Reversing Violence, Diabetes, Unemployment & Climate Change

Gladiators

At least 72 people were shot, including 12 fatally, over the weekend in Chicago, another eruption of violence in a city that has struggled with murders and shootings in recent years even as the national homicide rate hovers near historic lows.

California’s biggest wildfire on record was expected to burn for the rest of August, as hot and windy conditions challenged thousands of fire crews battling eight major blazes burning out of control across the state.

According to the CDC’s Diabetes Report Card, about 30.3 million people, or 9.4% of the US population, had diabetes in 2015. This total included 30.2 million adults aged 18 or older, or 12.2% of all US adults. About 7.2 million of these adults had diabetes but were not aware that they had the disease or did not report that they had it.
Members of some racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to have diagnosed diabetes than non-Hispanic whites.

Diabetes chart

Kansas City is addressing these problems with urban farming

We are bringing these ideas to New York starting with a smart aquaponics system

Smart Aquaponics
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Blockchain to Reverse Climate Change & Diabetes

We are researching Blockchain applications for Urban Agriculture.
“Food is key to nearly everything,” solutions for food production will actually come from cities, and blockchain technology will be critical in developing those solutions.
[T]he issues that confront most Americans directly are income, food (thereby, agriculture), health and climate change. (And, of course, war, but let’s leave that aside for now.)

Mark Bittman

These are all related: You can’t address climate change without fixing agriculture, you can’t fix health without improving diet, you can’t improve diet without addressing income, and so on. The production, marketing and consumption of food is key to nearly everything. (It’s one of the keys to war, too, because large-scale agriculture is dependent on control of global land, oil, minerals and water.)

Jane Jacobs - The Economy of Cities

“Food is key to nearly everything” and the solutions for food production will actually come from cities. As Jane Jacobs wrote in The Economy of Cities:
Current theory in many fields—economics, history, anthropology—assumes that cities are built upon a rural economic base. If my observations and reasoning are correct, the reverse is true: that is, rural economics, including agricultural work, are directly built upon city economics and city work.
Jacobs theorized that cities predated agriculture. She is probably wrong on that particular premise, but she was pointing to a deeper truth, as a Planetizen article notes:
[D]espite the “total fallacy” of Jacobs’s statement that cities came first, she had a valid point when she stated that agricultural development benefited from urban stimuli. Monica Smith also notes that the Cities First model “requires modifications but still contains an element of truth in that cities provide significant boosts to rural productivity” by promoting certain efficiencies of cultivation….
I support… the archaeological consensus on the relationship between agriculture and urban origins. At best, agriculture and cities evolved hand-in-hand in what Soja describes as a “mutually causal and symbiotic relationship.” But perhaps there’s still something to the idea of Cities First if we focus on cities not as things (or, products) but as processes.
Solutions for food production will come from cities, and blockchain technology will be critical in developing those solutions.
Blockchain technology came to popular notice with the rise of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The technology allows for highly secure digital transactions and recordkeeping. Even though blockchain found its first use in cryptocurrencies, the concept can be applied to all sorts of transactions, including agricultural ones.

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Reversing Diabetes, Unemployment & Climate Change

Building a Food Computer in Harlem
In March 2016, Terrance Jackson did a presentation:
Genius Farm
Teaching young people to grow food for their communities and solve the critical problems of our times.

We will organize a group of students from Harlem to build a personal food computers based on the work of the MIT Media Lab’s Open Agriculture Initiative. The OpenAg Initiative is developing open source “Food Computers.” A Food Computer is a controlled-environment agriculture technology platform that uses robotic systems to control and monitor climate, energy, and plant growth inside of a specialized growing chamber. Climate variables such as carbon dioxide, air temperature, humidity, dissolved oxygen, potential hydrogen, electrical conductivity, and root-zone temperature are among the many conditions that can be controlled and monitored within the growing chamber.
Personal Food Computer

Caleb Harper, Director of MIT’s Open Agriculture Initiative, demonstrating a personal food computer and showing students how controlled environment plant-growing works.

It’s important that young people learn about growing food and programming computers.

comp sci
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Fundraiser to Reverse Climate Change, Diabetes, and Unemployment

We are having a t-shirt fundraiser to reverse Climate Change, Diabetes, and Unemployment with our Prayer Breakfast and Genius Farm.
Our t-shirt design

Pieta t-shirt

By local artist and librarian Roxanne Mapp

Roxanne Mapp

Don’t try to interpret faith in terms of science and logic. Religious imagery is telling you what is becoming.

"Miracles happen" ~ Pope Francis

“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Matthew 21:22
Our t-shirts are:
  • Grown in the USA
  • Certified organic cotton
  • Made in the Carolinas
  • Transparent supply chain
  • Water-based inks
  • Environmentally-friendly print process
  • Medium weight: 5.4 oz
Be proud each and every day you wear your tee knowing that your purchase supports more than 500 American jobs! Since it’s made from super-comfortable ringspun cotton, you’ll want to wear it every day. And because it’s made from a medium weight (5.4 oz) fabric that’s constructed for durability, you can actually wear it every day without it showing signs of wear.
Ask, and it will be given to you;
Seek, and you will find;
Knock, and it will be opened to you.
~ Matthew 7:7

Seven Magazine - A R Bernard

Click, and it will be opened to you.
Click the image above or below for a rough draft of Seven Magazine.

