Category Archives: News

Toys “R” Us thinks nature sucks

“Nature is boring. I played in it once. There was nothing to buy. It sucked.”

via Stephen Colbert loves this Toys “R” Us ad, because nature sucks | Grist.

Growing Strength to Grow Food

0-1-0-rice_sacks-573x429“Instead of foreigners sending us food, they should give us the chance to do our own agriculture so it can survive.” So said Rony Charles, a rice grower and member of the Agricultural Producer Cooperative of Verrettes, in Haiti.Giving domestic agriculture the chance to survive would address four critical needs:

1. Creating employment for the majority, estimated at 60% to 80% of the population;[1]
2. Allowing rural people to stay on their land. This is both their right as well as a way to keep Port-au-Prince from becoming even more perilously overcrowded;Addressing an ongoing food crisis. Today, even with imports, more than 2.4 million people out of a population of 9 million are estimated to be food-insecure.
3. Acute malnutrition among children under the age 5 is 9%, and chronic under-nutrition for that age group is 24%.[2] Peasant groups are convinced that, with the necessary investment, Haiti could  produce at least 80% of its food consumption needs; and
4. Promoting a post-earthquake redevelopment plan that serves the needs of the majority, unlike the one currently promoted by the U.S. and U.N. which is based on the growth of sweatshops. See “Poverty-Wage Assembly Plants as Development Strategy in Haiti”.

via Growing Strength to Grow Food: Haitian Farmers Win US Food Soveriegnty Prize.

Market Offers Wealth of Tradition—and Veggies—for Immigrant Farmers

Markets like Crossroads support immigrant farmers by connecting them with other immigrants, making it easy to exchange knowledge, and helping them find a way to return to their agrarian roots.

The Crossroads farmers’ market is known statewide for being the first farmers market in Maryland to electronically accept various types of nutrition benefit programs: food stamps, known federally as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); as well as senior food assistance vouchers. Dudley explains that the market committed to accept electronic food stamps after paper vouchers disappeared in the late 1990s.

Although there is a growing population of Latino and Hispanic farmers in the United States, they often struggle with linguistic, cultural, and legal barriers. According to the Agricultural Census of 2007, Hispanic farmers are the fastest-growing population of new farmers and grew 14 percent from 2002, as compared with a 7 percent overall increase in farm operators.

image (1)

via Market Offers Wealth of Tradition—and Veggies—for Immigrant Farmers and Shoppers by Sarah Meade and Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern — YES! Magazine.

The Truth About Captain Phillips

captain-phillips-posterI remember when the events on which the movie Captain Phillips is based happened. Reality, as usual, is more complicated and interesting than Hollywood cares or is able to portray.

Somalian Hip-Hop artist K’Naan, one of my favorites, is quoted in this article (and a video interview included) explaining the causes of piracy in Somalia:

“Most Somalis will tell you they can’t readily condemn pirates. Nobody was there to protect them and the fishermen who was there would complain time and time again. It got to the United Nations Security Council and was ignored and thrown out.  It was months after that that who we are now calling pirates, these men mobilized themselves, these fishermen got street militias from the streets and brought them on board into the ocean to protect the Somali waters.”

via How Hollywood Got Captain Phillips Dead Wrong » RYOT News.