2 Feb

Originally posted on Grist:

Andrew Hyde owns only 15 things. And he knows what you’re thinking right now:

The first question is always “Do you do laundry? How many pairs of underwear?” I’ll never get a stranger’s obsession with my knickers, but that is *always* question #1. Question #2 is the “What do you own?” countdown, which is both fun and annoying to answer.

Here’s the secret. He doesn’t count underwear or socks, because he could “easily replace [them] and could not resell for any value.” (Also, how much stuff do you own, buddy? Yeah, that’s what I thought.) Hyde told author Scott Berkum what he’s learned from living minimally:

This whole experience has taught me something very simple: debt kills dreams. Debt is cash, things and fear … I don’t have much right now. 3 shirts, a pair of pants and shorts. Some odds and ends. I do some pretty interesting and…

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2 Feb

Originally posted on Grist:

Photo by Verena Radulovic.

“See that, see that?! … Oooh, something is going on. They are spraying tonight.” A large cylindrical truck whooshed past us.

I am driving along a state road with Becky, a local activist, who is narrating from behind the wheel. “I once stuck around to see them spray and I had to turn the car around and get out of there, the smell was so overpowering.”

We pull over and I hop out to get a close-up look at the orange groves. I am in California’s Central Valley, America’s fruit basket, where agriculture is king.

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2 Feb

Originally posted on Grist:

planting corn

This is how corn is planted on industrial-sized farms. (Photo by Minnemom.)

When I wrote recently about the next generation of genetically engineered seeds, I was in truth referring to the next next generation. The fact is that the next actual generation of seeds is already out of the lab and poised for approval by the USDA.

And I’m not talking about Monsanto’s recently approved “drought-tolerant” seeds, which the USDA itself has observed are no more drought-tolerant than existing conventional hybrids.

No, the “exciting” new seeds are simply resistant to more than one kind of pesticide. Rather than resisting Monsanto’s glyphosate-based Roundup alone, they will now also be resistant to Dow AgroScience’s pesticide 2,4-D .

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3 Jan

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