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‘Entire aisles are empty’: Whole Foods employees reveal why stores are facing a crisis of food shortages

DOES YOUR WHOLE FOODS MARKET HAVE EMPTY SHELVES? The nearest WFM is almost 300 miles away in Portland, Maine, and we haven't been inside in over 5 years, well before Amazon took over ownership.
We were recently sent this 'Business Insider' article from 2018 which depicted numerous photos of WFMs from around the country with empty shelves, apparently thanks to a then-new dubious 'just-in-time' ordering system with some very, very rough edges.
Have you seen scenes like this in WFMs? Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Whole Foods is facing a crush of food shortages in stores that's leading to empty shelves, furious customers, and frustrated employees…

"But Whole Foods employees say the problems began before the acquisition. They blame the shortages on a buying system called order-to-shelf that Whole Foods implemented across its stores early last year.

"Business Insider spoke with seven Whole Foods employees, from cashiers to department managers, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution."

‘Entire aisles are empty’: Whole Foods employees reveal why stores are facing a crisis of food shortages

Whole Foods employees say stores are suffering from food shortages because of a newly implemented inventory-management system called order-to-shelf.


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It’s Iowa caucus day. So why did we ask 20 California farmers what they’re thinking today?

SO WHAT'S ON THE MINDS OF FARMERS IN THESE CHALLENGING TIMES? 'The Counter' recently sought out the thoughts of 20 California Family Farmers. An excellent article which should be considered MUST READ.
The responses were valuable for gauging the plight of family farmers in the current Farm Crisis and in our age of relentless corporate consolidation and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"There are over 70,000 farms in California, and almost three-quarters of them are defined as 'family farms'—as many as 95 percent, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which includes family partnerships in its number. The farms, smaller than 100 acres, belong to farmers whose average age is 59.2…

"'I went to Washington, D.C., with a group of small farmers and introduced myself to one of the congressmen, who said, ‘Man, we’ve never had anybody like you out here.’ The guys who lobby are just all the big, big places, and we’re a tiny little farm on 25 acres. The guys who go there are the almond growers—not 25- acres-of-farmland people. We’re feeding a little community. We’re asking for things in the farm bill that would be loans and stuff like that, more toward the small family farm versus giving all that money to Big Ag. Tariffs are a completely different scale from what we do.'”

It’s Iowa caucus day. So why did we ask 20 California farmers what they’re thinking today?

Primary season often puts the focus on commodity crops and international trade agreements. But 90 percent of our produce is grown in California.


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The North Face – Question Madness

NOT YOUR TYPICAL COMMERCIAL AD. Most commercials deserve a quick flick of the mute button. However, we believe you'll find this 2016 masterpiece on Vimeo (1:46) – honoring the 50th anniversary of 'The North Face' – is cut from a different cloth and establishes new pinnacles for brand identity.
Last month we again attended the Winter meeting of the 86-year-old 'Direct Gardening Association.' DGA is the trade group for those of us who make our living growing seeds and plants and sell them – in our case Organic Seed Potatoes (www.woodprairie.organic) – directly to gardeners.
Keynote speaker Mark Schaefer, longtime faculty member at Rutgers graduate marketing studies program, nominated this video as the best ad ever. With thanks to Cat Stevens, please watch and tell us if you agree. Caleb, Megan & Jim

The North Face – Question Madness

Sound Design : Tanguy Meunier, Harry Knazan, Pierre-Hugues Rondeau Mix : Guillaume Houde, René-Pierre T. Guérin Music Editing : Pete Van Uytfanck,…


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NY senators call for investigation over influx of Canadian onions

