Posted on

Organic Yields Higher than Conventional Corn

The key concept here is WHEN ORGANIC SEED IS USED, bushels per acre of corn grown organically are greater than when grown conventionally.
Here’s what’s at play. Organic systems are significantly different than conventional systems which heavily rely on toxic inputs. When good organic seed – that is, a variety bred for superiority under organic conditions and itself grown organically – is used, organic out yields conventional.
This Univ of MN study is reminiscent of the experience of researchers who worked with Dr. Steve Jones of Washington State University. WSU found the best wheat varieties from agriculture’s ‘Golden Age’ (1920s) grown organically yielded as well as the leading modern varieties grown under conventional management. However, those same leading input-reliant conventionally-bred wheat varieties performed poorly under organic conditions.
In their relentless effort to denigrate organic farming, Industrial Ag frequently sets up organic to lose by making comparisons in a rigged manner – playing to conventional ag’s strengths – designed to make organic look bad.
Finally, while we’re on this topic, ‘bushels per acre’ is a pretty one-dimensional metric. A more appropriate measure would be ‘nutrition per acre’ which is of real significance to both humans and livestock. When it comes to such a sophisticated measure of nutritional output, organic really shines. Jim

“Organic corn seed varieties produced strong yields in field trials held in two Minnesota locations in 2016. The trials showed that organic corn grown using organic farming methods produced higher yields than the same corn grown using conventional methods.”

http://non-gmoreport.com/articles/university-minnesota-study-organic-corn-produces-better-yields-grown-organically-conventionally/

Posted on

Maine Harvest Credit Union Set to Serve Maine Organic Farmers

Businesses need capital to expand and operate and no where is this more true than in agriculture and food-related ventures. However, the farming and fisheries sector suffers from both high weather-related risk and skittish bankers unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the industry.
Enter ‘Maine Harvest Credit Union’ – soon to become the first new Maine credit union in over 30 years – the brainchild of our friends Sam May & Scott Budde. Sam & Scott are incredibly capable and dedicated to this staggering and herculean task of helping Maine food producers. Maine Harvest Credit Union targets are filling the identified gaps of moderate-sized operating loans and farmland purchase.
If all goes well this Maine model could be replicated in other States in order to help family-scale farmers. Jim & Megan

“According to census figures, the number of farms in Maine is up 13 percent since 2006, and agriculture sales are up 24 percent since 2007. The number of farmers under 34 is also on the rise, and “career changers” have contributed to the growth of local agriculture business.

“And yet, getting a loan for land, equipment or expansion is really hard. The resulting deficit, an estimated $90 million in unmet need for small farm mortgages, set Scott Budde and Sam May on a mission to create a new lending institution, the Maine Harvest Credit Project.

“It’s a finance project, not a grantmaking institution, but the team is looking to philanthropy to anchor the project with $2.4 million toward startup costs and seed capital to back up future loans. May and Budde are about 60 percent there, having raised $1.44 million, including from the Merck Foundation, Sewall Foundation and Ram Island Conservation.”

http://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2016/1/6/grants-loans-small-farmers-main

Posted on

Wesson Oil False Advertising Class Action Lawsuit

Mega Industrial Food manufacturer ‘ConAgra’ uses oils derived from GMOs for its iconic ‘Wesson’ cooking oil. ConAgra’s advertising refers to Wesson oil as “100% Natural.”
Since gene-spliced laboratory engineering is ANYTHING BUT NATURAL (‘derived from nature’), this class-action lawsuit is challenging the fraudulent ‘100% Natural’ usage as false advertising.
Tuesday, to the disappointment of ConAgra, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the pivotal class certification. That means this precedent-setting class action lawsuit is now headed to trial.
Jim

http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Regulation/ConAgra-Foods-dealt-blow-by-ninth-circuit-in-natural-lawsuit?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright

Posted on

FDA’s ‘Substantially Equivalent’ Doctrine Exposed by New Research as Bogus

Almost 25 years ago Vice President Dan Quayle announced adoption of a politically-motivated Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy – known as “Substantial Equivalence” – designed to treat Biotech’s GE crops with kid gloves. History shows this fraudulent policy claiming “Substantial Equivalence” between GE crops and traditional crops was authored by none other than Monsanto lawyer Michael Taylor (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/dan-quayle-and-michael-ta_b…).
The fact is the doctrine of “Substantial Equivalence” has been scientifically unsupportable and was the result of Biotech-governmental collusion. Now, LANDMARK RESEARCH, led by Dr. Michael Antoniou of King’s College London, and published in the scientific journal ‘Nature’ solidly refutes the entire false premise of “Substantial Equivalence.”
The scientific findings are: GE crops are NOT “Substantially Equivalent” to non-GE crops. Therefore, a quarter century of lax U.S. regulation of the Biotech industry – based on this monstrously false claim – have endangered the health and welfare of the American people. Heads should roll.
Now, in retaliation for this truth-telling research, we should expect to see initiation of a massive Biotech character assassination campaign waged against these honorable scientists who have courageously stood up for the public interest. Jim

“’Our study clearly shows that the GM transformation process results in profound compositional differences in NK603, demonstrating that this GMO corn is not substantially equivalent to its non-GMO counterpart. The marked increase in putrescine and especially cadaverine is a concern since these substances are potentially toxic, being reported as enhancers of the effects of histamine, thus heightening allergic reactions, and both have been implicated in the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines with nitrite in meat products. Our results call for a more thorough evaluation of the safety of NK603 corn consumption on a long-term basis.’ Dr. Antoniou stated…

