Routine use of antibiotics in global agriculture a big problem

Coincidentally, I was having my essential morning coffee and listening to my favourite public broadcasting, information radio programming when I caught an item about how some people, children especially, get painful ear infections, while others don’t. The medical specialist being interviewed referred to the use of antibiotics to treat such infections. He mentioned bacterial infections that get into the tiny bones of the inner ear are “difficult to treat.”

I can relate to that, having had a bone infection in a finger a few years ago that was not stopped by antibiotics. I ended up having to make several trips to London, Ontario, the last for a surgical appointment to remove the infected bone. Otherwise the infection would have spread.

I say “coincidentally” because for a couple of days before I caught that radio item I had been immersing myself in an important news topic: the recent discovery of a new gene that has sent shock waves through the medical-scientific world community. The worry now is that because of its make-up and method of transference from one genetically different bacteria to another, the gene, called MCR-1, will eventually make all medicinal antibiotics ineffective. Continue reading

Foolish $9 Billion Plan to Build New Jails

If you live in a rural area, as many of us in this area do, you’ll maybe know the old saying, “the (insert name fruit or vegetable here) want picking.” Well, I’ve got rows of beans that “want picking,” and hundreds of pounds of potatoes virtually crying out from underground to, “please, please, please dig us up soon or heaven knows what we’ll do.” Continue reading

Municipal Conflict of Interest An Important Matter

I was going to write about municipal conflict of interest this week, you know, with what’s happening in the Town of South Bruce Peninsula and all, because of Mayor Carl Noble’s financial interest in wind energy through a small energy company with a test wind turbine on his farm property near Mar. And then there’s his strong support for wind energy in general and specifically for another company’s controversial plan to develop a wind energy farm near Kincardine.  Continue reading

How Not to Grow Strawberries

I’ve always had a lot of respect for traditional farm families, those people who have devoted their lives to the backbreaking and often heartbreaking job of trying to scratch a living from the ground, day after day, year after year, sometimes generation after generation. A good part of my childhood was spent living with and amongst such people, and I’m sure it taught me a lot about what life is all about for most people who live on this earth: hard work, the planting of seeds, and plenty of hopes and prayers that the sweat of one’s brow will be rewarded with a bountiful life-supporting harvest. I believe those things apply to any honest work a person might take on.

Continue reading