Ecology

New Report on Agro-fuels from Grassroots’ Brazilian Partners

Rede Social, a Grassroots International partner, and longtime ally the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) released an 80-page report on the expansion of sugar cane plantations for agro-fuels in the Amazon and Central Plateau region of Brazil.

Announcing: A New Popular Education Tool!

Grassroots International and the National Family Farm Coalition announce the release of a new popular education tool that can help you understand and fix the world food crisis: Food for Thought and Action: A Food Sovereignty Curriculum.

It's been said that "you are what you eat." In the face of a global food crisis, it's clear that we've been forced to swallow far more than what's on our plates. Our global food system is broken, with nearly a billion hungry people around the world and millions more forced from their failed farms as industrial agriculture privatizes and despoils our water, soil and biodiversity.

Praise in Oaxaca

Grassroots International would like to salute Jesus León Santos, the leader of a democratic, farmer-to-farmer network in Oaxaca, Mexico, for winning the 2008 Goldman Environmental Prize – one of the most esteemed awards in the global environmental movement.

The Best-Paved Road in Haiti

The road to Jacmel is paved with good intentions - in fact, it is the best-paved road in all of Haiti. I was told that the road was built by France as a friendship gift to Haiti, but Haitians don't see it as enough repayment for all that France has taken from Haiti since colonial times. Centuries ago, when France herded African slaves to Haiti to work in the sugar cane plantations, they filled the slave ships returning to France with Haiti's precious tropical timber. Thus began Haiti's deforestation, from which it has never recovered.

Expansion of Biotechnology in Brazil Augments Rural Conflicts

On March 7 several hundred people occupied a research site of the U.S.-based agricultural biotechnology giant Monsanto in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, and destroyed the greenhouse and experimental plots of genetically-modified (GM) corn. Participants in the act, members of the international farmers' organization La Vía Campesina, stated in a note that the act was to protest the Brazilian government's decision in February to legalize Monsanto's GM Guardian® corn, which was recently banned in France, Austria, and Hungary due to risks to the environment and human health.

Blue Helmets in Haiti: Reminders of Unmet Needs

Hello from Port au Prince! I've just returned to Haiti for the first time since May 2004 and wanted to share my impressions with you.

A Message for Monsanto: Beet It!

It's safe to say that beets have never been a hot topic in the U.S. financial world.

But now a group of more than 300 socially-concerned institutional investors is asking consumers to urge major food corporations not to buy genetically engineered sugar beets. The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) has launched a web site that helps consumers write effective letters to corporations like Kraft and Heinz about their desire not to see Monsanto's soon-to-be-released "Roundup Ready" sugar beets used in food products.

Is Corn Leading Us Towards Social Change or Ecological Disaster?

This recent article by our friend and colleague George Naylor -- an Iowa corn farmer and the outgoing president of the National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) -- speaks to all the reasons why we need to fight for Food Sovereignty and against huge agribusinesses here in the United States today!

Take a look and let us know what you think.

The Story of Stuff

Grassroots International is pleased to highlight "The Story of Stuff ," a newly-released, highly informative and entertaining Web video that documents the destructive impacts of consumerism and waste. The video features activist Annie Leonard taking viewers through the process of creating a consumer good - from the extraction of materials to the disposal. Check it out but beware: Your trash will never look the same.

Fueling Disaster Report: A Community Food Security Perspective on Agrofuels

The new magic bullet for our energy woes - industrial agrofuels - is already exacting heavy costs on food security and rural communities around the world. The anticipated increase in agrofuel production could lead to catastrophic impacts on the world's ability to feed itself.

In this report, Grassroots International, the Community Food Security Coalition, World Hunger Year, Food First and several other food justice organizations tackle these impacts and identify actions that would buffer communities from increased hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation.