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durhamseed

A public library in small Pennsylvania town offered a new public resource for its patrons: a seed library. That is, until the state Department of Agriculture pulled the rug out from under the plan.

Launched on April 26, the seed library at Mechanicsburg’s Joseph T. Simpson Public Library would have held all heirloom, and preferable organic, seed. Its first seed trove, with help from the Cumberland County Commission for Women, came from Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving heirloom seeds.

Library patrons could “check out” the seeds to plant, and, if all went well, at the end of the plant’s growing season, they’d save its seeds and return them to the library to replenish the stock. If the crop failed or the borrowers were just unable to save seeds, they were allowed to bring back store-bought heirloom seeds instead.

In the process of this seed library circulation, patrons would be bringing a new use to the library space, exchanging seeds with their community members and practicing the art of saving seeds — something farmers have done for years but which stands at odds with proprietary seeds.

“People have been really excited to have this opportunity to borrow seeds,” Adult Services Director Rebecca Swanger told local news ABC27 in May. “That way they don’t have to purchase a whole packet of seeds and end up not using a lot of them.”

According to reporting by the Carlisle Sentinel on July 31, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture sent a letter to the library stating that the seed library violated the state’s Seed Act of 2004.

While the Act focuses on seeds that are sold, Cumberland County Library System Executive Director Jonelle Darr told The Sentinel that there could also be a problem with seeds being mislabeled and potentially invasive, and noted that the Department indicated it would “crack down” at other seed libraries within the state.

Sauce


PrintJohannesburg, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Oakland US—19 March2013—Civil society groups from South Africa, Latin America-
especially Brazil, Argentina- and the United States are deeply disturbed by the recent decision by the South African GMO authorities
to grant approval for the import into South Africa, of Dow’s genetically engineered (GE) soybean variety (DAS-44406-6). This
variety is genetically engineered to resist liberal applications of the toxic chemicals 2,4-D, glufosinate and glyphosate. Such an
approval is calculated to add weight to Dow’s applications for approvals of this GE variety for commercial growing especially in
Brazil, Argentina, and the US.

“We condemn the decision by the South African authorities. Once
again, economic interests are riding roughshod over our government’s
stewardship role to protect the health of our citizens and
environment. The decision to approve this GE soybean variety is all
the more galling in light of a current motion by the African Christian
Democratic Party before the South African Parliament, to overturn a
previous decision to allow imports of Dow’s 2,4-D tolerant GE maize
into South Africa.” said Mariam Mayet of the African Centre for
Biosafety. This GM maize has been dubbed “agent orange” maize by
the media, owing to the use of 2,4 D as an ingredient in the infamous
chemical, Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War to devastating effects.

South Africa is the largest producer of GMO foods on the African continent. Read More


35 modern words that have been added to the Oxford dictionary, one being frankenfood.

Definition of Frankenfood

noun

[mass noun] informal, derogatory

  • genetically modified food: they want to sell us Frankenfood [count noun]: lab-engineered Frankenfoods

Origin:

1990s: from Frankenstein + food Sauce

frankenfood

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10 easy ways that you can live a more sustainable lifestyle!

  1. Buy local products when possible, otherwise, buy organic and fair-trade products. Ask your grocer or favorite restaurant what local food they carry and try to influence their purchasing decisions. You will support your local economy and small farmers, reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides, improve the taste and quality of your food, and protect the environment from fertilizer and pesticide run-offs.
  2. Shop at your local farmers market, join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and get weekly deliveries of the season’s harvest, and by buy from local grocers and co-ops committed to stocking local foods.
  3. Support restaurants and food vendors that buy locally produced food. When at a restaurant, ask (nicely!) your waiter where the meat and fish comes from. Eventually, as more and more customers ask the same question, they’ll get the message!
  4. Avoid GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)! When buying processed food (anything packaged) buy organic to avoid GMO. (Since almost all the soy, corn, and canola in the US is genetically modified, over 70% of all processed food contain GMOs from by-products of these grains.)
  5. COOK, CAN, DRY & FREEZE! Our culture has forgotten some of the most basic joys of cooking. Not only is cooking at home better for you and more economical, but it’s an invaluable skill to pass on to your children.
  6. Drink plenty of water, but avoid bottled water when you can. Water bottles pollute the environment and bottled water is often mere tap water. Plastic is harmful to your health and to the environment. Buy a reusable water bottle and invest in a good water filter.
  7. Grow a garden, visit a farm, volunteer in your community garden, teach a child how to garden. GET DIRTY! Have fun!
  8. Volunteer and/or financially support an organization dedicated to promoting a sustainable food system. Stay informed by joining the mailing list of the advocacy groups you trust.
  9. Get involved in your community! Influence what your child eats by engaging the school board, effect city policies by learning about zoning and attending city council meetings, learn about the federal policies that affect your food choice and let your congress person know what you think.
  10. SHARE your passion! Talk to your friends and family about why our food choice matters.

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