The Growing Problem of Rotting Food in America

According to an article in the Huffington Post, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency have a goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030. Currently, about 20 percent of the fruits and vegetables grown on farms in America does not make it to tables. In other words, about 6 billion pounds of fresh produce goes unsold each year with most of it being left in the field to rot.

Part of the problem lies with conditions that are beyond most people’s control such as the weather, pests, diseases, market prices, and labor shortages. A large share of it is because of the policies within the United States Department of Agriculture that forces retailers to sell produce that complies with strict cosmetic standards. Therefore, farmers have to plant a larger crop to make sure that they have enough to sell and make their living.

Some apps have been created that allow cooks and farmers to connect when the farmer has food that they cannot use. Some of these apps include Love Food Hate Waste, Rainbow, Waste No Food and Food Cowboy.

There are ways that food not currently harvested can be used. For instance, Salem Harvest in the Williamette Valley of Oregon uses a network of volunteers to harvest food from 42 farms and then gives the food to food banks which distribute it to feeding programs for the hungry. Other programs like the Agricultural Clearance Program in Ohio pay farmers 20 cents a pound to bring the food to the food bank. While that may not seem like a large payment, it at least lets the farmer’s break even.

There are several problems with getting food to where it can be used to feed hungry Americans. First, is the logistics of taking food from fields to food banks. Secondly, most states do not offer farmers any money for the food and they cannot afford to harvest it for free.

There is an easy solution to this problem, however, as states and the federal government can change the tax code so that farmers can write the donated food off their taxes. At the moment, they do not get any tax breaks.


Dr. Imran Haque: New Health Clinic with Exciting Services

Dr. Imran Haque has opened his new office in Asheboro and Ramseur, North Carolina, and adjacent towns are also benefiting from his new office as they are located only a short drive away. Dr. Imran Haque has been an outstanding internist, who has been practicing for more than fifteen years. He has always been looking forward to meet new patients, and setting up an appointment with his clinic is not a hassle. He loves meeting new people, often sharing a small conversation that gives them the first hand impression of being in the right hands.

A variety of treatment and services are available at his clinic. Aside from physical examinations, other available services are weight management, diabetes management and treatment, and several beautification processes. Dr. Imran Haque is a graduate of the University of Virginia Internal Medicine Roanoke-Salem Program, where he got his medical practice license and a certification for internal medicine. Whenever a patient visits his clinic and tells him what they wanted, he examines the requests and advise them whether it is beneficial to the patient or not, and if other procedures have to be taken first. His care for the patients is not driven by how much he would earn by performing his practice, but if it will benefit the patient for the long run without any negative side effects.


Affordability and effectivity are the two main reasons why people flock into his clinic. The most requested treatment that Dr. Imran Haque provides is the diabetes management and treatment. Every day, a lot of people coming from different towns around Asheboro and Ramseur visit his clinic just to take some advice on how to treat the disease. Success rate with his clinic’s diabetes treatment is high, and it reached local headlines, prompting more people to go to him. Another in demand service that his clinic is offering would be beautification processes. People around town are availing of his affordable 360 resurfacing service, Venus body contouring and hair removal, all done with the aid of lasers. Interested people are free to contact Dr. Imran Haque’s clinic and set up an appointment whenever they are available. His clinic has a number of professionals who are ready to provide excellent customer service to everyone.


Farmers Leading Conservation Efforts

Many farmers in the United States are leading conservation efforts, according to a recent Huffington Post article. They are using different farming techniques than generations before them used to get better crops while protecting the ground that they love.

One common technique that is used is no-till farming. With this technique farmers do not plow the ground in the spring before putting their crops in the ground. This allows farmers to save about half of the fuel that they burn annually which has an immediate impact on the environment. Numerous studies show that not plowing decreases the number of weeds. Therefore, farmers do not have to apply as much fertilizer.

Farmers are also choosing to plant different crops than they have historically. For example, they may plant a low ground cover crop that grows quickly amidst a crop that grows taller to help control weeds naturally. They may also plant a crop that has deep roots among a shallower rooted crop so that the deep roots help to keep the ground open to capture rain.

Farmers are also planting more acreage than ever before. The corners of fields are left as buffer strips that are not harvested. These areas then attract natural pollinators like monarch butterflies and honey bees. The buffer strips are also great at attracting beneficial insects that help control bugs that harm a farmer’s crops.

