biotechnology

Biotechnology key to production growth in Argentina

Most of the time what I write about on these pages have to do with food and farming in Canada. This is the second in a series of articles about agriculture in Argentina – a key global competitor for Canada’s farming sector. Public perceptions and consumer attitudes can make some Canadian farmers think twice about […]

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Tobacco plants may save lives

I get to learn about some pretty neat things in my life as someone who writes about food and farming. The following story, which was released by the Agri-Technology Commercialization Centre a few weeks ago, ranks high on my list of all-time favourites. PlantForm Corporation, a University of Guelph spin-off company, is using tobacco plants […]

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Dispelling dispair about the future of food and farming

In Western Canada, student enrolment at various agricultural colleges is on the rise. And an increasing percentage of students flocking to programs in animal, food, life and environmental sciences are coming from urban areas, which spokespeople at these institutions attribute at least partly to the growing public interest in agriculture and food. Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural […]

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Feeding the world without destroying it?

By 2025, farmers need to double their food output to feed an estimated global population of eight billion. That’s a startling statistic and what it means is something we all need to start thinking about. I came across it in a report on the Colorado Ag Classic, a convention of Colorado wheat, seed, corn, sunflower […]

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New corn to be better for environment

Corn uses too much water and too much fertilizer to produce, its critics often charge, making it a bad environmental choice. Yet millions of people around the world depend on corn as a staple of life –  as food for themselves, as feed for their livestock and as a renewable fuel alternative. And that demand […]

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New life for an old crop

Here’s an interesting follow up to a story I first posted on this site in May, 2008. At the time, I wrote about John Baker and his efforts to find opportunities for industrial hemp following a presentation he made the the annual meeting of the Eastern Canada Farm Writers Association.

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Regs, regs and more regs for farmers

I keep reading the same messages over and over again lately – and from different parts of the world.  Agriculture, it seems, is under fire from government.

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The flip side of banning biotech

I came across an interesting post today on a blog called “Gate to Plate” by Michele Payn-Knoper. She talks about hunger and how sad it is that in a country as rich in land, food and farmers as the United States, children have to go without.

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The green crystal ball

The following article was printed in the Ontario Corn Producer, December 2008. By Lilian Schaer These days, it seems hard to predict what may happen with any degree of accuracy three months from now, let alone three years into the future. But although we live in volatile times, there are some fairly safe bets on […]

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The truth about the cost of Ontario food

Guelph Mercury, August 01, 2008 Lilian Schaer The global food crisis is starting to hit home. Even here in Ontario where a strong farming sector produces an abundance of top quality food and exports much of it to other countries, higher food prices are becoming a fact of life. The growth of renewable fuels — […]

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Solving the food crisis?

An editorial in the Toronto Star today made me stop and think once again about the disconnect between those of us in agriculture and those who aren’t. According to the Star editorial, one of the solutions to the global food crisis is for rich nations like Canada to produce more food. On the surface, that […]

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Scanning for cloned meat

Now you can know for sure. There’s a new, fool-proof way of determining whether the steak you’re eating came from a cloned animal using DNA barcoding technology. This statement was made by an Irish scientist at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Boston this week. According to Professor Patrick Cunningham, DNA […]

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US gov’t declares cloned meat safe to eat

The US government last week approved the sale of meat and milk from cloned animals for human consumption – and at the same time, asked farmers to keep them off store shelves. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared the products as safe for humans to eat as those from conventionally produced livestock. The US […]

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