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 Today's Featured Article Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Title:  Eat Local Challenge and Local Meals Pledge Drive
 Author:  Admin
 Dated:  Thursday, November 01 2007 @ 08:23 AM PDT
 Viewed:  1450 times  
NOTE: Please visit our new site at http://www.foodformainesfuture.org

Eat Local Challenge and Local Meals Pledge Drive

What would our meals look like if 100% of the ingredients in our pantries, cupboards, refrigerators and freezers were grown and produced right here in Maine? Would we be pleasantly surprised by the abundance of local food that surrounds us? Would we find that it would take a lot of time and effort to adapt familiar recipes? Would we be surprised that we can't find local sources for items that could be easily produced in our state? Would we find ourselves hungering for other things or be satisfied by what is available to us? If you are curious about any of these questions, then we invite you to participate in our upcoming "Eat Local Challenge" and Pledge Drive.


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 Adopt Your Local Farmers Market: Pledge to be GE-Free! Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Admin
 Dated:  Sunday, February 07 2010 @ 05:48 AM PST
 Viewed:  8 times  
ADOPT a FARMER’S MARKET in YOUR COMMUNITY

Looking for a way to discuss important issues of industrial agriculture with farmers in your community, always wanted to learn more about your local farmers?? Then adopt a farmer’s market in your area today! GE Free Maine is currently working with volunteers state-wide to distribute information, initiate discussions, collect GE-Free Pledges, and soon to collect signed statements of support demanding liability protect from GE contamination. GMO's take the rights away from all farmers to choose! These discussions are an important opportunity for you to educate yourself about your local food supply and farmer and an important time for your farmer to become more educated about genetic engineering. That’s why we are asking people to talk with farmers at their local farmers market and ask these farmers to take the GE Free Maine pledge to not plant genetically engineered crops.

Find Your Local Farmers Markets While you're there look for balloon bouquets, they make a great gift! If you are interested in volunteering with this project, GE Free Maine will provide all literature and information. Please contact us at info(at)gefreemaine.org, or via phone at (207)244-0908 if you are interested.



 2nd Annual Local & Sustainable Foods Conference Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Admin
 Dated:  Monday, March 19 2007 @ 11:25 AM PDT
 Viewed:  2234 times  
2nd Annual Local & Sustainable Foods Conference: Creating Change in your Community; and Local Foods Dinner

Food for Maine's Future, The Healthy Schools Initiative, The Good Life Center at Forest Farm, Unity College Garden Club, and Unity Barn Raisers are proud to present the 2nd annual Local and Sustainable Food Conference: Creating Change in Your Community; and Local Foods Dinner at the Unity Performing Arts Center in Unity, an all day event starting at 10am on March 31st.

The conference is an all day open-house style event featuring information tables by groups working on food issues in Maine, local food, speakers, forums, and workshops geared toward creating local solutions to our food; followed by a local foods dinner at 6pm that will feature the bounty of Maine. This dinner is a celebration of Maine food and Maine's food producers and will consist (almost) entirely of Maine food. Guests can expect a fun and delicious time, while supporting and building a culture of food that respects the people, the animals, the land, and the waterways that keep us fed and nourished.The evening will conclude with local musicians and entertainment beginning at 8pm.

The goal for the event is to help build relationships between local growers, producers, and eaters, which is all of us.


read more (548 words)

 Protecting Farmers from Genetic Trespass Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Admin
 Dated:  Monday, March 19 2007 @ 10:57 AM PDT
 Viewed:  2866 times  
Protecting All Farmers from Genetic Trespass

Protect Maine Farmers, a campaign of Food For Maine's Future has introduced legislation (LD1650) this session aimed at protecting all of Maine's farmers from the negative effects of genetic trespass. Genetic trespass occurs when a patent-protected transgenic organism cross-pollinates with or otherwise contaminates a non-transgenic organism.

