Does agroecology have a part to play in a new Green Revolution?

Cuba has introduced a large-scale conversion to agroecology, and farmers have learned to drought-proof their farms as a result. Photograph: Desmond Boylan/REUTERS

By Caspar van Vark
The Guardian Professional, Tuesday 27 November 2012

The food price rises of 2007-8 triggered some alarming forecasts about the future of food. By 2050, said the FAO, there would be another 2 billion mouths to feed. Production would need to increase by 70%.

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COP18: Indonesia provides model for REDD implementation – Responding to Climate Change

COP18: Indonesia provides model for REDD implementation
Responding to Climate Change
COP18 (29/11/12) – Meine Van Noordwijk, Principal Scientist and Chief Scientific Advisor at the World Agroforestry Centre, explains the work undertaken by his organisation since the creation of the REDD program in Bali. Noordwijk explains that actually

Morphological and life-history shifts of the exotic cladoceran Daphnia exilis in response to predation risk and food availability

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Mauricio J. Carter, Patricia Silva-Flores, J. Pablo Oyanedel, Rodrigo Ramos-Jiliberto
The zooplankter Daphnia exilis was found recently in reservoirs of central Chile. This species has been described as being tolerant to osmotic stress and chemical pollution, although the available information about its ecological properties is limited. Motivated by likelihood of being witnesses to a biological invasion, in this study we contribute to expand the knowledge of this exotic species through evaluating its ability to respond phenotypically to two major ecological factors: predation risk and food availability. Specifically, we analysed shifts in life-history and morphological traits of D. exilis in response to fish-released infochemicals, at different food densities. Our results revealed that the organisms were affected in their temporal trajectories of body size and shape, as well as in maturation time and fertility, in response to both predator cues and food availability. The presence of fish kairomones led to a decrease of age at maturity, and an increase of reproduction size and fecundity, especially at lower levels of resources. Our analyses indicated that asymptotic body size was affected only by food level, but the rate of increase in body size was sensitive to both fish kairomones and food level. The relative length of the tail spine decreased during early ontogenetic states, reaching a minimum around the age at maturity. This pattern was significantly enhanced in the presence of fish kairomones. However, our results did not match completely the typical responses of daphnids to fish kairomones.

Illegal on pets & seeds, but in kids’ shampoo? No problem.

It makes no sense. FDA's decision this week to allow continued use of the neurotoxic pesticide lindane in children's lice shampoos has me completely stumped.

The pesticide's use in pet products were withdrawn long ago. Then agricultural uses were pulled, back in 2006. Yet FDA just re-blessed the lindane products that put children most directly at risk, shampoos applied to their heads and lotions to their bodies. These products have been banned for years in dozens of countries — including by our neighbors in Mexico — and in California since 2001. What is FDA thinking??

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Moms stand up for pesticide-free air in CA’s central valley

When a child’s health is on the line, moms will often stand up in truly courageous ways. Like the mothers in the small, rural community of Lindsay, California who were concerned about how pesticides were affecting their children.

These central valley moms enrolled in a project back in 2006 to monitor how much chlorpyrifos — a commonly used insecticide — was drifting into their homes from nearby fields and orchards, using a simple “Drift Catcher” tool. They also signed up for biomonitoring, a way to find out how much of that pesticide was then making it into their bodies, and likely also into the bodies of their children.

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Six Faculty named Fellows of AAAS

Six Penn State faculty members have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The Fellows are Peter Hudson, director, Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences and Willaman Professor of Biology; Soundar Kumara, Allen E. & M. Pearce Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering; Andrew Read, professor of …

Turns out, women come home from work with breast cancer

A critical and devastating new study confirms a link between certain work — farming and vegetable canning included — and an elevated risk of breast cancer. The research was conducted in southern Ontario, and for me, this news hits close to home.

