User: flenvcenter Topic: Food-Independent
Category: Food Security :: Hunger
Last updated: Jun 23 2016 04:44 IST RSS 2.0
 
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USDA Says Paul LePage's Food Stamp Freakout Will Harm Children 23.6.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON -- Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) is putting vulnerable people in his state at risk with his food stamp crusade, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday.  In a recent letter to the Obama administration, LePage said that if the federal government won't let him stop Mainers from using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program debit cards to buy candy and soda, then the state will wash its hands of the SNAP program altogether and let the federal government deal with it.  USDA spokesman Matt Herrick says the agency can't just step in and do the state's job of distributing the federal benefit to low-income individuals and families.  "We don't have the authority or the funding to administer SNAP at the state level," Herrick told The Huffington Post.  In other words, if the state government won't provide nutrition assistance in Maine, no one will. Such a situation would be unprecedented.  "So what this means in real terms, for real-world people, is that children suffer, they ...
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Climate change may soon diminish crop yields 22.6.2016 TreeHugger
Rising temperatures are posing a threat to global food security.
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Paul LePage Threatens To Drop Food Stamps Because Of His Soda Freakout 22.6.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) wants to wash his hands of the federal food stamp program because beneficiaries eat so much filthy junk food.  LePage told the Obama administration that he'd end the state's administration of food stamps if the U.S. Department of Agriculture won't let him decide which foods Mainers can buy with their benefits.  “It’s time for the federal government to wake up and smell the energy drinks,” LePage wrote in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Doubtful that it will, I will be pursuing options to implement reform unilaterally or cease Maine’s administration of the food stamp program altogether," LePage wrote.  States distribute the benefits but the federal government sets the rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which serves roughly 44 million Americans nationwide, including nearly 200,000 in Maine.  LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett told The Huffington Post in an email that LePage doesn't want to end SNAP benefits in Maine, just that he wants to ...
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Women lead the fight against corporate agriculture around the world 16.6.2016 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
June 16, 2016 Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming. Around the world, women are pushing back against GMOs and corporate agriculture and building a food system that promotes health and justice for ...
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Pathways of Transition to Agroecological Food Systems 16.6.2016 Commondreams.org Views
Adam Parsons

An alternative vision of farming and food systems has long been upheld by civil society groups and small-scale producers around the world, based on the science of agroecology and the broader framework of food sovereignty. But while many reports and studies have shown how less intensive, diversified and sustainable farming methods can have far better outcomes than today’s corporate-dominated model of industrial agriculture, the question remains as to how we can make the shift towards agroecological systems on a global scale.

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Feeding A Hungry Urban World 15.6.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Co-authored by Doug Bereuter It's time to update what we know about global food security. Those familiar with the dialogue will know that the year 2050 marks an important threshold. By then, the planet will have swollen to nine billion people, and we'll have to dramatically increase food production in order to feed them. Some numbers that may be less familiar are these: by that same year, Africa's population will be 56% urban, up from 40% now. In Asia, we'll see a similar rise from 48% today to 64%. Here's another, perhaps more shocking figure: One trillion dollars. That's the estimated value by 2030 for the African agriculture and food sector. For a continent that is often not associated with prosperity, American agricultural producers and businesses will find significant opportunities due to rising demand for U.S. products, know-how, and services. These things are linked. By 2050, an additional 2.5 billion people will live in urban areas. With larger urban populations comes changing food demand: higher ...
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The Hunger of Reproach: Is There Hope for Our Food System? 11.6.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
I once sat with farmers at a long table during a Bizkaia winter, warming up with a flaming carajillo , trying to keep my wits in the steep, unforgiving drizzle of the Basque country. A grizzled sheepherder listened wordlessly to my proposals for action-research on how farmers practice food sovereignty, a call for the radical democratization of the food system. Suddenly, he slapped his hand on the table; "Stop studying the poor!" he bellowed, "Study the rich!" His meaning was clear: "We farmers can take care of ourselves if you get the rich off our backs." These days, everyone is concerned about income inequality and the mega-rich . Presidential candidates, voters across the political spectrum - even Hollywood and corporate billionaires are talking about it. David Rieff's new book, The Reproach of Hunger: Food, Justice and Money in the Twenty-first Century adds to the conversation by offering a wide-ranging analysis of how the rich define "progress" and why their proposals to end hunger are based more on ...
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Mayors Are Changing the Way We Think About Food 10.6.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Citizens in most of the world's cities might expect their mayor to take responsibility for collecting waste, running public transport, or regulating new development, but they might not consider food to be an issue for urban local government. Yet in October 2015, when Mayor of Milan Giuliano Pisapia called upon his fellow mayors to sign the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact , 120 cities from around the world, including London, Mexico City, Quito and Shanghai, chose to join forces in an effort to build sustainable and equitable urban food systems. This incredible show of commitment by mayors is an indication of how critical food production and consumption is becoming to protecting our climate, and the health and well-being of urban citizens. Historically, efforts on food systems focused mainly on production (largely rural), rather than consumption. As urbanization increases so too will the main source of consumption -- cities, and particularly, megacities -- and the urgent need for a more comprehensive approach ...
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Seven Myths About GMOs Debunked 26.5.2016 Truthout - All Articles
Myth 1: GMOs are an "invention" of corporations, and therefore can be patented and owned. Living organisms, including seeds, thus become the "intellectual property" of the GMO industry. Using these property rights, corporations can forcibly prevent farmers from saving and sharing seeds. Farmers harvest crops in Chennai, India. Corporations that produce GMOs are not interested in a free market; they are interested in creating a monopoly over GMOs. (Photo: Vinoth Chandar ; Edited: LW / TO) A global battle is being fought over the future of the world's food. Hear from the women on the front lines in Seed Sovereignty, Food Security: Women in the Vanguard of the Fight Against GMOs and Corporate Agriculture. These seed keepers, food producers, scientists, activists and scholars are committed to building a food system that is better aligned with ecological processes, human health and justice for all. Order this amazing book by donating to Truthout today! The following is excerpted from Vandana Shiva's foreword ...
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Small Farmers Are Foundation to Food Security, Not Corporations Like Monsanto 23.5.2016 Commondreams.org Views
Vandana Shiva

