Giant Foods is a Washington-based regional food store that is taking over large sectors of the market in Baltimore. We have national Whole Foods. Farm Fresh left and Safeway is struggling. There has always been food chains but most are now owned by the same global corporations at the top as are the products they sell. When I go to my local Safeway in the city I pay almost as much for groceries as I do at Whole Foods with less service as self-checking hits. The organics are higher cost. I walk out with two bags always costing me $80 for just a single person. The food consolidation is fixing prices so that people cannot get discount if they try. Then there is Save-A-Lot. We want to be clear----the US no longer enforces food safety for the most part and the US fills its food with hormones, steroids, anti-biotics, and food-born illness is soaring in the US. We have always had a tiered system of food quality but now food is being priced out of reach as Americans now cannot afford ordinary products. You are seeing a family of 4 barely able to afford food while still having disposable income. So, we decide maybe we don't need meat all the time---maybe we don't need organic all the time and before you know it---you are not eating healthy and the quality of food on the shelves from foreign nations are not meeting ordinary safety measures.
THIS IS HOW YOU SEE THE COMING USE OF FOOD AS CONTROL.
Don't worry say global corporate pols---we will subsidize food as the prices rise----same as is happening with our energy bills, yet the prices keep rising and we get Smart Meters and soon to be Poor Farms.
Giant Foods and Royal Farms gas stations are flooding the food and energy market in the Baltimore area.
Giant Foods Stores in Baltimore
5150 Sinclair Lane, Parkside
711 W. 40th St., Rotunda
6340-50 York Rd., York Road Plaza
6620 Reisterstown Road, Reisterstown Road Plaza
601 East 33rd St., Waverly Crossroads
4624 Edmondson Avenue, Edmondson Square
4622 Wilkens Ave., Wilkens Beltway Plz
7944 Honeygo Blvd., White Marsh Mall
7920-30 Belair Road, Putty Hill Plaza
8665 Philadelphia Rd., Golden Ring Mall
3602 Milford Mill Rd., Milford Mill
5901 Reisterstown Rd
2159 W Patapsco Ave
7920 Belair Rd
8665 Philadelphia Rd
So, everyone says-----if corporations are making our food too expensive or not healthy----let's grow locally! That is from where all of the small farm and community garden policies are coming. We cannot of course feed everyone by growing local but there is another great big looming problem----Maryland's fresh water supply is endangered. Remember, BIG AG drained the aquifers in the mid-west and West to the point even small farmers cannot access water for crops. Fast forward to Maryland becoming BIG AG and BIG MEAT----and our aquifers are already running dry. The article below shows how the aquifers under those Eastern Maryland mega-farms are already stressed......right now, Marcellus Aquifer is the only one left fully servicing the citizens of Maryland.
O'Malley spent his career hawking Maryland BIG AG and BIG MEAT overseas to generate more of our fresh water and land to be depleted.....and now he is fast-tracking fracking in Western Maryland having made no attempt to protect it from fracking contamination by other states around Maryland. So, it will not be long before Marcellus Aquifer is drained by fracking corporations using water for operations and contaminated from the chemicals----just as happened out west.
NEO-CONS LIKE ERHLICH CONSOLIDATED WHILE NEO-LIBERALS LIKE O'MALLEY OPENED MARKETS OVERSEAS FOR THESE MEGA-FARMS.
This makes a very few people very rich while depleting our Maryland natural resources.
NOTHING PROGRESSIVE ABOUT THAT!
Remember, this article is ten years old and government assessments tend to hide problems and under O'Malley, selling food overseas has excelled. This is the opposite of what a domestic economy does. It is so easy to change this IF WE GET RID OF THESE INCUMBENTS!
Sustainability of the Ground-Water Resources in the Atlantic Coastal Plain of Maryland
by Robert J. Shedlock (U.S. Geological Survey) and David W. Bolton (Maryland Geological Survey)
USGS Fact Sheet FS 2006-3009
A 2004 report by the Advisory Committee on the Management and Protection of the State's Water Resources identified the need for a comprehensive assessment of ground-water resources of the Maryland Coastal Plain, where the population is expected to grow by 37 percent between the years 2000 and 2030. Accordingly, the Maryland Geological Survey (MGS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have begun the first phase of a three-phase assessment of Maryland's Coastal Plain aquifer system. This Fact Sheet describes this assessment and the current and planned activities necessary for its implementation.