I was raised in Minnesota, and lived on a small farm just fifteen miles from a vegetable canning factory. When reading this study, I immediately thought of Lily, a young woman diagnosed with breast cancer in her late twenties. She and her mother Lidia spent over a decade working in the vegetable canning factory after coming to Minnesota as migrant farmworkers. I vividly remember the desperation and grief in Lidia's voice when she told me the news of Lily's cancer.

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FuturaGene and EMBRAPA sign agreement on bio-fuel feedstock research – Renewable Energy Magazine (press release)

FuturaGene and EMBRAPA sign agreement on bio-fuel feedstock research
Renewable Energy Magazine (press release)
EMBRAPA is one of the largest public sector tropical agriculture R&D organisations, with strong agroforestry capabilities, an annual R&D budget of over US$1 billion and more than 2,300 researchers in 42 centers located around Brazil. The mission of

Ag Springboard Competition winners announced

A five-student team recently was named winner of the 2012 Ag Springboard Competition conducted by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. For winning the business-pitch contest, which promotes agricultural entrepreneurship and new venture ideas in the field, Team Green Towers won the $5,000 first-place award. The team is developing a …

Webinar to cover proposed changes to Farm Bill conservation programs

Proposed changes to federal agricultural conservation programs being considered as part of the ongoing Farm Bill debate will be the focus of a Web-based seminar at noon Wednesday (Dec. 5). The webinar is sponsored by the National Agricultural and Rural Development Policy Center, a new, federally funded virtual center based in Penn State’s …

Suzano’s FuturaGene Unit to Research GM Eucalyptus in Brazil – Businessweek

Suzano's FuturaGene Unit to Research GM Eucalyptus in Brazil
Businessweek
Agro-forestry is a key weapon in fighting climate change and driving socioeconomic development,” Stanley Hirsch, chief executive officer at FuturaGene, said in the statement. The research will improve plant resilience, the capacity to restore degraded
Feedstock research agreement signed in Brazil Biofuels International



all 2 news articles »

Research shows managed fire benefits forest carbon sequestration

With the current focus on carbon emissions affecting climate change and the critical role forests play in storing the element, a better understanding of the impact that fire has on the global carbon cycle is needed by policymakers, according to a researcher in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. As carbon registries, carbon credits …

Africa: Landscape Science – a Way to Help COP18 Policymakers Better Manage … – AllAfrica.com

Africa: Landscape Science – a Way to Help COP18 Policymakers Better Manage
AllAfrica.com
A big part of the landscape process is determining what trade-offs we can live with, said Robert Nasi, Director at the CGIAR Research Programme on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, at Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development

Still getting summer produce…

I’ll admit to having cut back on my gardening time this year, to not having planted my summer crops with enough soil prep, to not having tended to the garden as much as it wanted. Nonetheless, Nature is a wonder and she keeps producing for me. It’s after Thanksgiving Day and I’m still getting a few squash and tomatoes! Thank you, my neglected friend.

Pediatricians agree, pesticides are harming kids

In a new report and policy statement released yesterday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) highlighted the harmful effects of pesticides on children, and urged government action.

AAP points to the growing body of scientific evidence linking pesticide exposure to children's health harms, focusing in on harms to the developing nervous system and increased risk of some childhood cancers. The pediatrician group’s findings and recommendations are similar to those highlighted by PAN's A Generation in Jeopardy report released last month.

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Syngenta’s shopping spree not limited to Black Friday

Over last week’s Thanksgiving holiday, many Americans will have paused to savor the blessings of health, family and community. Some of us will have binged on too much turkey and consumption-crazed Black Friday sales. But for the world’s biggest pesticide and seed biotech companies, the entire year has been one long feeding frenzy. This frenzy culminated in recent months in a multi-billion dollar spending spree in which, reports Bloomberg, three of the "Big 6" pesticide companies (Syngenta, Bayer and BASF) together shelled out over two billion dollars to acquire biopesticide and other “green product” companies.  

Concerns over corporate "greenwashing" notwithstanding, the larger issue here is a new frontier of market-making and corporate consolidation from the people who brought us "DDT is good for me" commercials. 

