27 July 2007

Dang Bugs and Good Bugs, Food and Water Watch

The Leaf Footed Bug is highly praised by someone at this website but let me tell you I don't enjoy them crawling all over my summer squash plants.

We are in the buggy season and they are driving me buggy. Mosquito bites from picking blackberries, squishing mating beetles and leaf footed bugs on the cucumbers, washing squash bugs out of the summer squash and scraping their eggs off the bottom of the leaves, things I've never seen before on the amaranth. Makes me itch all over sometimes.




Photo: I think we need some bug eating chickens!

On the happy side, there are big fat butterfly larva on the dill that we grow for them. How do the butterflies find it? Everyone is talking about how many butterflies there are this year.

And, small frogs jump out from under plants where we water now. They must have moved in when we had the 36 days of rain.

POLLUTION FROM FARMING

Today I interviews a PhD candidate in forest ecology at Oklahoma State University. We met at a recent Living Kitchen dinner and I wanted to write a column about their work. Anyway, as our conversation wandered, we talked about chemical runoff from the use of herbicides when they are used in large quantities to clear fields.

Mousing around the Internet I found an interesting link to Food and Water Watch. The link that was fascinating is this one Factory Farm Map - Food Pollution. At the bottom of the map of the U.S. you can click on various food animals and eggs and see which states produce them in factory farms. On the right side there is a chart that indicates the Top Polluters, by state.
For example, Georgia is the top polluter from raising broilers (chickens); Nebraska is the top polluter from cattle; and, California is the top polluter from dairy. Must be all that California cheese from happy cows.

From their site
What We Do - "We are working with grassroots organizations and other allies around the world to stop the corporate control of our food and water."
Food - "Sustainable and local; chemical free; humanely raised; family farmed; clearly labeled--that's what we want. Factory farms for animals and fish; dangerous practices that lead to diseases like mad cow; and risky technologies like irradiation—that's what we are fighting to prevent."
Water -The right to water for people and nature; safe, affordable and publicly controlled; citizen participation; investment in infrastructure - that's what we want."

Check out the link above for more information.

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