Figure 1: Extent of the Atlantic Coastal Plain in Maryland and adjacent states.
Importance of Ground Water in the Atlantic Coastal Plain of Maryland Ground water is the primary source of water supply in most areas of Maryland within the Atlantic Coastal Plain (fig. 1), and is pumped from sand and gravel layers underlying the Coastal Plain. These sand and gravel layers alternate with layers of silt and clay to form a wedge-shaped system of sediments that begins at the Fall Line (the boundary between the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Piedmont Physiographic Provinces) and gently tilts and thickens to the southeast toward the Atlantic Ocean (fig. 2). The buried sands and gravels form a sequence of confined aquifers that is overlain by sandy deposits that form a surficial aquifer. These aquifers are the primary water supply for southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore.
Why is this Assessment Necessary?
Water Levels in the Aquifers are Declining at a Significant Rate
Withdrawals from Maryland Coastal Plain aquifers have caused ground-water levels in confined aquifers to decline by tens to hundreds of feet from their original levels (fig. 3). The current rate of decline in many of the confined aquifers is about 2 feet per year. The declines are especially large in southern Maryland and parts of the Eastern Shore, where ground-water pumpage is projected to increase by more than 20 percent between the years 2000 and 2030, with some regions experiencing significantly greater increases. Continued water-level declines at current rates could affect the long-term sustainability of ground-water resources in Maryland’s heavily populated Coastal Plain communities and the agricultural areas of the Eastern Shore.
Figure 2: Schematic of the Atlantic Coastal Plain aquifer system in the southern Maryland
2) Water Quality in Some Areas is Significantly Compromised Water quality in the Coastal Plain aquifers is a concern for several reasons. Contamination by saltwater intrusion is a significant water-quality issue for the confined aquifers, and has been documented in several of Maryland’s waterfront communities. However, the potential for saltwater intrusion is not well known in the deeper parts of the aquifer system because few data are available. Some areas have problems with naturally high concentrations of trace-element contaminants (including arsenic and radium), and further evaluation of these public health issues is warranted. Elevated concentrations of nutrients and agricultural chemicals in the surficial aquifer is a significant concern, especially on the Eastern Shore, where shallow ground water is the water-supply source for many homeowners and provides much of the base flow to streams.
Figure 3: Hydrograph showing declining water levels in a well in the Aquia Aquifers in Southern Maryland.
3) Ground-Water Resource Managers Need Better Tools Water managers, policymakers, planners, and developers need to know how much ground water is available in the different areas of the Maryland Coastal Plain for public and domestic water supply, agriculture, industry, and electric power generation. Ground-water withdrawals in Maryland are managed by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) through the Water Appropriations Permit Program. While studies of individual aquifers or multi-aquifer subregions are available, MDE needs more comprehensive and interactive tools for making management and permitting decisions. Specifically, MDE needs information systems and simulation tools to evaluate the effects of increased withdrawals on the entire aquifer system in important subregions and throughout the Maryland Coastal Plain. These tools need to take into account that some of the aquifers are units of a regional system that extends into and is used for water supply in adjacent states.
Evaluation of alternative water-management strategies requires enhancements in the monitoring networks for ground-water levels and streamflow throughout the Coastal Plain. Water managers and planners need to understand where and when continued withdrawal of ground water may reduce streamflow and/or induce changes in water quality that would require additional treatment or limit uses of the water resource.
Is it progressive to push small farming and community gardens if the overall policies are working against this? Of course not-----corporate pols are trying to look like they are doing something as they are creating a desperate situation for the citizens of Maryland. Who is hurt more as agriculture goes global----people living in cities who depend on food imported in from state growers. This is now moving to food imported from overseas as our local growers are exporting food. See how O'Malley is creating the dynamic of our not being able to meet our food and water needs?
IT IS DELIBERATE FOLKS-----CONTROL THE FOOD AND WATER---AND CONTROL THE PEOPLE.
