Archive for May, 2009
Paul Hawken’s Commencement Address to the Class of 2009 University of Portland, May 3rd, 2009
When I was invited to give this speech, I was asked if I could give a simple short talk that was “direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful.” Boy, no pressure there.
But let’s begin with the startling part. Hey, Class of 2009: you are going to have to figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating. Kind of a mind-boggling situation – but not one peer-reviewed paper published in the last thirty years can refute that statement.
We saw a terrific movie this weekend. It’s about tea, the power of one person to help make real change and worms.
All in This Tea is about tea importer, David Lee Hoffman. He spent a decade during his twenties traveling around Asia and developed a love of good tea. The documentary follows his travels in China as he tries to encourage the farmers to give up their recent addition of chemical farming and go back to the traditional and organic methods of growing tea. Those methods were lost once the Cultural Revolution arrived, as the farmers started growing for quantity over quality. As is happening on our farms here — after the initial boost in crops you get from chemical fertilizers, crop production lessens, and soil quality depletes.
As he tries to describe more natural fertilizers to the Chinese officials, David discusses earthworms, and worm castings (droppings), which are one the most wonderful fertilizers available today. We use them in our garden and whenever we put fresh castings on, everything has a wonderful growth spurt. I was happy to see worms and organic methods discussed as we are trying to encourage our farmers here in the U.S. to move away from chemical fertilizer too.
As he winds his way through China’s tea bureaucracy, he found that the companies don’t want to deal directly with the farmers, including those craftsmen who produce the finest teas. Mr. Hoffman decides to travel through the country finding exactly the teas he prefers, buying them directly from the farmers and then he had to deal with the red tape of getting them shipped to the U.S. There’s also small segments with different people teaching classes about tea and it’s history, that’s very interesting.
We rarely eat fried food, but for the rare occasion we do, this is our first choice.
It’s spicy, crunchy and delicious. It’s a terrific combination of Indian spices and Japanese tempura batter. The original recipe (which we’ve changed a bit) is from Jamie Oliver and his wonderful book, Jamie at Home.
If it wasn’t bad enough having all our soy, canola, corn, the oils made from them and the high fructose corn syrup tainted by being sourced by GMOs, now they’re messing with sugar. It’s time to speak up and let all your representatives know – Say NO to GMOs!
Here’s an article on GMO sugar beets from The Center for Food Safety, their link is below.
How do you know you’re eating safe eggs. Raise chickens! More and more people are starting to have their own backyard flock. I recently found out we are allowed chickens in our suburban area, so we at MomsForSafeFood are getting our chickens in a few weeks and can’t wait. 🙂
Envisioning the End of ‘Don’t Cluck, Don’t Tell’
Article by PETER APPLEBOME
The GMO crops that are already commercial are horrible enough, commercializing GMO rice would be a disaster.
Hands off our rice! Keeping rice GE-free is not just about consumer choice or the environment – it’s a lot bigger than that. It’s a matter of global food security, human rights and survival.