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The new geography of trade: Globalisation’s decline may stimulate local recoveries – Prof. Fred Curtis and Prof. David Ehrenfeld + The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See (part 1 of 8)

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BELANGRIJKE UPDATE: Peak Oil for Saudi Arabia confirmed by WikiLeaks

Projections by peak oil people that Saudi Arabia oil reserves have been grossly overstated (by 40%) and that the country can no longer prevent world oil prices rising have been confirmed in confidential cables from the US Consulate, released by WikiLeaks

Global trade will not disappear, but as it wanes and as supply chains shorten, the importance of regional and local economies will increase. Manufacturing and food production for domestic consumption in the United States and other developed nations (and regions within nations) will regain an importance not seen since the first half of the 20th century. Security strategies will be adjusted to reflect the increased role of domestic production in national affairs. We should plan now for these inevitable changes. Crises bring more than trouble – they bring opportunities.

met dank aan Wouter de Heij voor de video-tip


Dit artikel, verschenen op AL JAZEERA d.d. 09 Feb 2012, mag niet ontbreken op deze blog.

It is an article of faith that global trade will be an ever-growing presence in the world. Yet this belief rests on shaky foundations. Global trade depends on cheap, long-distance freight transportation. Freight costs will rise with climate change, the end of cheap oil and policies to mitigate these two challenges.

At first, the increase in freight costs will be bad news for developed and developing nations alike but, as adjustments in the patterns of trade occur, the result is likely to be decreased outsourcing with more manufacturing and food production jobs in North America and the European Union. The pattern of trade will change as increasing transportation costs outweigh traditional sources of comparative advantage, such as lower wages.

The new geography of trade will not result from policy or treaties but from the impact of changing environmental conditions due to the growth of the human economy. Global trade can be disrupted by many kinds of natural disaster: the tsunami and nuclear emergency in Japan slowed auto production in the United States, and Australian floods lowered coal exports to China. The supply chains of global production and distribution are more vulnerable than we would like to admit. Up to now, we have adapted to disruptions and global trade has continued to expand. But greater challenges to global trade lie ahead. Continual growth, or even maintenance, of the current physical volume of trade is unsustainable.

Many goods will be manufactured closer to where they are consumed, as supply chains become more regional and local. Petroleum- and transport-intensive products, such as imported food, clothing, appliances and building supplies will become more expensive; lifestyles and consumer purchasing in developed nations will shift to reflect these changes. Export-oriented nations relying on a limited number of exports to pay for imported necessities will need to become more self-reliant in meeting basic needs.

Oil supply and cheap fuel

The price of crude oil rose from US $28 per barrel in 2003 to over $147 in the summer of 2008. In 2008, 20 airlines (mostly regional freight carriers) went bankrupt. Fuel costs rose from 15 to 35 per cent of airline (freight and passenger) operating expenses. In the first two months of 2011, air carriers increased fares four times to adjust for rising oil prices.

In 2007-2008, the cost of trans-Pacific shipping of a standard container by sea went from $3,000 to $8,000. In 2010, with oil at half its 2008 price, the Danish shipping company Maersk cut its top cruising speeds in half to reduce fuel costs. According to economists Jeff Rubin and Benjamin Tal, every $1 per barrel increase in crude oil prices results in a 1 per cent increase in freight transportation costs.

As economic growth resumes, the demand for oil will increase. The International Energy Agency predicted a 2.5 million barrel per day increase for 2011, the biggest one-year increase in 30 years. Chinese oil demand is expected to grow over 10 per cent due to economic growth and coal shortages. Furthermore, recent decisions in Japan and Germany to decommission nuclear power plants may increase the demand for diesel fuel to run electric generators.

A number of factors limit oil supply’s ability to both keep up with demand and limit oil price instability. Deepwater drilling is likely to be more expensive in the Gulf of Mexico due to new regulations and higher insurance costs following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Deepwater oil will provide at least 25 per cent of world supply by 2020. The failure to invest in sufficient upstream production facilities has also made an oil-supply crunch likely.

Political unrest in the oil-rich Middle East creates uncertainty about oil prices due to fears of supply disruptions.

And finally, there is peak oil, when production flow rates hit a maximum and decline thereafter. This has already occurred for the majority of oil producing nations and will soon happen for global oil production. Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Canada and Venezuela are approaching national oil peaks at the same time that their domestic demand for oil is expected to rise significantly. These exporters will either reduce exports or, like Indonesia and the United Kingdom, become oil importers. World Energy Outlook 2010 stated that global conventional oil production peaked in 2006 and is expected to decline from 70 million barrels per day to less than 16 million in 2035.

