Archive for April, 2010
Local Foodie John Ikerd’s Latest Book Free Online, The Truth About Talapia! Sorry To Ruin Your Lunch! And a Local Contest To Create The New SF&C Logo! $200 Prize!
Today’s Quote: Love the Land
“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” Aldo Leopold
!!WINNER!! Blog Naming Contest from Local Minds!
Thanks to Holly Bollinger! As you can see this is now the “Sustainable Advocate!” Way to go Holly, and enjoy those farmers’ market tokens! Thanks to everyone else who entered! We are all about local, and we want your input on all that we do.
Design the new SF&C Logo! Win $200 cash!
Are you ready to get your creative juices flowing? Are you pretty good with graphic design and brand concepts? Do you want be known as the artist who designed the SF&C logo? Want to get recognition and a $200 prize? Click on the link at the top of the page “What’s Growing On” for more details and requirements. Contest runs through the end of May or until we have a new logo.
John Ikerd’s Releases His Latest Book- Free Online!
John Ikerd is a Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He was raised on a small dairy farm in southwest Missouri and received his BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri. He worked in private industry for a time and spent thirty years in various professorial positions at North Carolina State University, Oklahoma State University, University of Georgia, and the University of Missouri before retiring in early 2000. Since retiring, he spends most of his time writing and speaking on issues related to sustainability with an emphasis on economics and agriculture. Ikerd is author of Sustainable Capitalism, A Return to Common Sense, Small Farms are Real Farms, and Crisis and Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture.
John Ikerd has released his latest book “A Revolution of the Middle… and The Pursuit of Happiness” online and free of charge. This eleven chapter work explores the myth of the assumed “American Dream” and the realities that most people face under our version of capitalism. John then takes us on a journey in discovering the real American Dream, which he contends must start with an internal movement toward happiness and away from the media driven and pervading obsession with consumption and wealth. It remains a great irony that those who are least likely to ever be allowed to achieve power and wealthy will, in their dream state, defend the 5% that do hold the wealth and power from any threat to their standing all in the hopes that they too will be given a seat at the table.
Excerpt: Wealth, fame, and power are all defined by the few people who have them and the many people who do not. If we were all wealthy, there would be no poverty by which to distinguish our wealth. If we were all famous, none of us would be more widely known than any other. And if we were all powerful, there would no weak over which to have power. Any one of us, or some few of us, might become wealthy, famous, or powerful, but only if the vast majority of us do not. Even in our own local communities, the few who are considered successful are defined by the many who are not. In today’s materialistic culture, most of us simply cannot join the ranks of the successful, no matter how well we prepare or how hard we work. Chapter 5
I asked John a few questions for this article.
SA: If you could distill all of the issues surrounding sustainable farming and healthier lands and food, what would be the greatest threat or opportunity that we all should focus on right now?
JI: “The current local food movement is the most exciting, and potentially most important, phase of the ongoing transition from industrial to sustainable systems of farming and food production. The greatest challenge is to understand that the growing popularity of local foods is not just about freshness and flavor, but instead is a quest for food that has ecological, social, and economic integrity. As the Slow Food movement puts it, more people are demanding food that is ‘good, clean, and fair.’”
SA: We are far too often “preaching to the choir.” How would you suggest we get the important information into the minds of people who either have not noticed the issues or do not feel it is really something to get involved with?
JI: It’s important that we keep “preaching to the choir” because we all need periodic reaffirmation from likeminded people. However, we do need to find ways to reach out to more people who either aren’t aware of the degradation of our food and food system or don’t believe they can do anything about it. We each have a circle of influence, some larger and some smaller, within which we can share our perceptions of what’s happening to our food system and what we personally are doing about it. In the larger public arena, we can seize opportunities to localize and personalize the messages in books such as “Fast Food Nation” and “Omnivore’s Dilemma,” in movies such as ”Food Inc.” and ”Fresh; the Movie,” and TV programs, such as “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.” If we each have the courage to do whatever we personally can do, together, what we do will be enough.
SA: How has Missouri changed in its approach to agriculture in the past 20 years? Have some areas gotten better?
JI: Agriculture in Missouri has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. On the one hand, conventional agriculture has become more industrialized, meaning fewer farmers and larger farming operations that are increasingly controlled by agribusiness corporations through comprehensive production contracts. Genetically modified crops, large-scale confinement animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and ethanol production from corn are characteristic of this trend. On the other hand, organic crop production, grass-based livestock, and direct marketing of local foods have offered viable alternatives to agricultural industrialization for a growing number of Missouri farmers. The growing popularity of farmers markets and community supported agriculture organizations (CSAs) are characteristics of this trend. Missouri farmers now have a choice as to what kind of lives they want to live, what kind of neighbors they want to be, and what kind of earth they want to leave for future generations.
Advocate Feature- Tilapia- A Healthy Choice?
I used to love the fish orange roughy! I would blacken it on the grill…YUM! Do you remember how you could not go to a store or a restaurant without seeing it! What happened? Why do we only see “farm raised” tilapia now? Is it just as good?
Well I knew something was “fishy” when I saw a great seafood item being replaced by a farm raised fish. I did a little research and sure enough, we overfished the orange roughy, which was very, very good for us. It is now on “top fish not to eat” lists and countries are seeking its placement on endangered lists as well. So, there went that fish. Done! Now it is Omega-6 rich tilapia. You mean Omega-3 right Casey? No, I mean 6! What is Omega-6? Omega 6 (O6) fatty acids are normal for body tissues, but we only need a ratio of O6 to O3 of about 4 to 1 for normal healthy function. However, our current western diet tends to have in excess of a ratio of 10:1 and sometimes 30:1. But the clot thickens! Not only do we not need all of this O6 fat but it is preventing us from even gaining the benefits of the O3 we are trying to eat. You see O6 is a bully and competes for the connections on cells where O3 would like to hang out. But O6 says “hit the road” and O3 washes away. The prevalent high ratios of Omega-6 fats in our western diet can be linked to atherosclerosis, asthma, arthritis, vascular disease, thrombosis, immune-inflammatory processes, and tumor proliferation. One study in the The International Journal of Cancer showed that O6 caused increased rates of breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
Eat what you will, but Tilapia is not the healthy choice you may have assumed, but it is very cheap and easy to grow. They use hormone treatments to force the fish to all be male and they grow very fast. Yum! Alaska Salmon is a much better choice from what I have read and tasted. Here is just one article from Dr Weil.
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