We need a food revolution; the entire food system must be changed. The efforts to resist GMO labels by corrupt government officials that lasted for decades was systemic of a much greater problem that goes well beyond the right to know. This revolves around the patenting of seeds and the unjust and illogical legal decision to patent life; it must be overturned and the only way to do that is through political change. More than ever before our country is being hijacked by corporate interests. Our political system is polluted to the core; it is filled to the brim and overflowing with scum….
Read the rest of this post HERE.
The image that is associated with this website is from La Via Campesina.
This group of farmers developed a farming technique that would later become known as agroecology.
This image appears on their website here:
“Environmental and Climate Justice Now! (Position Paper),” by La Vía Campesina
To read more about La Via Campesina, see: “Peasant Agroecology for Food Sovereignty and Mother Earth, experiences of La Via Campesina,” by La Via Campesina International Peasant Movement; November 9, 2015 (71 pages)
Excerpt: We, as women, men, elderly and young people, peasants, family farmers, indigenous peoples, day laborers, landless rural workers and other rural peoples, are fighting to defend and recover our land and territories, to preserve our way of life, our communities, and our culture. We are also defending and recovering our territories because the agroecological peasant farming we carry out there is key to constructing food sovereignty, and is our first line of action in our defense of Mother Earth. We are committed to producing food for people – the people of our communities, villages and nations – instead of producing biomass for cellulose or agrofuels [biofuels], or exports for other countries.
The indigenous peoples in our midst, and all our traditions and rural cultures, teach respect for Mother Earth, and we are committed to recovering our ancestral agricultural knowledge, so that we may produce in harmony with, while we protect, our Mother Earth. Ours is the “model of life”, of the countryside with peasants, of rural communities with families, of territories with trees and forests, mountains, lakes, rivers and coastlines, and is in firm opposition to the “model of death” of agribusiness, of farming without peasants or families, of industrial monocultures, of rural areas without trees, of green deserts and land poisoned by chemical pesticides and genetically modified organisms. We are actively challenging capital and agribusiness, disputing land and territory with them.
When we control our own territory we aim to put into practice peasant agroecology based on local systems of peasant seeds, which is more beneficial to Mother Earth, as it helps to cool the planet, and which has been demonstrated to be more productive per unit area than industrial monoculture, offering the potential to feed the world with healthy, wholesome, locally produced food, while guaranteeing us and future generations of rural peoples a decent life. Food sovereignty based on agroecological peasant farming offers solutions to the food crisis, as well as to other crises also caused by capitalism which humanity is currently facing.
We believe that the origin of agroecology lies in the accumulated knowledge and knowhow of rural peoples, systematized by a dialogue between different types of knowledge (“diálogo de saberes”) in order to produce the “science”, the movement and the practice of agroecology. Just as is the case with seeds, agroecology is the heritage of rural peoples and must be placed at the service of humanity and Mother Earth, without cost or patents. It is “ours” and is not for sale.
We must remember, retrieve, document, exchange, share, disseminate, teach and use this knowledge of our peoples actively, whilst defending it against cooption, privatization and distortion. Many of our organizations have processes for recovering, recompiling, sharing and teaching this knowledge of the science of peasant agroecology, via local processes and community groups, formal and informal schools, and horizontal exchange processes, such as from peasant to peasant, family to family, community to community and from organization to organization, as well as through videos, bulletins and community radio programs, pamphlets, publications, leaflets and other creative ways of sharing and transmitting our knowledge of agroecology.
We are, however, aware that agroecology is currently under threat from attempts at cooptation. Partly owing to our success in promoting agroecological transformation from the bottom up, now even conventional institutions are beginning to regard agroecology as an important set of alternatives. The institutional vision of agroecology is nevertheless very different from ours, and that worries us.
In fact, at this moment agroecology can be broadly divided into two stances. The institutional stance basically regards it as a series of additional tools for industrial agriculture, which is faced with reduced productivity and increased production costs, as a result of the ecological degradation it provokes in productive resources such as soil, water, pastureland, functional biodiversity, etcetera. This stance regards agroecological tools as a means of rendering this industrial model slightly more sustainable, without in any way challenging either the relations of power or of exclusion, nor the monoculture structure, nor corporate control, which places financial gain above people and above Mother Earth. They speak of “climate smart agriculture”, “sustainable intensification” and of industrial style organic farming. As far as we are concerned, that is not agroecology, and we reject it. The other stance, which is unquestionably ours, does not regard agroecology as a tool for industrial farming, nor as a mere toolbox of techniques, but rather as an alternative to industrial farming, a way of life, an option for transforming food production into something more beneficial to humans and to Mother Earth. Our agroecology is absolutely political, it does not conform either to structures of power or to the monoculture system, but instead challenges power and places local communities at the center of food production, in harmony with Mother Earth.
The time has come to fight and put up a resistance in favor of true peasant agroecology, a transforming, emancipating agroecology led by rural peoples. We can find examples of this agroecological peasant farming throughout the planet, although the names used vary a great deal from one place to another, whether they be agroecology, ecological or biological farming, natural farming, organic farming, or something else.
We believe that in this moment, in which we are advocating for peasant agroecology, it is important to share the progress we have made, in identifying, documenting, systematizing and sharing our success stories. To this effect we offer an initial selection, a first offering, which reflects our geographical and cultural diversity, our processes, ranging from the very local to national and international processes, the vital contribution of women, our training processes, the importance of constructing peasant markets which support agroecological production, our fight for better public policies, which, instead of subsidizing agribusiness, will support agroecological peasant production, so that we can continue to work as peasants, producing healthy, local food for our people. We hope that this will allow us to simultaneously share our experiences and processes and demonstrate the great potential that peasant agroecology has for humankind.
To learn more on the history of La Via Campesina and their contribution to agroecology, see the video below.
Read more about GMOs HERE.
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Copyright © Jeff Kirkpatrick 2017 – Food Revolution Now