We use oil faster than we discover new resources. Global oil discoveries peaked in the 1960s. The American Joint Forces Command predicts that “By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear.” According to the United Kingdom Energy Research Centre, “more than two-thirds of current crude oil production capacity may need to be replaced by 2030… equivalent to a new Saudi Arabia coming on stream every three years.” The near- and long-term results will be rising transportation fuel costs, oil-price volatility and a declining quantity of conventional oil fuels.

Impact of electric power shortages

Electric power shortages and rising prices will also change the pattern of global trade and supply chains. Low-wage exporting economies are generally much less energy efficient than high-income industrial economies. As electricity rates rise with higher fuel costs for coal and oil, production costs will increase faster in low-wage countries than in developed industrial economies. According to energy analyst Thomas Christiansen, “China’s use of energy per unit of gross domestic product is three times that of the United States, five times Japan’s, and eight times Britain’s.” Rising coal, oil and electricity prices erode the comparative advantage of low-wage exporters.

Moreover, climate-related drought and lowered river flow have reduced hydroelectric power production in some export-oriented nations. In China, reduced rainfall in agricultural areas has prompted plans to divert water from the Three Gorges Dam away from hydroelectric production to irrigation. Reduced hydroelectric power has interrupted textile production in Pakistan, oil refining in Venezuela and appliance production in China. As reported by RTE News in May 2011, “Businesses in coastal areas and some inland provinces have grappled with power cuts and full blackouts since March due to surging demand and a drop in hydroelectric output.” Climate change is linked to the massive floods in Australia that cut coal exports to China and put upward pressure on Chinese coal prices.

Finally, when there are hydroelectric power shortages, individuals and manufacturers rely on gasoline or diesel generators, if they can afford the fuel. According to, “In most countries, electricity shortages quickly translate into increased demand for gasoline and diesel as organisations strive to keep computers, elevators, hospitals, refrigeration and even factory production functioning with back-up generators. Pakistan probably is suffering the worst from electricity shortages, the country simply does not have enough foreign exchange to import large quantities of expensive fuels.”

Climate change and transportation infrastructure

Climate change undermines global trade directly by its effects on transportation infrastructure and indirectly by its impact on energy infrastructure and prices. A 2010 Lloyd’s report stated, “Environmental change (extreme weather events… changing sea levels and melting glaciers) will generate great threats to critical infrastructure and to transport routes.”

Though reduced during the recession, CO2 emissions rose dramatically in 2010 to the highest recorded level. One manifestation of climate change is increased intensity and frequency of major storms. Hurricanes and typhoons damage low-lying coastal rail lines, airports, oil and gas pipelines, highways used to connect ports and distribution networks and port facilities – all essential parts of global supply chains. They seriously affect ships and planes in transit. Heavy rainfall events are increasing in many parts of the world. Insurance claims for flood damage are rising faster than those for other natural disasters. Rising sea levels will submerge coastal highways and port facilities.

The damage to roads threatens global trade: roughly 40 per cent of the US-China supply chain consists of roads from factories to ports and from ports to distribution networks. If freight transport is significantly interrupted, rerouted or slowed, costs will rise for both manufacturers and retailers using distribution systems that require goods to arrive as they are needed in production or on retail store shelves. The heat effects of climate change also reduce engine efficiency, increase cargo refrigeration needs and therefore raise fuel costs for trucks, trains, ships and planes. Climate change is thus expected to interrupt and slow freight transportation and make it more expensive.

Oil substitutes and climate mitigation

There are substitutes for conventional oil: coal-to-liquid conversion, gas-to-liquid conversion, corn ethanol and other biofuels, hydrogen, tar sands and shale oil. Many are technically feasible but all suffer from one or more major problems. They often need large-scale investment and long lead-in periods. Some require subsidies or higher production prices per barrel than conventional oil. Many cause serious environmental damage and high greenhouse gas emissions. Several place great demands on scarce freshwater supplies or require high energy inputs for production.

Energy expert Robert Hirsch and his colleagues estimate that a crash oil mitigation program that begins when oil peaks will have a three-year lag before it adds noticeably to fuel supply. Such a crash program would restore liquid fuel supply close to peak levels within 20 years under the best assumptions. Given current supply constraints leading to the loss of cheap oil and lack of serious policy discussion, investment in alternative sources will not be sufficient to significantly replace diminishing oil supplies in the decades immediately ahead. Thus, even feasible technologies will not avoid higher fuel costs and limited fuel supplies for global freight transport.