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Are we ready for post-modern farming? – Center For Investigative Reporting (blog)


Center For Investigative Reporting (blog)

Are we ready for post-modern farming?
Center For Investigative Reporting (blog)
There's a growing buzz in agriculture circles about the promise of “agroecology” – an approach to farming that looks for synergies and complementarities among crops, trees, livestock, birds, insects, microbes, soil, water and people. There also has

Building a Low Impact Den for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity – Permaculture Magazine


Permaculture Magazine

Building a Low Impact Den for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
Permaculture Magazine
Gillian McCarthy is a sufferer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity caused by organophosphate poisoning early in her career. Without a warm roof over her head she will not survive this winter. Tony Wrench and a group of natural builders are building her

Is phytoplankton functional classification a suitable tool to investigate spatial heterogeneity in a subtropical shallow lake?

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Luciane Oliveira Crossetti, Vanessa Becker, Luciana de Souza Cardoso, Lúcia Ribeiro Rodrigues, Luciana Silva da Costa, David da Motta-Marques
Functional groups of phytoplankton are widely recognized to vary in response to certain environmental variables, according to their niche preferences. The aim of this study was to evaluate the strength of the relationship between functional traits of phytoplankton and environmental predictors in a spatially heterogeneous large subtropical shallow lake (Mangueira Lake, southern Brazil), analyzing whether phytoplankton functional approach is a suitable tool to investigate spatial heterogeneity. Samples were taken twice a year (summer and winter), for six years (2001–2006) in the subsurface water at north, center and south sampling stations in that large system (90 km long). This biannual frequency enabled us to evaluate the seasonal and spatial changes of functional groups in relation to environmental variations, by means of ordination analysis (PCA and CCA). The integrated analysis of phytoplankton functional groups and abiotic variables evidenced clear and significant spatial and seasonal gradients (Monte Carlo test, p = 0.01). The seasonal gradient was related to temperature, water-level fluctuations and wind action, leading to spatial heterogeneity of the phytoplankton. The northern part of the lake proved to be dissimilar, with greater availability of soluble reactive phosphorus and higher biomass of phytoplankton. Functional groups related to turbid and mixed environments, such as MP , S1 and J were important. Hydrodynamics-related features were the driving forces for structuring the phytoplankton functional groups, which appropriately showed the main tendencies observed in this ecosystem, proving to be and adequate tool to access spatial heterogeneity.

Does agroecology have a part to play in a new Green Revolution … – The Guardian – The Guardian


The Guardian

Does agroecology have a part to play in a new Green Revolution – The Guardian
The Guardian
Agroecology can be summarised as an approach where nutrients and energy are recycled on the farm in closed loops, rather than relying on external inputs. Crops and livestock are integrated to build balanced local ecosystems, in contrast to monocrop

Does agroecology have a part to play in a new Green Revolution? | Guardian … – The Guardian


The Guardian

Does agroecology have a part to play in a new Green Revolution? | Guardian
The Guardian
Agroecology can be summarised as an approach where nutrients and energy are recycled on the farm in closed loops, rather than relying on external inputs. Crops and livestock are integrated to build balanced local ecosystems, in contrast to monocrop

Does agroecology have a part to play in a new Green Revolution? – The Guardian


The Guardian

Does agroecology have a part to play in a new Green Revolution?
The Guardian
Agroecology can be summarised as an approach where nutrients and energy are recycled on the farm in closed loops, rather than relying on external inputs. Crops and livestock are integrated to build balanced local ecosystems, in contrast to monocrop

A look at small banana producers in Ecuador | Fresh Fruit Portal – Fresh Fruit Portal

A look at small banana producers in Ecuador | Fresh Fruit Portal
Fresh Fruit Portal
And agroforestry crops cannot give that. On the other hand, we have to think about the return investment. An agroforestry crop has to wait at least five years for semi-hard wood species, but up to 25 years or more for hardwoods. There's also the pre

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Landscape science: a way to help COP18 policymakers better manage the … – Reuters AlertNet (blog)

Landscape science: a way to help COP18 policymakers better manage the
Reuters AlertNet (blog)
A big part of the landscape process is determining what trade-offs we can live with, said Robert Nasi, Director at the CGIAR Research Programme on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, at Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development

EPA talks pesticides & children’s health

EPA recently reviewed the links between mothers’ exposure to pesticides during pregnancy and children's health outcomes, highlighting recent findings in its online newsletter Science Matters. The article, entitled "Mothers Matter: Looking for a Healthy Start," presents the latest science linking prenatal exposure with reduced birth weight and disrupted brain and nervous system development, among other health harms.