May 22 has been declared International Biodiversity Day by the United Nations. It gives us an opportunity to become aware of the rich biodiversity that has been evolved by our farmers as co-creators with nature. It also provides an opportunity to acknowledge the threats to our biodiversity and our rights from IPR monopolies and monocultures.

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"The Power of Pulses: Saving the World with Peas, Beans, Chickpeas, Favas & Lentils" 23.5.2016 TreeHugger
This engaging and informative guide will teach you how to cultivate and eat pulses, and why this is beneficial for everyone, including the planet.
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House GOP Is Determined To Make It Harder For Poor Kids To Get Free School Lunches 19.5.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
House Republicans appear determined to advance an aggressive rollback of a program credited with helping low-income children get free school lunches. The Committee on Education and the Workforce on Wednesday advanced a child nutrition reauthorization bill introduced by Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Indiana) to the House floor. The committee approved the legislation along party lines, 20-14, with Rep. Dave Brad (R-Virginia) the only Republican to join Democrats opposing it. The legislation, called the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 , has been widely panned by nutrition and hunger groups, which say it would reverse 2010 improvements to the national school lunch program. A letter opposing the bill released this week by the Center for Science in the Public Interest was signed by more than 750 local, state and national groups. Criticisms have centered on proposed changes to the community eligibility provision , which currently allows high-poverty school districts, with 40 percent or more of their ...
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Sowing the Seeds of Africa's Success 19.5.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Africa's transformation lies in the continent's rich soil. If we protect the ecosystems that sustain us we can lift Africans out of poverty, achieve food security, build climate resilience, create wealth and end hunger THERE is an old Nigerian proverb that says "fine words do not produce food". So I will keep my words as simple and clear as possible. Africa is facing a harsh reality. One in every two people on the continent lives in extreme poverty. In 15 years, most of the world's poor will reside here in Africa. Sadly, as I write, about 240 million people go to bed hungry every night while malnutrition kills more than 50% of the African children who die before they reach the age of five. These stark statistics are hard to grapple with. But imagine for a moment the pain of a mother who cannot feed her new-born daughter with the proper food she needs to live beyond the age of five. Imagine the mother who toils all day in the field but still goes to bed with a stomach aching from hunger because she cannot ...
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New Scientific Discovery Could Be Key To Tackling Poverty And Hunger 18.5.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Science just came through in a big way for small farmers in developing countries. Researchers from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have found a way to boost crop yields from maize, according to a release from the lab. By altering a gene mutation that controls stem cell growth, they were able to increase the number of kernels produced by individual ears of maize by almost half.  This discovery could make a huge difference to help tackle the global challenge of feeding a growing world population. What's more, it could help small-scale farmers in the developing world to produce more food on small amounts of land. “There’s great concern that we won’t be able to feed everybody in the coming years,” lead researcher David Jackson told Bioscience Technology . “I think that by producing higher yields, we can not only guarantee to feed the growing population, but also to hopefully [...] improve sustainability, and be required to use less land for agriculture.” An estimated 2.5 billion people  are involved full- or ...
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GMOs Ruled Safe To Eat, But They Aren't Solving World Hunger 18.5.2016 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Genetically modified crops are as safe to eat as their conventional counterparts and have not been proven to negatively impact the environment, according to a highly anticipated report . However, the study finds the controversial technology has not, as proponents have claimed, increased the rate of crop yields and has resulted in insect and weed resistance that has become a "major agricultural problem." So if you're looking for something that might settle the debate over genetically engineered crops once and for all, keep looking. "A major sort of message from our report is that it's not possible to make sweeping generalizations about the benefits and the risks of all GE crops," said North Carolina State University entomology professor  Fred Gould , chair of the 20-person committee behind the study, during a presentation Tuesday. The report offers " a little something for everyone " -- from the most avid supporters to the harshest critics, according to the Chicago Tribune.  Unsurprisingly, each side was ...
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Dear Walmart Woman 13.5.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
I just saw the video of you berating a man on food assistance. Have to tell you, I prefer it when bunnies or puppies go viral, but oh well. I guess sometimes it has to be bitter and rude people. While watching, three thoughts popped into my noggin: Of course he's paying with food stamps. He's at Walmart. (Sorry, the stand-up-comic in me always comes out first, and, well, truth be told Walmart owns 18% of the food stamp market. While Coke & Pepsi fight for fractions of a business percentage, Walmart has the food stamp crowd in the palm of their corporate hand.) Lady, you're shopping at Walmart. How is your unique brand of white trash any better than anyone else's? (Again, snotty, but come on. There's a reason there's a website called "People of Walmart" and not "People of Target.") I have seen people using food assistance before, and it never once crossed my mind to belittle them. In fact, the only thought I've ever had is: There but for the grace of God, go I. The last thought lingers, because it isn't a ...
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U.S. Can’t Force-Feed Hunger-Striking Immigrant Detainee Yet, Judge Says 11.5.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Immigration authorities tried unsuccessfully on Tuesday to get permission to force-feed a man on a 3-week hunger strike at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia. In a case that once again shines a spotlight on the isolated facility where a major protest broke out in September , a federal judge denied immigration authorities’ request to restrain Alaa Ismail Yasin and feed him intravenously or through a nasal tube. Contending that he qualifies for release, the 27-year-old Palestinian began refusing food on April 17 and says he won’t eat again until Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials let him go. ICE, in turn, says that if Yasin were to die as a result of the hunger strike, authorities would lose control of the detention center. U.S. District Court Judge Leslie Abrams' decision does allow ICE to take blood and urine samples from Yasin to monitor his health, even if he refuses to give consent.   Yasin risks death if he continues to refuse food, according to a court declaration filed ...
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Republicans In Congress Want To Cut Free Lunches For Poor Kids; Don’t Let Them 7.5.2016 Commondreams.org Views
Jeff Bryant

