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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Urban Farming, Food Security, and Mushrooms


The Revolution is here - Who Will Lead?

Look around you ... Farmer's Markets populate the weekend editions of most major newspapers, Local TV highlights new urban farms sprouting from the trash heaps of decaying neighborhoods and dilapidated and abandoned old  industrial sites.   Food is growing everywhere ... community gardens, urban farms, and backyards across America are sprouting with local food!  We applaud and support this effort to bring true food security back to our country.  It is a matter of national defense and certainly homeland security!

Our food supply chain is too long, too vulnerable, and too dependent upon a thin line of overworked and under supported inspectors and enforcement agents.  These hard working folks are forced to rely upon information often supplied by those whose products are, in fact, suspect and whose partiality can not be trusted.   America is too extended and too dependent.   We import too much of our food.  It is dangerous because it can be easily contaminated and wasteful because of the carbon cost of transport and the environmental cost of greenhouse gasses.

The Opportunity and The Need - Our cities are replete with abandoned buildings and large structures of the rust belt era of manufacturing.  Grow  here, Eat Here needs to become the watchword of local food purveyors.  The US Department of Agriculture has a 250 mile radius for qualification as local food.  Every day an ear of corn, or a head of lettuce travels, it loses both taste and nutrition. For example, Did you Know? Fresh peas can lose up to 50 percent of their nutrients within a week of harvesting.  This is true of many vegetables like Broccoli.  Food is often picked before it ripens to extend shelf life.  It also diminishes its nutritional content.  The average head of lettuce travels 1,500 miles from harvest to table.

A Solution: Food Security and Food Sovereignty - We believe it is now necessary for ... we the people, to develop a solution.  The government can barley run itself.  Let's do this ourselves.  We can form A National Network of linked urban farms.  A National Urban Farming Cooperative that assures healthy fresh food available to every American family.  We can assure nutritional reasonably priced food that includes a variety of local harvests with both protein and carbohydrates in a balanced mix of local food products.  Here is an example of what we have and what we can contribute to this solution.

Mushrooms: The Wonder Food! - The trend towards vegetarian and vegan eating habits brings up the old argument of protein and the issue of B12 deficiency ... I'm no dietitian but we have recently been informed about a food that has more protein than some meat and that can be grown virtually without fertilizer, a food that is fast growing and inexpensive to produce with the right technology.   Oyster Mushrooms, for example  have as much or more protein than many so called "meats."  31grams of protein per 100 grams of weight.  Only braised eye-of-round steak has more with a rating of 40.62.  A broiled t-bone steak (porterhouse) 32.11 and baked lean ground beef only 24.47!

We have the technology and are willing to share it with every urban farm that will join in a national network to accomplish the universal American goal of Food Security and Sovereignty

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