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: AMERICANS COMPLAIN OF CANADIAN DUMPING – THIS TIME IT'S ONIONS. Border State family farmers in States like Maine and New York perpetually get the short end of the stick when it comes to trade with Canada.
The USA's large population is irresistible to Canadian producers. American farmers don't have any bone to pick with our farmer friends in Canada. However, if there is ever to be justice it MUST begin with acknowledging that we are TWO separate, independent countries selling into the ONE large USA market. That reality has been fraught with perennial, recurring and devastating problems for American farmers.
For example, today, our American dollar is trading 25% higher than the Canadian Dollar. This facts helps Canadian exports. What this means is that if you are a wholesale produce buyer at the Hunt's Point Produce Terminal in Brooklyn and have US$1000 to spend on potatoes, you can either buy from an American farmer and get US$1000 worth of potatoes or buy from a Canadian farmer and get US$1330 worth of potatoes for the same money. It takes a lot of American loyalty and dedication in a very cutthroat produce industry to Buy American.
Then there's the impact of the Canadian Treasury, which history shows American farmers must constantly compete against. Maybe it will be Canadian crop production or transportation which gets subsidized, but when unsubsidized American farmers nakedly face the free market on their own, it is anything but fair and portends calamitious results.
About twenty years ago, during a period of fantastically low Pork prices we happened to be tuned into and listening to the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp). We heard a news story encouraging Canadian Pork producers to hang on tight and survive by collecting EI (Unemployment Insurance) benefits. They assured their intended Canadian farmer audience that with prices this low American hog farmers would be forced out-of-business, the pig populations would then decrease and thanks to an improved supply/demand balance, the price would rebound and it would be happy days for surviving Canadian pork farmers. Self-employed American farmers do not qualify for American unemployment insurance.
Crop year 1985 beat up both American and Canadian potato farmers up very badly with terrible prices. Rare, excellent growing conditions across all of North America brought a record potato crop 11% larger – that A LOT – than the '84 crop. With the major oversupply, farm gate potato prices plummeted. Throughout the Winter of '85/'86, potato prices in Maine hovered around $0.75-$1/barrel (165 pounds) farm gate. Back then it cost $7/barrel to grow potatoes. Farmers were blistered and lost $1000/acre – or $75,000 – $100,000 per typical farm in 1985 dollars. A large number of farmers "got done" farming that year.
One cold day that Winter we were in Boyd's Farm Repair shop in Bridgewater. Boyd's uncle, potato farmer Eldon Bradbury walked in and related to us a story told to him by a wholesale buyer of his potatoes. Seems this buyer had been talking to a Canadian farmer and apologetically related the market price he could pay was only a disastrously low 23-cents per 5-pound sack. Back then the paper sack itself cost about 7-cents plus a farmer would have to pay wages to the crew to put up a truckload. Anyway, the Canadian farmer's response to the 23-cent price was, "Oh, you don't have to pay me that much." What was unspoken, but what the buyer knew, what Eldon knew, what Boyd knew and what we instantly knew is that somehow, someway, the Canadian government was quietly baling out Canadian farmers with the mandate "move Canadian potatoes at any price, just move 'em, we'll take care of you."
Pretty hard for independent American family farmers to survive in this kind of repetitive market environment with the Canadian Treasury placing its finger on the scale.
We feel for you, New York Onion farmers. Caleb, Megan & Jim
https://www.woodprairie.com/newsle…/newsletter_10182011.htm…

"'New York State is home to prime onion-producing land, yet our farmers are unable to sell their goods in a domestic market that is flooded by cheap Canadian exports,' Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said in the release. 'Farmers across the country have been struggling to keep up with growing production costs, while Canadian exporters have been able to dump cheap onions onto the market at prices comparable to 30 years ago.'"

NY senators call for investigation over influx of Canadian onions

Two U.S. senators from New York are calling for federal investigations into unfair trade subsidies for Canadian onion growers.


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A Texas community chokes on fecal dust from cattle feedlots | Food and Environment Reporting Network

QUESTION FOR INDUSTRIAL AG: PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY YOUR CLOUDS-OF-FECAL-DUST DON'T VIOLATE RURAL RESIDENTS RIGHT TO CLEAN AIR? The 'Public Trust Doctrine' – which originated back in Roman Times – asserts that government does not possess the authority to "privatize the Commons." Assets of the Commons include Air, Rivers, Sea, Seashore and Seed.
The government violates the Public Trust when it permits theft from the Commons. That theft may either be explicit via acceptance payment of say, a 'Permit Fee' from would-be-polluters, or implicit when it fails to perform its Public Trust duty to restrain powerful entities from committing theft through degradation of the Commons.
Contrary to appearances in this upside-down era of monopoly corporate control, Rural residents are NOT second-class-citizens who have lost their right to clean air and water.
The book 'Nature's Trust' by Dr. Mary Christina Wood fully explores 'The Public Trust Doctrine.' Caleb, Megan & Jim https://jle.aals.org/home/vol64/iss4/15/

"Brorman rolls down the driver’s side window, and a rank odor wafts in from the Southwest feedlot. While good fences make good neighbors, they do nothing to stop the wind from sweeping up tiny fragments of dried manure from the feedlot surface and spreading them across Brorman’s farm. Some summer days, especially during droughts, the particles—which scientists call “fecal dust”—form dense plumes that blot out the sun. When the wind is high, a wall of dust churns through the town of 15,000, coating homes and businesses and limiting visibility on U.S. Highway 60 so severely that motorists must switch on their headlights well before sunset.

