We The People, stand on our rights under the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution and reject such Federal decrees, statutes, regulations or corporate practices that threaten our basic human right to save seed, grow, process, consume and exchange food and farm products within the State of Vermont…
Quietly slipping under the radar last week the Town of Barre was the second municipality in the state to pass a measure supporting food sovereignty. The first was Barre City on March 4, 2011. In both towns food sovereignty was expressed as the “right to save seed, grow, process, consume and exchange food and farm products.” Barre City voters were asked if they “Resolved to declare sovereignty over [these rights].” They said yes by a vote of 686 yes to 220 no. Barre Town’s numbers on May 10 were strikingly similar (673 yes- 200 no) when passing the Vermont Resolution for Food Sovereignty, a document written by members of the Vermont Coalition for Food Sovereignty in December of 2010.
The Resolution passed by Barre Town asserts that the People have the right and responsibility, individually and through their elected officials, to resist any and all infringements on the rights to save seed, grow, process, consume and exchange food and farm products within the State of Vermont. The statement is intended to catalyze and inspire a conversation among all of the people in Vermont about food freedom and security in a time of global unrest and to stand as a template and measure by which all food and agricultural policy in the State of Vermont should be held against.
The Vermont Coalition for Food Sovereignty is a grassroots coalition of individuals from highly divergent political, religious and socio-economic backgrounds.They are an entirely self-funded and self-motivated activist group dedicated to protecting the basic human right to save seed, grow, process, consume and exchange food and farm products within the state of Vermont. VCFS is committed to addressing and resisting infringements on these rights in a positive, productive way, actively engaging in finding responsible solutions which increase opportunity and freedom for Vermont’s food producers and consumers while solidifying Vermont’s reputation as a vanguard in the local, healthy food movement.
Vermont Food activists met March 26 in Montpelier to show support for H.367, which requires labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms and defines what they are. The event was organized by Seana Pelkey, who saw something that needed to be done and did it. Thanks, Seana for all of your hard work and dedication to this issue! For more information about GMO labeling in VT please visit and “like” Labels for Liberty on Facebook.
The Vermont Coalition for Food Sovereignty is holding Butter Appreciation Day on Tuesday March 8th, from 9:30 – 11:00 am at the Statehouse (Room 10) in Montpelier.
We will be making butter in a jar, and discussing the unintended consequences of some of the language in Act 62 with state legislators.
VCFS believes every Vermonter should be able to grow, process, and serve their own food, sharing meals and know-how with family, friends and neighbors.
While we believe that Act 62 was passed to support this, recent state shutdowns of workshops teaching how to make butter and cheese from raw milk have Vermont Agency of Agriculture officials calling the Act 62 (The Raw Milk bill) “problematic.”
We agree. We invite all to come help us find a solution.
Bring your own cream, a small jar, and your thoughts about raw milk.
…immense subsidies transformed North America and Europe into food suppliers for countries previously exporting food, whose productive capacities were progressively dismantled. Today, OECD countries allocate $365bn a year to that purpose, a number now enlarged with ethanol subsidies: 120m tons of cereals feed cars, instead of people or animals, with no net reduction of emissions.
Gustavo Esteva Monday 14 February 2011 15.00 GMT
This is grim news: food prices are reaching record levelsworldwide. The thousands of farmers who have killed themselves over the past decade seem to have no precedent. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation’s director, the goal to reduce the number of hungry people by half will only be achieved in 2050.
In Mexico, this is just another facet of the crisis that started in the 80s, when the government dismantled its support for peasant farmers. “My obligation as minister of agriculture is to get rid of 10 million peasants,” declared Carlos Hank in 1991. “What are you going to do with them?” a journalist asked. “That is not my area of work”, he answered.
But no one assumed that responsibility. Vicente Fox, former president of Coca-Cola and president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, used to say “those peasants can be gardeners in Texas”. For him and other policymakers, Mexico had too many peasants; America, their model, was producing food for the world with only 2.5% of the labour force. In 1992 they opened to the private market the land which had been in the hands of peasants since the 1910 revolution. The North American Free Trade Agreement, which came into force in 1994, consolidated this anti-peasant orientation in the name of free market.
Those policies drastically reduced food production, and Mexico now imports more than half of the grains it needs. Many Mexicans were forced to emigrate, and a fifth of Mexicans now live in the US.
In 1974, the US minister of agriculture Earl Butz coined the expression “food power” – food pragmatically used as a political weapon. Hunger became one of the most profitable businesses of the century: immense subsidies transformed north America and Europe into food suppliers for countries previously exporting food, whose productive capacities were progressively dismantled. Today, OECD countries allocate $365bn a year to that purpose, a number now enlarged with ethanol subsidies: 120m tons of cereals feed cars, instead of people or animals, with no net reduction of emissions.
A peasant holds corn cobs during a demonstration in Mexico City against prices rising. Photo: Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images
Many Mexican peasants resisted the dominant policies and began to build their own alternative. Without official support, they increased both farmed areas and yields. Migrants invested part of their income in cultivation. Those initiatives are complemented by urban agriculture, following the Cuban example: Havana currently produces more than half of the food it consumes.
The proportion of peasants in Mexico may have been falling (from 75% in 1945 to less than a third today), but their total number is higher than ever, with ranks continually swelled by urbanites escaping from unsustainable and violent cities who use modern technologies to create a new lifestyle in the countryside. (In the spirit of full disclosure, I should say that after 50 years in Mexico City, I now live in a small Zapotec village in southern Mexico where I produce more than half of what I eat, while learning convivial practices from my neighbours and plugging my computer into the internet.)