The principal way to mitigate climate change is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as fast as possible. Meaningful climate policies (such as carbon taxes or cap and trade) would raise fossil fuel prices to cut consumption and emissions.

Freight transport may be hard hit by such policies because both air freight and maritime shipping have heavy carbon footprints. In transporting freight by air, each ton of jet fuel burned produces 3.2 tons of CO2. As for maritime shipping, container and other transport ships burn bunker fuel, a sludgy, highly polluting petroleum product.

It will be difficult to cut the greenhouse gas emissions from long-distance freight transportation while maintaining the same ton-miles of freight transported per year. There are no commercial low-carbon fuels with the performance characteristics, affordability and quantitative availability to replace bunker fuel for ships or jet fuel for air freight.

The basic policy for creating incentives for better efficiency and for using low-carbon fuels is a meaningful (and increasing) price on carbon generally. If such policies were implemented, burning bunker oil and jet fuel would become much more expensive, thus increasing the costs and reducing the competitive advantage of global production and trade. This carbon pricing would occur in addition to supply-based increases in oil prices.

Prospects: Bad news and good

If large-scale mitigation of peak oil and climate change is not feasible soon, what will happen? Given current investments in the existing pattern of trade and the high costs of reorienting it, change will be resisted, with resulting widespread economic disruption. But change will occur. Clearly, increased fuel costs and higher transport risks will cause supply chains to shorten and long-distance trade to decline. Initially, there will be shifts in transport modes – truck to rail, air to water and rail – designed to preserve trade routes. But more fundamental adaptations are already starting to take place to reduce or replace long-distance trade.

Beginning with the oil price and transport cost increases in 2007-2008, some companies began rethinking their global supply chains, and a few shifted to local suppliers. Some manufacturers have opened new furniture, steel and auto plants in the United States or Mexico to feed the US market. In May 2011, Volkswagen inaugurated its huge Passat assembly plant in Tennessee, “as part of our effort to manufacture more products locally.” The plant is expected to generate, directly and indirectly, 12,000 jobs. These changes in supply chains are motivated by considerations of corporate profits.

Manufacturers may relocate production closer to either suppliers of key raw materials or major markets to minimise transportation miles and costs. In 2008 some steel mills in the United States increased domestic production by directly importing iron ore from Brazil. This system bypassed the expensive trans-Pacific shipment of iron ore from Brazil to China and then of steel from China to the United States.

The resurgence of domestic manufacturing in developed nations could provide employment growth, especially for blue-collar workers. However, employment may decline in current low-wage manufacturing exporters as rising transportation costs make them less competitive.

Nations may respond with protectionist policies to changes in trade patterns. In 2008, as food prices rose (due in part to extreme weather, corn ethanol production and rising oil prices), several grain-exporting nations banned exports of cereal crops. In June 2011 China banned the export of diesel fuel in order to have enough on hand to power electric generators in the face of expected brownouts. With rising transport costs, nations are likely to subsidise energy or manufacturing to preserve exports and jobs. Such export bans and subsidies contravene provisions of the World Trade Organization and many trade treaties such as NAFTA.

While corporations have responded to rising oil prices with some changes in supply chains, national governments have not responded in kind. Current climate-policy negotiations are ineffective despite rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions. Only the United Kingdom and Sweden have identified oil depletion as a key economic issue and begun to discuss responses. Trade policies such as the Korea and Colombia Free Trade Agreements with the United States are predicated on the assumption of cheap fuel, low transportation costs and transportation-compatible weather patterns – in other words, business as usual. Thus, there are at present few national and no international policy responses to the imminent threats to global trade.

There is, however, a second, more local, noncorporate response. This response is found in the Relocalisation and Transition Towns movements now springing up in many developed countries. It is a bottom-up response that includes individuals and municipalities planning for a post-peak-oil future and altering their way of life, buying locally made products as much as possible, reducing consumption and acquisition and increasing self-sufficiency within communities that produce many of the goods and services they consume. The resurgence in the numbers of young people going into farming in the United States is an example.

Relocalisation strategies include local currencies, community land trusts, decentralised alternative energy development, water conservation and reuse, local food production and new, locally oriented business networks.

Patterns of adaptation will differ from place to place. Initially, there will be heavy and unpredictable impacts on many developing nations that currently depend on foreign cash earned for commodity exports, or that import much of their food. Yet every country is different.

