Economists Join the Fight Against Drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
“Big Oil always talks about ANWR being the “holy grail” of Arctic drilling that will bring untold riches, but the reality is likely to be very different. In October, a Center for American Progress analysis found that offering oil and gas leases in ANWR is likely to yield no more than $37.5 million in revenue for the U.S. Treasury over the next 10 years: short of the $1 billion to $1.8 billion that drilling proponents claim could be raised.
According to financial analysts who follow the energy industry, the average oil price at which drilling projects in the Arctic can break even is in the high seventies per barrel, much higher than the current average oil price of $57 per barrel. The investment bankers, the ones likely to bankroll any drilling, think it’s a bad idea.”
– Eco Watch, read the full article here.
You can also read more about this critical issue and protecting the arctic here, published by the NRDC.
NPR reports that, for more than a century, corn has been the most widely planted crop in the country. Yet a surge in “King Corn” pricing has led to the end of its reign, and its once symbolic status as the flagship crop for Middle American farmers. According to statistics released last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, corn is now being replaced by soybeans. You know, the stuff that ‘alternative milk’ is derived from when you order a latte from Starbucks, or hopefully your local beanery.
“The numbers show that for the first time in history, American farmers harvested more acres of soybeans this year than any other crop – 83 million acres. (Farmers planted more acres of corn than soybeans, but more soybeans survived to harvest time.) The USDA predicts…that amount of land covered with soybeans will continue to increase.” So, what exactly does all this mean? Well, unfortunately, the news is not great for the Organic Agricultural sector or the plant-based movement.
American farmers are switching to soybeans because it’s more profitable. With a lot of the demand coming out of Southeast Asia, and China specifically, where animals being raised for slaughter are fed a constant diet of soybeans.
As most farmers currently use GMO seeds (and chemicals), soybean plants are also typically crushed into oil that is then consumed by most Americans in the form of processed food products. Ugh!
The Advancements of Tech Helping to Identify Hotspots of Food-Borne Illness
“Though the American food supply is among the safest in the world, there are about 48 million cases of foodborne illness per year, resulting in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to the FDA.” Most people might use the FDA’s all-too-familiar resource page for you to know what to do with food borne illness, yet it doesn’t do much in real time for those of us not wanting to take any risks when trying out that new restaurant, or that old one (ahem, Chipotle!) But now, we’re in luck!
A once very food-poisoned man, Patrick Quade, recently kickstarted a crowdsourcing website where “individuals can report food-poisoning incidents, public health officials can receive instant local alerts, and the food industry can be apprised of outbreaks early on.” The website is called iwaspoisoned.com, of course. Read the full coverage by Jill Neumark, here on NPR.
We Must Stay Strong and Continue to Resist the Legislation that Leaves Our Vulnerable Communities Behind!
The current Senate Bill raises taxes on households that make less than $40,000 – by 2025, costing families almost $36 BILLION dollars! This is unacceptable, because it’s those most vulnerable communities that are now at risk of not being able to afford the food they need to survive.
However, according to the NY Times, because certain government programs receive a mixture of mandatory and appropriated funds, the cuts won’t eliminate their financial supplement entirely. “The Women, Infants and Children program, which provides food assistance, gets most of its $6.2 billion from a separate fund that is not subject to what are called Paygo cuts. So, even though WIC might be subject to a $1 million cut, that would only be a tiny fraction of its entire funding.”