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Prince Charles says, "Count me out". Just say No to genetically modified foods.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Prince Charles thinks genetically engineered foods will be the “biggest disaster environmentally of all time.”

The Prince also thinks GM [genetically modified] foods are an experiment that’s gone seriously wrong, causing untold problem which become expensive and very difficult to undo.

The Times online has promptly published a piece rebuffing what Prince Charles has to say.

Read what ‘The Independent Science Panel’ has to say about the GM foods at their website.

Prince Charles also says,”…the classic way of ensuring there is no food in the future” is relying on gigantic corporations for food that would result in “absolute disaster”.

To rely on only a few gigantic corporations for anything could turn into absolute disasters. Antitrust laws were written precisely to avoid the ‘absolute’ problems that accompany absolute power.

“if they think this is the way to go…we (will) end up with millions of small farmers all over the world being driven off their land into unsustainable, unmanageable, degraded and dysfunctional conurbations of unmentionable awfulness.” The Prince is quoted as saying.

I’m no expert, and I’m certainly not the son of the Queen, but I do have a backyard garden. This year that garden is tortured. Many of the plants in my vegetable garden are ‘trade marked’ plants. Admittedly my story is only anecdotal but none of these plants has born a fruit worth the energy it takes to remove it from the plant. It’s horrible.

Scientists claim the attacks on their GM food research are setting them back. I’d be willing to bet my last dollar, the ’scientists’ making those claims are working for some of the largest ag corporations on earth.

Insurance company spokespeople have compared GM crops to Thalidomide, Asbestos and Acts of Terrorism.

Read the Canadian canola farmer’s, recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi award 2000’s disconcerting story.

When asked ‘why he would plant Monsanto’s GM crops’ Percy Schmeiser said, “I think the reason was this. …Monsanto told farmers that it would be more nutritious, it would be a bigger yield, but most of all, less chemicals…”

“Our land is contaminated. Our water is contaminated. Farmers now realize that we’re just killing ourselves and we’re killing the environment-our insects (bees?) our birds, and everything else.”

Schmeiser goes on to say,”Number one, it was not more nutritious. It was not a bigger yielder.” Monsanto never noted anything about quality. Schmeiser says, “…farmers are now using from 6 to 10 times more chemicals.”

Imagine that…

Monsanto would like to be the worlds sole food source. Monsanto seeds grow best with Monsanto fertilizers. Monsanto is the seed and fertilizer giant!

If you’re looking for some good Karma, an investment in Monsanto may not be the place for you. If you are looking to make a killing…it may be.

Monsanto is increasing the price of its corn seed by $100.00 a bag. On 1,000 acres that an extra $40,000.00. At the U.N. Food Summit in Rome Monsanto announced that it would be saving the world from a food crisis. It pledged to double its yields on soy and cotton over the next 20 years.

Like Nancy Regan used to say…”JUST SAY NO”.

Genetic diversity keeps our food system resistant to disease. Let’s talk incest. There is a reason you cannot marry your cousin.

GM seeds, are ‘akin’ to incest. One more anecdotal story please…I once knew a wonderful family seemingly normal in every way. But, the parents were first cousins. All seemed well, until the children (2 of them) grew up and tried to start families of their own. The daughter of this union died while she was pregnant,(keeled down dead while making toast) the son was never able to produce any children. Kind of like the plants in my garden, unable to bring forth fruit.

If you are busy buying up any protected seeds as I am, your hopes may be dashed like mine.

While we were sleeping, Monsanto agreed to buy De Ruiter Seeds. The acquisition by MOnsanto will serve, “the protected-culture” vegetable seed market”.


Labels: Food Crisis, Food Shortage, GM crops, Monsanto, Prince Charles, gentically modified

© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.

Prince Charles says, "Count me out". Just say No to genetically modified foods.

Water water everywhere; not quite everywhere.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Conditions in Oklahoma and parts of Texas are surpassing the historic Dust Bowl catastrophy of the 1930’s. Farmland is blowing away, cattle don’t have enough feed and crops are dying in the ground. This is the worst drought in Oklahoma history.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued an agricultural disaster declaration for 9 counties in Oklahoma last week.


15 million people in the Horn of Africa are in peril due, in part, to drought.

Horrific disasters like the ones last month in China and Burma have relief agencies buckling under the pressure of what they feel is going to be a “powerful, and quickly growing ‘tsunami’ in the form of an unprecedented global food crisis.”

The U.N. is figuring nearly 800 million people across the world will be in real danger of starvation.


Flooded Ukraine lost up to 50% of harvests.

Even after the waters recede it will be impossible to save potato and other root crops. The Potato crops that can be harvested will be unable to store due to moisture content, even on a short-term basis.

Fruit’s in trouble too. The harvest of apricots, peaches and early apples and pears had to be halted because of flooding.

