By Paolo Mutia
As the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the globe, it has exposed and exacerbated how the corporate, industrialized food system is harming people and our planet.
1. Sign Up For a CSA Membership.<p>Purchasing a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share is a great way to access fresh, healthy, often organic, foods while supporting local small farmers that the Trump administration is leaving behind. <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/dining/csa-farm-food-delivery-coronavirus.html" target="_blank">Many farmers are adapting</a> to the current crisis with more direct distribution models, from classic CSAs to custom-built boxes, no-contact drive-thru pickups, deliveries, and more.</p><p>By signing up for a CSA you can <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/03/dining/csa-farm-food-delivery-coronavirus.html" target="_blank">avoid going to a busy supermarket</a>, and your share can be picked up or delivered. You can <a href="https://www.localharvest.org/csa/" target="_blank">find your local CSA here</a>.</p>
2. Shop at a Local Farmers' Market.<p>Farmers markets serve as a direct channel to sustainable, healthy, locally sourced fresh fruits and vegetables and other food staples within your community. Many farmers markets remain open as <a href="https://civileats.com/2020/03/19/the-fight-to-keep-farmers-markets-open-during-coronavirus/" target="_blank">an essential service</a> during the crisis, <a href="https://civileats.com/2020/03/19/the-fight-to-keep-farmers-markets-open-during-coronavirus/" target="_blank">thanks to the efforts of local farmers and their allies.</a></p><p>Many farmers markets are instituting strict rules to keep customers safe. Coupled with a shorter supply chain than most supermarkets, farmers markets are a safe choice for meeting your family's food needs during this crisis. <a href="https://www.doubleupfoodbucks.org/national-network/" target="_blank">Double-Up Food Bucks</a> and other programs under GusNIP, which doubles the value of federal nutrition (SNAP) benefits, are also still being accepted for purchasing fresh produce at participating farmers markets, CSAs, and grocery stores. Here are some tips to help you <a href="https://civileats.com/2020/03/30/how-to-support-farmers-and-safely-shop-at-farmers-markets/?pico_action=checkout_f30ec05d-3c4e-4963-95bf-92288f13287e&pico_custom_price=1&pico_ui=login_link" target="_blank">plan your trip to any farmers' market</a> and safely shop!</p>
3. Tell Congress to Support Family Farmers, Food Workers and Healthy, Sustainable Food for All.<p>Amid the terrible impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, it's clearer than ever that we need to move towards a regenerative, resilient and just food system. Building strong and equitable local food economies make our food system more resilient to shocks and crises.</p><p>For those of us with the ability, we can make daily choices about where we shop. But what is truly needed is a shift in the public policies to make it easier to grow and access healthy, sustainable and local foods. For too long, our policies have led to increased corporate consolidation that has devastated farmer livelihoods and harmed food workers and rural communities. In the US, farm bankruptcies were up 12% last year, and farm debt is at an all-time high.</p><p>As farmers face the new crisis of the pandemic, we must come together to demand that <a href="https://foodtank.com/news/2020/04/covid-19-stimulus-bailout-for-corporate-agribusiness-or-a-lifeline-for-our-food-system/" target="_blank">federal stimulus funding</a> and future farm policies support small and mid-scale farmers across the country who are supporting resilient and regenerative local and regional food systems.</p>
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Hallie Templeton
By Verner Wilson II
2018 was a breakthrough year for Arctic conservation work at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). I wrote partly about it in my previous blog. Aside from obtaining internationally recognized routing measures and shipping areas to be avoided (ATBA) in the Bering Sea, IMO also moved forward with regulations to ban the use of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) in the Arctic.
The United Nations shipping agency also moved to regulate climate-change causing greenhouse gas emissions in the international shipping industry, which is one of the largest emitters of carbon and other atmosphere pollutants. I look forward to continuing that type of work into 2019. And there will be plenty of opportunity for that, as there are a number of IMO subcommittee meetings that will consider pollution reduction and prevention measures. The people who I believe made some of the most significant differences in this work in 2018 were able to come to IMO with me last fall.
By Kendra Klein
A groundbreaking new study in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that you can cut your cancer risk by eating an organic diet. The findings are dramatic. In a study that followed nearly 70,000 people, those who ate the most organic food lowered their overall risk of developing cancer by 25 percent. The relationship was strongest for two types of cancer: participants who frequently ate organic had 76 percent fewer lymphomas and 34 percent fewer breast cancers that developed after menopause.
By Doug Norlen
This month the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a startling report, which finds that severe impacts of climate change are happening much sooner than previously expected, and that countries must take far more aggressive actions to avoid the most catastrophic impacts. The report finds that the burning of fossil fuels must be curbed sharply.
By Chloë Waterman
As the Trump administration's dangerous deregulatory agenda leads us closer to climate catastrophe, cities, counties and businesses are stepping up to address the crisis. Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg released their "Fulfilling America's Pledge" plan, laying out the top climate strategies for subnational governments and businesses, at the Global Climate Action Summit.
By Lisa Archer
Friends of the Earth recently released a brief that raised important questions about laboratory-created animal replacement products (in vitro meat and genetically engineered proteins) that are in development or on the market ahead of robust health and environmental assessment, oversight and labeling.
"Shell is among the ten biggest climate polluters worldwide," said Donald Pols, director of Friends of the Earth Netherlands. "It has known for over 30 years that it is causing dangerous climate change, but continues to extract oil and gas and invests billions in the search and development of new fossil fuels."
A new scorecard released Tuesday finds that 20 out of 25 top food retailers fail to protect bees and people from toxic pesticides. The report, Swarming the Aisles II, shows that while supermarkets have made some general commitments to sustainability and social responsibility, most have failed to take steps to reduce pesticide use in their supply chains.
An overwhelming majority of surveyed farmers are concerned about the proposed Bayer-Monsanto merger and believe it will have a negative impact on independent farmers and farming communities, a recent poll has found.
By Kari Hamerschlag and Christopher D. Cook
Addressing a crowd of mayors gathered in his hometown last week, former President Obama called on the "new faces of American leadership" on climate change to take swift action to spare our children and grandchildren from a climate catastrophe. Twenty-five U.S. mayors signed the "Chicago Charter," affirming a commitment from their cities to meet the Paris agreement target for greenhouse gas reductions by 2025.
By Lukas Ross
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt headed to Congress for testimony before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on the environment. The topic of the hearing? "The Mission of the U.S. EPA."
Since Pruitt has been incredibly sparing in his appearances on Capitol Hill, this is a rare chance to ask hard questions of the most controversial administrator in the history of the EPA.
As debate continues on the spending bill, dozens of environmental amendments could receive votes. Here are some to watch:
Many amendments relate to the role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the funding of its crucial functions. In light of the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey, some of these amendments highlight the importance role of the EPA in disaster zones—and the dangers of starving it of the funding it needs to do this work.