It’s very good that EPA is explicitly communicating science, with the implicit intent to change policy. What’s still missing is pesticide use policies that are adequately protective of children’s health. We're hopeful this could be changing.

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Independent Publisher Chelsea Green Flourishing as Employee-Owned Company – Truth-Out

Independent Publisher Chelsea Green Flourishing as Employee-Owned Company
Truth-Out
"Permaculture is beginning to make an impact, as is agroecology," she said. Permaculture refers to agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems, while agroecology brings to bear ecological principles in agricultural production. And, as a good

FOOD MATTERS: Small-scale, intensive food production paying off – Nanaimo News Bulletin

FOOD MATTERS: Small-scale, intensive food production paying off
Nanaimo News Bulletin
The agro-ecology strategies encouraged by De Schutter for small-scale, intensive food production in sub-Saharan Africa are already paying off. When the tsunami of hunger caused by the failure of unsustainable global food systems hits the over-developed

Iita, Development Partners to Boost Poor Farm Families’ Income – AllAfrica.com

Iita, Development Partners to Boost Poor Farm Families' Income
AllAfrica.com
the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the International Potato Center (CIP), Bioversity International, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the International Centre of Insect

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IITA, Development Partners To Boost Poor Farm Families’ Income – Osun Defender

IITA, Development Partners To Boost Poor Farm Families' Income
Osun Defender
the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), the International Potato Center (CIP), Bioversity International, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the International Centre of Insect

Landscape science: a way to help COP18 policymakers better manage the … – Forests Blog, Center for International Forestry Research (blog)

Landscape science: a way to help COP18 policymakers better manage the
Forests Blog, Center for International Forestry Research (blog)
A big part of the landscape process is determining what trade-offs we can live with, said Robert Nasi, Director at the CGIAR Research Programme on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, at Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development

Research from University of Michigan Reveals New Findings on Ecology Research – Equities.com

Research from University of Michigan Reveals New Findings on Ecology Research
Equities.com
According to news reporting out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, by VerticalNews editors, research stated, "Rural social movements have in recent years adopted agroecology and diversified farming systems as part of their discourse and practice." Our news

Permaculture nominated at International Green Awards 2012 – Permaculture Magazine

Permaculture nominated at International Green Awards 2012
Permaculture Magazine
Another indicator that permaculture is being understood and appreciated by a growing number of green/sustainable businesses. The event was held at Battersea Power Station and was hosted by impressionist, stand up comic and WWF Ambassador Alistair

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Turfgrass research endowment named in memory of Stanley J. Zontek

Earlier this year, the U.S. Golf Association, the golf turfgrass industry and the Penn State turfgrass program lost a friend and colleague, Stanley Zontek. To honor his contributions to the golf-turf industry and his love for the University, Pennsylvania Turfgrass Research Inc. and Penn State have named a new endowment the Stanley J. Zontek …

allAfrica.com: Africa: Tree Intercropping ‘Could Save Africa’s Soils’ – AllAfrica.com

allAfrica.com: Africa: Tree Intercropping 'Could Save Africa's Soils'
AllAfrica.com
Nairobi — Scientists have reported in Nature that the agroforestry approach of planting nutrient-fixing trees with food crops could help replenish Africa's poor quality soils, tackling one of the biggest threats to food security on the continent

and more »

Tree Intercropping ‘Could Save Africa’s Soils’ – AllAfrica.com

Tree Intercropping 'Could Save Africa's Soils'
AllAfrica.com
Nairobi — Scientists have reported in Nature that the agroforestry approach of planting nutrient-fixing trees with food crops could help replenish Africa's poor quality soils, tackling one of the biggest threats to food security on the continent

Pass the (pesticide-free) green beans, please!

