The Ecologist


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A pre-harvest spray, probably of a glyphosate-based weed-killer, is applied to an oilseed rape (canola) crop in Occold, Norfolk. Photo: Tim Parkinson via Flickr (CC BY).

Keep glyphosate out of our food!

Peter Melchett

3rd September 2015

Following scientific confirmation of the severe hazards to health caused by residues of glyphosate weed killers in food, the Soil Association is calling on bakers and retailers to stop 'pre-harvest' spraying on arable crops. The SA's Peter Melchett just sent out this letter - adapt as necessary and send to retailers, bakers, makers of cereals, pasta, biscuits and others. more...
Chafer Multidrive FC applying glyphosate and podstick to oilseed rape crop as pre-harvest dessicant. Photo: Chafer Machinery via Flickr (CC BY).

Don't let Monsanto deny glyphosate carcinogenicity!

Professor Peter Saunders

5th August 2015

Monsanto is stepping up its attack on the WHO's classification of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, writes Peter Saunders. Dismissing the finding as 'junk science' the company is convening its own industry friendly panel and pushing its secret studies at regulators. Don't let them get away with it! more...
Daily life in Conakry, Guinea on 3rd December 2014. Photo: Dominic Chavez / World Bank via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Neoliberal Ebola: palm oil, logging, land grabs, ecological havoc and disease

Rob Wallace

27th July 2015

The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa had everything to do with logging, deforestation and the disruption of traditional agro-forestry by large scale industrial agriculture, writes Rob Wallace. The only long term solution to this terrible disease may lie in forest conservation, the restoration of agroecological farming systems, and the exclusion of agribusiness investment. more...
You want weedkiller with that? Photo: Peggy Greb, USDA ARS vis Wkimedia (Public Domain).

Keep health-damaging weed killer out of our bread!

Natasha Collins-Daniel / Soil Association

23rd July 2015

Soon UK farmers will begin to spray their fields of wheat, barley, oats and peas with weed killer to make crops easier to harvest, writes Natasha Collins-Daniel. But the chemicals - including glyphosate, a probable carcinogen - can end up in our bread and other food. Let's put a stop to it now! more...
A store of probably GMO soya in Santos, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Márcio Garoni via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

GMO study finds 'indications of harmful and adverse effects'

Nafeez Ahmed

15th July 2015

A new biosafety report for the Norwegian Environment Agency says GM foods cannot be declared safe due to major gaps in the science, writes Nafeez Ahmed. Indeed research clearly indicates harmful and adverse impacts to both health and environment. But Monsanto insists that GMOs are just as safe as, or even safer than, conventional crops. more...
Low welfare pigs in an unhygienic intensive unit of the kind that can generate antibiotic resistant bacteria. Photo: Compassion in World Farming via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

MRSA superbug found in pork meat and sausages - it's time for action

Peter Melchett

19th June 2015

The discovery of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in pork products in UK supermarkets is a call to action, writes Peter Melchett. We must end the unhygienic farming practices that only work with constant antibiotic use, and reserve the most valuable antibiotics for human use only - or face a world in which routine surgery and infections bring serious risk of death. more...
Cycling in Beijing. Photo: Thembi Mutch.

Chinese environmentalism: driven by a deep desire for healthy living and wholesome food

Thembi Mutch

24th April 2015

China's growing 'bling' culture has taken off big time, writes Thembi Mutch - yet it is widely reviled among ordinary people who in the face of China's industrial boom hold resolutely to traditional values of economy and frugality, quietly yearning for the old days of clean air and safe, wholesome food to fill their stomachs. more...
Grass Fed Cattle certified under the USDA's 'Certified Grass-Fed' scheme on a farm in Maryland. Photo: F Delventhal via US Department of Agriculture on Flickr (CC BY).

Vegetarians, ranchers and conscious omnivores of the world, unite!

Ronnie Cummins

7th April 2015

Thinking people of all stripes are agreed in their opposition to cruel, exploitative animal farming, writes Ronnie Cummins. So it's time for them to move beyond sterile 'meat-eater versus vegetarian' debates, and unite in their opposition to the daily atrocities of industrial agriculture. more...
The GREEN research garden in Stroud, Gloucestershire, which generated eight years of research data. Photo: Matt Adams.

