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Knowledge Exchange

"The future depends on what we do with the present." Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948

While the discovery of rDNA may hold one of the greatest promises in the history of biology, studies continue to expose the potential dangers associated to consuming foods which contain them.

The agrochemical industry is valued at over $42 billion and operates with impunity while over 355,000 people die from pesticide poisoning every year, and hundreds of thousands more are made ill. In addition, pesticide corporations have put livelihoods and jobs in jeopardy, including, farmers, beekeepers and lobstermen.

These postings explore the research, surveys and analyses that link industrial agriculture to adverse effects not only to our well being but that of the our planet. To read the study referenced above please go to: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670

How Compost Turns Yard Waste into Black Gold

In nature, there is no such thing as waste.You can mimic this elegant cycle by using your yard waste as mulch, or by turning it into compost. You’ll be keeping a valuable resource out of the landfill, where it can generate the greenhouse gas methane, and the finished compost will save you money and give you healthier plants.


FDA Issues Voluntary Plan to Limit Antibiotics in Agriculture

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking its biggest step yet to rein in the indiscriminate use of antibiotics that help food animals grow bigger, faster. The agency said Wednesday it is asking veterinary drug makers to voluntarily phase out medically important drugs from being available over the counter in the hope that the shift will help combat growing antimicrobial resistance.


An old Chicago slaughterhouse turned vertical farm

In a neighborhood with close ties to the American industrial food system, an old Chicago meat-packing plant could become the symbol of the new urban food system.Growing food will only be one part of the 93,000 square foot building. The vertical farm will only take up about one-third of the building space. The rest will be an incubator for sustainable food businesses, offering low rent, low energy costs, and a shared kitchen, to startups.


The next shiitake? Farmers into fungi can reap rewards

Cornell agroforestry experts are hoping the exotic fungus — cultivated by the Chinese for its medicinal benefits — will follow the lead of shiitake mushrooms and become a hit with New York farmers and foodies. Their experiments have shown that lion’s mane would be well-suited as a crop for Northeast forests, providing a new opportunity for farmers, woodlot owners and even backyard mushroom enthusiasts.


The milk-producing power of LED lighting

Conventional wisdom tells us that happy cows make more milk. But what about cows housed in farms equipped with LED bulbs? One recent study overseen by Oklahoma State University suggests LED bulbs which produce more light while using less energy causes cows to make more milk.


Farmers Must Spend More on Herbicides as Effectiveness Fades

A much-used herbicide, which for years has helped farmers throughout the United States increase profits, is losing its effectiveness and forcing producers to spend more and use more chemicals to control the weeds that threaten yields. "I've gone from budgeting $45 an acre just two years ago to spending more than $100 an acre now to control weeds," said Mississippi farmer John McKee. The problem is Roundup.


Suzuki Diaries: Future City Inner City Farms

Inner City Farms was started by a group of friends who had grown up in Vancouver. They had a passion for gardening and good, healthy food. Essentially, they take neglected or empty garden spaces within the city and transform them into small 'farms', growing seasonal vegetables to sell back to the community. They don't use pesticides or fertilizers and have a small carbon footprint.... all within the heart of Vancouver.


World’s Largest Rooftop Farm Planned for Brooklyn Making New York the Model For Urban Agriculture

A multi-acre farm will be built on 100,000 square feet of rooftop space in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park—making it the largest rooftop farm in the world. The state-of-the-art, hydroponic greenhouse is being built by BrightFarms, Inc. in partnership with Salmar Properties LLC. The farm will grow up to 1 million pounds of local produce per year, including tomatoes, lettuces and herbs, which will cultivate a new national model for urban agriculture.


Occupy the Farm Activists Reclaim Prime Urban Agricultural Land in SF Bay Area

Hundreds marched yesterday from the Earth Day rally in Berkeley, California to an empty tract of land to establish a new occupation. Immediately upon arrival, in a beautiful display of direct action, solidarity, and mutual aid, Occupiers began clearing and tilling the land for use as a community farm. Already, over 10,000 seeds have been planted on the occupied farm, complete with chickens.


Will BSE Give Animal Agriculture Another Black Eye?

The discovery of BSE in a California dairy cow has been confirmed by USDA. Following that announcement on April 24, the futures market for live cattle futures ended the trading day locked limit down, and cattle organizations launched their crisis communication plans, reporting the meat and milk supplies were safe. It was bound to happen, and once again agriculture faces a challenge.