News for September 10, 2010
The Problem with Cheap, Organic Produce
Since organic certification came into effect, the number of farmers investing in the sometimes-expensive certification process and offering organic food has done nothing but grow, skyrocketing up 53 percent between 2005 and 2008. Despite this blossoming interest, supply couldn't quite keep up with the ever-growing demand, resulting in a hefty premium for the superior product. Well according to a new report by Arizona State University (ASU), the times may be a-changin'.
Organic prices are falling, which is a mixed blessing for those of us who want to see chemical-free veggies and fruits become the norm. Struggling farmers have managed to make a decent living in a tough industry by switching to organic, a welcome change that would be threatened if organics' high prices come down. It's great that more consumers will be able to afford organic produce, but what is the cost of a lower price tag? I figured that one day we'd have to deal with lower prices for farmers once organic became a given, but I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that it's not just an increase in the number of eco-friendly family farmers that are driving down organic prices.
[ READ MORE (Change.org) ]
Do you have the balls to really change the food system?
You watched Food, Inc. with your mouth aghast. You own a few cookbooks.
You go out to that hot new restaurant with the tattooed chef who's putting on a whole-animal, nose-to-tail pricy special dinner. You bliss out on highfalutin' pork rinds, braised pigs feet, rustic paté, and porchetta.
[ READ MORE (Grist) ]
Land Grabs in Poor Countries Set to Increase
After weeks of rumors sparked by the leaking of a draft World Bank position paper on so-called land grabs in poor countries, the international financial institution has officially released its report on the surge in farmland purchases and leasing which have elicited controversy for over two years.
Acquisitions of vast tracts of fertile land in Africa by foreign governments and companies eager to secure affordable food resources in highly volatile commodity markets stirred public attention when the South Korean company Daewoo bought more than a million hectares of farmland in the east African island state Madagascar.
[ READ MORE (Common Dreams) ]