Even large urban complexes can provide a surprising quantity of their own food. In China, concerns over rising food prices (and food safety) have caused a boom in online sales of vegetable seeds. Shanghai now produces much of its own vegetables within its urban limits, as do cities in sub-Saharan Africa. If a developing country imports many goods and services, it has to pay for them, probably in part with money earned from commodity exports. When those exports are reduced by high shipping costs, some countries will have the capacity to rapidly increase local production of essentials for local consumption. Others, less fortunate, will take longer.

It is now critical for economic planners, laypersons and governments to recognise that long-term energy and climate realities will impose limits on the global movement of goods. Trade pacts, like the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement, and business models, like Walmart with its transoceanic supply chains, will make less sense as the foundations of global trade are undermined. This is not the result of either ideology or policy. Only when we accept these realities can we design and rebuild less vulnerable patterns of production and trade throughout the world. Nearly every country has existing examples of sound, regional development that can be used as models.

Global trade will not disappear, but as it wanes and as supply chains shorten, the importance of regional and local economies will increase. Manufacturing and food production for domestic consumption in the United States and other developed nations (and regions within nations) will regain an importance not seen since the first half of the 20th century. Security strategies will be adjusted to reflect the increased role of domestic production in national affairs. We should plan now for these inevitable changes. Crises bring more than trouble – they bring opportunities.

hoe seizoensgebonden groenten en -fruit telen of herkennen? met de zaai-, oogst- en seizoenskalender van OIVO

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PRINTBARE VERSIE op de website van OIVO

zaai- en oogstkalender


PRINTBARE VERSIE op de website van OIVO


PRINTBARE VERSIE op de website van OIVO


Voor de teelt van groenten kiest u best een zonnige plek in de tuin, niet te ver verwijderd van een waterbron. Zorg ervoor dat uw moestuin afgeschermd is voor vervuiling.

Ongeacht de gebruikte zaaitechniek, moet het zaaien altijd gebeuren op een goed voorbereide en een in de diepte gevoede bodem. En nog een laatste basistip: na het zaaien en inharken van het zaad moet de bodem altijd aangestampt worden (met een rol of stamper).

Er bestaan verschillende zaaitechnieken:

Breed uitzaaien gebeurt in een tuin of moestuin: de plantjes moeten later niet uitgedund worden, wat veel tijd in beslag neemt en de ontwikkeling van de plantjes vertraagt, en ze wortelen beter in de grond, wat ze meer resistent maakt tegen aanvallen van buitenaf.

Beschermd zaaien gebeurt in een serre of moestuin: wie verschillende zeldzame, exotische planten of verschillende teelten dooreen wil kweken, opteert best voor deze techniek. Enige minpunt is dat deze planten nood hebben aan een sterkere, constante warmtebron en dat er speciale potgrond gebruikt moet worden met perliet, die het draineren en verluchten van de grond bevordert. Zorg er ook voor dat de graantjes niet te dicht opeen liggen en dek het zaaigoed af met gezeefde aarde.

Zaaien op een kweekplaats gebeurt op kleine schaal, op een plaats met voedzame humusgrond, goed blootgesteld aan de zon en beschermd tegen de wind. Het kiemen en groeien kan optimaal verlopen tot wanneer de plant voldoende groot is.

Written by hallometsteven

juni 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm

TED TALKS: Real food, real simple – “Don’t eat anything that comes from a factory – and that includes meat” by Mark Bittman

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Om even bij te gaan zitten, in deze dagen van EHEC.

It’s so simple.

Don’t eat anything that comes from a factory – and that includes meat.


The food industry is bigger than the oil industry and every bit as corrupt and manipulative. If they had their way, all food would come in a box, filled with low-cost garbage ingredients, and marked up to the moon.

Thanks to their bribery and bullying that already describes the federal school lunch program. They stand ready to legally attack anyone who speaks the truth, even deep pockets celebrities like Oprah Winfrey who declared on her show she would never eat another hamburger and was sued by the cattle ranching industry for defamation.

It’s remarkably easy to avoid the personal health catastrophe that factory foods lead to: don’t eat them! It’s that simple.

Consumenten misleiden: de trucjes van de voedselindustrie

(Gathering Spot) How food manufacturers trick consumers with deceptive ingredients lists.

