but it is valuable to understand the benefits that some farmers gain from GM crops.
GM crops can reduce the need for organophosphate poisons to control insects. They increase yields by reducing weed competition. They increase the quality of some crops by decreasing insect damage. They save time and labor because spraying is faster than hoeing or cultivating.
However, these benefits are inside an outmoded 20th-century box.
New 21st-century thinking is shifting our relationship with Nature from killing the Bad, to supporting the Good. We have learned that we are not separate from Nature and our environment.
If we take an organic 21st-century approach, we can answer the GMO benefits in this way:
Instead of replacing one poison with a weaker poison, we eliminate all poisons, building healthy soil and growing healthy plants, supporting populations of beneficial insects and using non-toxic sprays when necessary.
Instead of reducing weeds with a gene that requires the use of an herbicide, we can reduce weed competition by mechanical removal, mulching and nontoxic weed killers. Increased time and labor are cost-effective when high-value crops (like organic vegetables) are grown.
Instead of increasing crop quality with a gene that inserts a toxin into our plants and foods, quality can be increased through intelligent monitoring, beneficial insects, biodiversity, seed selection for local adaptability and, when necessary, non-toxic controls.
Instead of saving time and labor, we can give more jobs to local workers to improve soils, remove weeds, monitor pests and beneficials and pick peoplefood. And we can save money by not buying expensive GMO seeds, petroleum-derived fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.
What kind of future and environment do we want to invest in? It’s time to reject the failed dominator system with a 60-year history of harming life on Earth. It’s time to invest in a holistic 21st-century vision that cares about quality, health and a prosperity that begins with the soil and radiates to all environments and beings. This is Nature’s successful model that we could imitate and partner with.
Tell the Boulder County commissioners to deny permission to grow GMOs on our public land.
Mikl Brawner, Harlequin’s Gardens/ Boulder
A healthier diet for kids
With the start of a new school year, parents’ attention is turning to school clothes, supplies and lunches. Yes, school lunches. Traditionally, USDA had used the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. Not surprisingly, 90 percent of American children consume excessive amounts of fat, only 15 percent eat recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, and one-third have become overweight or obese. Their early dietary flaws become lifelong addictions, raising their risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
But the tide is turning. In recent years, Hawaii, California, New York and Florida legislatures asked their schools to offer daily vegetarian options, and most U.S. school districts now do. The Baltimore public school system offers its 80,000 students a complete weekly break from meat.
Last December, President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act to replace junk food in school lunches and vending machines with more healthful options. In January, the USDA announced the first new school lunch guidelines in 15 years. Parents should continue to insist on healthful plant-based school meals, snacks and vending machine items. They can consult www.vrg.org/family, www.healthyschoollunches.org, and www.fns.usda.gov/cnd.
Legalize raw milk
As a Colorado transplant (from California) and an avid follower of the Weston A. Price eating/diet/nutrition/ health way of life, I find that the media should take charge on this issue of the legality of raw milk and its products. For too long, raw milk has been outlawed based on flawed information (factoids) and mistaken media reports (about either food poisoning or salmonella and so on and so forth), and it is time that Colorado follow states like California and allow the commercial sale of raw milk.
For the raw milk farmer and for the general public that would hugely benefit from the health attributes of unpasteurized milk, this outdated and misinformed policy must be corrected.
The explanation for the rising tide of conservative economic theory in Congress lies in our modern Supreme Court rulings that money and free speech are created equal and that corporations have an unlimited right to spend money to influence elections.
Our politicians have become terrified at the power of money and, particularly, the power of money in media. Despite overwhelming polling supporting raising taxes (actually returning taxes to the levels of earlier, more prosperous times) on corporations and the wealthy, raising revenue has never been on the table, and the Grover Norquist/Koch brothers/Tea Party/anti-government/anarchist elements of the Republican Party have gained an improbable ascendency in Washington.
There is no longer a center in government, only the far-right and the ultra-far-right. Cutting government failed to right an economic collapse in the ’30s. There is no reason to believe it will succeed today.
Food and protests related
The popular revolutions we are witnessing in the Middle East, while inspired by a desire for personal freedom and self-determination, are certainly sustained by a pervasive hunger pandemic, particularly among the world’s less privileged populations.
Since last December, skyrocketing demand for food and dwindling supplies have driven the global Food Price Index to new records. Supplies have suffered from catastrophic floods and droughts linked to global warming and from gradual depletion of groundwater aquifers.
Demand has been fueled by unchecked population growth and by diversion of massive amounts of grains into biofuel and meat production.
Hunger afflicts nearly one billion people worldwide, mostly women and children. It feeds massive popular migrations and unrest that, sooner or later, will affect us all.
Some of the causes of global hunger are beyond our personal control. But, as the world’s highest meat consumers, we have a special obligation to free up some grain for the hungry by limiting our own consumption. With the broad availability of delicious and nutritious meat and dairy alternatives in every supermarket, there is no reason to delay.
Entering “live vegan” in a search engine returns lots of good guidance.
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