Transgenic Crop Contamination

Transgenic crops, such as corn, soybeans and canola grown in Maine have the potential to contaminate their conventional and organic counterparts in a number of ways. Wind pollinated crops, such as corn, and insect pollinated crops, such as canola, run the highest risks for contamination. Conventional and organic varieties of these crops can be cross-pollinated by transgenic varieties, resulting in the offspring, or seeds of these plants, containing the transgenes. Contamination can also occur in the handling, harvesting and processing of these crops so that transgenic varieties become mixed with conventional or organic varieties. Additionally, volunteers, or seeds that remain in the field and germinate the next year, have the potential to contaminate a field that goes from being planted in transgenic crops one year, to conventional the next.

When this contamination does occur, it has the potential to be damaging to farmers. Farmers whose conventional or organic crops are contaminated with transgenes face the potential for lost markets, reduced consumer confidence, negative impacts on herd and soil health, and the loss of beneficial insects and soil microrganisms. Additionally, widespread contamination reduces farmers choices in variety selection as more and more seed producers around the country have their lines contaminated with transgenic lines.

Additionally, if a farmer ends up with transgenic crops on their property, they run the risk of legal liability for patent infringement. If the farmer has grown transgenics in the past, and signed a technology use agreement or TUA with the seed manufacturer or patent holder, they have agreed to allow that seed company access to their financial and crop records. The seed company can indefinitely claim the right to enter onto that farmers land, test for the presence of unlicensed patent-protected material, and subsequently sue for damages due to stolen intellectual property.

Conversely, if the farmer has not grown transgenic crops, while they may not be in violation of their contract, they do face potential litigation for the adventitious presence of patented material. While no cases of the latter have yet been publicized, the aggressive tactics of the seed companies in pursuing over 90 lawsuits against farmers who have grown transgenics indicates a low threshold of tolerance on the seed companies part, and the potential for future litigation based on the unwanted presence of the patented material on farmers lands who have not grown transgenic crops. Growers of transgenic crops also face potential legal liability for contamination that occurs on neighboring farms due to the presence of transgenics on their farm. All these situations that place farmers in legal or financial jeopardy are precisely what Protect Maine Farmers is working to circumvent.

The Legislative Campaign

LR 1873, An Act to Ensure the Longterm Viability of Traditional Farming in Maine, offers a number of provisions for protecting Maine's farmers from tramsgenic contamination, and the negative legal and financial ramifications of that contamination. The five provisions of this bill are designed to work together to offer additional security to all farmers, and reduce the risks of contamination.


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 Announcing Food for Maine's Future Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Admin
 Dated:  Monday, January 15 2007 @ 04:18 PM PST
 Viewed:  2098 times  
Announcing Food for Maine's Future

The corn field across the road lies dormant. Like so many parts of the natural world, the field is resting after a productive year. We too, at GE Free Maine have had a very productive year. Our successes this past year include a Montville town meeting resolution directing the town to include a ban GE crops in the town's comprehensive plan – a first for any community in the US outside of California; exposing GE Canola as having no economic benefit and already contaminating conventional seed, many events and speaking tours and video showings across the state; a vibrant presence at the Maine Agricultural Trade Show; the first Local Foods and Sustainable Agriculture Conference; publishing and distributing two more issues of our newsletter, Saving Seeds; a big move up to Thorndike where volunteers have been reconstructing a building to house our permanent home and education center, the Maine Center for Food Sovereignty; the broadening of our staff to include two paid organizers and two interns and a merger with the Independent Food Project to create the new umbrella group Food for Maine's Future. Especially encouraging has been the active support of our broad grassroots base across the state.

With your continued support, we can also look forward to additional victories and concrete steps to prevent the contamination of Maine’s farms, forests and coastline by genetically modified organisms.

Over the next several months, this website and GE Free Maine will transition into our new identity, Food for Maine's Future. We feel this new name better represents our long-term goals and ideas.

Mission: Food for Maine's Future seeks to build a just, secure, and democratic food system which protects Maine farmers and the environment from corporate control. We empower farmers and local communities to define their local food systems, and promote sustainable local alternatives in schools and in the fields.

We invite you to visit our new home page and campaign websites:

http://www.protectmainefarmers.org
http://www.healthyschoolsinitiative.org
http://www.foodformainesfuture.org

read more (868 words)

 2007 Agriculture Trade Show Workshops! Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Admin
 Dated:  Sunday, December 24 2006 @ 02:11 PM PST
 Viewed:  2858 times  

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE

2007 Maine Agriculture Trade Show January 9-11, 2007 Augusta Civic Center


We invite you to join us at the 2007 Maine Agriculture Trade Show. GE Free Maine/Maine Center for Food Sovereignty – now Food for Maine's Future – will be sponsoring a full slate of workshops, discussions, listening sessions, and trainings. All events will take place in the Waldo Room.

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007 Waldo Room


9:00 AM -- Farmer Advocacy Training. Bill Wenzel, National Family Farm Coalition (Pre-Reg Required)

10:00 AM -- Creating Food Independence for Maine. Bob St Peter, Food for Maine's Future/Good Life Center

11:00 AM -- The Healthy Schools Initiative - School Gardens, Farm to Schools, Healthy School Lunches and Sustainable Ag in the Classroom - An open discussion on initiatives underway in Maine Schools. Terra Connors-Marks, Linda Hartkopf , Hart-to-Hart Farm.

1:00 PM -- Genetic Trespass - Trouble Blowing in the Wind? What's at stake for Maine farmers. Logan Perkins, Protect Maine Farmers and Bill Wenzel, National Family Farm Coalitions

1:30 PM -- “More than I bargained for” - An Indiana farmer decides to use Roundup Ready crops and ends up in court. Indiana Farmer Troy Roush (tentative)

2:00 PM Farmer Listening Session: if you're a farmer and concerned and have an opinion on genetically engineered crops and ideas on how to address cross pollination issues this is the chance to let your voice be heard.

3:00 PM Resolutions and Ordinance - Local Solutions for Promoting GE-Free Agriculture and Defining Your Own Food System. Kai George, Tim Libby and Robert Fish, Food for Maine's Future

4:00 PM Biofuels - A Green Opportunity or False Promise? Logan Perkins and Tim Libby, Food for Maine's Future.


Wednesday, January 10th, 2007 Waldo Room


9:00 AM -- Genetically modified and Pharmaceutical crops: similarities, differences and risk. John Jemison, University of Maine Extension

10:00 AM -- Farmer Advocacy Training. Bill Wenzel, National Family Farm Coalition (Pre-Reg Required)

11:00 AM -- On the horizon - Genetically Engineered Grass and Trees. Logan Perkins and Robert Fish, Food for Maine's Future

12:00 PM -- Biofuels - A Green Opportunity or False Promise? Logan Perkins and Tim Libby, Food for Maine's Future.

1:00 PM -- Resolutions and Ordinance - Local Solutions for Promoting GE-Free Agriculture and Defining Your Own Food System. Tim Libby and Robert Fish, Food for Maine's Future

2:00 PM -- “More than I bargained for” - An Indiana farmer decides to use Roundup Ready crops and ends up in court. Indiana Farmer Troy Roush (tentative)

2:30 PM -- Farmer Listening Session: if you're a farmer and concerned and have an opinion on genetically engineered crops and ideas on how to address cross pollination issues this is the chance to let your voice be heard.

3:30 PM -- Video Showing - The Future of Food—an-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade

5:30 -- Video Showing: Unnatural Selection: a disturbing exposés on experiments involving genetically engineered animals, from monstrously deformed pigs to fast-growing GE salmon.


Thursday, January 11th, 2007 Waldo Room

9:00 AM -- “ More than I bargained for” - An Indiana farmer decides to use Roundup Ready crops and ends up in court. Indiana Farmer Troy Roush (tentative)

9:30 AM -- Genetic Trespass - Trouble Blowing in the Wind? What's at stake for Maine farmers

10:00 AM -- Farmer Listening Session: if you're a farmer and concerned and have an opinion on genetically engineered crops and ideas on how to address cross pollination issues this is the chance to let your voice be heard.

