FRESH TAKES ON BIG CHALLENGES: OUR BLOGS & ARTICLES

Resisting GMOs and Preserving Indigenous Culture in Rural Mexico

Thanks to a union of land cooperatives, people in Puebla have food sovereignty and education in Nahuatl instead of mega-projects and a Walmart. Originally Published on Yes! Magazine, October 24, 2019 In Cuetzalán, a collection of remote villages in the northeastern corner of the Mexican state of Puebla, I visited a remarkable union of cooperatives that is achieving food sovereignty through agroecology. The Tosepan Titataniske cooperatives had drawn on Indigenous Nahuatl traditions and used their remoteness to try to carve out not just an area free of genetically modified crops, but a territory free of megaprojects. It hadn’t come easy. When the environment ministry announced the large “Cloud

Rome Summit Takes Bold Step Toward Agroecology

Leaders endorse agroecology as one of the cutting-edge innovations we need to help small-scale farmers adapt to climate change. "Agroecology is the only solution we have to address the multiple crises we are facing." (Photo: Public domain) Originally Published on Common Dreams, October 24, 2019 The Climate Action Summit at the UN last month was widely considered a disappointment, failing to garner the kinds of government actions needed to address the climate crisis. Sadly, the same can be said for actions on agriculture and climate change, despite a well-publicized commitment of $790 million to “to enhance resilience of over 300 million small-scale food producers in the face of mounting clim

We're Not "Polarized" Everywhere. In Maine, Democracy and Green Energy Win Big

Originally Published on Common Dreams, October 19, 2019 How often I hear that in “polarized” America rural voters will reject a green agenda out of hand. For them, green means liberal, tree-hugging snobs, unconcerned about the struggles of real working people. But last week that frame busted for me when I had a chance to speak with Chloe Maxmin, a 27 year-old Maine legislator. Never heard of Chloe Maxmin? Well, keep reading, and maybe you’ll agree with me that the story she and colleagues are writing bring many surprises and lessons worth spreading. Maxmin grew up on her parents’ farm in Nobleboro, a Maine town of about 1,600. Describing herself as an activist since age 12, in 2015 she earne

AGRA At Ten Years: Searching For Evidence Of A Green Revolution In Africa

Originally Published on Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa More than a decade after a renewed push for an African Green Revolution began in earnest, and after a decade of program implementation by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), there is an urgent need to examine whether or not there is evidence of a green revolution underway. AGRA’s stated goals are to double yields and incomes for 30 million farming households by 2020. Despite millions of dollars spent by AGRA since 2006, few comprehensive evaluations of AGRA have been made available. An additional USD 30 billion was recently pledged at the African Green Revolution Forum to continue AGRA’s work and help launch t

Food Without Fields?

Tech 'solutions' to agricultural challenges can actually perpetuate the industrialized food system. Photo by David Parry / PA Wire. Originally Published on Earth Island Journal, October 10, 2019. The words “Food Out of Thin Air” were projected on a massive screen at the front of a grand hotel ballroom. The man at the podium, Pasi Vainikka, was pitching a new protein powder called Solein made with hydrogen as the energy source and CO2 as the carbon source. (Yes, food from air). Vainikka was speaking to a packed audience of investors and entrepreneurs at a food tech conference earlier this year in the center of the start-up universe — San Francisco. He was one of dozens that day promising inve

Numbers Crunching Working People

Originally Published on Common Dreams, October 3, 2019 Our government’s and corporate media’s failure to capture the true extent of unemployment creates a distorted narrative about work that feeds bewilderment and self-recrimination. Though a recent poll suggests the majority of Americans disapprove of President Trump’s “overall performance,” they support his “handling of the economy” more than other issues surveyed. "The prosperity cycle we have entered into is continuing, it is strong,” White House National Economic Council Director Lawrence Kudlow celebrated last April. “This is the new Trump economy,” and “I'll tell you it's working.” Whoo-hoo! But wait. Do the numbers justify celebratio

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