Conservative lawmakers are well known for wanting to cut funding to public education. But just remember, every time they take a swing at public school budgets, they hit poor kids.

The newest blow aimed at public schools will hit low-income students in the stomach, literally.

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Stealing Small Amounts Of Food When In Desperate Need Is Not A Crime, Rules Italy's Highest Court 4.5.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Stealing is not a crime , ruled Italy’s highest court this week -- when small amounts of food are taken in desperate need. The ruling was in the case a homeless man named Roman Ostriakov, who in 2011 was caught stealing a sausage and some cheese from a Genoa supermarket. Ostriakov had hidden the goods, worth about $4.50, under his jacket as he paid for breadsticks. He was arrested after a customer informed the store’s security of the theft; and in 2013, he was convicted and sentenced to six months in jail. This week, however, the Supreme Court of Cassation overturned Ostriakov’s theft conviction , ruling that stealing small amounts of food to stave off hunger is not a crime. The case has drawn comparisons to the story of Jean Valjean, the protagonist of Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables.” “The condition of the defendant, and the circumstances in which the seizure of merchandise took place, prove that he took possession of that small amount of food in the face of an immediate and essential need for ...
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On the News With Thom Hartmann: Americans Waste Enough Food to End World Hunger, and More 3.5.2016 Truthout - All Articles
In today's On the News segment: Americans waste enough food to end world hunger; in Florida, a new community is being designed to exist in harmony with the environment; air pollution affects more than just respiratory health; and more. TRANSCRIPT: Thom Hartmann here -- on the best of the rest of Science and Green News ... You need to know this ... While much of the mainstream media was focused on 2016 election cycle, Secretary of State John Kerry was making history with his granddaughter at the United Nations. Late last month, Secretary Kerry joined a gathering of the majority of the world's nations and signed on to the historic Paris climate accord. As of the end of April, more than 100 countries have officially signed on to the climate pact, but there is still much more work to be done to make the agreement official in the eyes of international law. To put the climate accord into force, at least 55 nations representing at least 55 percent of global carbon emissions must sign the pact and approve it ...
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