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Sounds Perfecto to Us

Organic farming can yield more food than conventional ag, says analysis In developed countries, organic farming can yield nearly as much food as pesticide-heavy agriculture, and in developing countries can produce up to three times as much chow, says a new analysis of 293 published studies on organic yields. "My hope is that we can finally put a nail in the coffin of the idea that you can't produce enough food through organic agriculture," says researcher Ivette Perfecto. Let us get this straight: Organic farming is efficient. Organic food doesn't have poisons on it. Organic fruits and veggies could be …

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Whole Foods CEO secretly hearts Wal-Mart

In January 2005, a poster on a Yahoo message board made a bold prediction on how Whole Foods stock would fare. "13 years from now Whole Foods will be a $800+ stock," he insisted, adding that "the company is going to keep on strongly growing for another 10+ years." Looking at the company's stock chart (and adjusting for splits), we can see he was calling for ninefold increase by 2018. So far, the prediction looks shaky. Today, Whole Foods stock trades at a lower price than it did in January 2005. There's nothing unusual about a message-board enthusiast making wild …

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Think They’ll A-Peel?

Latin American banana farmers sue U.S. companies over pesticides A pesticide designed to eradicate worms from Latin American banana trees may have had a detrimental effect on workers' ... oh, how to put it ... bananas. At least 5,000 agricultural laborers from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama have filed five lawsuits in the U.S., claiming that exposure to the pesticide DBCP in the 1970s left them sterile. Jury selection began yesterday for the first lawsuit, which was filed by dozens of Nicaraguan farmers in 2004 against multinational companies Dole, Dow, and Amvac. The trial, held in Los Angeles, …

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Globalization of the fuel vs. fuel debate

Last Thursday, Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, announced substantial subsidies to boost Canada's production of biofuels. Under its "ecoENERGY for Biofuels" program, the government will provide up to C$ 1.5 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) in the form of incentives over nine years to producers of renewable alternatives to gasoline and diesel fuel. "With leading-edge technology and abundant supplies of grains, oilseeds, and other feedstocks, Canada is uniquely positioned to become a global leader in the production of biofuels," said the prime minister. Today, the BBC ran a story explaining that, in part thanks to the increasing diversion of Canadian durum …

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Welcome Back, Kosher

Popularity of "eco-kosher" diet growing in U.S. Eco-food awareness has undeniably seeped into the mainstream, and religious communities are no exception. More and more, a low-impact diet is seen not just as a matter of health or ethics, but as a spiritual obligation. As evidence, look no further than the quickly growing "eco-kosher" movement; its followers seek nourishment that not only adheres to traditional Jewish dietary laws, but is also local, organic, sustainable, and humane. Eager to make eco-kosher eating as easy as possible, a group of Conservative Jews is drawing up a label for packaged kosher foods to let …

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Who Needs Aspirin?

Study finds organic tomatoes contain more heart-healthy antioxidants Could organic fruits and veggies be better for you? A study of samples collected over 10 years found that organic tomatoes contained far higher levels of flavonoids -- antioxidants that reduce high blood pressure and have also been linked with reduced rates of some cancers and dementia -- than conventional varieties. Researchers from the University of California-Davis say the boost may be related to nitrogen levels in soil, which are affected by the use of fertilizer. However, they hasten to point out that there are plenty of variables in this still-growing field: …

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Mind your (fo)odometer

Check out a new video on food miles from The Nation: You can also check out the accompanying article here.

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Why we may one day bitterly regret GM crops

Edible Media takes an occasional look at interesting or deplorable food journalism on the web. I spent the weekend in Atlanta at the first-ever U.S. Social Forum -- an extremely interesting event, but not the place to go for someone needing to catch up on rest. Now I'm laid up with a sore throat, which gave me a chance to do today something I never get to do anymore -- curl up with the print version of the Sunday New York Times. I especially like to dig into the business section, where the "paper of record" often deposits its most …

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Putting the Source Before the Cart

Regional grocery chains seek "organic retailer" certification In some mainstream grocery stores, organic options are shunted to the side, put in a sort of "Food for Freaks" section where only the bravest shoppers dare to tread. But increasingly, regional chains are getting certified as "organic retailers" and even -- gasp -- shelving organic food next to other edibles. Ohio-based Kroger, Minnesota-based Lunds, and Maine-based Hannaford Bros. have earned a government-backed seal of o-pproval; with organic food sales soaring from $6 billion in 2000 to $14 billion in 2005, such stores are eager to get in on the action. Certification requires …

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Wild Thing, You Make My Heart Sink

Wilderness is pretty much a thing of the past, says report Regardless of whether humankind was given dominion over the earth, we've most certainly taken it. A new report in Science calculates that only 17 percent of global land mass has been untainted by human dwellings, agriculture, or roads. And that was as of 1995; we'd venture to guess that the percentage is even more depressing now. Speaking of depressing: Half of the planet's land surface is used for crops or grazing, says the report, and nearly six times as much water is artificially stored by dams in the world …

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