If the Nutrition Facts section on food packaging list all the substances that go into a food product, how can they deceive consumers? Here are a few of the most common ways:

One of the most common tricks is to distribute sugars among many ingredients so that sugars don’t appear in the top three. For example, a manufacturer may use a combination of sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids, brown sugar, dextrose and other sugar ingredients to make sure none of them are present in large enough quantities to attain a top position on the ingredients list (remember, the ingredients are listed in order of their proportion in the food, with the most common ingredients listed first).

This fools consumers into thinking the food product isn’t really made mostly of sugar while, in reality, the majority ingredients could all be different forms of sugar. It’s a way to artificially shift sugar farther down the ingredients list and thereby misinform consumers about the sugar content of the whole product.

Another trick is to pad the list with miniscule amounts of great-sounding ingredients. You see this in personal care products and shampoo, too, where companies claim to offer “herbal” shampoos that have practically no detectable levels of real herbs in them. In foods, companies pad the ingredients lists with healthy-sounding berries, herbs or superfoods that are often only present in miniscule amounts. Having “spirulina” appear at the end of the ingredients list is practically meaningless. There’s not enough spirulina in the food to have any real effect on your health. This trick is called “label padding” and it’s commonly used by junk food manufacturers who want to jump on the health food bandwagon without actually producing healthy foods.

Hiding dangerous ingredients

A third trick involves hiding dangerous ingredients behind innocent-sounding names that fool consumers into thinking they’re safe. The highly carcinogenic ingredient sodium nitrite, for example, sounds perfectly innocent, but it is well documented to cause brain tumors, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer and many other cancers (just search Google Scholar for sodium nitrite to see a long list of supporting research, or click here to read NaturalNews articles on sodium nitrite).

Carmine sounds like an innocent food coloring, but it’s actually made from the smashed bodies of red cochineal beetles. Of course, nobody would eat strawberry yogurt if the ingredients listed, “Insect-based red food coloring” on the label, so instead, they just call it “carmine.”

Similarly, yeast extract sounds like a perfect safe food ingredient, too, but it’s actually a trick used to hide monosodium glutamate (MSG, a chemical taste enhancer used to excite the flavors of overly-processed foods) without having to list MSG on the label. Lots of ingredients contain hidden MSG, and I’ve written extensively about them on this site. Virtually all hydrolyzed or autolyzed ingredients contain some amount of hidden MSG.

Don’t be fooled by the name of the product

Did you know that the name of the food product has nothing to do with what’s in it? Brand-name food companies make products like “Guacamole Dip” that contains no avocado! Instead, they’re made with hydrogenated soybean oil and artificial green coloring chemicals. But gullible consumers keep on buying these products, thinking they’re getting avocado dip when, in reality, they’re buying green-colored, yummy-tasting dietary poison.

Food names can include words that describe ingredients not found in the food at all. A “cheese” cracker, for example, doesn’t have to contain any cheese. A “creamy” something doesn’t have to contain cream. A “fruit” product need not contain even a single molecule of fruit. Don’t be fooled by product names printed on the packaging. These names are designed to sell products, not to accurately describe the ingredients contained in the package.

Ingredients lists don’t include contaminants

There is no requirement for food ingredients lists to include the names of chemical contaminants, heavy metals, bisphenol-A, PCBs, perchlorate or other toxic substances found in the food. As a result, ingredients lists don’t really list what’s actually in the food, they only list what the manufacturer wants you to believe is in the food.

This is by design, of course. Requirements for listing food ingredients were created by a joint effort between the government and private industry (food corporations). In the beginning, food corporations didn’t want to be required to list any ingredients at all. They claimed the ingredients were “proprietary knowledge” and that listing them would destroy their business by disclosing their secret manufacturing recipes. It’s all nonsense, of course, since food companies primarily want to keep consumers ignorant of what’s really in their products. That’s why there is still no requirement to list various chemical contaminants, pesticides, heavy metals and other substances that have a direct and substantial impact on the health of consumers. (For years, food companies fought hard against the listing of trans fatty acids, too, and it was only after a massive public health outcry by consumer health groups that the FDA finally forced food companies to include trans fats on the label.)

Manipulating serving sizes

Food companies have also figured out how to manipulate the serving size of foods in order to make it appear that their products are devoid of harmful ingredients like trans fatty acids. The FDA, you see, created a loophole for reporting trans fatty acids on the label: Any food containing 0.5 grams or less of trans fatty acids per serving is allowed to claim ZERO trans fats on the label. That’s FDA logic for you, where 0.5 = 0. But fuzzy math isn’t the only game played by the FDA to protect the commercial interests of the industry is claims to regulate.

