Protecting the right to control what we put into our bodies

Filmmaker Kristin Canty’s brand-new documentary, Farmageddon: The Unseen War on American Family Farms, will debut at Chico’s El Rey Theatre on June 29 at 6 p.m., thanks to the efforts of Oroville’s Chaffin Family Orchards and the local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. (Other debut cities: New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco).

“Americans’ right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack,” writes Canty, a mother of four, in the promo literature for her movie. “Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.”

The event is a fundraiser for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, which helps protect family farms and other providers of locally sourced products from undue harassment, such as in the case I mentioned in an earlier column (See “A chip on their shoulder,” CN&R, Oct. 28, 2010) of Rawesome Foods in Venice, Calif., getting raided at gunpoint by federal, state and local authorities for selling raw-milk products.

Rawesome manager James Stewart is one of the film’s interview subjects, as are widely known farmer/author/lecturer Joel Salatin and Annie Novak, co-founder of Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Go to for ticket info or to watch the trailer.

Grist’s top-10 brownwashers
Brownwashing”—the act of claiming that a sustainable practice isn’t as green or necessary as it seems to be—could be said to be the opposite of “greenwashing”—when an entity (such as a big corporation) acts like it is eco-friendly but really isn’t. Neither greenwashing nor brownwashing is commendable.

In early June, environmental website revealed its top-10 list of brownwashing Republicans, and it includes several current presidential candidates—former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Nos. 2 and 1, respectively, as well as the GOP’s 2008 candidate, U.S. Sen. John McCain.

No. 4 on the list is former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who may or may not be a candidate this year.

Among other tidbits in the article, Palin refers to “this snake-oil science stuff that is based on this global warming—Gore-gate stuff,” and Gingrich utters this line: “It’s an act of egotism for humans to think we’re a primary source of climate change.” Read the full story at

Chico Green School’s Keith Gelber and Shana Murray call attention to National Pollinator Week.

Photo By Christine G.K. LaPado

“No bees, no food”
Chico Green School outreach and development director Shana Murray and practical crafts/community-service teacher Keith Gelber are promoting National Pollinator Week June 20-26, which is intended to “raise awareness of the global decrease of pollinators in general, from bats to bugs,” as Gelber (pictured, with Murray) put it. Green School students recently collected signatures on a petition they sent to both California Gov. Jerry Brown and Chico Mayor Ann Schwab to have Pollinator Week officially acknowledged statewide and locally.

To kick off National Pollinator Week, Chico Green School hosted Taggart Siegel’s multiple-award-winning documentary film Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? at the Pageant Theatre on June 18. For 10 things you can do to help bees in your own yard, go to