Category Archives: food security

Food and Agricultural Images This Week February 2, 2015

Brace yourself for these first two photos because they are heart wrenching. Somewhere in hell there is a place for whoever did this.–Kay M.


This picture taken on January 27, 2015 shows seized cages of live cats transported in a truck in Hanoi. Thousands of live cats destined ‘for consumption’ have been seized in Hanoi after being smuggled from China, police said on January 29, but their fate still hangs in the balance. Photo credit: STR / AFP / Getty Images.


Photo credit: STR / AFP / Getty Images.



Cuban farm workers unload trucks full of pineapple at the Trigal Market, a wholesale marketplace on the outskirts of the capital city, January 27, 2015 in Havana, Cuba. Open for less than two years, the wholesale market is where farmers can bring their produce close to where small, independent business people can buy a week’s worth of vegetables, fruit and other agricultural products to sell in their neighborhoods in Havana. Photo by Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images.



People line up for free Laba congee at The Lama Temple on January 27, 2015 in Beijing, China. The traditional Laba Festival falls on the 8th day of the 12th lunar month. It’s customarily on this day to eat Laba porridge. Recipes of the traditional Laba congee varies, though generally includes glutinous rice, dried lotus seeds, longan, gingko, dried red dates, chestnuts, peanuts, walnuts, raisins and melon seeds. The Laba Festival is on January 27 on Tuesday this year. Photo by ChinaFotoPress / ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images.



Palestinian women from Abu Dakka family bake tortillas in front of a tent setting up among ruins of buildings destroyed by Israeli attacks, on January 27, 2015 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images.



Polystyrene boxes filled with live rock lobsters sit on a hydraulic lift to be loaded into the cargo hold of a Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. aircraft bound for Hong Kong at Perth International Airport in Perth, Australia, on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. Australia sends about A$1.6 billion ($1.3 billion) of food overseas by plane each year, making it the country’s biggest airborne export after gold and medicine. Photographer: Philip Gostelow / Bloomberg via Getty Images.



A disguised man poses with a donkey covered with sheepskins during the ancient carnival of Zubieta, in the northern Spanish Navarra province on January 27, 2015. The yearly three day festivities, revolving mainly around agriculture and principally sheep hearding, run on the last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of January where Navarra Valley locals from two villages dress up and participate in a variety of activites as they perform a pilgrimage through each village. Photo credit: ANDER GILLENEA / AFP / Getty Images.



In this handout provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde shops for fruit at the Kimironko Market during her visit on January 28, 2015 in Kigali, Rwanda. Lagarde is visiting Rwanda from January 26-29. Photo by Stephen Jaffe / IMF via Getty Images.



A vegetable vendor serves his customers at his stall in Jakarta on January 28, 2015. Indonesia’s economy is forecast to grow 5.7 per cent annually this year, the first rise in economic growth rate in four years, according to the Japan Center for Economic Research. Photo credit: BAY ISMOYO / AFP / Getty Images.



Indian members of the Welfare Society distribute food to passers-by at the roadside in Amritsar on January 28, 2015. As temperatures remain low in northern India, for some, for some, surviving winter can be an endurance test. Photo credit: NARINDER NANU / AFP / Getty Images.



A meat vendor waits for costumers at a wet market in Manila on January 29, 2015. The Philippines beat expectations after a surprising economic rebound saw growth accelerate in the last three months of 2014, with officials predicting further strong expansion in the year ahead. Photo credit: NOEL CELIS / AFP / Getty Images.



A Japanese elderly woman, Teruko Koboyashi, 84, makes Kakimochi, a type of dried rice cake, at a rice-cake making house in Heisenji village on January 29, 2015 in Katsuyama, Fukui, Japan. Kakimochi is a kind of dried rice cakes, eaten pan-baked or deep-fried. A group of local women have been making kakimochi since 1989 to maintain their village’s traditional food culture. Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe / Getty Images.



Budtender Miriam Howes, left, talks about edibles with customer, Kelly Keckner, at LivWell Broadway in Denver, CO, January 29, 2015. The dispensary has all recreational edibles on a 40 percent off sale because of looming state regulations that come into effect on Feb. 1 that will make some of those products non-compliant with Colorado law. Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post.



