The potatoes used to produce McDonald’s fries are partially sourced from farms owned by Bill Gates that are so vast they can be seen from space. But that is just one part of the land portfolio of America’s largest farmland owner.
In under a decade, Gates and his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates, have quietly acquired nearly 109,000 hectares of farmland – roughly the size of Hong Kong – across 18 states in the US, according to data gathered by trade publication The Land Report and NBC News.
The potatoes used by the fast-food giant are grown on an industrial farm spread across some 5,700 hectares in Washington state. The property, named 100 Circles Farm, was purchased by the couple for $171 million in 2018, per the reports.
More specifically, it was purchased through a host of shell companies linked to their investment group, Cascade Investments, also based in Washington.
Participating in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) in March, Gates confirmed as much when he was asked about his farmland purchases, adding that they were not related to his more publicized efforts to promote climate change awareness and sustainable agriculture.
“My investment group chose to do this. It is not connected to climate,” he wrote in response before segueing into topics more related to the focus of the AMA – his new how-to guide on avoiding a climate disaster.
“The agriculture sector is important. With more productive seeds, we can avoid deforestation and help Africa deal with the climate difficulty they already face,” Gates continued.
“It is unclear how cheap biofuels can be, but if they are cheap it can solve the aviation and truck emissions,” he added, wrapping up the topic and choosing not to participate in the discussion of the ethics of private farm holding by non-farmers that ensued.
Other produce grown on farmland linked to the Gateses include soybeans, corn, cotton, onions, carrots and rice.
According to the NBC News report, there are locally registered firms in every state where the two own land with hidden links to Cascade in the form of shared addresses and occasionally even email addresses within the Bill and Melinda Gates Investment Group.
Cascade, which has been in the news recently after reports emerged about alleged toxic workplace behavior at the firm, declined to comment to NBC News regarding specific landholdings.
However, a spokesperson, Charles V. Zehren, told the publication that the firm has been “very supportive of sustainable farming.” He noted that the farmland owned by the firm has been part of a sustainability program since 2020 that audits the agricultural practices conducted on them.
According to the report, Leading Harvest – a newly-formed non-profit that markets itself online as the “vanguard of advancing sustainable agriculture” – created the sustainability program, which measures variables like soil health, biodiversity, crop quality and water management.
Among the founding members of Leading Harvest is Cottonwood Ag, one of Cascade’s subsidiaries.
According to some farmers who own lands neighboring the Gateses, however, there has been little done by way of reserving the effects of industrial farming on the environment.
Noting that he had hoped Gates would invest in new farming techniques, John S. Quarterman, a farmer in Georgia, told NBC News that “he never did anything that different from before he got here and what other farmers were doing nearby.”
However, Zehren told the publication that Cascade was indeed working to promote ecologically conscious agriculture on its holdings.
mRNA vaccines weaken immune system even after COVID-19 recovery, according to UK data
COVID-19 vaccines appear to inhibit the body’s natural ability to produce antibodies, leaving vaccinated people vulnerable to infection.
The alarming information was contained in the UK government’s latest “COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report,” which noted that “N antibody levels appear to be lower in people who acquire infection following two doses of vaccination.”
Vaccine researcher Alex Berenson first highlighted the UK government’s alarming admission, warning it means vaccinated people will never be able to acquire full immunity even after they’ve recovered from an infection.
“What the British are saying is they are now finding the vaccine interferes with your body’s innate ability after infection to produce antibodies against not just the spike protein but other pieces of the virus,” Berenson explained.
“Specifically, vaccinated people don’t seem to be producing antibodies to the nucleocapsid protein, the shell of the virus, which are a crucial part of the response in unvaccinated people.”
The result is “vaccinated people will be far more vulnerable to mutations in the spike protein EVEN AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN INFECTED AND RECOVERED ONCE,” Berenson writes.
“It also means the virus is likely to select for mutations that go in exactly that direction, because those will essentially give it an enormous vulnerable population to infect. And it probably is still more evidence the vaccines may interfere with the development of robust long-term immunity post-infection.”
Berenson’s research dovetails with results from an independent study conducted by an Illinois physician who demonstrated how the COVID vaccine suppresses the body’s adaptive immune system, leaving vaccinated individuals more susceptible to illness and possibly explaining the phenomenon of “breakthrough infections.”
“If they have this low [immunity] and it stays and it persists… and that adaptive immune system response persists… it’s going to have a bad response to any other kind of viral infection,” claimed Dr. Nathan Thompson.
“If you looked at that blood work, would you say that this person is very susceptible to having another viral infection, and maybe…you just might call it a breakthrough infection, you guys see that? A breakthrough infection.”
“Could it be that after this maybe this is happening in a lot of people and leaving them wide open to have breakthrough infections after that?” the doctor questioned, imploring other doctors to conduct their own tests.
COVID-19 vaccine developer Dr. David LV Bauer also admitted the jabs destroy the body’s immune response, lowering crucial antibodies necessary to fight off disease.
Last week, Berenson during an appearance on the ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ also broke down how UK government data also showed double-vaccinated individuals contracted COVID at higher rates than unvaccinated people.
Washington Post editorial board calls for United States military invasion of Haiti
The Washington Post editorial board is calling for yet more military action in foreign nations, this time much closer to home in a seeming throwback to the era of the Monroe Doctrine.
“Haiti’s spiraling mayhem, florid lawlessness and humanitarian meltdown were predictable following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July,” the op-ed published earlier in the week began. “In a country already crippled by governmental dysfunction, the vacuum of political legitimacy and authority after that murder left a breeding ground for anarchy.”
The article links Biden administration ‘inaction’ with the recent kidnapping of 17 Ohio-based missionaries in Port-au-Prince. Currently, a criminal gang is demanding $17 million for their release, as FBI agents are reportedly on the ground searching for clues as to where they are being held.
“The mess was largely ignored by the Biden administration, which has been preoccupied with other crises, until the kidnapping Saturday of 17 missionaries — a Canadian and 16 Americans, including five children — near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince,” WaPo continues.
“Now the maelstrom in the hemisphere’s poorest nation is no longer ignorable,” the editorial board writes.
Here are the key lines calling for US military action:
Yet for all its unintended consequences, outside intervention could also establish a modicum of stability and order that would represent a major humanitarian improvement on the status quo, and with it, the prospect of lives saved and livelihoods enabled.
In 2010, the U.S. sent a major Navy and Marine deployment to Haiti as part of Operation Unified Response in the wake of a deadly earthquake that devastated the country. Also this summer, a couple hundred Marines were sent in response to an earthquake that resulted in the deaths of more that 2,000 Haitians.
The editorial board concludes, “In the cost-benefit analysis that would attend any fresh intervention, policymakers must be alert to the risks, but also to the enormous peril of continuing to do nothing.”
How Florida could save Christmas: Port authority tells cargo vessels waiting to dock in California to divert via Panama Canal to The Sunshine State where there are no backlogs
The Jacksonville Port Authority said it’s the solution to an unprecedented logjam at The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, where weeks-long queues are slowing commerce ahead of the year’s busiest shopping season.
It’s a sharp contrast from the scene in Jacksonville, which officials said has maintained terminal fluidity – and set a new container volume record – despite market disruptions.
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