The largest change, however, comes in the fall when leftovers from the harvest are left on the field. The leftovers from the crop depends on what is grown, but it may include corn cobs, husks, and stalks. Following this technique helps to prevent wind and rain erosion. It may also help to stop damage from the searing heat of summer if the residue does not disintegrate. Leaving residue on fields also helps to promote better soil because worms and organisms have a place to live. In exchange, they create holes in the ground that helps the ground retain water. Finally, leaving residue on the field helps microbial communities to thrive which increases oxygen and phosphorous levels needed by growing plants.




Changes in Agriculture Good for Consumers

If you step back in time to the 1900, then 40 percent of America’s population lived on farms and almost everyone lived in a rural area. Today, only one percent of people live on a farm and only 20 percent live in a rural area. Yet, thanks to innovative technology, those farmers are growing more food than ever before and using less natural resources to do it, according to an article recently published in the NY Times.

Today’s farmers are planting about 80.5 million acres of corn. In order to grow the same amount of corn in 1950, it would have taken 228 million acres. Today, farmers are planting 81.8 million acres in soybeans. In 1950 in order to get the same crop they would have had to plant 101.7 million acres. Wheat is planted on 47.1 million acres today compared to 56.9 million acres in 1950. Yet, the same amount of wheat is harvested by farmers.

The same can be said for farmers that are raising livestock. Today, 29. 3 million beef cows are raised to produce the same amount of food that farmers had to raise an additional 15.3 million in the 1950s. On farms across the United States, farmers are raising 9.3 million milk cows that provide the same amount of milk as 39.3 million milk cows in 1950.

America does not need as many farmers today as it did in the past. Large farmers produce 80 percent of all food sold to grocery stores today. In fact, 4 percent of farmers each making over $1 million in sales account for 66 percent of all food sold to grocery stores.

These large farmers use technology so that they can produce more food on less land. They rely on technology to provide them with information about soil nutrients, soil moisture and productivity to make wise decisions on what to plant and how much fertilizer needs to be applied to a particular area in a field. They use GPS driven tractors to plant a variety of seeds in the sane field so that harvests can be maximized.

The future is bright for growing food in the United States. The largest land owner in the United States is John Malone who currently owns over 2.2 million acres. Most of it is in Kansas where he just purchased additional acres that had belonged to the Land Trust Preservation. This land was used to test plants that could produce crops perennially instead of farmers having to replant each year.




Surplus Crop Problem

Close your eyes for just a minute and imagine an old fashioned country kitchen. As you look around the room, you notice a fresh baked cherry pie sitting in the slightly opened window cooling. Ambling a little closer you begin to get a whiff of the pie’s heavenly aroma as the pie releases it steam. For many people, this is a heavenly picture made complete by the perfectly tart cherries within the pie.

Now, welcome to the reality of what many tart cherry farmers are facing in Michigan as they are forced to dump thousands of perfectly harvested tart cherries on the ground to rot. It is not the farmer’s idea to let their product lay on the ground to rot. They do it because the government demands that they only sell a certain amount of tart cherries each year. The government claims that it adds stability to the market. In the case of Marc Santucci about 40,000 cherries lay on the ground rotting, according to the Huffington Post.

The problem is not with the cherries themselves. There is a two or three day window to harvest and process the cherries. The government mandates that they can only process so many cherries each year.

While this makes cherry farmers angry, they are not the only farmers who face this issue. On a yearly basis, many potato farmers are forced to spread perfectly golden or red potatoes back over their fields to rot.

If the food was not needed, that might be one thing. The food is needed, however, to feed Americans. As the cherries lay in the field rotting, under trade agreements, cherries are regularly imported from other countries like Turkey and Eastern European countries. In the case of potatoes, $2.7 billion of potatoes were imported mainly in the form of French fries from Canada.

If we assume that letting product rot provides price stabilization, then producers should be able to donate the food. The problem is that there is no network connecting these growers with food banks. There is also no way to move the food from where the surplus exists to food banks throughout the nation or world.

Increasing Agriculture Output by 2030

One of the Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations is to increase agricultural production by 40 percent. It has further identified this as one of the goals with the most value for money spent on its accomplishment, according to an article published on Huffington Post.

