Just buzzing in and out to let you know about some cool stuff!

Rooftop Farming
There's a great article on Inhabitat this week about a zoning proposal to encourage rooftop farming in New York.  I guess in a place like Brisbane we don't need rooftop farms, as we are so rich in bushland, garden space and parklands. But for someone like me, who has a small apartment garden and works in an office all day, the thought of catching the lift to the roof to water tomatoes is just too cool. The suburb where I work is full of strip shopping, offices and malls, and to be able to go up on the roof and look out and see other people working in and enjoying green spaces on their roofs would be very satisfying!

Rice Off!
China has rejected Genetically Modified rice this week according to Infowars. It's hard to find news of this independent of this website however, and it would seem to be in opposition to China's previous public announcements about feeding its population using GM innovations.
Interestingly, though in November of last year the EU slapped a few controls on the foods coming in from China, after a high percentage of rice was discovered to be GM (despite claims it was not). Perhaps this was enough to swing the government's policy views regarding GM?(ref)
Also, the Atlantic claimed in early January that "Chinese researchers have found small pieces of rice ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the blood and organs of humans who eat rice. The Nanjing University-based team showed that this genetic material will bind to receptors in human liver cells and influence the uptake of cholesterol from the blood." (ref) Either way it will be interesting to see if this is actually true.

Good Chook News

I have been doing a bit of Chicken reading this week, having found a great book at the library called 'Planet Chicken.'  And this week my good friend T informed me of Europe's new caged chicken ruling....Peter Singer has an article on the ABC about this:
 "On the first day of 2012, keeping hens in such cages became illegal, in all 27 countries of the European Union. Hens can still be kept in cages, but they must have more space, and the cages must have nest boxes and a scratching post...In Australia battery hens are not illegal, with Australian farms required to abide by a code of practice that guides the welfare of their chickens."  (ref)

Be very nice to see a change in Australia's chicken welfare laws to reflect the change in the EU. Website 'Free Betty' says 'Even food giants such as McDonald’s UK and Burger King US (better known as Hungry Jack’s in Australia) have made the switch to cage-free—but not their Australian subsidiaries.' We are falling behind! (Free Betty, by the way, have summed up a few actions one can take towards making this change,  here.)

Transition East has a movie viewing coming up at Morningside.
I'm gonna go! Let me know if you would like to come along by visiting the eco-bris facebook site or leaving a comment...

Wednesday 22 February 2012 from 6pm to 9pm – 118 Blackwood Ave Morningside
Growing Change is an inspiring documentary that looks at one of the most exciting experiments in the world to grow a fair and sustainable food system. Growing Change follows the filmmaker's journey to understand why current food systems leave hundreds of millions of people in hunger.  It's a journey to understand how the world will feed itself in the future in the face of major environmental challenges.
Potluck dinner (bring some food to share) starting at 6 o'clock. The movie, which runs for an hour will start at 7pm. Stay for tea and coffee afterwards. For more about the movie go to http://www.growingchange.com.au/