T-shirt fundraiser
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Genius Farm as a Cure for Violence

In March, Terrance Jackson did a presentation:
Genius Farm
Teaching young people to grow food for their communities and solve the critical problems of our times.

Personal Food Computer

Caleb Harper, Director of MIT’s Open Agriculture Initiative, showing students how controlled environment plant-growing works.

We will begin at the Genius Farm by building personal food computers based on the work of the MIT Media Lab’s Open Agriculture Initiative. The OpenAg Initiative is developing open source “Food Computers.” A Food Computer is a controlled-environment agriculture technology platform that uses robotic systems to control and monitor climate, energy, and plant growth inside of a specialized growing chamber. Climate variables such as carbon dioxide, air temperature, humidity, dissolved oxygen, potential hydrogen, electrical conductivity, and root-zone temperature are among the many conditions that can be controlled and monitored within the growing chamber.
Will Allen of Growing Power

Will Allen of Growing Power

According to Will Allen’s The Good Food Revolution:
The great tragedy for many African Americans…is that in losing touch with the land and with traditions handed down for generations, they also lost an important set of skills: how to grow and prepare healthy food….
It’s no coincidence that the epidemic of diet-related illnesses now sweeping the country—obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes—are harming blacks the most….

comp sci

The Food Computer is a way to introduce students to the importance of both growing food and programming computers.

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Gigabit Farm Aid: Reversing Diabetes & Climate Change

Gigabit Farm Aid - Madison Square Garden

Gigabit Farm Aid Concert
Spring 2016
In 2013, African Americans were twice as likely as non-Hispanic Whites to die from diabetes. This is according to the U. S.  Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health.
At the northern outskirts of Milwaukee, stand 14 greenhouses on two acres of land. This is Growing Power, the only land within the Milwaukee city limits zoned as farmland. Founded by MacArthur Foundation “genius” fellow Will Allen, Growing Power is an active farm producing tons of food each year, a food distribution hub, and a training center. Will Allen is the author of The Good Food Revolution.
Will Allen of Growing Power

Will Allen of Growing Power

According to Will Allen’s The Good Food Revolution:
The history of agriculture in the United States is largely a history of racial exploitation. From the slavery that formed the rural economy of the South to the mistreatment of migrant farm workers that continues to this day, our food has too often been made possible by someone else’s suffering. And that someone else tends not to be white….
The great tragedy for many African Americans…is that in losing touch with the land and with traditions handed down for generations, they also lost an important set of skills: how to grow and prepare healthy food….
It’s no coincidence that the epidemic of diet-related illnesses now sweeping the country—obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes—are harming blacks the most….
America’s current agricultural system was hardly created by free market forces. Between 1995 and 2010, American farmers received about $262 billion in federal subsidies. And the wealthiest 10 percent of farmers received 74 percent of those subsidies. Almost two-thirds of American farmers didn’t receive any subsidies at all….
One in two African Americans born in the year 2000 is expected to develop type II diabetes. Four out of every ten African American men and women over the age of twenty have high blood pressure….
The farmer became less important than the food scientist, the distributor, the marketer, and the corporation. In 1974, farmers took home 32 cents of every dollar spent on food in the United States. Today, they get only 16 cents.
African Americans in losing touch with the land and with traditions handed down for generations, they also lost an important set of skills: how to grow and prepare healthy food.

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Is Our Drinking Water Safe?

Lake Erie water

A sample glass of Lake Erie water that was extracted near the City of Toledo water intake

Last summer, toxins contaminated the water supply of the city of Toledo leaving 400,000 people without access to safe drinking water for two days. This problem was caused by a massive algae boom.
Water problems in the Great Lakes — the world’s largest freshwater system — have spiked in the last three years, largely because of agricultural pollution. Toledo draws its drinking water from Lake Erie.
Flooded by tides of phosphorus washed from fertilized farms, cattle feedlots and leaky septic systems, the most intensely developed of the Great Lakes is increasingly being choked each summer by thick mats of algae, much of it poisonous. What plagues Toledo and, experts say, potentially all 11 million lakeside residents, is increasingly a serious problem across the United States.
Lake Erie Algal Bloom

This satellite image provided by NOAA shows the algae bloom on Lake Erie in 2011 which according to NOAA was the worst in decades.

But while there is talk of action — and particularly in Ohio, real action — there also is widespread agreement that efforts to address the problem have fallen woefully short. And the troubles are not restricted to the Great Lakes. Poisonous algae are found in polluted inland lakes from Minnesota to Nebraska to California, and even in the glacial-era kettle ponds of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

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