A man carries beef in Caracas on January 30 , 2015. The price of the family shopping basket in Venezuela increased 93.2% in 2014, the autonomous Centre for Documentation and Social Analysis said. Photo credit: JUAN BARRETO / AFP / Getty Images.



People queue at a food distribution center run by a humanitarian organisation in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on January 30, 2015. Twenty-four people, including 19 civilians, were killed in the past 24 hours in clashes between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in east Ukraine, officials said on January 30. Pro-Kiev officials in the separatist region of Donetsk said dozens of people were also wounded in shelling across the industrial province. The Ukrainian military said 23 soldiers were injured in the fighting, which has claimed at least 5,100 lives over the last nine months. Photo credit: DOMINIQUE FAGET / AFP / Getty Images.



MONROVIA, LIBERIA – JANUARY 31: Women prepare meals at the Sis.K-Ma Food Center on January 31, 2015 in the West Point township of Monrovia, Liberia. Life has slowly begun to return to normal for many Liberians, as the government says there are currently fewer than 10 cases of Ebola in the entire country. The World Health Organization (WHO), announced that they have moved into a new phase of the crisis response – to erradicate Ebola from West Africa. The virus has killed at least 3,700 people in Liberia alone, the most of any country, and more than 8,000 across in West Africa. Photo by John Moore / Getty Images.



Demonstrators dressed in cow costumes hold a banner during a protest against the ‘Ferme des 1,000 veaux’ (‘Farm of 1,000 calves’) organized by the animal rights group ‘Oui a l’etourdissement dans les abattoirs’ (Yes to stunning in slaughterhouses, OEDA) in La Courtine, central France, on January 31, 2015. The controversial farm, located in Saint-Martial-le-Vieux, should be inaugurated in February and cows raised there will be slaughtered at a slaughterhouse in Ussel in accordance with halal methods. Photo credit: THIERRY ZOCCOLAN / AFP / Getty Images.



A general view of atmosphere during the DIRECTV Super Fan Tailgate at Pendergast Family Farm on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen / Getty Images for DirecTV.

In the Bigger Picture…

6 Recommended Agricultural Links ○ ○ ○


1 . Conservation Stewardship Programs (CSP) have gained 9.5 million acres this year.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition


2 . There has been a lot in the news this month about how U.S. Ag policy works to promote larger and larger farms. I especially liked this.

by Traci Bruckner, Center for Rural Affairs


3 . … and this PDF document/study investigates the subject of farms getting bigger here in America.

By Daniel A. Sumner, Journal of Economic Perspectives


4 . Yes, you can make money with agroforestry in Iowa, especially if you grow Aronia berries, Christmas trees, chestnuts and elderberries.

From the Leopold Center at Iowa State


5 . Robotics continues to take over on farms, but it is a mystery to most of us. Here’s a quick look at a carrot harvester in action.

from Odd Simple American


6 . For those who would like an agricultural charitable gift idea, you might consider giving to Kiva. You can even start with a small donation and add to it monthly. This helps small global farmers who are struggling to pay for supplies like fertilizer, and 95% of the loans get paid back.

Thanks to reader “D” for submitting this idea.


These links were selected by Kay McDonald. For continually updated news about agriculture, please utilize the news feeds on the right sidebar here, and on the “Latest Ag News” tab above.

TED Talk: Five Special Plants from the Mascarene Islands

In this 14 minute TED talk given by Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, we are reminded of the important contribution that plants have to our health and to medicine. This requires habitat preservation of biodiversity. In this Anthropocene age it seems that natural habitats are constantly under threat.

“for every disease known to mankind there is a plant to cure it”

She shows us some humble plants which “hide surprising secrets” besides feeding us and giving us oxygen, telling us that there are 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world, the Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean being one of them, including Madagascar.

“there is no such thing as a weed”

Gurib-Fakim discusses five plants: Benjoin, which has leaves of different shapes and sizes on a single plant; Psiadia arguta which has medicinal uses; Baobab, “the tree of life” for food security; the Resurrection plant from Africa, which can withstand up to 90 percent dehydration but then regenerate rapidly with water; and, Centella called a “weed”, which grows across the world in many habitats, and is used by cosmetic companies.