And after you read this, you might ask yourself_ from where will our food come and at what cost?
July 2013, Slate.com wrote: If we didn't have California, what would we eat? California supplies America with 99 % of artichokes, 99 % of walnuts, 97 % of kiwis, 97 % of plums, 95 % of celery, 95 % of garlic, 89 % of cauliflower, 71 % of spinach, and 69 % of carrots (and the list goes on and on).
Likely you are aware of the drought conditions facing California. This past Friday the Federal Government announced that the Central Valley Project -- California's largest water delivery system -- will provide NO WATER this year to Central Valley farmers and only 50 percent of the contracted amount to urban areas such as Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties... (my emphasis on the 'no water'). Did you know that California is 15% of the entire US economy?
Since at least 1991, we have read about a battle brewing over a tiny 2 to 2.8 inch (5-7 cm) Delta Smelt that resides exclusively in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the Endangered Species Act and shipments of Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta water to urban and agricultural users. (From everything I have read, the value of the Delta smelt? Nothing.)
In 2009, this article in the Wall Street Journal spoke to California's Man-Made Drought and the impact the smelt and federal regulations have had on farmers and America's premier agricultural regions.
In February 2013, the water supply for 25 million people and millions of acres of farmland in the Central Valley, Southern California and San Francisco Bay Area was curtailed again to protect the Delta Smelt.
Farms_hundred of thousands of acres_ have turned into dust bowls; livelihoods are at risk; fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains will not be planted; ranchers are giving up their livestock; prices will escalate on what is available...
People's lives, food, jobs.... or a smelt? You be the judge.
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Organic Farmers and the rest of the county:
HUSTONTOWN, Pa — Jim Crawford was rushing to load crates of freshly picked organic tomatoes onto trucks heading for an urban farmers market when he noticed the federal agent.
A tense conversation followed as the visitor to his farm — an inspector from the Food and Drug Administration — warned him that some organic-growing techniques he had honed over four decades could soon be outlawed...
FDA's proposed rules would curtail many techniques that are common among organic growers, including spreading house-made fertilizers, tilling cropland with grazing animals, and irrigating from open creeks.
Note: At a recent congressional hearing, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) seized on one draft set of rules in which the FDA declared kale is "never consumed raw." You can read this article here.
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“We’ve been farming for 117 years. I’m the third generation and we’re being put out of business by the government. We can’t comply with all of the safety laws. We haven’t poisoned anybody with an ear of corn for 117 years and we’ve shipped it all over,” Bessemer said. The story is here.
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New FDA Rules Will Put Organic Farmers Out of Business
Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm policy research group released a 16-page analysis accusing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in a way that will crush “the country’s safest farmers” ...
Interestingly enough is that the FDA freely acknowledges that the farm cost of implementing their proposed Rule will drive some producers out of business.