Tag-Archive for ◊ gmo ◊

• Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

fertilizing bacteriaThis technology echoes with Aquaponics which also uses bacteria in symbiotic relationships to harvest nitrogen fertilizers to make super happy plants.

Source: University of Nottingham

A major new technology has been developed by The University of Nottingham, which enables all of the world’s crops to take nitrogen from the air rather than expensive and environmentally damaging fertilisers.

Nitrogen fixation, the process by which nitrogen is converted to ammonia, is vital for plants to survive and grow. However, only a very small number of plants, most notably legumes (such as peas, beans and lentils) have the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere with the help of nitrogen fixing bacteria. The vast majority of plants have to obtain nitrogen from the soil, and for most crops currently being grown across the world, this also means a reliance on synthetic nitrogen fertiliser.

Professor Edward Cocking, Director of The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Crop Nitrogen Fixation, has developed a unique method of putting nitrogen-fixing bacteria into the cells of plant roots. His major breakthrough came when he found a specific strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in sugar-cane which he discovered could intracellularly colonise all major crop plants. This ground-breaking development potentially provides every cell in the plant with the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. The implications for agriculture are enormous as this new technology can provide much of the plant’s nitrogen needs.

N-Fix is neither genetic modification nor bio-engineering. It is a naturally occurring nitrogen fixing bacteria which takes up and uses nitrogen from the air. Applied to the cells of plants (intra-cellular) via the seed, it provides every cell in the plant with the ability to fix nitrogen. Plant seeds are coated with these bacteria in order to create a symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship and naturally produce nitrogen.

Category: Food Security | Tags: , ,  | One Comment
• Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Seeds of DeceptionMice avoid eating Genetically Modified (GM) foods when they have the chance, as do rats, cows, pigs, geese, elk, squirrels, and others. What do these animals know that we don’t? Farmers, students, and scientists all discovered that animals refuse to eat the same GM foods that we consume everyday…

This is an excerpt from a new book, Seeds of Deception By Jeffrey M. Smith:

The Washington Post reported that laboratory mice, usually happy to munch on tomatoes, turned their noses up at the genetically modified FlavrSavr tomato. Scientist Roger Salquist said of his tomato, “I gotta tell you, you can be Chef Boyardee and mice are still not going to like them.”

The mice were eventually force fed the tomato through gastric tubes and stomach washes. Several developed stomach lesions; seven of forty died within two weeks. The tomato was approved without further tests.

• Friday, October 29th, 2010
Lufa rooftop gardens

Architect's rendering of Lufa rooftop gardens

Now, this is progress!

Again, Montreal leads the world in sustainable solutions. Other worldwide firsts include CommunAuto car sharing and Bixi bicycle sharing.

Growing veggies in a population-dense, urban area, year-round is a great idea and should especially appeal to the many “foodies” in the city who are particular about their greens.

Source: Montreal Gazette

If all goes well, urban locavores will have a year-round source of non-GMO, pesticide-and-herbicide-free produce by early 2011.

Lufa Farms, a Montreal company, plans to unveil the world’s first commercial-scale rooftop greenhouse atop of a two-storey office building near Marche Centrale.

The nearly $2-million, 31,000 square-foot project should be completed before the end of the year and is expected to be ready for planting in January.

But it won’t be alone in its field for long. New York Citybased Gotham Greens intends to open a 15,000 square-foot rooftop greenhouse in Brooklyn in 2011.

Lufa Farms co-founder Kurt Lynn said the company wants to shorten the distance between the people who grow food and the people who buy it. He said some of the produce found in Quebec supermarkets travels more than 1,500 kilometres after being harvested.

“In our view, that is the cause of most of the problems with food today,” he said, consumers are often limited to vegetables and fruits that can withstand weeks of travel and processing without spoiling.

“You end up with tomatoes that don’t taste like tomatoes.”

Lynn said that because his firm intends to ship produce within 24 hours of harvesting, he has the option of selecting more fragile -and often tastier -varieties of produce.