If agriculture production can be increased by 40 percent, then child malnutrition can be reduced by 40 percent. In particular, proponents want to see every child in the world eat a more balanced diet during their first two years of life. It says that this program will cost about $11 billion each year. In return, 68 million children annually would no longer be starving to death.

The United Nations feels that an important place to start is to reduce trade restrictions so that food can freely be sold in multiple countries. Researchers in the Netherlands suggest that this would increase the income of people in the developing world by $1,00 each year until 2030.

Farmers would earn an additional $84 billion dollars each year. Not only would children not go hungry, but increasing production would also mean 80 million fewer adults would go hungry.

Increasing production by 40 percent by 2030 must start with taking better care of what farmers are producing today. Almost 25 percent of all food produced in the world is loss between the field and the dinner table. While a big juicy steak hot off the grill tastes great, beef is less efficient on resources than many other foods including chicken and pork. The amount of grains available for harvesting from the same amount of acreage must be increased particularly in Africa. Better conservation agriculture including crop rotation, mulching, planting crops between forests and improved tillage must be implemented around the globe. Developing crops that grow well on degraded lands is an important step. Acquaculture production must be increased.

Increasing agriculture production by 40 percent is an accomplishable goal. It will take everyone working together. People must learn to eat differently. The government must spend more money. Teachers must teach new farming techniques which must be accepted by locals.


Destroying a Way of Life in the Central Valley

If you drive out of Sacramento, California, into the Central Valley, you will see farmers hard at work in their irrigated fields. Near the city, you will see row crops like beans and corn being grown. You will also see beautiful grape vineyards, fragrant fruit orchards and cattle grazing in pastures. As you pass into the San Joaquin Valley, you will see rows of cotton with their little white buds, orchards of peaches and nectarines, nut trees and fields of berries being carefully tended by farmers. While farming techniques have drastically improved, it is the way it has been for decades.

Many believe that it is a way of life worth preserving. Recently, the State Water Resources Board recommended that 40 percent of the water will have to be allowed to flow into the ocean. There reasoning is that it will help protect species of fish that may die off if the river levels are allowed to get to low, according to BuzzFeed. This doubles the amount of water that has to be left unused to flow into the ocean. One has to wonder if the fish have not died off at the 20 percent level, why does it need changing?

The decision is not final. Many in the area believe that if the situation was in a more populous area, the Resources Board would have arrived at a different decision. If their decision is allowed to stand, irrigation pipes throughout the valley will run dry. The water within the underground water system cannot build up. A way of life may be destroyed. The area may never recover from what it has taken faithful stewards of the land decades to build.

There are those who think the proposal does not go far enough including spokesmen with the Golden Gate Salmon Association and with the Natural Resources Council. The plan as it stands now could eliminate thousands of jobs as farmer’s will be forced to leave up to 200,000 acres unplanted. People may have to move away and will never have the resources needed to return to their homes. When you drive through the Central Valley a decade from now, you may see miles of barren land.

The Amazing Story Behind the Launch of the Kabbalah Center

For thousands of years, Kabbalah has successfully remained focused on its mission of obtaining the hidden knowledge of God, such as God’s creations for the visible and invisible universe. Until now, Kabbalah is explained concealed knowledge or Jewish mysticism. Kabbalah has been presented as ancient wisdom passed down via oral traditional to handpicked individuals starting from Adam to Abraham, and eventually to Moses. Centuries ago, this knowledge was reserved for a select group of married men aged 40 years and above. Precisely, the Jews’ general preference was responsible for limiting the spread of Kabbalah teachings.

Factors that hindered the spread of Kabbalah

Jewish men in their early 20s and late30s could choose to study directly qualified Kabbalist. However, personal studies were met with strict restrictions. Accessing written materials such as books and manuscripts proved to a difficult task since they were scarce and expensive. Women, children, and uneducated men were never considered for any formal training irrespective of if the training sessions were taking place next to their homes. The main reason behind the restrictions of Kabbalah dissemination is that it exposed Godly matters that were a bit concealed in Torah. This ancient knowledge focused on the inner characters of God rather than outer perceptions.