11:00 AM -- The Healthy Schools Initiative - Identifying Agribusiness Influence in the Classroom and Developing Sustainable Alternatives

12:00 PM --- Biofuels - A Green Opportunity or False Promise? Logan Perkins and Tim Libby, Food for Maine's Future

1:00 PM -- On the horizon - Genetically Engineered Grass and Trees. Logan Perkins and Rob Fish, Food for Maine's Future.

1:30 PM -- Resolutions and Ordinance - Local Solutions for Promoting GE-Free Agriculture and Defining Your Own Food System. Tim Libby and Robert Fish, Food for Maine's Future.

2:30 PM -- Video Showing: Unnatural Selection: a disturbing exposés on experiments involving genetically engineered animals, from monstrously deformed pigs to fast-growing GE salmon.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Please email info@protectmainefarmers.org or call 207-692-2571 or 1-888-874-3593 for more information or to register.




 GE FREE MAINE PRESENTS: A SILENT FOREST -- The Growing Threat of Genetically Modified Trees, Tuesday, Dec 5 6:00 Organic and O Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Admin
 Dated:  Sunday, December 03 2006 @ 05:52 PM PST
 Viewed:  2026 times  

GE FREE MAINE PRESENTS: A SILENT FOREST -- The Growing Threat of Genetically Modified Trees, Tuesday, Dec 5 6:00 Organic and Otherwize, Jay, ME

JAY: Tuesday Dec. 5 at 6:00 p.m. at Organic and Otherwize on Main St in Jay there will be a screening and discussion of the film A SILENT FOREST: The Growing Threat of Genetically Engineered Trees.

Genetically engineered trees are quietly sprouting up across the country. Narrated by Dr. David Suzuki, an award-winning scientist and environmentalist, and host of NPR's The Nature of Things, A Silent Forest exposes the threats posed by the introduction of genetically engineered trees into our environment. The film breaks down complex scientific concepts while detailing the dangerous impacts genetically engineered trees will have on human health, native forests, forest-dwelling indigenous peoples, and wildlife. Rob Fish, an organizer with GE Free Maine and a founder of the Maine Center for Food Sovereignty will lead a discussion following the film.

Background

Scientists are rapidly developing the ability to use biotechnology in another way with even more potential for widespread ecological damage: genetic modification of trees. Genetically engineered trees are still in their early stage of development, and are mostly confined to corporate and university research plots. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which reviews and permits genetically modified organisms, is expected to see more applications to test and then grow modified trees in coming years. Paper and lumber companies, biotechnology firms and universities across the globe are currently conducting research and planting test plots of GE trees, and they plan to commercialize these crops in the near future.

read more (301 words)

 Come participate in a community dialogue and local meal!!!!! Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  terra
 Dated:  Tuesday, November 28 2006 @ 12:40 PM PST
 Viewed:  1428 times  
Events

Come participate in a community dialogue and local meal!!!!!

Saturday, December 2nd 4:30-6:30pm at the Unity Community Center

Are you concerned about Waldo County? The job market? Consumer options? Our children and youth? The aging population? What issues do you think are a top priority for your community?

Here is a great opportunity to be involved with your community, meet your neighbors, and eat delicious local food!

Residents of Burnham, Freedom, Knox, Montville,Thorndike, Troy and Unity are invited to attend a community meal and dialogue on Saturday. This event is one in a series throughout Waldo County, organized by the Waldo County Healthy Communities Coalition; this particular event is partnered with the Unity Barn Raisers in honor of their 10 year anniversary.

Come enjoy a meal of local food provided by the Unity Barn Raisers and discuss your communities strengths and challenges, and brainstorm on ways to improve quality of life throughout your community.

The event will be held on Saturday December 2nd, from 4:30pm to 6:30pm at the Unity Community Center.

Join us, and let your voice be heard!

