Casa delle Erbe (House of Herbs) is a growing community that challenges the idea that we need a capitalistic socio-economic structure.The movement was founded in the 90s, in Capracotta, a mountain village in Molise, Central Italy. In a town with no tourism, consistent emigration, and the school on the verge of closing, the inhabitants found themselves in an old and all too common story. Sustenance and growth required capital that the people did not have. Capracotta was turning into a ghost town.Rather than resign themselves to defeat by an unforgiving future, the locals turned to the past and to the land.
Tag Archives: Food
The idea for the Pouncer was born out of a chance conversation Nigel Gifford had with an RAF officer. Gifford is a businessman in his early 70s, ex-Army Catering Corps, sometime mountaineer and aeronautical engineer, a hale, enthusiastic boffin. They were talking about all things military when the RAF officer said: “I’m going to take off my uniform now and ask you—because we’ve been trying—how to get food into Aleppo?”They had tried JPADS (Joint Precision Airdrop Systems—one of those ironically straight-faced military acronyms), parachuting tons of supplies out of planes. But parachutes are inaccurate: “they say they can get them within 300 metres of a target, but they are often further away,” said Gifford. Most of the food they dropped was falling into the hands of the bad guys. They had even tried freefall, essentially chucking bags out of airplanes from 24,000 feet. The RAF officer talked about his idea of flying remotely-controlled model airplanes into the besieged city, each carrying a scant two kilos of food.
Once upon a time, the seas teemed with mackerel, squid and sardines, and life was good. But now, on opposite sides of the globe, sun-creased fishermen lament as they reel in their nearly empty nets.
“Your net would be so full of fish, you could barely heave it onto the boat,” said Mamadou So, 52, a fisherman in Senegal, gesturing to the meager assortment of tiny fish flapping in his wooden canoe.
A world away in eastern China, Zhu Delong, 75, also shook his head as his net dredged up a disappointing array of pinkie-size shrimp and fledgling yellow croakers. “When I was a kid, you could cast a line out your back door and hook huge yellow croakers,” he said. “Now the sea is empty.”
Il terreno è piccolo, non supera l’ettaro e mezzo. Gli alti fusti, ognuno con il suo casco di frutti avvolto in una sacca di plastica, proteggono dal sole battente. Gustavo Gandini affonda le mani nel terreno e mostra il brulicare della vita nei suoi dettagli più piccoli e meno attraenti: “Guardate questo lombrico, questo lungo verme peloso!”.Una gallina razzola a poca distanza, colibrì becchettano tra le foglie. “In un campo coltivato convenzionalmente, vedreste solo morte e desolazione. Con il biologico, invece, la natura vive e si riproduce in un ciclo integrato”. Siamo in una piantagione di banani vicino a Mao, nel nord della Repubblica Dominicana. Sono venuto qui insieme a una piccola delegazione di giornalisti europei per vedere l’origine della filiera della banana. Gandini, agronomo colombiano di remote origini italiane, è il direttore tecnico di Banelino, un consorzio di 140 piccoli produttori che in quest’area controllano 1.500 ettari. Tutti rigorosamente biologici e parte del commercio equo e solidale.La Repubblica Dominicana si è specializzata negli ultimi anni in questo settore: il 70 per cento delle banane prodotte qui è biologico, circa il 40 per cento è inserito nei circuiti del fair trade. Un terzo delle banane del circuito fair trade consumate in Italia arriva da qui. Una nicchia di mercato che ha permesso al piccolo stato caraibico di ritagliarsi un ruolo accanto ai grandi esportatori mondiali: l’Ecuador, la Colombia, la Costa Rica e le varie altre “repubbliche delle banane” dell’America Centrale.
India has a rich and deep scientific and civilisational heritage of biodiversity, agroecology and ayurveda, which has sustained us for centuries. We have understood that the web of life is a food web.All that is born is born of anna (food) indeed. Whatever exists on Earth is born of anna, and in the end merges into anna. Anna indeed is the first born amongst all beings; that is why anna is called sarvausadha, the medicine that relieves the bodily discomforts of all.In the last few decades, our agriculture, food and health systems are being devastated by the assault of reductionist science, and industrial food systems based on toxic chemicals, combined with globalisation and free trade.Industrialisation and globalisation of food systems is driven by chemical and pharmaceutical corporations, leading to an agrarian crisis, erosion of biodiversity in agriculture, increase in toxics in our food, the promotion of fast food and junk food and a disease epidemic. The agrochemical industry and agribusiness, the junk food industry and the pharmaceutical industry profit while the nation gets sicker and poorer.
