Guest posts are contributed by (you guessed it!) guest contributors and the views expressed within them do not always reflect the opinions of the Ecocentric blog.
History has proven many times that carrying large amounts of debt in a fluctuating market creates a dangerous situation. But the production contract model used that is spreading globally in chicken and livestock farming is a sign that agriculture itself is changing, shifting farmers into an increasingly debt-dependent scenario.
Ninety-seven percent of the chicken we eat is produced by a farmer under contract with a big chicken company. These chicken farmers are the last independent link in an otherwise completely vertically integrated, company-owned supply chain. The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), among other groups, seeks to change that.
This Passover, we can liberate ourselves from a food system that's often unhealthy for us and the environment by supporting farmers that grow food more sustainably. Use these suggestions for your seder - and throughout the year!
Join Oxfam America in demanding fair, safe working conditions for poultry workers!
How can you make your Chanukah more sustainable? From environmentally conscious shopping to smart cooking, find some great tips here!
Climate change impacts more than just the Earth's temperature. It makes extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and storms more frequent. Water and land access become more difficult - and as a result, the globe's agriculture systems and food security is threatened as the worldwide population continues to grow.
Spreading urban farming and food systems know-how to strengthen local communities is Stacey Murphy's expertise. The founder of BK Farmyards, Stacey has been helping others learn and start farms in New York since 2009, and she's got a big plans ahead. Read about BK Farmyards' work and vision in our interview with Stacey here.
"We must hold true that healthy food is a right for all and not a privilege for some." Meet Karen Washington, an urban farmer from the Bronx, NY. A leader in the urban farming movement, Karen has spent thirty years strengthening New York City's local food system in low-income communities and bolstering black leadership in farming.
"If we can redefine what we believe is desirable in food we can reduce waste and, at the same time, embrace and eat delicious, nutritious food." Food & Wine magazine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin will bring "ugly" produce front and center at TEDxManhattan 2015, happening this Saturday.
This Saturday, Ali Partovi will speak at TEDxManhattan 2015 along with many other influential movers and shakers of the food movement. Focusing on debunking misperceptions of organic and sustainable food that hold the movement back, Ali will show us why sustainable agriculture is economically and politically feasible.
"Systemic changes are needed to disrupt the current horrific state of industrial farming and food system. Food needs to be efficient and enjoyable again." Meet one of this year's TEDxManhattan speakers, Shen Tong. An entrepreneur and founder of Food-X, Shen will discuss the skills and funding needed to help disruptive food innovators create lasting change in our food system.
Meet Marcel Van Ooyen, executive director of GrowNYC, who will speak about "the 99% food problem" at this year's TEDxManhattan event in March. GrowNYC's is working to scale up local food distribution to make local less niche, more mainstream, by helping "family farmers to access wholesale distribution channels that make up 99% of the food that enters New York City."
"(W)hen you are confronting entrenched power, the legal wins are often preceded by defeats and can come at great personal expense to those on the front lines. This is certainly true in the food movement, which is still in its nascent stages." 2015 TEDxMenhattan speaker Michele Merkel is an environmental law advocate at Food & Water Watch.
Meet Kendra Kimbirauskas, CEO of the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP). As one of this year's TEDxManhattan speakers, Kendra will address why, despite a more educated consumer audience, the US is experiencing unprecedented growth of factory farms in rural communities. Plus, she offers five actions you can take if a factory farm comes to your area.
"As food and nutrition confusion abounds, many are paralyzed not knowing who to trust or what to do. With a little inspiration and practical education, shifting is possible." Meet one of this year's TEDxManhattan speakers, Stephanie Sacks, a culinary nutritionist and author of the new book What The Fork Are You Eating?
"Transitioning an abandoned rooftop into a beautiful urban space - one that nourishes the mind, the body, and the soul of our hospital staff is good medicine." As a speaker at this year's TEDxManhattan, Robert Graham will explain the value of integrating traditional medicine's respect for food, cooking and farming with modern medicine.