The death toll has already reached 30. More than 50,000 are preparing for evacuation today as water agencies prepare to release thousands of cubic metres per second water to ease mounting pressure on some dams.

Thousands of children have been evacuated from summer resorts near the Dniester and Prut rivers. The sluices at several hydropower plants are currently operating at 6 and 7 times more than their operating capacity.

In the U.S., New Mexico’s Rio Ruidoso surged from it’s seasonal average of 4 feet to 12 feet on Saturday. The flooding there has destroyed 12 bridges in the area. Though these bridges were on secondary and residential streets the cost to replace them is going to be staggaring. Thanks to hurricane Dolly’s remnants. 400 people were evacuated, and 200 campers were cut off by the floods in nearby forest sites.

12,000 people evacuated from flooding in Romania are beginning to return home today. 1,400 bridges, 2,000 homes and more than 20,000 hectares of farmlands were flooded there.

In July flooding has killed at least 350 people in India and over 50,000 homes have been devastated.

The crop losses are still being calculated in the United States from flooding on the Mississippi river in the past weeks.

Labels: Agriculture disaster, Flood, Food Crisis, Food Shortage, drought

© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.

Water water everywhere; not quite everywhere.

What Could Go Wrong? The Plague of Locust; Coming to A Dinner Table Near You.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. suggests that with over 1,400 insect species being eaten by humans worldwide anyway, the wild world of insects offers “promising possibilities both commercially and nutritionally.”

The prospect of tossing up a net and harvesting swarms of grasshoppers is a tantalizing idea. Rumor has it there are some areas of the Western States where grasshoppers could be harvested at the rate of 100 pounds per hour.

Harvesting grasshoppers sounds even more difficult than herding cats and a lot less fun. As there is no profit in herding cats at the moment save for the entertainment value, grasshoppers may be the better way to go for feeding the world, and making a profit.

To put this into proper perspective, in 1938 just one county in the U.S., woke up with 2-3 grasshopper egg pods per square foot, in their fields. That doesn’t sound like much until we realize each pod holds 60-80 eggs, or 200 grasshoppers per square foot. That’s an infestation biblical in proportions. An average grasshopper can eat more than half its body weight in vegetation every day. A swarm can eat an entire field in no time.

Some scientists are claiming adding insects to our diet would be good for us and the environment.

When I see the words commercial and devastation used in regard to the same insects…chills run up my spine.

What could go wrong? Oh where to begin. I don’t care if insects were the ‘original white meat’.

Photo Thanks: P. Durst FAO

Labels: Food Shortage, Grasshoppers, Insects, U.N. FAO

© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.

What Could Go Wrong? The Plague of Locust; Coming to A Dinner Table Near You.

Food Shortages and Buying Limits Reach the U.S. Now that Mother Hubbard’s cupboard is full, will she have to shoot her dog to protect it?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Some U.S. consumers may be buying up extra bags of staples figuring the prices will only be going up in the near future. Others are buying up staples in a survival mode.

The so-called survivalists who have previously been viewed as the lunatic fringe are now being seen through what might be called a more pragmatic lens.

The NY Times ran a piece in it’s Fashion and Style section on April 6Th on the ‘new survivalists’. Is the implication it is now ‘fashionable, or stylish’ to stockpile supplies for a crisis?

CNN also ran an articlelast Sunday about ’survivalists’. A ‘former U.S. army intelligence officer’ featured in the piece has a 3 year supply of food stashed on his property; a ranch in an ‘undisclosed location.’

For whatever reason people are suddenly waking up to the fact that life as we know it is teetering on the brink of…not being what we will recognize…deciding to become more self-reliant can’t be a bad thing, or can it?

Of course we should all be responsible for our own survival during times of disaster. Anyone that has grown up in earthquake or tornado country knows there is always a possibility we could be left to our own devices for a number of days or even weeks following either.

Is the new trend toward survivalism going to lead to a nation of stingy, jaded-eye hoarders? Will people start to secretly hide sacks of rice under their beds and potatoes under their floor boards? Will they be looking at their neighbors wondering who among them they will have to fight with to protect the rice under their beds?

Will people become isolationists in their own neighborhoods and buildings in an effort to keep friends and neighbors in the dark about their stockpiles of food? Too few of us don’t know our neighbors now. Won’t the ‘every man for himself’ mentality pit us all against each other even further?

It looks to me like we are in the first stages of a total breakdown of civility. Is this the divide and conquer tactic, and if so by whom are we being divided?

Stories like this one are sprouting up all over. Costco employees snatching bags of rice from customers buggies who try to buy more than the limit. Keep in mind the limit varies. Apparently Costco is looking at ‘prior purchasing history’. At a Costco in Queens there was no limit on rice, but there was a limit on oil and flour.

Each one of these articles I’ve linked to above, reference the same ‘former U.S. army intelligence officer’. No small deal. Maybe he’s gone into the P.R. business in his spare time.