No-dig farming to sustain nutrition in soils, crops, and us

Matt Adams

2nd March 2015

An eight-year research project into the nutrient content of food grown under three different organic gardening systems has left a filing cabinet full of documents, writes Matt Adams. Now he wants to analyse those years of accumulated data, in the hope that they can show the way to richer soils, more nutritious food, and healthier people. more...
As for whether we want GMO crops ... who cares? A field of wheat (non-GM) neat Templecombe, England. Photo: Helen ST via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

MPs' GMO report is a scandalous cave-in to corporate demands

Rupert Read

26th February 2015

A report published by MPs today displays a shocking ignorance of scientific logic and the nature of risk, writes Rupert Read. Confusing inconclusive evidence of harm from GMOs, with conclusive evidence of safety, they reach a false and dangerous conclusion - that the EU should give free rein to pro-GMO governments. more...
Chafer Sentry applying glyphosate to stubbles in North Yorkshire on a sunny December day. Photo: Chafer Machinery via Flickr (CC BY).

Roundup - a converging pattern of toxicity from farm to clinic to laboratory

Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji / ISIS

25th February 2015

As scientific evidence grows of the many ways in which glyphosate - pipe-cleaner, herbicide and antibiotic - damages the environment and health, governments and regulators turn a blind eye, writes Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji, and the EU has even raised allowable residue levels. It's time for us all to put bans in place wherever we can! more...
Catering Mark may not guarantee quite this at every meal - but it's delivering huge improvements on the standard catering fare of yesteryear. Photo: pablo santa cruz diaz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The Soil Association's 'Catering Mark' is helping to deliver good food for all

Peter Melchett / Soil Association

24th February 2015

The Food for Life 'Catering Mark' is bringing fresh, healthy and local food into schools, hospitals and canteens, writes Peter Melchett - while driving big increases in the volume of organic food we eat, and growing the market for organic farmers and local food producers. more...

health food: 1/25 of 237
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Cornfield in Iowa, almost certainly growing a GMO crop. Photo: Laura Bernhardt via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

There is no scientific consensus on GMO safety

Angelika Hilbeck & colleagues

23rd February 2015

A broad community of independent scientific researchers and scholars challenges claims of a 'consensus' that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are 'safe' to grow and eat. The claims - which continue to be widely and often uncritically aired - are a false and artificial construct that have been misleadingly perpetuated through diverse media. more...
This colorful 'beetle bank' at Sandy Lane Organic Farm provides a haven for beneficial insects: pollinators and predators of pest species. Photo: Sandy Lane Farm, Oxfordshire, England.

Only agroecology can tackle the global food and health crisis

Dr Julia Wright

23rd February 2015

The recently published Global Nutrition Report shows almost all countries face high levels of malnutrition and diet-based ill-health, writes Julia Wright. This reveals deep problems with the dominant industrial model of food production, and the need for new agroecological approaches to feeding the world. more...
Mmmm, pizza! But in the US, as much as 20% of the 'cheese' can comprise vegetable oil and starch from GMO crops. Photo: Lynac via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Why does the dairy industry oppose GMO labels?

Alexis Baden-Mayer / Organic Consumers Association.

12th February 2015

Why is the dairy industry joining in the legal action against Vermont's GMO labeling law? Could it be because a fifth of US 'cheese' can be vegetable oil and starch from GMO crops, asks Alexis Baden-Mayer - and even more of a 'frozen dairy snack' or 'processed cheese food'? more...
The 'No TTIP train to Brussels' and 8m high Trojan Horse lobbying the European Commission today, 4th February 2015. Photo: Jess Hurd / NoTTIP via Gobal Justice Now / Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

TTIP is a lethal attack on food safety and animal welfare

Oliver Tickell

4th February 2015

As 300 protestors gather at the European Commission to protest at the resumption of TTIP trade talks between the EU and the USA, Oliver Tickell finds that the EU's newly released draft 'chapter' on food safety and animal welfare is a disastrous capitulation to corporate interests that will strip governments of their powers to regulate. more...
The flowers are gorgeous! But the oil that's pressed from their seeds is best avoided due to its high linoleic acid levels. Photo: Ken Slade via Flickr (Cc BY-NC 2.0).