Like others across the country, this Thursday I'll be joining extended family and friends to celebrate each other and the earth's bounty. I look forward to meeting up with cousins coming to town from distant cities, and enjoying the yummy dishes we'll all contribute to the feast.

I'm also hoping we keep the acephate, methamidophos and chlorothalonil off the menu. (Easy for me to say, right?) Sadly, according to government testing, these  hard-to-pronounce pesticides are among those commonly found on green beans. And they're not good for you.

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Crary Matching Grant Update – We’re Almost There! We Need $3,000 by November 22!!

Posted in: News   Topics: Action Research Initiatives,


 

Give a Gift of Thanks

This Thanksgiving help develop CAN’s Youth Leadership Network where youth in four rural regions of Mexico and Central America lead local food initiatives in their communities so:

  • children learn to eat healthy
  • families have enough food to eat year-round, and
  • young people have local job opportunities so they don’t have to leave their communities to find work 

We’re close to our target goal. Help us make it by Thanksgiving!! Whatever you contribute — whether it be $25 or $1,000 or more, your donation will be doubled by the Crary Family Foundation.

We only need $3,000 more to meet the $15,000 match. We’re almost there!

Please help us raise $30,000 now! Whatever you can give helps! Please donate here.

All of the funds raised will go directly to training the youth leaders.

We thank you for your generous support and wish you a bountiful Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing.

Tree intercropping ‘could save Africa’s soils’ – SciDev.Net

Tree intercropping 'could save Africa's soils'
SciDev.Net
[NAIROBI] Scientists have reported in Nature that the agroforestry approach of planting nutrient-fixing trees with food crops could help replenish Africa's poor quality soils, tackling one of the biggest threats to food security on the continent

Penn State Dairy Products Evaluation Team places high in contest

A four-student team from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences recently finished second in the Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest. It was the University’s first entry into the contest after a seven-year absence. Team members included senior Food Science majors Kelsey Rogers, of Howard; Megan Woo, of San Francisco; Jennifer …

Graduate students win awards at food science sensory conference

Three graduate students studying food science, with an emphasis in sensory science, in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences won awards in a poster contest held at the recent 2012 Society for Sensory Professionals Conference in Jersey City, N.J. The theme of the conference, “Managing Complexity to Drive Clarity,” was designed to bring …

New Food Bank program makes local produce accessible to low-income … – University of Delaware


University of Delaware

New Food Bank program makes local produce accessible to low-income
University of Delaware
“This is a powerful example of different organizations coming together to create a local food economy,” adds Reyes, who worked on a farm as a 2012 UD Plastino Scholar and will travel to Guatemala this winter for further agro-ecology training. For now

World’s first ‘biocellar’ to be built in Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood (videos) – Plain Dealer


Plain Dealer

World's first 'biocellar' to be built in Cleveland's Hough neighborhood (videos)
Plain Dealer
More specifically, the permaculture designer sees the world's first "biocellar," a term she coined in 2006 to describe her idea of reusing abandoned homes by carefully tearing them down, then reinforcing the existing basement and topping it with a

AgroEco® Holiday Package Available NOW!

Posted in: News   Topics: Coffee,


This year’s holiday gift package features:

  • 1-lb. bag of AgroEco® Coffee
  • 5.5 oz. of CAN’s new product: chocolate-covered AgroEco® Coffee beans
  • holiday gift card

As always, the shipping is FREE!

Total price: $22

Place your order today. The holiday gift package is available December 16-31, 2012.

Eel attacks—A new tool for assessing European eel (Anguilla anguilla) abundance and distribution patterns with gillnet sampling

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Marie Prchalová, Jan Kubečka, Milan Říha, Martin Čech, Tomáš Jůza, Henk A.M. Ketelaars, Michal Kratochvíl, Tomáš Mrkvička, Jiří Peterka, Mojmír Vašek, Arco J. Wagenvoort
Because of its complex life cycle, cryptic behavior, body shape, ability to excrete mucus and excellent maneuvering, the European eel ( Anguilla anguilla ) is difficult to monitor. During many years of gillnetting in Dutch and Czech freshwaters, we registered characteristic involutions of gillnet netting with a partially eaten fish inside. We concluded that these involutions were the result of eels attacking fish caught in gillnets and called the occurrences eel attacks. When we compared the abundance of eel attacks in gillnets with the abundances of eels recorded using active gears (beach seining and trawling), we found a positive and significant correlation (partial Spearman R = 0.640) that can be used for rough eel-abundance assessment. The most frequently attacked fishes were young individuals of abundant species ( Perca fluviatilis , Sander lucioperca , Rutilus rutilus and Osmerus eperlanus ) and small species ( Gymnocephalus cernua ) up to 100 mm standard length. The eels preferred pikeperch and avoided roach and smelt. The reason for prey species preferences was most likely prey species distribution rather than size selectivity. The eels attacked fishes in gillnets during the night, most likely after midnight. The eel attacks were not distributed homogenously among the studied reservoirs, geographical areas and years. The frequency of eel attacks was higher in benthic than in pelagic habitats. Eel attacks were more frequent in Dutch than in Czech reservoirs, corresponding to a general decline of eel densities with increasing distance from the sea. The number of eel attacks also declined significantly from 1998 to 2008. The present study showed that eel attacks can be successfully used as a new, simple and nonintrusive tool for monitoring eel abundance using gillnets. Gillnets are widely used in fish monitoring, and hence, gillnet sampling performed throughout Europe has a great potential for eel-abundance assessment.

A new breed of Wisconsin deer hunters focus on sustainability – Isthmus Daily Page


Isthmus Daily Page

A new breed of Wisconsin deer hunters focus on sustainability
Isthmus Daily Page
She came here to earn a master's degree in agroecology. She also wants to kill a deer. "Food production is pretty much my life," Maynard says. "Sustainable agriculture is what I live and breathe." Maynard was part of a group of 20 aspiring hunters

Ag businesses urged to fall in for Social Media Boot Camp

The use of social media has become an increasingly important way to enhance a farm or food business’ marketing activities, allowing owners and managers to connect directly with their audiences. While a social media presence is almost expected of many businesses, some struggle with how to use the various tools to connect. To help these …

Food web structure in a double-basin ultra-oligotrophic lake in Northwest Patagonia, Argentina, using carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Marina Arcagni, Linda M. Campbell, María Angélica Arribére, Kurt Kyser, Kerry Klassen, Ricardo Casaux, María Laura Miserendino, Sergio Ribeiro Guevara
Fish, benthic macroinvertebrates, macrophytes, biofilm, plankton, and terrestrial material were analyzed for stable nitrogen (δ15N) and carbon isotopes (δ13C) to study the food web structure of a double-basined, ultra-oligotrophic lake in northwest Patagonia. The δ15N values of all biota were consistently higher in Moreno East basin, probably caused by a higher anthropogenic impact; however, the estimated trophic positions of fish showed no differences between basins, indicating that fish are feeding from food chains with different δ15N baselines. Fish δ13C values were higher in Moreno West basin but no pattern was observed for the rest of the organisms analyzed. The different hydrogeomorphic characteristics between the basins could lead to these differences in the C signatures of fish. SIAR (Stable Isotope Analysis in R) mixing model was used to study possible food sources for adult fish and the results were contrasted with published gut content analysis. According to the model, in both basins small size fish such as Small Puyen ( Galaxias maculatus ) and juvenile fish, had the highest relative isotopic contribution to introduced Rainbow Trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss ) and Brook Trout ( Salvelinus fontinalis ), which had lower contributions from other sources such as insect larvae, decapods, and snails. On the contrary, decapods and insect larvae were isotopically more important for the native Creole Perch ( Percichthys trucha ) than small fish in both basins. An ontogenetic shift in the carbon source and trophic level was observed in Puyen Chico and Rainbow Trout from the West basin.