To that end, Lufa Farms has been working with McGill University plant science and nutrition professors to help choose the tastiest and most nutritious strains to plant.

The produce will not be certified organic, but it will be pesticide and herbicide-free and it will not be genetically modified, Lynn said.

He said the firm will use hydroponic farming techniques to create an optimal growing environment.

“You give (the plants) what they want -and they love it,” he said, explaining that a tomato plant in the greenhouse could reach 12 to 15 feet in height.

Targeted customers are the general public and restaurants.

Customers will be able to buy produce “baskets” on the company’s website, which will be delivered to group drop off points or will be available for pickup. (Farms that participate in Quebec’s popular Equiterre program also use a basket delivery system.)

Owen Rose, head of the board of Montreal’s Urban Ecology Centre -an organization that promotes green roofs -said “the idea is great.”

Rose said a rooftop greenhouse accomplishes many things -the promotion of urban agriculture, the provision of food security and it is good for the local economy. Moreover, it puts “green and leafy vegetables in the forefront” making them “even trendy” and encourages people to be aware of and to eat vegetables.

He said the greenhouse could be a good marketing tool for Montreal restaurant owners trying to demonstrate local responsibility. They could promote certain dishes as having “grown in Montreal” ingredients.

• Friday, September 17th, 2010

Source: Dirt The Movie

1. Only one planet that we know of in all the galaxies of the universe has a living, breathing skin called dirt. For 2 million years, humans have used dirt to grow their food for survival. If we don’t take care of the soil, our future is condemned. We can’t survive on Twinkies alone. (But it sure would be *fun…*for an hour or so.)

2. A handful of soil contains tens of billions of creepy-crawly microorganisms. These organisms keep plants, animals, and the planet alive.

3. Industrial farming is eroding the soil and disrupting its structure. We’ve lost a third of our topsoil in the last 100 years.

4. When there are miles and miles of only one species and one variety growing on our farms, as there is in modern-day industrial agriculture, this creates a vulnerable system. Monocultures are dangerous to our future. Diversifying crops on our farms, especially in drought, can keep the system from collapsing.

5. When we grow just one species on our farms, it’s an all-you-can-eat restaurant for pests. Once a pest learns to unlock the key to that plant, you have a pest infestation, and then you add pesticides. Exposure to pesticides, especially in children, has been linked to higher birth defect rates, cancer, learning disabilities, and abnormal hormonal changes.

6. Insects and plants are so like us physiologically, cell to cell, protein to protein, gene to gene, that if a pesticide is going to kill plants and insects, it’s going to kill humans, too. *Ta-da!*

7. Chemicals (synthetic fertilizers and pesticides) deplete the life of the soil. They take away the structure and the moisture of the soil. They take away the very organisms that make the soil fertile. When you add a layer of compost to your dirt, instead of a nasty chemical fertilizer, you’re adding life to your dirt, and can then call it “soil.”

Repeat after me: *Compost, compost, compost*.

8. When the land is dead and we add synthetic nitrogen fertilizer to feed the crops, only about 20 percent goes to the plant roots. In the Midwest, the rest of the wasted fertilizer flows into the rivers and streams, and then into the Gulf of Mexico. This excess fertilizer feeds algae that grow and suffocate nearly all of the marine life, creating “dead zones” where only jellyfish survive. This mobile nitrogen combines with oxygen, which forms nitrous oxide and rises into the atmosphere accelerating climate change. Twenty-five percent of greenhouse-gas emissions come from agriculture.

9. In India, farmers have been pushed to buy more genetically modified seeds, chemical fertilizers, insecticides, and tractors. Now a farming activity that was zero cost is increasingly expensive. In India, over the last decade an *estimated 200,000 farmers have killed themselves*, many by drinking the pesticide they can no longer afford.

As farmers around the world go broke and lose their farms, their land is taken over by international agribusinesses that grow genetically modified single crops for a globalized economy.

10. Each year 100 million trees are turned into 20 million mail-order catalogues.