Linoleic acid - the overwhelming evidence against this 'healthy' poly-unsaturated oil

David Brown

24th February 2014

The established wisdom that 'high in polyunsaturates' means healthy, and that saturated fat and cholesterol are the way to an early grave, lack any supporting scientific evidence, writes David Brown. Indeed the truth appears to be the precise reverse: over-consumption of the omega-6 polyunsaturate linoleic acid is causing untold harm to our health and wellbeing. more...
The future of farming is green, organic and healthy! Photo: Sandy Lane organic farm, Oxfordshire.

A tale of two farming conferences: the future is 'real' and organic

Peter Melchett

8th January 2015

Lord Krebs, self-appointed spokesman for industrial agriculture, used the Oxford Farming Conference to attack organic systems for causing more climate change - a claim as demonstrably false as it is ludicrous, writes Peter Melchett. But across the city, the upstart 'real farming' conference was showing the way to a cleaner, greener and healthier future. more...
The Real Costs of Fracking - front cover.

Exposed: what fracking really does to you, your family, pets and food

Allison Wilson

25th February 2015

America's shale gas boom threatens families, pets, and food, writes Allison Wilson. Fresh from her reading of 'The Real Costs of Fracking', she finds a host of adverse health impacts on those living near fracking sites, the toxic pollution of the food chain, and a wall of corporate and official secrecy. more...
Increasing amounts of meat in our diets are doing no good to use, or to the planet. Photo: Ariel Dovas via Flickr.

Thanks to meat, farming emissions set for 80% rise

Tim Radford

1st December 2014

The increase in meat and dairy consumption is set to cause huge increases in greenhouse gases, reports Tim Radford. A shift to less animal-based diets would cut greenhouse gases, conserve forests and grasslands - and make us all healthier, with reduced obesity, diabetes and associated conditions. more...
The Red Dacca banana (Musa acuminata) growing on Zanzibar, East Africa - smaller, plumper, softer and sweeter than the yellow Cavendish varieties, with a slight raspberry-banana flavor. Photo: Harvey Barrison / Wikimedia Commons.

Why is Bill Gates backing GMO red banana 'biopiracy'?

Adam Breasley & Oliver Tickell

24th November 2014

The Gates Foundation has sunk $15 million into developing GMO 'super bananas' with high levels of pre-Vitamin A, writes Adam Breasley. But the project is using 'stolen' genes from a Micronesian banana cultivar. And what exactly is the point, when delicious, popular, nutritious 'red bananas' rich in caroteinoids are already grown around the tropics? more...
Mitra Wicks: 'my skin was more luminous and I was left revelling in a self-satisfied haze of leafy liberation'.

Virtuous veganism for health, beauty and pleasure

Mitra Wicks

15th November 2014

Setting aside her fondness for meaty delicacies, Mitra Wicks decided to follow the celebrity vegan trend. Buoyed along by the gastronomic pleasures of London's finest vegan restaurants, she declares the change a success - in terms of health, wellbeing, beauty ... and reducing the exploitation of animals in industrial farming. more...
Who needs vegetables when there's deep-fried Mars Bars to eat? Photo: karendesuyo via Flickr.

Scotland: time for a National Food Service?

Pete Ritchie & Miriam Ross

15th October 2014

The Scottish diet is famous for being the worst in Europe, write Pete Ritchie and Miriam Ross. Yet the country has rich land and sea resources, and exports large quantities of high quality food. By treating food as a common good instead of leaving the market to provide, Scots can start to transform their food future. more...
Philip Lymbery at work. Photo: CIWF.

It shouldn’t happen to a factory farm vet

Philip Lymbery / Sustainable Food Trust

1st December 2014

Vets have an essential role to play in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of farm animals at the hardest times in their lives, writes Philip Lymbery. But confronted with the ugly reality of the slaughterhouse, many vets are reduced to becoming passive servants of the industrial farming machine. more...
The secret of healthy food is healthy soil - as with these organic potatoes bursting from the ground in early June this year at Sandy lane Farm, Oxfordshire. Photo: Sandy Lane Farm.

For healthy food we need living, organic soils

Hannah Bewsey & Katherine Paul / OCA

9th October 2014

Soils are naturally alive with complex 'food webs' of micro-organisms that sustain plants with moisture and nutrients, making them good to eat. But once the biota have been blitzed with agro-chemicals under industrial farming regimes, it's our health that suffers. One more reason to grow, and eat, organic! more...


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