Dangerous Bananas

Banana Memo
Banana Memo

My buddy Lucas was telling me that he digs the site, but that I move from topic to topic too quickly for him.? Usually I listen to comments like that, say thanks, and then go back to doing my own thing, my way. But Lucas is a good man, who may be on to something.? Perhaps another step in my evolution as a citizen reporter will be to keep the focus on one topic, or at least a small amount of topics for an extended period.? Examples for this year, GMO agriculture, environmental crimes in Europe and North America, and perhaps the one I will start rolling out this week: Bananas.? (although I still maintain that its my site and a big world and I do what I want!)

You heard right on that last part: Bananas. Naners. Beloved fruit of millions if not billions of people, but lesser known for being one of the leading causes of suffering and political chaos in the 20th century.? And of course they’re not finished yet.

Lets set the stage for this issue, because its far bigger than our friend the banana. Its aboutContinue reading “Dangerous Bananas”

bm288 Genetically Modified Sugar

The things you may not have known about GMO sugar in your food.

bm283 The Case Against Soy

Marianne Betterly started as a concerned citizen in her community, at first working on the topic of air pollution and global warming. Working on that topic would eventually take her to the topic of the amazon and sustainability. One of several topics she has focused on has been soy, specifically the soy agriculture in the amazon; how it works and its side effects.

We talk about how she started getting into this topic, the big companies involved in Soy in the amazon, GMO soy and how it works, who is consuming it, the situation for indiginous people, to eat soy or to not eat soy, etc. Please note that this is only the beginning when it comes to breaking down the very complex topic of soy around the world, in the coming weeks I hope to help answer many of the questions that remain after this program.


Marianne passed on this note after the interview:

I never mentioned biofuels – using soy – another future use of soy.

I also didn’t mention how important the Amazon is to sustaining our air and water…..The Amazon is responsible for a fifth of the total volume of fresh water entering the oceans worldwide. If the deforestation does not slow down/stop we will lose 40% in the next 20 or so years, thereby reducing the fresh water to the world by approximately 10%. This is a global issue – along with the increasing amounts of herbicides/pesticides that are being dumped on crops, soil, into streams and rivers.


So Long Agricultural Free Trade

In a few hours I head to Brussels where I’m participating, for the second year in a row, in European Youth Media Days.? This year I’m helping coordinate and speaking as part of a workshop on Food Prices and the Media.

In preperation for this event I’ve been stepping up my own research into the global food production system over the past 100 years and the current breakdown it is experiencing.? Although the conference is Europe focused, I’m finding alot of useful and I would argue, applicable examples and analysis from North American news sources.

My hope is that one thing young journalists at this event will think more about is what lay behind the story of food prices. I have no interest in the typical commercial media exercise of finding a person-on-the-street and asking how they feel about prices. A more useful exercise would be to look at who benefits from increased food prices, and even before that, how was the global agricultural system organized that it could fall so hard, so fast.? From there the connections should be made to climate change, CO2 emissions, the lack of emphasis over the last decades on growing local and crop diversity. All these things happened for a reason, and if we’re to solve this problem as a society, we need journalists to do more than just point to the price tags and stick a microphone in front of consumers.

bm272 What Vermont Soy is all About

Vermont Soy is the topic today.

bmtv89 The End of Agriculture in California..?

Eating green bean soup (made my mom’s style) and discussing Barcamp Munich in October, VlogEurope Budapest in November, and the larger issue of California’s Agriculture ceasing to produce significantly in the coming decades. That according to several reports about the environmental impacts of the large scale farming going on in certain regions of CA, as well as the global food market which will leave the state an unviable place in terms of costs and profit.? But this is just the initial glance, more research and reporting to come…