Source: Keep food diverse. It’s healthy
Wij zijn het meel in uw brood, de tarwe in uw noedels, het zout op uw friet. We zijn de maïs in uw tortilla’s, de chocola in uw dessert, de zoetstof in uw frisdrank. We zijn de olie in de saladedressing en het vlees in uw maaltijd. We zijn het katoen in uw kleren, de rug van uw tapijt en de kunstmest op uw veld.’
Het bedrijf achter deze brochuretekst maakt deel uit van een clubje vrijwel onbekende multinationals die de wereldwijde handel met grondstoffen voor de voedingsindustrie domineren. Die handel is big business. Eigenlijk is het best een beetje vreemd. De vier bedrijven hebben een gigantische omvang, maar wat hun namen zijn weet bijna niemand. Ze zorgen ervoor dat de grondstoffen dagelijks van verre akkers en via de verwerkende industrie naar ons bord worden gebracht en controleren zo bijvoorbeeld zeventig procent van de wereldwijde graanhandel. De vier zijn multinationale handelshuizen die je qua omzet zou kunnen vergelijken met complete landen. Bekende voedingsbedrijven als Unilever en Nestlé of zaadveredelaar Monsanto zijn slechts kleine broertjes. De jaaromzet van de vier handelshuizen is samen zo’n 250 miljard euro, ongeveer de helft van wat er in Nederland in één jaar verdiend wordt. Hun namen zijn ADM, Bunge, Cargill en Louis Dreyfus en worden ook wel afgekort tot ‘ABCD’.
Knowing a thing means you don’t need to believe in it. Whatever can be known, or proven by logic or evidence, doesn’t need to be taken on faith. Certain details of nutrition and the physiology of eating are known and knowable: the fact that humans require certain nutrients; the fact that our bodies convert food into energy and then into new flesh (and back to energy again when needed). But there are bigger questions that don’t have definitive answers, like what is the best diet for all people? For me?Nutrition is a young science that lies at the intersection of several complex disciplines—chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, psychology—and though we are far from having figured it all out, we still have to eat to survive. When there are no guarantees or easy answers, every act of eating is something like a leap of faith.
È il grande rimosso del nostro tempo. Gli allevamenti intensivi – i capannoni dove gli animali sono rinchiusi, fatti ingrassare, trattati con antibiotici per evitare che si ammalino, infine inviati alla macellazione – sono qualcosa che nessuno vuole vedere. Paradossalmente, mentre cresce il consumo di carne al livello globale, aumenta la distanza fisica e anche cognitiva tra noi esseri umani e gli animali di cui ci nutriamo.
The team of color scientists hovered in their white coats and hairnets, staring down at a clear plastic box full of strangely colored M&Ms. “They look like pebbles, ugly little pebbles,” said Rebecca Robbins, the color-chemistry manager for Mars Chocolate. She propped open the lid to show off a muted array of gray, tan, mauve, pale purple and sickly pink chocolate nuggets. Each attenuated shade was the disappointing outcome of an early attempt by Mars to replace a bright, artificial dye with natural pigments extracted from algae, roots, seeds and other parts of plants. Not a single piece of candy in this tackle box of failure looked edible — let alone tempting.
Noticeably absent was any M&M that even vaguely resembled blue, the most coveted, and hardest to find, of colors. Blue is a rarity among plants and animals. When it does occur in nature, it often isn’t truly blue, but rather a trick of diffraction, or the scattering of light, which is the case for bird feathers, sky, ice, water and iridescent butterfly wings. A blueberry is actually more red than blue when you mash it. “Unfortunately, you can’t just grind up a peacock feather,” said Robbins, a petite woman with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and the empathic, wide-set blue eyes of a small-town bartender, with what sounded like genuine regret.
For more than a century, a poison cartel has experimented with and developed chemicals to kill people, first in Hitler’s concentration camps and the war, later by selling these chemicals as inputs for industrial agriculture.In a little over half a century, small farmers have been uprooted everywhere, by design, further expanding the toxic fields of the industrial agriculture.In India, a country of small farmers, the assault of the poison cartel has driven millions off the land and pushed 300,000 farmers to suicide due to debt for costly seeds and chemicals. The GMO seeds have failed to control pests and weeds. Instead they are creating super-pests and super-weeds, trapping farmers deeper in debt.And it is not just farmers who are dying. Our soil organisms and pollinators are dying. Our soils are dying. Our societies are dying. Our children are dying—because of diseases caused by food loaded with toxics.The introduction of GMOs, by the Poison Cartel, has accelerated the crisis of disease and death. The only reason GMOs are forcibly introduced is to claim patents on seeds – to collect royalties from every farmer, every season, every year. In India more than Rs 50 Billion has illegally been collected by Monsanto, from the cotton farmers of India. Within a few years of illegally entering India, Monsanto started to control 95% of the cotton seed supply. Most of the 300,000 farmers suicides are in the cotton belt.