I've spoken about Baltimore's water privatization policy that will cause water prices to soar and again, be made a tool to get people to move away because of an inability to pay a water bill----and to keep people's disposible income tied to survival needs. Your standards of living falling to trying to meet the needs of food, water, and energy......that is third world. Think forward just a few decades to when Smart Meters will ration water and energy because people will not be able to pay for all they need----and you have third world conditions with people manipulated by simple needs. That is how social services are used today in Baltimore for the poor---so when Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons kill those social services at the same time energy, food, and water prices soar---you will be completely dependent. Move out of the city they say----well, with real estate being sold in large parcels, aquifers drying and ground water becoming scarce----there will not be many places to go.
This article shows what the one above states about Maryland aquifers----once you drain an aquifer dry by creating BIG AG to export food for profit----the water at the bottom of the aquifer is not as pure---in fact it is probably not safe. Right now arcenic and radium are the culprits. Small doses turn larger when this water becomes used for everything. This water is sprayed on crops for irrigation and now it is getting into well water. Think about this-----now they are bringing fracking into Maryland which will expedite fresh water contamination.
Radium in Well Water and Radium Grant Program
Last Updated: 10.22.13 Updated: 2.8.11
Anne Arundel County conducted a pilot study of well water quality from September 1997 to March 1998. During the pilot study, naturally occurring radium was found in 22 wells in northern Anne Arundel County. Fifteen of these wells exceeded the level established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for public drinking water supplies. A larger study, conducted by the Maryland Department of the Environment in 1998, confirmed the presence of naturally occurring radium in groundwater in northern Anne Arundel County. Radium in drinking water does not pose a health emergency and can be effectively removed by installing a deeper well or through water treatment.
Since March 1, 2002, new and replacement wells in northern Anne Arundel County must be installed to a minimum well depth and meet drinking water standards for radium. The minimum well depth is determined based on the results of a computer model showing the distribution of radium data, well depths, property elevations and deep test wells. The minimum well depths in this area range from 250 to 500 feet.
Owners of existing private wells in northern Anne Arundel County (see map) (PDF) are encouraged to test for radium. The results of testing indicate two out of every three wells exceed the drinking water standard for radium. Where radium levels test high, well replacement or a water treatment unit is recommended.
Both Maryland neo-cons and neo-liberals have allowed this to happen all for global markets and profit for the few. Every pol in Maryland is a global corporate pol. Baltimore is run by a great big neo-conservative Johns Hopkins whose whole reason to live is empire-building. Still, we had a Maryland Governor's race ending with the choices being ---neo-con Hogan and neo-liberal Brown.
THOSE PEOPLE THINKING THIS IS FINE TO MOVE THE POOR AND WORKING CLASS FROM THE AREA HAD BETTER THINK HOW QUICKLY YOUR FAMILY WILL BE SPENDING ALL WAGES JUST TO SURVIVE. THE COMING ECONOMIC CRASH WILL BOOST THE PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE AT OR NEAR POVERTY AND ACCESSING HEALTHY WATER WILL BECOME MORE AND MORE EXPENSIVE.
Corporate pols are trying to hide the fact that the US is becoming an importer of food by building this concept of urban gardens to feed the city, They say---OK, BIG AG is exporting food and destroying the area around you very quickly---but we can grow our own! Well, of course we cannot. There is no way for a urban city to grow local to feed its citizens. That doesn't mean community gardens are bad----it means
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM IS BIG AG AND EXPORTING FOOD RIGHT NOW AND NOTHING IS BEING SAID TO STOP THIS POLICY!
If a private non-profit is not educating you about all of this as they promote community gardens or environmentalism, or health care for all----they are not working for you and me. The point is to stop the bad policy NOW AND REVERSE IT----not allow it to continue. The answer for justice in food, health, and environment is GET RID OF GLOBAL CORPORATE NEO-CONS AND NEO-LIBERALS. In Maryland, neo-liberals create non-profits and place directors in place just so none of this is said and those groups then praise the neo-liberals as good for environment, food and health justice WHEN THEY ARE NOT! Food justice starts with ending BIG AG and protecting Food Stamps and that means get rid of the Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons!
Urban farms won’t feed us, but they just might teach
us By Nathanael Johnson on 29 Apr 2014 During World War II, when the government rationed food, Americans turned their backyards and front lawns into “victory gardens” that supplied 40 percent of the nation’s fruits and vegetables. Could we do that again, or even improve on it?
If we want to scale up regional food systems and stop giving farmers an incentive to expand into prairies and rainforests, it seems like it would be a great idea to grow a significant amount of our calories right in our cities. It’s a beautiful concept, reuniting humans and nature to solve many of the problems brought about by our urbanization. But talking to urban farmers and reading the recent research turned a cold hose (of reclaimed rooftop drain water) on my enthusiasm.