Exploiting this 0.5 gram loophole, companies arbitrarily reduce the serving sizes of their foods to ridiculous levels — just enough to bring the trans fats down to 0.5 grams per serving. Then they loudly proclaim on the front of the box, “ZERO Trans Fats!” In reality, the product may be loaded with trans fats (found in hydrogenated oils), but the serving size has been reduced to a weight that might only be appropriate for feeding a ground squirrel, not a human being.

The next time you pick up a grocery product, checking out the “No. of servings” line in the Nutrition Facts box. You’ll likely find some ridiculously high number there that has nothing to do with reality. A cookie manufacturer, for example, might claim that one cookie is an entire “serving” of cookies. But do you know anyone who actually eats just one cookie? If one cookie contains 0.5 grams of trans fatty acids, the manufacturer can claim the entire package of cookies is “Trans Fat FREE!” In reality, however, the package might contain 30 cookies, each with 0.5 grams of trans fats, which comes out to 15 grams total in the package (but that assumes people can actually do math, which is of course made all the more difficult by the fact that hydrogenated oils actually harm the brain. But trust me: 30 cookies x 0.5 grams per cookie really does come out to 15 grams total).

This is how you get a package of cookies containing 15 grams of trans fats (which is a huge dose of dietary poison) while claiming to contain ZERO grams. Again, it’s just another example of how food companies use Nutrition Facts and ingredients lists to deceive, not inform, consumers.

Tips for reading ingredients labels

1. Remember that ingredients are listed in order of their proportion in the product. This means the first 3 ingredients matter far more than anything else. The top 3 ingredients are what you’re primarily eating.

2. If the ingredients list contains long, chemical-sounding words that you can’t pronounce, avoid that item. It likely does contain various toxic chemicals. Why would you want to eat them? Stick with ingredients you recognize.

3. Don’t be fooled by fancy-sounding herbs or other ingredients that appear very far down the list. Some food manufacturer that includes “goji berries” towards the end of the list is probably just using it as a marketing gimmick on the label. The actual amount of goji berries in the product is likely miniscule.

4. Remember that ingredients lists don’t have to list chemical contaminants. Foods can be contaminated with pesticides, solvents, acrylamides, PFOA, perchlorate (rocket fuel) and other toxic chemicals without needing to list them at all. The best way to minimize your ingestion of toxic chemicals is to buy organic, or go with fresh, minimally-processed foods.

5. Look for words like “sprouted” or “raw” to indicate higher-quality natural foods. Sprouted grains and seeds are far healthier than non-sprouted. Raw ingredients are generally healthier than processed or cooked. Whole grains are healthier than “enriched” grains.

6. Don’t be fooled by the word “wheat” when it comes to flour. All flour derived from wheat can be called “wheat flour,” even if it is processed, bleached and stripped of its nutrition. Only “whole grain wheat flour” is a healthful form of wheat flour. (Many consumers mistakenly believe that “wheat flour” products are whole grain products. In fact, this is not true. Food manufacturers fool consumers with this trick.)

7. Don’t be fooled into thinking that brown products are healthier than white products. Brown sugar is a gimmick — it’s just white sugar with brown coloring and flavoring added. Brown eggs are no different than white eggs (except for the fact that their shells appear brown). Brown bread may be no healthier than white bread, either, unless it’s made with whole grains. Don’t be tricked by “brown” foods. These are just gimmicks used by food giants to fool consumers into paying more for manufactured food products.

8. Watch out for deceptively small serving sizes. Food manufacturers use this trick to reduce the number of calories, grams of sugar or grams of fat believed to be in the food by consumers. Many serving sizes are arbitrary and have no basis in reality.

9. Want to know how to really shop for foods? Download our free Honest Food Guide, the honest reference to foods that has now been downloaded by over 800,000 people. It’s a replacement for the USDA’s highly corrupt and manipulated Food Guide Pyramid, which is little more than a marketing document for the dairy industry and big food corporations. The Honest Food Guide is an independent, nutritionally-sound reference document that reveals exactly what to eat (and what to avoid) to maximize your health.


Written by hallometsteven

juni 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm

marketingsuggesties, aflevering 8: Peter Boonen steekt fair trade met Noord én Zuid in een yoghurtpotje

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Lees ook op deze blog: Peter Boonen en zijn Achelse Blauwe

het gaat goed met kaasmaker Peter Boonen van Catharinadal

Dit artikel verscheen in W2, het magazine voor de Wereldwinkeliers, mei 2011.





bericht uit Colombia, van kameraad Marc: zaadsoevereiniteit in de praktijk

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Hasselaar Marc Leyman, verruilde een aantal jaren geleden Kuringen voor Restrepo, Colombia. Hij stuurt ons achterblijvers af en toe een nieuwsbrief.