“'You go outside and it’ll just burn your nose and your eyes,' Brorman says. The dust brings foul odors so pervasive that they can penetrate the Brormans’ farmhouse even when the doors and windows are closed. Lawrence and his wife, Jaime, use a more explicit term for the fecal dust: 'shust,' a portmanteau of 'shit' and 'dust.' (Other folks who live here are partial to 'shog,' a mashup of the same first word and 'fog.')."

A Texas community chokes on fecal dust from cattle feedlots | Food and Environment Reporting Network

Lawrence Brorman eases his pickup through plowed farmland in Deaf Smith County, an impossibly flat stretch of the Texas Panhandle where cattle outnumber people 40 to 1. The 67-year-old farmer and…


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Transcript of “Why you should shop at your local farmers market”

SUCCESS COUNTERING INDUSTRIAL AG: WHAT IS IT WE AS INDIVIDUALS CAN DO THAT HELPS FAMILY FARMERS AND COMBATS CONSOLIDATION BY AG MONOPOLIES? Last Fall TEDx speaker Mohammad Modarres (6:05) delved into our troubled system and explained why there is an outsized impact when we all buy DIRECTLY from real farmers at a Farmers Markets. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"…Today, a handful of corporations continue to consolidate the entire food supply chain, from the intellectual property of seeds to produce and livestock all the way to the financial institutions who lend to these farmers. And the recent results have been rising bankruptcies for family farms and little control for those who are just trying to survive in the industry. Left unchecked, we will head into another economic collapse, one very similar to the farm crisis of the 1980s, when commodity market prices crashed, interest rates doubled, and many farmers lost everything.

"Fortunately, there's a very simple, three-part solution you can be part of right now to help us transform our food industry from the bottom up.

"Step one: shop at your local farmers markets…"

Transcript of “Why you should shop at your local farmers market”

TED Talk Subtitles and Transcript: The average farmer in America makes less than 15 cents of every dollar on a product that you purchase at a store. They feed our communities, but farmers often cannot afford the very foods they grow. In this actionable talk, social entrepreneur Mohammad Modarres sho…


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Dicamba on trial: Monsanto officials limited testing on its own plots | The Counter

NEW JAW-DROPPING ACCUSATIONS & REVELATIONS IN MONSANTO 'DICAMBA' HERBICIDE DRIFT TRIAL: MALEVOLENT MONSANTO RIGGED TESTS & PAPERWORK TO FOOL 'EPA' REGULATOR. Brand new powerful revelations of Monsanto multiple misdeeds in the landmark federal lawsuit by Missouri's largest Peach farmer Bill Bader whose farm is "on the verge of collapse" thanks to repetitive deadly Dicamba herbicide drift onto his susceptible Peach orchards. Was the trespassing drift by design?
Did Monsanto use intentional herbicide drift as as a form of extortion to force GE Soy & GE Cotton farmers to buy its Dicamba-Resistant GE seed or face chemical annihilation of their crops?
'The Counter' formerly called 'New Food Economy' presents this insightful article written by truth advocate 'The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.' Caleb, Megan & Jim

"But knowing federal regulators were paying attention to the new weed killer’s potential to contaminate other fields, the company decided to 'pull back' on testing to allow Dicamba to have a 'clean slate,' according to an email from Dr. Tina Bhakta, who, in her role as global chemistry expansion lead for Monsanto, was responsible for obtaining EPA registration for the weed killer…

"Together, the new dicamba-tolerant crops and accompanying herbicide were to be the largest biotechnology launch in Monsanto history…

"Bader Farms, which says it is no longer a sustainable business because of off-target movement of dicamba harming its orchards, alleges that the companies released their dicamba-tolerant systems intentionally to create drift issues in order to increase their profits. The lawsuit is one of many filed by farmers against the companies over the issue…

"'Hahaha difficulty in producing enough product for field testing. Hahaha bullshit,' Sandbrink wrote in an April 11, 2015, email discussed in court on Thursday….

"In a February 2015 email, Martino-Catt wrote they had gotten a 'clear message” from the executive team “that we must do everything we can to get the registration.'

"'Sometimes,” Martino-Catt wrote, 'this means not having all the paperwork in place.'

"Bhakta replied with a smiley face."

Dicamba on trial: Monsanto officials limited testing on its own plots | The Counter

The company used a variety of methods to avoid independent testing of its controversial herbicide, according to court testimony.


