Costco has decided to phase out the sale of chickens that have been treated with shared-use antibiotics. This is a big win in a few ways. First, the low levels of antibiotics meant for human use that find their way into the raising of conventional meat make the antibiotics less effective, as they only succeed in killing the low-level bacteria and creating antibiotic resistant superbugs by allowing the stronger strains to survive. Second, consumers who are voting with their dollars for healthier meat that isn’t full of unnecessary hormones and antibiotics are being heard. This announcement from Costco comes on the heels of a similar announcement from McDonalds. McDonalds and Costco, the third largest retailer in the US, are deciding to go against traditionally accepted agricultural practices because of public pressure and demand, showing that informed consumers can and do make a difference.
When chemicals were first introduced in farming, everyone marveled at what they could do. Yields were dramatically increased. In the beginning, the soil was so healthy, any damage done by chemical fertilizers was imperceptible, and pests had yet to evolve resistance to the insecticides. Our technologies were exported around the world as a revolution in agriculture – the green revolution.
Cleaning surfaces and unblocking drains is usually perceived as a rather unwelcome chore. This is especially true if you’re proud to live a sustainable lifestyle and do not want to use store-bought conventional cleaners. But fans of green living (and cleaning) don’t need to despair. There are plenty of easy and very useful sustainable cleaning hacks that you can draw on when you cannot or do not want to buy an expensive eco-friendly cleaner, but want to keep it green at the same time.
The term permaculture was first coined by two Australians, David Holmgren and Bill Mollison. However, many of their design ideas were inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka’s sustainable farming methods. The founders of permaculture recognize that a change in farming is needed. A change in culture is needed as well – a change in the way we view the world.
Most people aren’t gardeners, and even fewer are bona fide farmers. All of us, though, eat. For this reason, food producers around the country — and around the world — are faced with a high demand for their products, a demand that might become unattainable in the future. In order to ensure a greater sense of food security, it’s time for us all to consider cultivating our own gardens.