If you wish to attend, please RSVP with the Unity Barn Raisers by calling 207-984-9005 or emailing ubr@uninets.net




 More Corporate Interests in Schools Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  terra
 Dated:  Monday, November 27 2006 @ 09:33 AM PST
 Viewed:  1680 times  
Schools

Science a la Joe Camel

By Laurie David

November 26, 2006

At hundreds of screenings this year of "An Inconvenient Truth," the first thing many viewers said after the lights came up was that every student in every school in the United States needed to see this movie.

The producers of former vice president Al Gore's film about global warming, myself included, certainly agreed. So the company that made the documentary decided to offer 50,000 free DVDs to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) for educators to use in their classrooms. It seemed like a no-brainer.

The teachers had a different idea: Thanks but no thanks, they said.

In their e-mail rejection, they expressed concern that other "special interests" might ask to distribute materials, too; they said they didn't want to offer "political" endorsement of the film; and they saw "little, if any, benefit to NSTA or its members" in accepting the free DVDs.

Gore, however, is not running for office, and the film's theatrical run is long since over. As for classroom benefits, the movie has been enthusiastically endorsed by leading climate scientists worldwide, and is required viewing for all students in Norway and Sweden.

Still, maybe the NSTA just being extra cautious. But there was one more curious argument in the e-mail: Accepting the DVDs, they wrote, would place "unnecessary risk upon the [NSTA] capital campaign, especially certain targeted supporters." One of those supporters, it turns out, is the Exxon Mobil Corp.

That's the same Exxon Mobil that for more than a decade has done everything possible to muddle public understanding of global warming and stifle any serious effort to solve it. It has run ads in leading newspapers (including this one) questioning the role of manmade emissions in global warming, and financed the work of a small band of scientific skeptics who have tried to challenge the consensus that heat-trapping pollution is drastically altering our atmosphere. The company spends millions to support groups such as the Competitive Enterprise Institute that aggressively pressure lawmakers to oppose emission limits.

It's bad enough when a company tries to sell junk science to a bunch of grown-ups. But, like a tobacco company using cartoons to peddle cigarettes, Exxon Mobil is going after our kids, too.

read more (643 words)

 Work Party! Raising the Walls of the Maine Center for Food Sov - 11/17-19 Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version  
 Author:  Admin
 Dated:  Saturday, November 11 2006 @ 06:50 AM PST
 Viewed:  1844 times  
We're Raising the Walls and Need Your Help!Help Build the Maine Center for Food Sovereignty in Thorndike!
Friday, November 17 - Sunday, November 19 starting a 9 AM



We need your help! GE Free Maine is in the process of building a Maine Center for Food Sovereignty in Thorndike, Maine. As winter approaches, we need your help to pull out the stops and get the shell of the building up before the first snow. Next weekend, Nov 17-19th, we plan on raising the walls and gables. This will require quite a few people! We will also be putting up the rafters and cleaning up debris among other tasks. Any skill level is welcome and expect that we will be learning new skills together.

Come out and meet others concerned with food sovereignty, have a great time and donate your time to a great cause! Camp for the weekend and enjoy potluck and/or communal meals. Floor space will also be available. Childcare is also possible with advanced notice!

Read about the Center in the Portland Phoenix

We envision this Center, when completed, as a space frequently open to the larger community in which individuals will freely share ideas and materials, study in our lending library, use our computers, and attend talks, video screenings, workshops, meetings and other events. The Center will also provide office space for groups sharing the goal of developing strategies to taking action to promote food sovereignty in Maine and garden space to compliment educational efforts to the benefit of Maine's farmers and consumers.

The Center is being hosted on a parcel of land located on Route 220 in Thorndike! Sign up and we'll send you directions!

For more information, questions, or to request camping or childcare contact Meg or call 568-3019

Background:

About the Proposed Maine Center for Food Sovereignty

Why a Maine Center for Food Sovereignty?

Ways to Promote Food Sovereignty in Maine

Thank you for your continued support at this crucial juncture. By volunteering you time and energy, we will create a sustainable system of food production in Maine and beyond.

read more (63 words)

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