There’s a backlash underway against the general exuberance over urban farming, and, surprisingly, it’s coming from urban farmers. It’s a measured, cautious backlash — less pendulum swing than correction.
There’s plenty of good reasons to grow food in cities. But the hype of urban farms curing all ills and supplying a significant portion of their city’s calories is just that: hype. The arguments for urban farming have been so persuasive that they’ve been irresistible to marketers and faddists who pay lip service to the ideals without reckoning with the realities.
“Remember this date: Thursday, April 5, 2012. That was when, as best as I can figure it, corporate America co-opted the urban farming movement,” urban farmer Jason Mark wrote in an essay for Gastronomica. “On that spring day, Williams-Sonoma began offering its ‘agrarian’ collection, a line of tools and equipment for novice backyard homesteaders.”
If we want to see past the made-to-order world of $200 raised beds and “exclusive” backyard beehives and grapple with the actual reality of urban farming, we’re going to have to accept the limitations of space, time, and money. Once we get over those three hurdles, though, I think there’s still a lot to recommend certain kinds of city farming.
Space Open land, obviously, comes at a premium in cities. And though an urban farm of one or two acres can produce a lot of food, the definition of “a lot” is relative, said Eli Zigas, food systems and urban agriculture program manager of the urban planning nonprofit SPUR. “It can be a substantial amount of food, but for a dense area, compared to the number of people who live nearby, it’s a small dent.”
You can farm rooftops, but only certain rooftops will do: They have to be flat, large enough to make it worthwhile, and structurally sound enough to support the weight. You could devote more land to crops, but that has the effect of spreading cities out, and we’d end up with something more like suburban sprawl. A SPUR report on San Francisco’s urban gardens concluded that trying to replicate the successes of the victory gardens and produce 40 percent of the city’s own veggies would be a bad idea: “Trying to reach anywhere near that proportion today within San Francisco would be a poor use of land and effort, especially considering the productivity of farmland so close to the city.”
You could solve this problem with vertical farms: There’s no reason that agriculture couldn’t follow the format set by cities and build up rather than out. But you’d have to generate truly heroic amounts of food to justify the cost of building a skyscraper. Right now, at least, the market suggests that it’s much more valuable to have office towers, housing, and transit hubs in cities.
Time One of the promises of urban farming was that it would provide city dwellers with access to good food. But the cost of time in cities is just as high as the cost of land. The people struggling to afford healthy food who could benefit most from their own market gardens simply don’t have the time to plant and harvest. For someone with two or three part-time jobs, it makes economic sense to put in time at work and collect a paycheck, rather than cultivate a garden in hopes of saving a little money at the store.
In the same way, the time-to-money conversion affects more affluent city residents who might farm their backyards. A few people will start planting market gardens just because it’s fun or trendy. But to get a critical mass of people harvesting victory-garden amounts of produce, you need bigger incentives. Young professionals would need to choose weeding and watering as their foremost hobby en masse, rather than, say, drinking, Tinder, and electronic music.
Money “If we are going to foster a revolution in the methods of American agriculture, we must pioneer ways to make small-scale farming economically viable. The honest truth is that with urban agriculture, we are not there yet,” wrote urban farming luminary Will Allen in his book, The Good Food Revolution.
One of the bright promises of urban ag was that it would allow the unemployed to make use of blighted land and vacant lots. That promise has been fulfilled in many places around the country, but it’s very rare to find it fulfilled profitably. Farmers starting out have always found that it can be hard to break even, let alone support the higher cost of living in a city. In an in-depth investigation of urban farming published by NextCity, journalist David Lepeska found that there were just two kinds of successful urban farms: nonprofits propped up by outside funding, and high-end producers who are able to sell to fine restaurants and well-heeled customers for a premium.
To make an urban farm function, you need space to plant, time to do the work, and a customer base with enough money to make it all worthwhile. Cities like New York and San Francisco have plenty of customers, but no space. Cities like Detroit have plenty of space, but far fewer customers interested in paying a premium.
In the most reductive analysis, urban farms aren’t an important part of regional food systems: The numbers just don’t add up. But it’s just as true that they can make cities better places, and those who live there better people.