Some reading and looking

The Soil Association‘s recent report that showed crop yields for GM crops are actually no better and often worse than non-GM has coincided with a similar study published in the US, but so far neither report appears to have been found worthy of comment in GM-friendly Canada.

Were you questioning whether organic is really worth it? Here’s one writer who finds that organic foods are more nutritious than those raised by industrial methods (and an article of divided opinion, that still thinks they’re worth it). (And if you wonder why organic food costs so much, check out these regulations, covering permitted substances and the standards and principles which Canadian organic producers will have to follow from December of this year in order to qualify to use the Canada Organic logo.)

Can’t help wondering why this is news: recent headline from the Globe & Mail:
Schools that cut fat and sugar saw dramatic results

I liked Wendell Barry‘s summation of what to do, what to do in this confusing and frightening world, in the panel discussion I mentioned yesterday (Fast Food World: Perils and Promises of the Global Food Chain):

I think the way to begin is to ask yourself what you know about your own economy, your own food economy. Ask yourself where your food came from and what the cost of production was, what’s the ecological cost and the human cost. And I think the result of that exercise is that you don’t know very much at all… And I think when you come to that point, when you understand your ignorance of your own economy, you’ll understand that the only way to become knowledgeable about it is to exert your economic force in support of local production.

This selfsame Wendell Barry has a sobering article entitled Faustian economics: Hell hath no limits in the most recent issue (May 2008) of Harper‘s, which you can read excerpts from here.

And (thanks Bonnie) I just saw some amazing work by Seattle-based former corporate lawyer turned artist Chris Jordan. Called Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait, he describes the project this way:

This series looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on.

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