Global pandemics that impact on food supplies are scary things.The latest threat comes from African swine fever, a highly contagious virus with no known cure, and a near zero survival rate for infected pigs.The good news is that the disease is not harmful to human health. The bad news is that it will probably hurt our wallets. The epicentre of the current crisis is China, the world's biggest producer and consumer of pork. It alone accounts for more than half of the world's pig population.China is struggling to contain the disease, which has spread to every part of the country since August last year.After months of claiming the situation was under control, Beijing is now warning that pork prices in China could rise by more than 70% in the second half of this year.This in turn would have a knock-on impact on China's economy, given that pork prices are an important contributor to its inflation levels.Official data released over the past week reinforce the seriousness of the situation. … [Read more...] about Is China losing the battle against an incurable pig virus?
Small scale farmers can feed the world
Exhausted and dehydrated the young Mexican clambered through a filthy makeshift tunnel under the flooded streets of border town Tijuana led by a 'coyote' human trafficker. With just $100 in his pocket and bursting with dreams of a new life in America, the 21-year-old knew this was his last hope to cross the border. Fueled by 'fear' and 'adrenaline' he had walked for days trying to find holes in the fence - only to be apprehended by US border patrol agents each time. But after handing over the money his father Felipe had given him from his savings to a disheveled 'coyote' the illegal immigrant finally made it. That was two days before Christmas, 1990 and today almost 29 years on the young man from Mexico - beloved TV star and 'Dog Whisperer' Cesar Millan - shares his incredible story in full for the first time. In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV Cesar, now 50, details how he made the perilous journey across the Mexico/US border all those years ago and transformed his life from … [Read more...] about EXCLUSIVE: Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan tells how he lived ‘like a caged animal’ trying to cross the border illegally, paid a coyote his last $100 to help him slip through a hole in a fence and began walking dogs in LA for free because he was bored
Within days of Barack Obama being elected president of the United States in November 2008, a rumour started circulating around his home town of Chicago. The president would surely need a new chef for the White House, and who better for the job than the man who ran his favourite Chicago restaurant, Rick Bayless, chef of Frontera Grill. There was only one problem, as Bayless acknowledged just days later in an effort to quash the rumour. He cooks food from one country, and it most certainly isn't France. "We cook this really wonderful Mexican food," he told one journalist. "I don't think that's what they want at every state dinner." Indeed. In the end the Obamas decided to stick with the incumbent White House chef, Cristeta Comerford, who had been appointed by George Bush (though they did employ their one-time personal chef, a Chicagoan called Sam Kass to look after them in Washington). Still, the fact that Bayless was considered a reasonable candidate for a post at the heart of the … [Read more...] about Rick Bayless: the Obamas’ favourite chef
By Julia RosenFeb. 15, 2018 , 11:00 AM On a sunny day this past October, three dozen people file into a modest, mint-green classroom at Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman to glimpse a vision of the future. Some are scientists, but most are people with some connection to the land: extension agents who work with farmers, and environmentalists representing organizations such as The Nature Conservancy. They all know that climate change will reshape the region in the coming decades, but that's not what they've come to discuss. They are here to talk about the equally profound impacts of trying to stop it. Paul Stoy, an ecologist at MSU, paces in front of whiteboards in a powder blue shirt and jeans as he describes how a landscape already dominated by agriculture could be transformed yet again by a different green revolution: vast plantations of crops, sown to sop up carbon dioxide (CO2) from the sky. "We have this new energy economy that's necessary to avoid dangerous climate change, … [Read more...] about Vast bioenergy plantations could stave off climate change—and radically reshape the planet