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Representing Portland's Progressive Thinkers and Doers

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  • 01/17/10--16:50: Love Is The New Religion
  • On the surface of the world right now there is war and violence and things seem dark But calmly and quietly, at the same time, something else is happening underground An inner revolution is taking place and certain individuals are being called to a higher light It is a silent revolution From the inside out...

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    I’m not much of a blogger, or a writer for that matter, so the idea of maintaining a daily blog seems impossible to me. I like journaling and I used to do it quite a bit. I’m seeing this thing called blogging as an opportunity to journal my goals for the people’s republics. Kind of...

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  • 04/04/10--10:30: We are what we eat…
  • Barbara Kingsolver, author of many other acclaimed novels like Pigs in Heaven and Animal Dreams, came out with her first non-fiction narrative Animal, Vegetable, Miracle in 2007.It’s a story of how her family was changed by their first year of deliberately eating food produced from the same place where they worked, went to school, loved...

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  • 04/04/10--17:41: Oily Foods by Steven L. Hopp
  • Americans put almost as much fossil fuel into our refrigerators as our cars. We’re consuming about 400 gallons of oil a year per citizen – about 17 percent of our nation’s energy use – for agriculture, a close second to our vehicular use. Tractors, combines, harvesters, irrigation, sprayers, tillers, balers, and other equipment all use...

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    All these heirloom eggplants and artisan cheeses from the farmer’s market are great for weekend dinner parties, but don’t we still need industrial farming to feed the hungry? In fact, all the world’s farms currently produce enough food to make every person on the globe fat. Even though 800 million people are chronically underfed (6...

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    In 1999, a quiet middle-aged farmer from Bruno, Saskatchewan, was sued by the largest biotech seed producer in the world. Monsanto Inc. claimed that Percy Schmeiser had damaged them, to the tune of $145.000, by having their patented gene in some of the canola plants on his 1,030 acres. The assertion was not that Percy...

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    By purchasing local vegetables instead of South American ones, for example, aren’t we hurting farmers in developing countries? If you’re picturing Farmer Juan and his family gratefully wiping sweat from their brows when you buy that Ecuadoran banana, picture this instead: the CEO of Dole Inc. in his air conditioned office in Westlake Village, California....

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  • 04/08/10--08:43: We’ve got new colors!!!
  • Spring is springing and so is the people’s republic of portland’s color wheel. We thought after three years of black and green it was time for a little pick-me-up. Right now only 3 monkeys, Radish Underground, and Presents of Mind carry the colors so stop by there or contact me at info@thepeoplesrepublics.com if you’d like...

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    Which are more economically productive, small family farms or big industrial farms? Most people assume they know the answer, and make a corollary assumption: that small farmers are basically asking to go bankrupt, they’re inefficient even though their operations are probably more environmentally responsible, sustainable, diverse, and better connected to their communities than the big...

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    Industrial animal food production has one goal: to convert creatures into meat. These intensively managed factory farms are called concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The animals are chosen for rapid growth, ability to withstand confinement (some literally don’t have room to turn around), and resistance to the pathogens that grow in these conditions. Advocates say...

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    A common complaint about organic and local foods is that they’re more expensive than “conventional” (industrially grown) foods. Most consumers don’t realize how much we’re already paying for the conventional foods, before we even get to the supermarket. Our tax dollars subsidize the petroleum used in growing, processing, and shipping these products. We also pay...

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    Well you jokers finally got me on here! Don’t really know where to start…much love to my new friends Jen and Kev..as my homeboy Phil (owner escape from new york) said the other day: “Look at that guy..that guy who started the ‘keep portland wierd’ slogan..look at what happened!” So it fortifies in me mind...

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    The increased availability of local food in any area is a direct function of the demand from local consumers. Most of us are not accustomed to asking about food origins, but it’s easy enough to do. First: In grocery stores, when the cashier asks if you found everything you were looking for, you could say,...

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    What could be simpler: spray chemicals to kill insects or weeds, increase yields, reap more produce and profits. Grow the bottom line by spraying the current crop. From a single-year perspective, it may work. But in the long term we have a problem. The pests are launching a counterattack of their own. Within one field,...

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    O sure, Barbara Kingsolver has forty acres and a mule (a donkey, actually). But how can someone like me participate in the spirit of growing things, when my apartment overlooks the freeway and other people’s windows? Shall I raise a hog in my spare bedroom? How big is that spare bedroom? Just kidding. But even...

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    Dear friends, Well, no one said it was going to be easy. Last year, thanks to many of you, we built up enormous momentum for climate solutions. The global day of rallies you pulled off on October turned out to “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history,” according to CNN, with...

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    Doesn’t the Federal Farm Bill help out all these poor farmers?No. It used to, but ever since its inception just after the Depression, the Federal Farm Bill has slowly been altered by agribusiness lobbyists. It is now largely corporate welfare. The formula for subsidies is based on crop type and volume: from 1995 to 2003,...

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    Cows must have some friends in high places. If a shipment of ground beef somehow gets contaminated with pathogens, our federal government does not have authority to recall the beef, only to request that the company issue a recall. When the voluntary recall is initiated, the federal government does not release information on where the...

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    On July 9th, 2006, in Edinburgh, Scotland, the world lost one of its most successful local-foods advocates of all time: John Raeburn. At the beginning of World War II when Germany vowed to starve the U.K. by blocking food imports with U-boats, Raeburn, an agricultural economist, organized the “Dig for Victory” campaign. British citizens rallied,...

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    The local food movement addresses many important, interconnected food issues, including environmental responsibility, agricultural sustainability, and fair wages to those who grow our food. Buying directly from small farmers serves all these purposes, but what about things like our pumpkin pie spices, or our coffee, that don’t grow where we live? We can apply most...

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