Het recupereren van oude rassen en varieteiten is niet gemakkelijk. Het is opboksen tegen de grote zaadmaatschappijen, een gevecht van David tegen Goliat. De prijzen van de klassieke grondstoffen blijven laag voor de producerende boer. Kleine boeren moeten optornen tegen lage kostprijzen van de grote industriele boerderijen en de dumpingsprijzen van de invoer. Dat is geen gunstig klimaat om bijvoorbeeld rustieke mais varieteiten te propageren. Toch zegt de praktijk dat het de moeite loont. Twee voorbeelden uit de dagelijkse praktijk van Amuc-Restrepo ( de lokale landbouworganisatie voor kleine boeren in Restrepo, Colombia) geven de omstandigheden weer waarin de praktijk van de zaadsoevereiniteit zich afspeelt.

CIAT en kleine boeren

Het CIAT, Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical, beschikt in zijn zetel te Palmira, Cali over een unieke verzameling genetisch materiaal van bonen, maniok en voedergewassen (forrestales). 62000 verschillende varieteiten van 720 soorten staan ter beschikking van belangstellenden. Deze internationale organisatie is verplicht deze zaden gratis ter beschikking te stellen aan de geinteresseerden. De praktijk in het verleden heeft geleerd dat kleine boeren amper of niet gebruik maakten van deze dienst. Je moet bijvoorbeeld al een internetverbinding hebben om je bestelling te plaatsen. Amuc bundelt de vraag van de aangesloten leden en plaatst dan de bestelling. het verkrijgen van die zaden kadert in een programma voor grondverbetering.

Wat betekent dat? Een boer is niet geinteresseerd in de aanschaf van een bonensoort die hij daarna niet verkocht krijgt.

Maar het klinkt hem goed in de oren dat hij de meststoffenhoeveelheid aanzienlijk kan verminderen door zijn mais te combineren met bijvoorbeeld het “rijstboontje” (frijol de arroz). De kleine bonensoort is niet commercieel maar is een uitstekende grondverbeteraar en een goed voeder voor het vee.

Otto, de kleine boomtomaat

Sinds een paar jaar doe ik, in opdracht van de organisatie, wat onderzoek naar een kleine boomtomaat die blijkbaar alleen in deze regio te vinden is. Boomtomaten zijn zuurzoete vruchten (tamarillo) die in de Colombiaanse keuken voornamelijk als vruchtensap worden verwerkt. Internationaal is er weinig belangstelling voor wegens een wat scherpe nasmaak veroorzaakt door zuren onder de schil. Otto daarentegen is veel zoeter, maar veel kleiner. Deze vrucht wordt door de plaatselijke bevolking in stand gehouden en enkel gebruikt voor eigen comsumptie.
Dat het hier om een aparte varieteit gaat, was rap duidelijk.

Verschillende instellingen toonden interesse. Maar de afspraak met de organisatie is dat de verworven kennis eerst gedeeld wordt binnen de leden van de organisatie. Zij zijn tenslotte de protagonisten van deze spontane, natuurlijke kruising. De ‘ouders’ zijn onbekend, om het met de termen van Bienestar Familial (Kind en Gezin) te zeggen, het gaat hier om een bastaard. Maar wie is eigenaar van deze beloftevolle speling van de natuur? De Colombiaanse wetgeving laat geen patentering toe. Planten zijn van de mensen. Maar wat betekent dat in de praktijk? De fruitsapindustrie heeft net een frisfrank op de markt gebracht op basis van de klassieke boomtomaat, maar zou wellicht in een zoetere varieteit geinterresseerd zijn. Die zoetfactor is misschien in de varieteit Otto te vinden. Een kruising of genetisch gemanipuleerde soort behoort tot de mogelijkheden, en dat is wel patenteerbaar.

In de praktijk zoekt de organisatie naar artesanale verwerking van de vruchten. De massale productie van deze boomtomaat is niet van zelfsprekend wegens teelttechnische problemen. Maar dat is net een factor in het voordeel van de kleine boeren. Beperkte productie per producent gekoppeld aan een niche-markt van verwerkt vruchtenpulp moet er voor zorgen dat de kleine boeren deze productie zo lang mogelijk in eigen handen kunnen houden zonder zich te moeten verkopen aan de verwerkende industrie. Een uitdaging voor de nabije toekomst.

