April 20, 2014

Urban Chicken Consultant Helps Start Backyard Flocks

largest 300x225 Urban Chicken Consultant Helps Start Backyard Flocks

Photo courtesy UrbanChickenConsultant.wordpress.com

by Emily Badger
The Atlantic Cities

Excerpts:

Jennifer Murtoff’s best marketing device is her rubber chicken purse. People always ask about the rubber chicken purse. That gives her an in to talk about chickens, about how she started raising them in the 4th grade in rural Pennsylvania, about how she has loved them ever since and now loves helping other people figure out how to raise them, too.

Then she pulls out her business card. It’s got a photo of her holding a chicken on one side and this quote from Frank Lloyd Wright on the back: “Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.” When she hands it to people, she introduces herself as Jennifer Murtoff, urban chicken consultant.

“And then they usually say ‘That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard! How do you make any money at that?’” Murtoff laughs.

This may be the best (or at least, our favorite) indication yet that food-conscious city-dwellers are increasingly bypassing the supermarket for the back-yard urban farmstead: There is someone in Chicago who works as an urban chicken consultant.

This isn’t just happening in Chicago. People are constantly sending Murtoff links to articles about chickens in Dallas, chickens in San Francisco, chickens in New York City. People contact her for help changing local regulations in towns that aren’t chicken-friendly. She may have to add this to her menu of services: chicken character witness. Murtoff has never, though, come across anyone else who does what she does, and she is certainly the only game in Chicago.

Read the Full Article Here: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2011/09/urban-chicken-consultant/187/

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Russian Family Gardens Produce 40% of Russian Food

Russian Family Gardens Produce 40% of Russian Food

Earlier this month, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated that Russia will not import GMO products because Russia has enough space and resources to produce organic food.

This was not a political statement of posturing, given the current cool relations between the U.S. and Russia over the Ukraine. As it turns out, Russia’s food security is light years ahead of the U.S.

As you will read below, a significant portion of the Russian population own “dachas,” or seasonal garden homes, where they can grow their own food. At the height of the communist era, it is reported that these dachas produced 90% of the nation’s food. Today, with the land now privatized, they still comprise about 40% of the nation’s food.

Compare that with the United States, where less than 1% of the population controls the food, and small-scale family farms have for the most part been bought out by huge Biotech corporations.

Russia Bans Import of GMO Products – Promotes Organic Food

Russia Bans Import of GMO Products – Promotes Organic Food

Russia will not import GMO products, the country’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, adding that the nation has enough space and resources to produce organic food.

Moscow has no reason to encourage the production of genetically modified products or import them into the country, Medvedev told a congress of deputies from rural settlements on Saturday.

“If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food,” he said.

Study: Roundup Herbicide 125 Times More Toxic Than Regulators Say

Study: Roundup Herbicide 125 Times More Toxic Than Regulators Say

A highly concerning new study published in the journal Biomedical Research International reveals that despite the still relatively benign reputation of agrochemicals such as Roundup herbicide, many chemical formulations upon which the modern agricultural system depend are far more toxic than present regulatory tests performed on them reveal. Roundup herbicide, for instance, was found to be 125 times more toxic than its active ingredient glyphosate studied in isolation.

Food Security: Why Congress Should Care About the Beepocalypse

Food Security: Why Congress Should Care About the Beepocalypse

This year, food security is set to suffer another big setback, and the culprit could not be cuter: honeybees. Last winter, America’s beekeeping industry lost nearly half of all its bee colonies. And the numbers keep falling. Last summer, in the largest bee kill on record, more than 50,000 bumblebees were killed in Oregon as a direct result of exposure to an insecticide applied to trees for cosmetic purposes.

The killing has gotten so bad that people are calling it a beepocalypse. This is a serious situation. One-third of the food produced in North America depends on pollination by our honeybees. Nearly 100 varieties of fruits depend on honeybee pollination, from almonds (which are California’s third-largest export) to avocados to apples to cranberries.

America, then, must act fast if we want to save our bees, our food and our economic productivity.

U.S. GMO Policy Hurting Exports, Costing Jobs, As China Rejects US GMO Corn

U.S. GMO Policy Hurting Exports, Costing Jobs, As China Rejects US GMO Corn

Health concerns aside, U.S. GMO policy is damaging the U.S. economy and costing jobs. China just announced they were rejecting U.S. GMO corn in favor of Brazilian corn, draining hundreds of millions of dollars out of the U.S. economy.

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