A trend is settling. Just take a look at Vía Campesina, the biggest peasant organisation in history which started in Latin America in the years of “structural adjustment”. It soon became global and now boasts millions of members. Today, it is one of the main actors in the world food scene, opposing transnational corporations and affirming its food sovereignty paradigm and its new peasant internationalism. Novelist Eduardo Galeano said that in these times of global fear, some people are afraid of hunger and others afraid of eating, aware of the contaminated junk served in their plates. Vía Campesina pressures all governments and attends all the pertinent international forums. But the hope for its members is no longer hanging on the market or the state. They put their hope and trust in their increasing capacity to define what they want to eat, and to produce it themselves. That is our hope.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba’s economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate. This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people during this difficult time. Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. It is an unusual look into the Cuban culture during this economic crisis, which they call “The Special Period.”
The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its all-time peak and begin to decline forever. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a crisis – the massive reduction of fossil fuels – is an example of options and hope.
Screening on May 18, 2011, 5:00 PM at the CVI “Third Wednesday” film series, and to groups on request. For more information click here.
Saturday, February 05, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer, NaturalNews On December 19, 2010, the U.S. Senate voted 73 – 25 to pass the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, also known as S. 510. Though the bill has not yet officially been signed into law, several states, including Wyoming and Maine, are gearing up to challenge parts or all of it with the passage of their own food freedom bills.
Rep. John Eklund (R-Cheyenne) recently reintroduced the Wyoming Food Freedom Act, according to a recent report in the Casper Star-Tribune. Though the bill is a slightly toned down version of a previous food freedom bill that died in committee, it provides some exemptions from S. 510 for homemade foods, and it represents a positive step in the right direction.
Similarly, the state of Maine has several proposed pieces of legislation that aim to target the gamut of unconstitutional federal laws, including S. 510. Rep. Aaron Libby (R-Waterboro) recently introduced the Intrastate Commerce Act before the state legislature, a bill that will nullify any and all federal laws that infringe upon the rights of Maine’s citizens to produce and sell their goods within the state. This includes food items like produce grown on farms or in backyard gardens.
In fact, the issue of states’ rights in general has been picking up steam in many states all across the country, as unconstitutional law after unconstitutional law continues to be “passed” by the U.S. Congress. But thanks to groups like the Tenth Amendment Center that are spreading the word about the power individual states have right now to fight back against federal tyranny, a mass awakening is beginning to sweep the nation.
Whether the issue is health care, the right to bear arms, food freedom, or even simple freedom of speech, Americans are beginning to wake up to the reality that they simply do not have to take what the federal government is dishing out. This includes unconstitutional mandates like S. 510 that illegally inhibit Americans from freely growing, buying, and selling healthy food.
To learn more about the important work taking place over at the Tenth Amendment Center in helping to restore freedom and reverse the federal takeover of the U.S., visit: http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com
In the face of the recent passing by the senate of the ‘food safety’ bill H.R.2751, previously S. 510, that will put the FDA in control of the nations food supply,Vermont citizens have made a declaration that the agency and government have no right to determine or restrict the food choices of the People of Vermont. “The Vermont Resolution for Food Sovereignty” was brought forth by the Vermont Coalition for Food Sovereignty, it makes a statement to the United States government and the FDA that all citizens who want to protect their freedom of food should stand behind.
I first learned about Home Sweet Farm from a friend in Texas. She gets her eggs and meat and other things through them. When she told me about how they do what they do I was really excited because I think it’s a great model for groups of Vermont farmers to work together to access larger markets by satisfying the need for diverse items from one centralized distributor.
What works for the greater Houston market can be easily adjusted for serving the needs of a rural state such as Vermont.
This is Farmer Brad from Home Sweet Farm. Please watch and share far and wide…
What is the impact of the Food Safety Modernization Act on real farmers? In this interview, the Health Ranger talks to Farmer Brad from HomeSweetFarm.com, a CSA serving Houston, Texas with fresh local produce. Farmer Brad talks about how FSMA is causing him to scale back his business expansion plans. “We have actually, this last year as we’ve been watching this happen, we’ve been putting plans on hold, and pulling back our business, because we want to make sure we stay in that… so again, that’s how this is going to affect the local food system.”
POST CARBON - community radio bringing focus to how we, in West Marin, are transitioning to an era that is no longer dependent on fossil fuels; re-localizing and increasing our community resilience, in the face of climate change, the end of cheap oil, the depletion of our natural resources and the unprecedented extinction of species.
From West Marin Matters
Mondays at 1:00 PM on KWMR
90.5 FM Point Reyes Station – 89.9 FM Bolinas
and streaming live at www.kwmr.org
Play right in this here page, or click the link to open it in a new page, in a larger size.
Family Farm Defenders Pt. 1
A representative of familyfarmdefenders.org, John Peck exposes the hoaxes and dangers inherent in organic food labeling and corporate farming.
Peck explains the source food poisoning, Mad Cow, codex alimentarius and other food issues. He notes that without rigorous inspection and rules, food certified as organic can be grown with slave (or prison) labor. When faced with the option of certified organic or local, buy local, Peck says.
Food Sovereignty and the new Face of Global Agriculture. The 'reverse-robin-hood effect. 200,000 farmers in India committed suicide because of the pushing of Monsanto GMOs on family farmers. Millions more have been pushed from their land. Anuradha Mittal is especially good in this presentation.