How two courageous Indian women are protecting their country’s food heritage from Monsanto

Featuring Dr Vandana Shiva talking about seed saving in India.

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Fair trade revolution – a word from a farmer

fairtrade

“In the past, all of the trees were cut down so that the planes could fly overhead and drop the fungicides on the banana plants. We used a lot of pesticides and insecticides and lost the wildlife and insects. It was terrible because we were interrupting lifecycles and affecting the whole ecosystem. Our health also suffered. I used to have problems breathing, aches and pains and marks on my skin. Everything changed for us when we entered El Guabo. Fairtrade bans most of the agrochemicals and moves toward organic production. Since we became fully organic we have felt it financially because we used to produce 1,500 boxes of bananas a week but now we only produce around 900 boxes. I think consumers should know this and appreciate that it really is worth them paying a bit more for organic bananas. For me it is worth sacrifices though because I live a healthy life here with my family. I also think Ecuador should be looked upon as the lungs of the Earth. We have the Amazon rainforest, the mountains and most people here live off the land.  If more consumers are willing to buy organic and Fairtrade bananas, then the impact we have here on the environment would be less and people would be able to live more easily.”

Abel Fairtrade farmer – Equador

Passage from The Fair Trade Revolution

Organic Agriculture energy efficient

‘ The Cardiff researchers found that on average the organic production of raw food required 67% less energy than conventional methods of agriculture.  The argument that organic farming could not produce enough food is often brought up by the manufacturers who, unsurprisingly, want the world to stick to chemical agriculture and to use genetically engineered crops – especially those engineered to have a longer shelf life and to look attractive on the supermarket shelves.  But a paper from the College of Natural Resources at the University of California at Berkeley cites the results of many trials in various countries demonstrating that , in practice, organic farming yields are comparable with those from conventional chemical agriculture, so it seems likely that organic farming could provide enough food.’

An excerpt from Time to eat the dog – The real guide to sustainable living