March 21, 2017
This week on #GoodNewsNextWeek: Rockefeller’s dead but let’s not celebrate; TV ratings keep dropping; Chicago grows some goodness + safety alarms, LifeBites and much more. MP3/Notes/Links: http://bit.ly/2mKnWXy
March 21, 2017
As 2017 trudges on and 2018 grows ever-closer, inquiring minds want to know: will Whole Foods meet their promise of total and complete GMO labeling by next year? With tumbling sales and the closing of multiple stores, going back on their word is not something the food retailer can afford to do right now.
Four years ago, Whole Foods announced their plans to roll out GMO labels for all products that contain genetically modified ingredients. The grocery chain described their March 2013 decree as being the first time a grocery store would set a deadline for labeling GMO products. At the time, Whole Foods did not disclose what kind of labeling they intended to use.
On the Whole Foods website, the grocery chain states that they are “well on their way” to meeting their 2018 GMO labeling goal, and advertises that they have more than 30,000 organic and 13,500 Non-GMO Project-verified items in stores already. Whole Foods purports itself as a leader in the organic industry and claims to be one of the first retailers to pursue GMO transparency.
“At Whole Foods Market, we believe you have the right to know what’s in your food. So we’re the first national grocery chain committed to providing GMO (genetically modified organism) transparency for our customers,” states their web page.
The irony here, of course, is the fact that Whole Foods supported legislation that would dismantle state-level GMO labeling efforts, and replace them with at the federal level with fake GMO labels in the form of a QR code. Whole Foods Market CEO Walter Robb is on the record announcing his support of the phony Stabenow-Roberts bill. [RELATED: Read more about GMO labeling and legislation at GMO.news.]
Mike Adams reported that in this Aspen Institute video discussing the bill, Robb stated, “My view on the bill is that, and I’m pretty intimately aware of it, is that I think it’s an incredible thing that Sen. Stabenow has put together with Sen. Robert, when you take a look at the atmosphere up there on Capitol Hill, that this much was accomplished together [emphasis added].”
Robb went on to explain how he thought manufacturer choice in GMO labeling efforts was a great idea, and praised the compromise. But is it really a compromise when one has to use a QR code or call a 1-800 number to verify a product is GMO-free? It’s a deceptive compromise that will be cumbersome and confusing to consumers.
While Robb may be the co-CEO of a grocery chain, he is also quite the politician. Soon after the criticism of his support of the bill began rolling in, Robb made a statement on Facebook and authored a blog post in an attempt to explain away his approval of the bill. Naturally, the blog post was completed with a reminder of the company’s “transparency” and a few touches of self-aggrandizement for their efforts.
Robb has even reportedly called Vermont’s GMO labeling “too complex to follow.”
But, Whole Foods promise of GMO labeling hasn’t come to fruition quite yet — and there are lots of questions at hand. For example, will they be allowing their product manufacturers to opt for QR codes that cannot be read by humans and require a scanner? Or will they do the transparent thing and insist on a simple, easily understood label?
March 16, 2017
March 16, 2017
Not all heroes wear capes, some wear face masks. A new Facebook page has appeared touting the handiwork of Portland Anarchist Road Care, an organization who claims to be taking “the state of the roads of PDX into the hands of the people.”
After this year’s rash of winter storms, the abysmal state of roads in Portland is frustrating, and downright dangerous to cyclists and motorists. That’s how Portland Anarchist Road Care say they got their start. Here’s their mission statement from the “about” section on Facebook:
Because we believe in building community solutions to the issues we face, outside of the state.
Because society portrays anarchists as only breaking windows and blocking roads.
Because when faced with anarchism as a political theory, statest often ask “But who will fix the roads.”
Because the city of Portland refuses to adequately repair roads in a timely manner.
We are Portland Anarchist Road Care. We believe in community oriented direct action. We believe the state cares more about funding a militarized police force to suppress free speech than caring for and repairing the roads.
The city of Portland has shown gross negligence in its inadequate preventative care through this winter’s storms, and through its slow repair of potholes as weather has improved. Daily, this negligence is an active danger to cyclists and causes damage to people’s automobiles, and an increased risk of collision and bodily injury.
Portland Anarchist Road Care aims to mobilize crews throughout our city, in our neighborhoods, to patch our streets, build community, and continue to find solutions to community problems outside of the state.
The art of rebel road care isn’t new in Portland. Last year, a group called PDX Transformation took bike lane safety into their own hands, illegally “redistributing” cones to protect cyclists across the city.
Portland Anarchist Road Care says they’ve already patched five potholes on SE Salmon, between 37th and 39th and are monitoring the patches to make sure they hold up. It won’t be easy…
March 13, 2017
DESCRIPTION: An eighth of a teaspoon of ground ginger power is tested head-to-head against the leading drug for the alleviation of painful periods.
March 8, 2017
IKEA continually proves itself to be one of the most environmentally-friendly companies on the planet. The Swedish home furnishings retailer introduced a hydroponic garden last year that allows you to grow fresh produce in your home without any soil or gardening experience, and the company ditched Styrofoam packaging for biodegradable packaging that you can actually put in your garden to nourish your plants.
The latest sustainable endeavor by IKEA is the Growroom, a spherical, multi-tiered indoor garden that you can build at home because the design is open-source. This thing is so big, it’s actually designed to sustainably grow enough food to feed a whole neighborhood.
Space10, the IKEA lab that explores sustainable solutions for future urban living, says in the open-source plan:
“It is designed to support our everyday sense of well-being in the cities by creating a small oasis or ‘pause’ architecture in our high paced societal scenery and enables people to connect with nature as we smell and taste the abundance of herbs and plants.”
The beauty of the Growroom is that fruits and vegetables can be grown in abundance virtually anywhere, including urban dwellings. In cities where there are food desserts, the Growroom allows communities to work together to create and strengthen bonds, provide healthy food, and teach children about nature.
“Local food represents a serious alternative to the global food model. It reduces food miles, our pressure on the environment, and educates our children of where food actually comes from. The challenge is that traditional farming takes up a lot of space and space is a scarce resource in our urban environments.”
Once completed, the garden measures 2.8 by 2.5 meters (9 by 8.2 feet). Water and light easily reach the growing fruits and veggies through the interlocking pieces without leaking through to the other side, so you won’t have mess after tending to your plants. Its Creative Commons license means you can keep adding to the design.
“The pavilion, built as a sphere, can stand freely in any context and points in a direction of expanding contemporary and shared architecture.
The overlapping slices ensure that water and light can reach the vegetation on each level, without reaching the visitor within and thereby functions as a growth activator for the vegetation and shelter for the visitor.”
Yup, it’s big enough that you can sit in it.
Oh, and about that open-source design… It was created that way with smaller communities in mind, according to Space10:
“It doesn’t make sense to promote local food production and then start shipping it across oceans and continents.”
If you’re interested in building your own Growroom, you can find the design on Space10’s site.