All posts by nedhamson

Activist, writer, researcher, addicted to sharing information and facts.

Anti-GM activists urged not to trash wheat field – by “scientists” The Guardian

Anti-GM activists urged not to trash wheat field | UK news | The Guardian.

“Scientists” plea makes me think of “scientists” wanting to continue unethical, or immoral experiments on humans because of all the time they had expended. The trashing of their work may well be the only way humans can defend themselves.  I don’t think these “scientists” have given much thought to what evil they might do in their attempt to “improve” industrialized and profit-only oriented agriculture.

Work in Germany – a nightmare for Bulgarians | Presseurop (English)

Work in Germany – a nightmare for Bulgarians | Presseurop (English)One case of abuse was revealed in Frankfurt by the Migrant Counselling Centre of the German Trade Union Confederation when Ali S. and D. Hyusein, two Bulgarians of Turkish descent, stepped forward. They had worked for six weeks at a construction site, they reported, and part of their salary was still being withheld. From early March to mid-April, each of them had worked 349.5 hours. They should have received €4,526.03 gross, but were paid only €1,200.

Only rarely, though, are such cases ever fought in the Labour Court or even pursued by police and prosecutors. Most Bulgarians are not willing to testify against those who give them work – out of fear.

How advanced the market in Bulgarian workers has become has also been noted by the municipal housing authorities. Several years ago the Frankfurt Housing Agency observed that landlords were renting more and more rooms in flats to Romanians and Bulgarians. The often substandard dwellings were rented out at lucrative rates, exploiting the vulnerable south-eastern Europeans in need.

Looks good, not sure I can find all ingredients here but will try…

The Gaza Kitchen

I had many requests to post the recipe for Gaza’s Kishik Stew, which I made the other day as a special treat for my mother, who has been requesting it for weeks now, and posted on Facebook.

Let me preface this by saying I used to detest Kishik. It was one of those things I thought you either hated or loved, and I concluded that I hated it-dried kishik itself is pretty pungent stuff (especially the Lebanese variety), and since we eat as much with our eyes and noses as we do with our mouths, its hard for our senses to imagine what a finished meal would taste like. Then I tried kishik stew at Hajja Um Ibrahim’s in Gaza. And again at my cousin’s house in Davis, California (shout out to khalto Nawal!), and I was won over…

A little culinary history lesson: Kishik is a sun-dried mixture of…

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Farm Bill 2012 – Senate Version | Eat Drink Better

Farm Bill 2012 – Senate Version | Eat Drink Better.

Unthinkable to put some 50 million on a forced diet and cut funding to food banks at same time! Much of the Farm Bill is focused on food assistance, either directly or indirectly. Food stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) will be reduced, with an average of $90 less monthly benefit per household. The current average benefit is $287 per month. This would amount to a nearly 25% reduction in grocery money for about 49 million Americans.

Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry – NYTimes.com

Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry – NYTimes.com.

Like many of the rural members of Mirman Baheer, a women’s literary society based in Kabul, the girl calls whenever she can, typically in secret. She reads her poems aloud to Amail, who transcribes them line by line. To conceal her poetry writing from her family, the girl relies on a pen name, Meena Muska. (Meena means “love” in the Pashto language; muska means “smile.”)

Meena lost her fiancé last year, when a land mine exploded. According to Pashtun tradition, she must marry one of his brothers, which she doesn’t want to do. She doesn’t dare protest directly, but reciting poetry to Amail allows her to speak out against her lot. When I asked how old she was, Meena responded in a proverb: “I am like a tulip in the desert. I die before I open, and the waves of desert breeze blow my petals away.” She wasn’t sure of her age but thought she was 17. “Because I am a girl, no one knows my birthday,” she said.

Noa: darkness falls upon the land

Noa: darkness falls upon the land.

My friends, I am writing all this to you because it is important that you know that Israel is now going thorough one of the darkest periods of her short history. The amount of brainwashed people walking the streets here, the amount of RACISM and blind hatred, is simply mindboggling (and this goes for both the Jewish and the Arab population within Israel). I am but one of a long list of people and organizations with views similar to mine who have been bashed, banned, ostracized, ridiculed and marginalized, virtually OUTLAWED, since the present right-wing government has been in office. AN entire country has turned to talking in slogans, our minds have become little advertising sound-bits: we’re right, they’re wrong, they’re terrorists, we’re angels, god’s on our side, we did everything for peace, they refused, it’s their fault, there’s no partner, you’re either with us or against us etc etc ect. The ensuing witch hunt, evoking medieval times, an Israeli take on McCarthyism, is a dangerous slippery slope that will lead Israel straight to oblivion. SO, to all you Jewish/Israeli friends and family, I urge you, do not blindly support anything and everything Israel does! In such you are contributing to her demise! Rather, strengthen the sane, the humane, the caring and loving!

Tribal Farming Beats Climate Change – IPS ipsnews.net

Tribal Farming Beats Climate Change – IPS ipsnews.net.

For Harish Saraka and other subsistence farmers in 70 Niyamgiri villages in Rayagada, adapting to changing conditions meant reverting to traditional farming methods such as mixed cropping, the use of organic fertilisers and trusted seed varieties.

So, while farming has been failing elsewhere in Odisha, Harish Saraka has been cultivating not three but 14 crops on his half-hectare land since the last two years – enough to see his family through the lean August-December season.

“I now harvest 300 kg of food grains, a 200 percent increase from the earlier single-crop high-yield paddy farming,” says Saraka.

In Kerandiguda village, Loknath Nauri, 58, is the first to try mixed farming on a portion of his one-hectare hilly stream-fed land that he got under a government programme for the landless rural poor.

“Seeing my good harvest, ten other households here have decided to try their luck this year,” says Nauri, who is ready to share his seeds with them.

Will climate change kill off Washington state’s oysters? | Grist

Will climate change kill off Washington state’s oysters? | Grist.

Could do in more than just oysters… Ocean acidification has been traced to two primary sources — carbon dioxide in the air and nitrogen-laden nutrients seeping from cities, septic tanks, and agriculture into the ocean. Carbon dioxide is also known as “the acid gas,” because it increases the acidity of the water it’s in, says Shallin Busch, a research ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Northwest Fisheries Science Center. NOAA set up the lab in Seattle two years ago to study ocean acidification. There, scientists are examining the effect of variables such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, and temperature on more than a dozen species of fish, shellfish, crabs, and squid.

Scientists have found that the ocean’s increased acidity corrodes calcium carbonate — the stuff that shellfish shells are made out of. Winds, currents, water depth, time of day, seasonal shifts, and even geographical features have all been linked to the ebb and flow of acidic sea water.

IRIN Africa | MADAGASCAR: The “less is more” philosophy of rice production | Madagascar | Economy | Environment | Food Security

IRIN Africa | MADAGASCAR: The “less is more” philosophy of rice production | Madagascar | Economy | Environment | Food SecurityDevelopment of SRI 


The SRI method was developed in the 1980s by the French Jesuit priest Henri de Laulanié, who challenged accepted norms of rice production. Traditional farmers flood their rice fields and plant bunches of mature rice plants, while SRI farmers transplant young seedlings with greater spacing on soil that is moist but not flooded. Proponents of SRI claim this system uses 25-50 percent less water, requires 80-90 percent fewer seeds, and can sometimes double or even triple the yields.