The rise of Kabbalah

In the early 13 century, more people started to study Kabbalah and its aspects were introduced into traditional Jewish rituals and beliefs. Between 1500 and 1800, the wisdom became popular among Jewish communities based in the Middle East and Europe. Jerusalem became a promising center for studying Kabbalah in the 1900s and attracted men from all over the world, including Rav Yehuda Ashlag, the brains behind The Kabbalah Center. He was born back in 1885 in Warsaw and brought up by a Chasidic family. He had an opportunity to study the traditional Jewish education. He started learning Kabbalah at a tender age, and the works of Rav Isaac Luria impressed him a lot. Rav Ashlag recruited several students but increasingly focused on sharpening the skills of one of his most talented and committed students, Rav Brandwein. After the demise of Rav Ashlag, Brandwein took up the responsibility of disseminating the Kabbalah wisdom. With the help of his wife (Karen), Brandwein introduced Kabbalah in the U.S. by instituting a Kabbalah Center.

Peaches: From Orchard to Table

If you love to eat peaches brought at local farmer’s markets, then you already know that they often have more fuzz than those brought at major retailers. The reason is that before peaches are shipped to major retailers, a wet knife is used to remove most of the fuzz. The equipment needed to do this is very expensive so it is normally not done to peaches sold at farmer’s markets, according to a Huffington Post.

If you are repulsed by the fuzz on peaches, then you might consider eating a nectarine instead. The difference between a nectarine and a peach is just one gene. That gene is the one that produces the fuzz. It is a recessive gene.

While no one knows for sure rather the nectarine or the peach came first, prominent pomologists suggests that it was the nectarine. They believe that peaches were created by crossing almonds and nectarines.

Growing peaches is big business in some areas of the United States. Over 60 percent of the commercially available peaches are grown by farmers in California. About 15 percent comes from South Carolina with the remaining peaches coming from Georgia.

A variety of commercial peaches are grown by California farmers. Consumers who want to buy the best ones will buy the ones that have just ripened before being shipped to your local grocer. The earliest of these is the July Flame which growers try to start picking in the San Joaquin Valley by the end of June. This peach has a red skin and deep orange flesh. The next peach to ripen is the white fleshed Nectar peach which starts to be available in mid-July. The last commercially available peach to ripen is the Elegant Lady.

In order to give shoppers peaches throughout the year, many peaches are commercially processed. About 85 percent of them are canned with another 15 percent being frozen.

Peaches brought in the grocery store are usually grown in the United States. It is cost prohibitive to ship them in from other locations. Many people, however, believe that the very best peaches are found in a valley in China.



Renown Health Wants to Help More People

Renown Health is expanding its reach. This Spring, the not-for-profit health facility will open a new clinic in South Reno.The clinic will focus on providing laboratory and primary care services to its clients.

When contacted over on phone by NNBW, Renown Medical Director, Dr. McCormack, revealed that the new clinic would have state of the art facilities including a conference room for group meetings. Renown Health is determined to make the clinic as homely as possible.

Dr. McCormack also mentioned the uncertainty in the health care medical sector following the election of Mr. Trump as president. Mr.Trump and his administration are not crazy about Obamacare.

Renown Health’s primary reason for the new clinic was to cater for the growing population. In addition to this, there is improved health insurance services and a general need for primary clinics in the region.

At first, the clinic will have 11 staff members, and soon, a primary car physician and a nurse practitioner will join the team. The new clinic will cover 10,000-square-foot, with a front big enough to span three storefronts.

Developers of the Project

The main contractor of this medical health care project is Shaheen Beauchamp Builders LLC. Eric Fong of MBA Architects + Interior Design from did the architectural and design work. Forbes Engineering won the structural engineering contract. Engineering Consultants did the plumbing, mechanical and electrical work. All the above companies are in Reno.

About Renown Health

Renown is the main health care provider in northern Nevada. It is a not-for-profit health system whose objective is to deliver the best healthcare options for its members. It has a staff of over 6,000 nurses and doctors.

The institution has 12 primary care clinics distributed all through Reno-Sparks, Fallon and Fernley and Carson City. All the earnings from the facility are reinvested back to it,to provide better services.

What’s better is the fact Renown does not have the pressure of pleasing investors. This means they can focus all their attention to serving the purpose of the entity.