Vietnam to see exports of agro-forestry-fishery products drop in 2009 – Mathaba.Net


Mathaba.Net

Vietnam to see exports of agro-forestry-fishery products drop in 2009
Mathaba.Net
HANOI, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) — Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development forecast that the country's exports turnover of agro-forestry-fishery products will decrease by 4.5 billion U.S. dollars to 12.5 billion dollars this year, the local

and more »

Current limitations of the stone crayfish distribution in Romania: Implications for its conservation status

Publication year: 2012
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Lucian Pârvulescu, Claudia Zaharia
The stone crayfish Austropotamobius torrentium is one of three indigenous crayfish species in Romania. Extensive research to assess the conservation status of this highly protected species is overdue in this country. Presently, the populations are concentrated in two distinct regions, the southwest and northwest of the country. Most populations were found living in habitats with little anthropic impact. Using logistic and negative binomial regression models, we determined the ecological preferences of the species. The most favourable conditions suggest an equilibrium between the availability of dissolved oxygen, moderate river velocity, and low concentration of organic pollutants. Due to these ecological requirements, the species is generally restricted to sub-montane areas (around 500 m a.s.l.) leading to a high degree of population fragmentation. The spectrum of limitations is completed by invasive species and the crayfish plague agent Aphanomyces astaci . Contact with non-indigenous Orconectes limosus and the crayfish plague is a real threat, especially to the populations inhabiting the order I tributaries of the Danube, in southwestern Romania. We recommend that the Romanian stone crayfish A. torrentium be taken into consideration as an “endangered species”.

Introduction to Permaculture Course | Sunshine Coast Queensland | Event – My Sunshine Coast (press release)

Introduction to Permaculture Course | Sunshine Coast Queensland | Event
My Sunshine Coast (press release)
Have you heard about Permaculture, and wanted to find out Permaculture more? Here is a very special opportunity, not usually offered. On Saturday and Sunday, 1st & 2nd December an Introduction to Permaculture course will be held at the Memorial Hall,

Permaculture spreads to local elementary schools – The Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Permaculture spreads to local elementary schools
The Massachusetts Daily Collegian
The fruit trees mark the location of future permaculture gardens that the schools will be designing with the help of permaculture garden officials Ryan Harb, the Permaculture Academic Program coordinator, and Tripper O'Mara, an Auxiliary Services

Faces of the fight for food labeling

Across California, people from a variety of backgrounds — and for a variety of reasons — showed incredible commitment to Prop 37, the ballot initiative for labeling GE food. While the measure was narrowly defeated, the movement grew stronger and the issue was put back on the national agenda.

Here, we pause to reflect on the dedication and hard work of just a few of those involved in this momentous fight.

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Are chemicals making us fat?

The rate of obesity in very young children — even infants — continues to climb. Evidence is building that obesity-promoting chemicals called obesogens are contributing to this alarming trend.

Some of these obesogens are pesticides which — as the ongoing study of endocrine disruption clarifies — can act at very low doses to interfere with all kinds of physiological processes. This includes, it turns out, triggering increased fat cell production.

read more

Cal Poly Chocolates Develops Product for CAN Holiday Package

Posted in: News   Topics: About CAN, Coffee,


Chocolate-covered AgroEco® Coffee beans offered this holiday season!

This year CAN’s holiday gift package will include a one-pound bag of AgroEco® Coffee PLUS a 5.5 oz. container of chocolate-covered AgroEco® Coffee beans developed by Cal Poly Chocolates.

<--break->About Cal Poly Chocolates

Cal Poly Chocolates was started in 2000 and is part of the Food Science and Nutrition Department. It is the only chocolate production course taught in an American university that is also a full-fledged business. Students whot take the class learn how to produce, package, and market different chocolate products. They also learn about where cocoa comes from and the importance of ethical and sustainable food systems. The aim is to show students the complexities of cocoa production as well as the inequities of the world cocoa trade.