“The establishment of compositional ‘substantial equivalence’ is a key starting point requested by regulatory agencies for assessing the safety of a GMO crop and food. If analysis for nutrients and known toxins shows that the composition of a GMO crop is found to be in a similar range to that present in a corresponding, genetically similar non-GMO variety (often the non-GMO parent), then it is deemed to be ‘substantially equivalent’ and to require little, if any, further safety testing, especially in the USA…

“A total of 117 proteins and 91 small molecule biochemicals (metabolites) were found to be statistically significantly altered in NK603 corn by the GM transformation process.”

http://www.alternet.org/food/new-study-raises-questions-about-safety-eating-gmo-corn

Posted on

Mike Callicrate on Direct Marketing Meat

When it comes to the cattle business – and working to make better lives for family ranchers – our friend, Mike Callicrate, himself a rancher, knows what he is talking about.
We missed this MUST READ excellent article when it first posted last winter in ‘New Food Economy’. Well-written by Joe Fassler, Mike explains how one rancher – or a small group of local ranchers working together – can mimic, on an appropriate scale, efficiencies and cost advantages historically only the realm of concentrated mega-mega-industrial-operations. The system is win-win because CITIZENS GAIN ACCESS to rancher-direct-marketed meat via a convenient and urban bricks-and-mortar retail store.
Mike is a wise, modern-day cattle pioneer. His individual perseverance and personal success provides proof that his system works. Mike’s lifelong generosity and dedication to help other ranchers is behind his willingness give away the details for system replication anywhere. Hats off to Mike Callicrate! Jim & Megan

http://newfoodeconomy.com/mobile-slaughter-vertical-integration-callicrate/

Posted on

The Story of ‘Maine Grains’

We’ve sold both organic grains and organic vegetables to the ‘Maine Grains’ food hub. Jim has spoken twice at ‘Maine Grain Alliance’s’ July ‘Kneading Conference.’ When six years ago we toured organic farms and grain mills in Denmark, our friend Amber Lambke – founder of Maine Grains – was a part of that group.
So it is very pleasing – watching their growth from 200 miles north – to read such a well-written article as this one penned by Amy Halloran, appearing in the sterling ‘New Food Economy.’ Jim & Megan

“Amber Lambke worked hard on those initiatives. She’d settled in the town with her husband during his medical residency, and didn’t like watching other young couples leave. Late in 2006, she invited a group of community-minded folks over for a potluck, to consider ways to make Skowhegan better. They hatched a plan for a weekend bread and oven conference…

“Another bridge between Maine farmers and the wider world is Aimee Good, who just started marketing grains in New York City. She also grew up on an Aroostook potato farm. She farms a small acreage of grains organically and remotely, long determined to keep connected to her rural roots. Building markets in New York City for her fellow Mainers really fits her convictions. ‘I love telling people what the mill means to Maine farmers,’ says Good. ‘The deep urban and deep rural communities need each other.'”

http://newfoodeconomy.com/maine-grains-build-regional-economy/

Posted on

Corporate Astroturf Groups Invade Organic

Using Madison-Avenue-generated ‘Mom-and-Apple-Pie’ names like “Food Science Matters” and “Coalition for Sustainable Organics,” it has become evident that high-powered multinational corporations now have the organic industry in their cross hairs. Industrial Food is utilizing sophisticated propaganda techniques – via ‘Astroturf’ groups – for their self-serving and dishonest efforts to lower organic integrity. Let’s not be fooled. Jim

“Similarly, a closer look at the organization “Food Science Matters” reveals that it has very little to do with communicating published food science. The “Coalition for Sustainable Organics” (CSO) is composed of major multinational, industrial hydroponic players, like Driscolls™, Wholesome Harvest™, and Nature Sweet™. In spite of their monikers, these operations are less sustainable than the majority of soil-based operations.

“Hydroponics is a very high-input production method compared to the low-input, truly sustainable techniques used by many soil-based farmers. The corporations owning the major ‘organic’ hydroponic operations are primarily conventional businesses, with only a portion of their investments in organics…

“Slow-release, on-farm, or locally available organic matter is recycled into the soil, maintaining soil fertility and providing the nutrients required for healthy plant growth.

“It’s operations like these that the ‘Coalition for Sustainable Organics’ is squeezing out of business, while claiming sustainability.”

http://www.alternet.org/food/exposing-astroturf-food-industry-groups-masquerading-grassroots-organizations

Posted on

CHRISTMAS ON MONHEGAN ISLAND, MAINE. Circa 1945 (or 1946). Merry Christmas! …

CHRISTMAS ON MONHEGAN ISLAND, MAINE. Circa 1945 (or 1946). Merry Christmas!
Painting and story shared by Timothy Harrison.
Jim & Megan

"Frederick and Eugene Faulkingham are shown here, in this painting, hauling the Christmas tree up to Maine’s Monhegan Island Lighthouse, around 1945 or 1946. Standing, wearing the red jacket, is Cynthia Faulkingham, who is pulling her brother Lee on a sled. They are the children of Eva and John Faulkingham, who was the lighthouse keeper at Monhegan Island Lighthouse from 1945 to 1951."




Source