Never thought I'd post this Walmart & Sustainable in same sentence.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/15/business/15walmart.html?_r=1&src=busln
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Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
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Its very impressive, said Margaret Mellon, director of the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Its encouraging that Wal-Mart understands that the path forward in agriculture isnt through making the big bigger, its really through encouraging the small and medium-sized farms, she said. Still, she said she was disappointed that goals around organic food were not included, and surprised that Wal-Mart did not address genetically modified seeds and produce. The agricultural sustainability index was particularly noteworthy, said one academic who worked with Wal-Mart on the goals. The index represents a real number that will mean improvement on the ground: improving ecosystem health, soil health and food quality, said Marty Matlock, a professor of ecological engineering at the University of Arkansas, which will move agricultural producers en masse.
Whole Foods still uses the factory model of agriculture; buy from a large producer, store in warehouses, and ship when needed to individual stores.
If Wally World can make sustainable, healthy food, available, I say good for them. Of course, prices at Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) should be lower (less overhead). Hopefully, you should be able to shop as you will, and still find fresh, local food.
<http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/magazine/22wwlnlede.t.html "the current farm bill helps commodity farmers by cutting them a check based on how many bushels they can grow, rather than, say, by supporting prices and limiting production, as farm bills once did. The result? A food system awash in added sugars (derived from corn) and added fats (derived mainly from soy), as well as dirt-cheap meat and milk (derived from both). By comparison, the farm bill does almost nothing to support farmers growing fresh produce. A result of these policy choices is on stark display in your supermarket, where the real price of fruits and vegetables between 1985 and 2000 increased by nearly 40 percent while the real price of soft drinks (a k a liquid corn) declined by 23 percent. The reason the least healthful calories in the supermarket are the cheapest is that those are the ones the farm bill encourages farmers to grow.
. . .
"To speak of the farm bills influence on the American food system does not begin to describe its full impact on the environment, on global poverty, even on immigration. By making it possible for American farmers to sell their crops abroad for considerably less than it costs to grow them, the farm bill helps determine the price of corn in Mexico and the price of cotton in Nigeria and therefore whether farmers in those places will survive or be forced off the land, to migrate to the cities or to the United States. The flow of immigrants north from Mexico since Nafta is inextricably linked to the flow of American corn in the opposite direction, a flood of subsidized grain that the Mexican government estimates has thrown two million Mexican farmers and other agricultural workers off the land since the mid-90s. (More recently, the ethanol boom has led to a spike in corn prices that has left that country reeling from soaring tortilla prices; linking its corn economy to ours has been an unalloyed disaster for Mexicos eaters as well as its farmers.) You cant fully comprehend the pressures driving immigration without comprehending what U.S. agricultural policy is doing to rural agriculture in Mexico."
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" . . . the farm bill is a misnomer; in truth, it is a food bill and
so needs to be rewritten with the interests of eaters placed first. Yes,
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In article

A step in the right direction. The implications are that high oil and it's dependences just don't make sense and dealing with that issue in the market place seems to be how change occurs here. Being me I'd like viable wages for the folks that toil there too. God can I say a union?
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Bill S. Jersey USA zone 5 shade garden
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This really is a big deal.
A brother-in-law was working with a company working with Walmart on this. WalMart has caved in to customer pressure and dedicated themselves to a clean up-stream process. That means all their suppliers will have to verify that THEIR sources are also environmentally 'green'.
Since WalMart controls such a large portion of the market, what they demand will impact all their suppliers who want to continue doing business with them (or just about everybody). These suppliers also service other distributors. Cleaning up their acts so they can sell to one supplier cleans up others, too...
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MikeTaylor

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