In researching this entry I found about 668,000 matches for survivalism.

Like the Boy Scouts say, “Be prepared”. But, I have to wonder if I’m prepared to defend what’s in my cupboard.

Labels: Costco, Food Crisis, Food Riots, Food Shortage, Hoarding, Rice, Survivalist, survivalism

© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.

Food Shortages and Buying Limits Reach the U.S. Now that Mother Hubbard’s cupboard is full, will she have to shoot her dog to protect it?

Will Biofuels Die of Starvation?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Biofuels are becoming the next Bogeyman. Is an explosion of fear over food shortages creating a new enemy or is it the Oil Industry?

The best quote I’ve seen in defense of biofuels comes from Brazil’s President Lula. “Don’t tell me, for the love of God, that food is expensive because of biodiesel. Food is expensive because the world wasn’t prepared to see millions of Chinese, Indians, Africans, Brazilians and Latin Americans eat,” say Lula.

Biofuels are being billed as the diversion of food resources. Jean Ziegler at the U.N. calls biofuels a “crime against humanity,” Oil-rich Venezuela warns that biofuels could increase malnutrition in Latin America.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says, the rise in food prices is due to “inadequate agricultural policies in developing countries”. Merkel says “insufficient forecasts of changes in nutritional habits” in emerging markets are also part of the problem.

Imagine having debate over the ’second meal’. I guess that’s what Merkel feels is a change in nutritional habits. It must be shocking to think people might consider two meals a day. Merkel says of India, “People are eating twice a day, and if a third of one billion people in India do that, it adds up to 300 million people.” Indeed.

Imagine 100 million Chinese suddenly start drinking milk. I would imagine if the world starts eating like the Americans they will start dropping from heart disease and obesity like the Americans too. Perhaps those figures should be added into the mix of long range food forecasts.

Germany is the largest biofuels producer in Europe. Second is France whose biofuels program is said to use up only 7% of French fields.

The World Bank reports, increased bio-fuel production has contributed to the rise in food prices. World Bank President Bob Zoelick called biofuels a “significant contributor” to soaring food prices around the world.

On Tuesday a law went into affect in Britain that requires 2.5 % of all gasoline and diesel sold be derived from biofuels.

What’s the upshot? For now it seems we can’t move to cleaner forms of energy and feed the planet.

How is it possible this global food crisis has seemingly blind-sided the globe?

Labels: Bio Fuels, Climate Change, Food Shortage, Global Warming, Merkel, Survivalist, World Bank

© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.

Will Biofuels Die of Starvation?

Where Has All The Food Gone? Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard; maybe it’s there.

Friday, April 18, 2008

On April 9, we published a little entry about bigger families becoming the new status symbol. We mentioned that Ted Turner thinks global warming could lead to cannibalism. Could it be the famous ‘mouth of the south’ got it right?

Market analysts started to verbalize that the cost of food would be taking a sharp
rise as the price per barrel of oil kept hitting record highs. Stories about an eminent lack of food looming on the horizon weren’t being dealt with, not with any sense of urgency at least. No, there was no time for that, not with the U.S. election coverage, designed to send the nation into a collective coma playing non-stop.

Then Ted Turner came out with his comments on too many people too little food and how someday we would all be dead from starvation and those left would be eating each other.

A day or two later the news did mention the Haitians were actually rioting over the price of food. Those riots did result in lowering the price of rice. Then, like a pot that finally boiled over, the stories began to spill out over the Internet. The crisis is still only trickling out over cable news. But, the news about LiLo, the Britster, Obama and Clinton is still abundant. Abundant Hollywood and Washington D.C. news, unlike the world wide lack of food.

Port-Au-Prince, Cairo, the sub-Saharan, and Malaysia. Governments in some Asian countries have too limits on how much rice can be purchased in an effort to limit the hoarding of food by panicked shoppers. Even Thailand which exports millions
of tons more rice than it consumes has taken steps to limit the amount of rice shoppers can buy.

El Salvador’s President Saca calls the impending crisis a scandalous storm that might become a hurricane. “How long can we withstand the situation? We have to feed our people, and commodities are becoming scarce.” Saca also said, “This is a perfect storm,” while attending the World Economic Forum on Latin America earlier this week.

On April 11, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)warned that food riots in developing countries will spread unless something was done about the price of food for the poor. FAO director General Jacques Diouf said at a news conference “The reality is that people are dying already in the riots.”

There are reportedly food riots taking place in 22 nations already. Food riots had already broken out in Indonesia, the Philippines and Haiti plus several African countries. North Korea may be on the brink. Will global warming clean out a cupboard near you?

Labels: Food Crisis, Food Riots, Food Shortage, Global Warming, Ted Turner, U.N. FAO

© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.

Where Has All The Food Gone? Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard; maybe it’s there.

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