Cal Poly Chocolates supports a fair livelihood for cocoa farmers — this means that all the chocolate used is from organic and Fair Trade Certified co-ops in the Dominican Republic and Peru. 

Through this course, students have the option for delicious and ethically sourced food products on campus. Cal Poly Chocolates has worked closely with the Fair Trade Club to encourage mindfulness while consuming.

How did this collaboration begin? For the past year, the Fair Trade Club has been working to get CAN coffee offered on Cal Poly’s campus. Because of the shared value for fairly traded food products, the Fair Trade Club connected CAN with Cal Poly Chocolates to develop chocolate-covered coffee beans. The first batch was a success we are delighted to offer this new product.

Look an upcoming announcement about CAN’s holiday gift package.

Save the Date! | 14th Annual International Agroecology Shortcourse | July 7-21, 2013


14th Annual International Agroecology Shortcourse

Agroecological Approaches for Climate Change
and Food Systems Resilience

When: July 7-21, 2013

Where: The University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont

Highlights:

  • Instructors include pioneers from the field of agroecology and other experts from the United States, Spain, and Mexico.
  • Learn concepts and techniques for Participatory Action Research (PAR).
  • Consider the opportunities and risks within our food systems related to the changing climate and extreme weather events.

Organized by V. Ernesto Mendez, University of Vermont and the Community Agroecology Network (CAN)

Click here for more information or email Martha Caswell.

 

Sunday November 18, 2012 — Learn about CAN’s AgroEco® Coffee Tour from Tour Leaders + Try Coffee Cupping

Posted in: News   Topics: Action Education, Coffee, Events,


EXPLORE COFFEE

When: Sunday November 18, 2012
Time: 10 am-12 noon
Hosted by: Community Agroecology Network (CAN) and Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company
Where: New Leaf Community Market, 1101 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz, California
Cost: Free; sign up

Start your Sunday morning right and Explore Coffee. This unique, coffee-infused event will transport you to the misty, tropical mountains where coffee is grown. First, participate in an AgroEco® Coffee cupping to learn how the experts taste coffee, led by Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company. Next, prepare to travel to Nicaragua (February 17-25, 2013) as CAN co-founders Steve Gliessman and Robbie Jaffe introduce AgroEco® Coffee Tour, a remarkable opportunity to experience first-hand the story behind AgroEco® Coffee by visiting CAN’s partner coffee-growing communities in San Ramón, Nicaragua. Join us and come Explore Coffee!
www.canunite.org/agroecotour for more information

Early Bird Registration DEADLINE: Register by December 1, 2012 and SAVE!

CAN Welcomes New Action Education Coordinator Estrellita Del Refugio Muñoz

Posted in: News   Topics: About CAN,


Estrellita Del Refugio Muñoz, CAN Action Education Program Coordinator, studied Latin American Latino Studies and Sociology at UCSC. Her studies focused on the intersections of immigration policies and food politics social movements. Estrellita has a background in student decolonial community organizing projects, feminist of color politics, immigrant rights activism, multiethnic/intercultural event programming, and student retention services.

Welcome Estrellita!

Ben Law Interview: how to get involved in sustainable woodland management – Permaculture Magazine


Permaculture Magazine

Ben Law Interview: how to get involved in sustainable woodland management
Permaculture Magazine
We asked Permaculture online readers what they would ask Ben Law and selected the best six questions. ThePOOSH.org: "What is your favourite memory of building a sustainable structure and why?" Ben Law: It was the whole process of creating Lodsworth

Elon professor channels farming legacy to promote sustainable food production … – The Pendulum


The Pendulum

Elon professor channels farming legacy to promote sustainable food production
The Pendulum
That's why Moore, a lecturer of environmental studies at Elon University, teaches agroecology. But there's more to his environmental awareness than his teaching position. Moore owned and operated a 12-acre farm in Pennsylvania for more than 35 years,