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JUST HOW HAS THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE'S 'AROOSTOOK FARM' BEEN PUTT…

JUST HOW HAS THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE'S 'AROOSTOOK FARM' BEEN PUTTING OUT POTATO INDUSTRY FIRES FOR OVER 100 YEARS? It's the nature of farming that production challenges will regularly pop up. Growing potatoes involves at least its fair share of over-the-horizon looming threats. Setting aside weather extremes (too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry), the culprit might be inadvertent soil abuse, an insect, a disease or a combination of the above.
In a monumental move, visionaries in Maine in 1914 established a potato research farm in nearby Presque Isle and appropriately named it "Aroostook Farm." It's duty was to study and safeguard the potato business, of which Maine – after the railroads had finally reached Aroostook County in the 1890s – had quickly become industry leader.
The new January issue 'Potato Grower' out of Idaho Falls, Idaho, has a good article which depicts the history of valuable research work at Aroostook Farm.
It's our observation that Potato industry magazines tend to be technology-hampered and most publishers have a modest online presence. This article is offered in a 'flip-magazine' format. The real benefit here is if you have never read an ag rag Potato magazine (there are several more including 'Spudman' and 'Valley Potato Grower') here's your chance to 'thumb through' all 80 pages cover-to-cover and get an unfiltered glimpse into all things potato. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"And in the northeast corner of the United States, a farm was purchased by a collective of potato growers – with funds authorized by the state legislature for the University of Maine to use for the purpose – to conduct research on soil, climate and cropping practices. Over the last century plus, much has been accomplished on that plot of land that has brought the entire North American potato industry into the future, while remaining steadfastly focused on the growers, processors and wholesalers of Maine."




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ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS: DAY ONE OF MONSANTO 'DICAMBA' TRIAL U…

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS: DAY ONE OF MONSANTO 'DICAMBA' TRIAL UNMASKS INTERNAL DOCUMENTS & EXPECTATIONS OF DRIFT PROBLEMS. Our experience after having launched our 'OSGATA et al v. Monsanto' federal lawsuit nine years ago is that you can never take ANYTHING Monsanto says publicly at face value.
The reason Monsanto has the deserved distinction of being the world's most hated corporation is that they are relentlessly public-relations-driven baloney manufacturers. Their concocted 'public image' departs so far and so egregiously from reality that the world has now become remarkably alert to Monsanto duplicity. Jim

"For years, Monsanto and BASF have been blaming alleged crop damage from the weed killer dicamba on other factors, including weather, other pesticides and applicator misuse.

But on the first day of a civil trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in Cape Girardeau on Monday, internal company documents presented in opening arguments showed that both companies were warned about the herbicide’s potential to damage other crops. Documents also showed the companies prepared for complaints about the weed killer prior to the new genetically modified crop systems being released…

"Bader Farms, the largest peach farm in Missouri, is on the brink of collapse because of a situation 'entirely foreseen and foreseeable' by Monsanto and BASF, said Billy Randles, the lead attorney for Bader. Randles was the first attorney to give his opening argument, after the jury was selected Monday morning."




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Koalas Are “Functionally Extinct” Due to Devastating Australian Bushfires

KOALAS ARE "FUNCTIONALLY EXTINCT" DUE TO DEVASTATING AUSTRALIAN BRUSHFIRES. Fires fueled by drought connected to climate change is taking a big toll.
Agriculture accounts for almost a third of the excessive atmospheric carbon. Why? Because unsustainable intensive farming practices have depleted stores of soil carbon (humus and organic matter) into atmospheric carbon.
Good organic farming – an exemplary soil-based farm system – soil removes carbon from its misplacement in the atmosphere and deposits it into the soil through photosynthesis. Soil rich in humus and organic matter grows healthy crops naturally resistant to insect and disease pressure and the food it produces high in nutrient density.
Organic farming is demonstratively good for people, the environment and the planet. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"As bushfires rage across Australia, with no end in sight, the toll is devastating. In New South Wales alone 2.5 million acres have burned and people are being asked to leave their homes as a Code Red has been declared—which means the fire authority has no control over the blazes. While the impact on humans is disastrous, for koalas—the national symbol of Australia—it’s catastrophic. Already a vulnerable species, the bushfires have now wiped out 80% of their natural habitat…

"As eucalyptus trees—koalas’ main food source—are cut down, the animals suffer from starvation. An increase in droughts also means that the leaves of the eucalyptus trees that aren’t cut down are too dry to provide essential hydration for the animals. Unfortunately, the fires may have simply accelerated the problem. And even after the fires subside, it will take months for eucalyptus trees to grow back, making the remaining koalas even more vulnerable to starvation."

Koalas Are “Functionally Extinct” Due to Devastating Australian Bushfires

Bushfires raging in Australia have caused 80% of koala habitats to be destroyed, making the beloved species functionally extinct.


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