Food Safety is an important issue, and the United States has had some of the safest foods in terms of microbial contamination.
But occasional outbreaks of food-borne illness strike fear into the electorate, and as a people we have demanded that our food be ‘made safe’.
The response was a push by industry to implement ‘third-party’ testing of farms and their harvest/post harvest practices. There are now groups that will provide education to farm workers and management to prepare them to successfully pass third party food-safety accreditation. The government has gotten involved and is now pushing small farms to become involved. While this will raise costs for growers, it will also result in farms being able to more easily recognize where some of their practices fall short of modern safety standards. This will allow them the opportunity to find some methods that carry less risk by changing some of their practices.
Here’s a video that describes some of this idea:
Cornell University has compiled a large amount of Food Safety training materials that the grower and packing house manager can access to help with implementation of a GAP compliant program.
BEIJING — Thousands of dead pigs, a number of them diseased, were found in Shanghai’s major drinking water supply in the last two days, officials said.
According to Xinmin newspaper, 2,813 pigs were fished out of the Huangpu River, which provides drinking water for Shanghai’s 23 million people, on Sunday and Monday. When contacted for up-to-date information on the number of pigs retrieved from the river, officials referred NBC News to the local news report.
Some of the pigs were infected with porcine circovirus (PCV) virus, according to an official statement by the Shanghai Agriculture Committee. The statement posted on China’s Twitter-like social media service Weibo said that the disease would not infect humans.
A water management officer said by telephone that results of hourly water tests were normal.
“We are adding more chlorine as an action to protect water safety,” said the official who would only identified herself as Zhu.
Water pollution, usually created by fertilizer run-off, chemical spills and untreated sewage, is a big problem in China. According to Reuters, the government will invest $850 billion over the next decade to improve the water supply system.
People from the Songjiang area of Shanghai, where many of the pigs were found, said this was not the first time they had seen the carcasses floating in the river.
Eugene Hoshiko / AP
A dead pig floats in a river on the outskirts of Shanghai on Monday.
“Am I scared? I have been hearing this kind of news all the time, so I am immune,” said Songjiang resident Ma Leiying, 42, who works as a clerk at a state-owned company. “I’m sure other cities have the same problems, but the difference is the incidents have not been reported yet.”
Some expressed outrage via Weibo.
“Have we been drinking dead-pig-polluted water? We are already panicked by the polluted air now we have to worry about poisoned water too,” one user wrote.
Xinmin News, Shanghai’s most popular newspaper paper, reported that labels on some of the carcasses indicated that the animals had come from Zhejiang and Jiangshu provinces.
According to Jiaxing Daily, many pigs have died in the area in recent several months. In Zhulin village alone, there were 10,078 dead pigs in January, 8,325 in February, it reported. The newspaper added that the cause of death was down to the cramped conditions the animals were kept in.
The Associated Press reported that the surge in the dumping of dead pigs came after a police campaign to curb the illegal trade in sick pig parts.
”Growing Your Own Food Is Like Printing Your Own Money!” ~Ron Finley
“You’d be surprised what soil can do if you let it be your canvas!” ~Ron Finley
A TED Talk with Ron Finley, an artist who installs food gardens in South Los Angeles.
He describes how he got in trouble with the city for planting the strip between the sidewalk and street with vegetables.
John from ‘Grow Your Greens’ interviews Ron Finley at his home/garden
This is an interesting marriage…. the music of Juno Reactor and cuts from the German film ‘Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes’ AKA ‘Aguirre: The Wrath of God’ starring Klaus Kinski. Klaus was notorious for having a short temper, and the director is said to have goaded him during the weeks of filming in the jungle. Klaus was so angry at one time he shot a gun into a tent where some of the crew were playing cards, he shot the finger off of one of the grips. During the raft sequence the raft with the cameras got swept downstream away from the other rafts and nearly went over a waterfall… and I suppose Klaus was steaming the whole time. But the surly, bitter-faced Kinski was a professional, and he pushed himself to complete the project, and his dour mood certainly brings a sense of hopeless frustration, and a melancholy loneliness to the film.
I like the idea, and I hope the world ‘beats a bath to their door’.
They partnered with another company for the manufacture and shipping of these greenhouses….
I am happy because they went to a company that hires disabled people to give them a chance at working and supporting themselves as much as possible.
From their website:
“The Convertible Greenhouse Company has partnered with Opportunity Resources of Missoula, Montana to assist in the manufacture, packaging and shipping of our unique greenhouses. Opportunity Resources, Inc. is a Missoula-based 501 (3) (c) nonprofit organization providing support for individuals with disabilities since 1955. ORI provides a wide array of supports including facility and community employment, congregate and supported living residential supports, transportation, recreation, art, counseling, nursing, and personal assistance.
In Missoula, Opportunity Resources provides direct services to 400 people with disabilities each day. In Western and North Central Montana they provide case management to 700 people with disabilities 16 years and older.”
We had someone recently write to us asking this questions:
“I was just in Mexico and was drinking green juice made with cactus. Which grade of cactus would you recommend for blending into juice?”
I answered back:
I’d recommend our Grade C in the winter time…. the Grade D in winter is usually pretty frost bitten….. in the summertime the Grade D is usually going to be much better than in winter (grades depend a bit on the weather…. summertime makes them much better, but there’s no such thing as B and A in winter time….
Grade D is the worst ones we have… some folks will ‘settle’ for those rather than pay more for C…. today was about half and half between C and D.. and that’s kind of usual.
A and B are the tender prime flat gourmet fancy ones meant to be served whole and pretty as anything… but only worth it for your boss or the President of Mexico when he visits The weather and season has to be perfect for them for a couple of months, just one cold snap will cause enough deformities to reduce their prime qualities. So they are only available from April to October.
I recommend Grade C in general for most folks…
and D can look pretty bad in the winter time… in the summer time…. well, even the worst ones look OK…. they’re just bent or twisted, or might have some insect bites (ants and cucumber beetles).
I appreciate your question
Anyone that has any questions about our cactus, please do post them here, or from our website at www.rivenrock.com info @ at rivenrock.com
We made a video showing us juicing cactus…. here it is!
A program like this can make a positive impact on a rural family.
Odd how we know this is true for other people, but our own government does not allow us to do this in the USA. Yes, it is true that a person cannnot (in general) really raise a cow and sell the milk legally…. to sell milk requires a great deal of governmental approval and oversight for ‘the health of the people’….. We talk of the unwillingness of Americans to work, and we’ll talk of how our own grandparents raised pigs, cows, orchards, vineyards, sold eggs and raw milk and meat from a shed where they butchered animals. But we don’t speak of how in the ‘modern agribusiness climate’ we must have a separate license and permit and training and sanitary facilities to be allowed to any of those processes. And with the ‘economy of scale’ that results from legislation, people are forced to curtail any activity that does not adequately pay for the cost of expenditures required by law. Therefor we end up with pig factories with 50,000 pigs, not a weed or garden in sight, and the family buying their porkchops from the butcher.