Restrepo, Colombia. 17 april 2011.
Marc Leyman.

Written by hallometsteven

april 20, 2011 at 1:10 pm

marketingsuggesties – aflevering 7: “Klein Is Overvloedig”

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Peasant farmers offer the best chance of feeding the world. So why do we treat them with contempt?

dit vroeg George Monbiot zich af op 10 juni 2008 in het stuk ‘Small Is Bountiful‘.

En hij sluit het artikel af met deze interessante conclusie:

For many years, well-meaning liberals have supported the fair trade movement because of the benefits it delivers directly to the people it buys from. But the structure of the global food market is changing so rapidly that fair trade is now becoming one of the few means by which small farmers in poor nations might survive. A shift from small to large farms will cause a major decline in global production, just as food supplies become tight. Fair trade might now be necessary not only as a means of redistributing income, but also to feed the world.

Recenter beweert GRAIN dan weer in ’Global agribusiness: two decades of plunder.

The truth is that we do not need agribusiness. Rather, as the last two decades have shown, we have every reason to get rid of it. Twenty years of expanding agribusiness control over the food system has generated more hunger – 200 million more people go hungry than 20 years ago. It has destroyed livelihoods – today 800 million small farmers and farm workers do not have enough food to eat. Agribusiness has been a leading cause of climate change and other environmental calamities, the effects of which it is ill-prepared to deal with.

Op stelt Giedo de vraag:

Bij het begin van de 21ste eeuw is de landbouw over heel de geïndustrialiseerde wereld in crisis. Een agro-industrie die al tientallen jaren een buitengewone groei toont in productiviteit, heeft het consumentenvertrouwen verkorven, te wijten aan aanhoudende milieuschade, voedselschandalen en misleiding. Wat nu? …

Hij zoekt het antwoord in “Slocal”. Lees het artikel “Om de kern te smaken, moet men eerst de noten kraken“.

‘Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered’

Elders op deze blog vind je een aantal citaten die ik plukte uit citaten uit ‘Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered’ van E.F. Schumacher – 1973.

They want production to be limited to useful things, but they forget that the production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.

Written by hallometsteven

oktober 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm

de ‘tien stelregels van de duurzame landbouw’, opgesteld door José Bove (uit: “De wereld is niet te koop – en ik ook niet!”)

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In Frankrijk stond op 12 augustus 1999 een schapenfokker en politiek activist, genaamd José Bove, aan het hoofd van een groep demonstranten die een in aanbouw zijnde McDonald’s in zijn geboortestad Millau met de grond gelijk maakte. Zijn opstandige houding, zijn korte verblijf in de gevangenis en zijn hartstochtelijke toespraken tegen dat ‘smerige eten’ maakten hem tot een Franse volksheld. Hij werd geprezen door zowel socialisten als conservatieven en uitgenodigd voor gesprekken met de president en de eerste minister.

Hij schreef een bestseller getiteld “De wereld is niet te koop – en ik ook niet!” Daarin vond ik deze ‘tien stelregels van de duurzame landbouw’, opgesteld door Bove’s Boerenfederatie. Om van buiten te leren!

stelregel 1: De productie zo verdelen dat het maximale aantal mensen als boer werkzaam kan zijn – het recht op productie omvat ook het recht op werk en het recht op een inkomen.

stelregel 2: Solidariteit met boeren in de rest van Europa en de wereld.

stelregel 3: Respect voor de natuur. De natuur moet worden beschermd om het gebruik ervan door volgende generaties veilig te stellen.

stelregel 4: Een herwaardering van hulpbronnen die in overvloed aanwezig zijn en bescherming van schaarse hulpbronnen.

stelregel 5: Transparantie bij alle transacties – koop, productie, verwerking en verkoop – van landbouwproducten.

stelregel 6: Garanties voor de kwaliteit, smaak en veiligheid van de producten.

stelregel 7: De hoogste autonomie bij het beheer van de boerderijen.

stelregel 8: Samenwerking met anderen die op het platteland wonen.

stelregel 9: Het behoud van de diversiteit van de dieren die worden gefokt en de planten die worden gekweekt. Zowel om historische als economische redenen moeten we de biodiversiteit bewaren.

stelregel 10: De context op lange termijn en de mondiale context altijd voor ogen houden.

Deze tien principes samen vormen de basis voor duurzame landbouw; ieder principe op zich is een noodzakelijke, maar geen voldoende voorwaarde om te kunnen spreken van duurzame landbouw.