Berry Nice!

Produce of the Week

Berries are a much loved fruit in the food universe.  It even has the sweet moniker of, “the candies of the fruit world.” This week we wanted to feature the delicious raspberry, a common fruit in most Canadian households.

Source: noelbarnhurstblog.com
There are over 200 species of raspberries, all belonging to the scientific genus called Rubus.

Scientists don’t know where raspberries originated from. Some speculate that certain native species are from Alaska, North Asia, Russia, Europe, and North America. In terms of domestication, researchers believe that Europeans have been cultivating raspberries for over 2000 years.

Fun Fact: The flowers from a raspberry bush can be a major nectar source for honeybees.

Raspberries are grown for the fresh fruit market and commercially as frozen fruit, juice or as dried fruit. Typically, raspberries were a midsummer crop, but with new technology, cultivation methods and imports, they can now be obtained all year-round.

Raspberries are very perishable, they should only be purchased one or two days prior to use. Choose berries that are firm, plump, and deep in colour. If you are buying berries prepackaged in a container, make sure that they are not packed too tightly, since this may cause them to become crushed and damaged.

 

Source: WH Foods

Raspberries have tons of health benefits!

Since raspberries are so readily available, they are often consumed as drinks, in pastries, in salads as well as fresh and raw.

Check out our Produce of the Week Pinterest board for more recipe ideas and tidbits!

 

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update August 26, 2015

 

  • Agroecology as a Tool for Liberation: Transforming Industrial Agriculture in El Salvador (Other Worlds) http://bit.ly/1IGNLyf
  •   Gives Prisoners a Sweeter Future (takepart) http://bit.ly/1fjwmRy                                                                                                A growing number of prisoners are reaping the therapeutic benefits of working with bees.
  • New England deserves a regional food plan (Boston Globe) http://bit.ly/1JK8bu0                                                                                      Better coordination would cut down on duplicative efforts and inefficiencies.
  • Community Food Projects: Indicators of Success FY 2014 (New Entry Sustainable Farming Project) http://bit.ly/1LgUvH5
  • Paleo Potatoes? Cooking Carbs Helped Early Humans Develop Big Brains (takepart) http://bit.ly/1NzR1Nk                                          The study is the latest research on early humans to cast doubt on the popular contemporary diet.
  • Study: The Importance of Dietary Carbohydrate in Human Evolution (The Quarterly Review of Biology) http://bit.ly/1hDhcbK
  • Northern California’s First Agrihood Will Bring Organic Veggies to Former Industrial Land (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1SbHUc2      The Cannery in Davis, Coalifornia, will plac an educational incubator farm in the middle of a planned community.
  • ‘Agrihoods’ Offer Suburban Living Built Around Community Farms, Not Golf Courses (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1NBUDhP
  • Wildfires Are Speeding Up Climate Change – and Shifting What Grows Where (takepart) http://bit.ly/1Jc7gQT                                   The range of native plants is moving northward after wildfires, and agriculture may follow.
  • Farm –to-Table Dining Hits the Retirement Home (takepart) http://bit.ly/1HQtVNf                                                                                     Aging Americans are enjoying healthier meals that support local economies thanks to a shift in sourcing in eldercare facilities.
  • Outrageous marijuana SWAT Raid on Organic Farm Turns Up… Vegetables (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1fu5D52                                            In an epically bungled raid, police in Arlington, Texas, showed they couldn’t tell the difference between okra and OG Kush. Now, the taxpayers will pay.
  • The Future of Food Looks Bad for East Africa – but These Farmers Aren’t Giving Up (takpart) http://bit.ly/1Pyk4SH

 

Hunger & Obesity

  • Number Of US Families Struggling To Afford Food Drops To Pre-Recession Levels: Report (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1WJxDTW
  • Climate Change: Food Shortage To Triple by 2040 Due To Extreme Weather (HNGN) http://bit.ly/1K36gzp                              The Global Food Security program, which monitors food security in 57 countries, release report on Friday showing that global food shortage and price hikes will triple by 2040.

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • Washington Supreme Court Rules All SeaTac Workers Must Be Paid $15 Minimum Wage (In These Times) http://bit.ly/1NAHVlz

 

Business & Economy

  • Coca Cola and the West Virginia University School of Public Health (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1I5XdHV
  • Corn Wars (The New Republic) http://bit.ly/1PhYj8L                      The farm-by-farm fight between China and the United States to dominate the global food supply.
  • Counting Values: Food Hub Financial Benchmarking Study (NGFN Food Hub Collaborative) http://bit.ly/1PhvdX9

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Food Waste Recycling Collections To Be Rolled Out For Businesses In East England (Waste Management World) http://bit.ly/1EacT1U
  • This Morning’s Coffee Grounds Could Be the Fuel to Cook tonight’s Dinner (takepart) http://bit.ly/1JaHWGw                    Coffee Coals is turning a common waste product into clean-burning charcoal.

One of Europe’s Biggest, Most Wasteful Food Problems Is Almost Completely Avoidable (takepart) http://bit.ly/1KqshUC                      The EU throws away a lot of food, but nearly all of it is still edible.

  • Europe wastes tones of food, and UK is the worst offender, study finds (Reuters) http://reut.rs/1PkapyP
  • Study: Lost water and nitrogen resources due to EU consumer food waste (Environmental Research) http://bit.ly/1h2svKA

 

Food Fraud/Scandals/Poaching

  • Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Trafficking in Paddlefish (caviar/roe) (US Fish & Wildlife Service) http://1.usa.gov/1JpI4Zd

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Fracking Fight Heats Up in Ohio (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1U1lAT9                                                                                                                 Environmentalist sue Ohio’s secretary of state after he strips communities of the right to vote on fracking infrastructure projects.
  • California’s Drought Will Cost The State $2.74 Billion This Year, Report Finds (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1gVGLEq                The loss to California’s agricultural industry alone is estimated at $1.84 billion.
  • Report: Economic Analysis of the 2014 Drought for California Agriculture (Center for Watershed Sciences, UC Davis) http://bit.ly/1lus3jL
  • Central Valley sinking fast in drought, NASA study shows (Sacramento Bee) http://bit.ly/1NFsGp7                            Groundwater pumping worsens subsidence problem, some parts of the San Joaquin Valley dropping 2 inches per month, Pumping regulations not in effect until 2020
  • Thousands Of Dead Fish Wash Up On Tianjin’s Shores A Week After Deadly Chemical Explosions (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1NqwkX3
  • Divers Free Sharks and Other Marine Animals Caught in Deadly ‘Ghost Nets” (takepart) http://bit.ly/1gOHmaX                  Abandoned fishing gear is a global problem killing untold numbers of dolphins, whales, and other ocean animals each year.

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • FDA To Hold Public Meeting, Seek Comments On Antibiotic Overuse In Farm Animals (Consumerist) http://bit.ly/1E7Ox8K

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Truth In Labeling – It’s Our Right to Know What’s in our Food (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1h7iDi4
  • Pesticides in Paradise: Hawaii’s Spike in Birth Defects Puts Focus on GM Crops (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1NOmw6i                                 Are GM crops connected to birth effects and illnesses?

 

Poisons

  • The Dark Side of McDonald’s World-Famous Fries (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1WwnA4w                                                                                      The pesticides used on potato farms in rural Minnesota are harming human health and the environment.
  • Insecticide found in half of sampled US streams (KTVZ) http://bit.ly/1J4AWvL                                                                               Concern over bees, other non-target insects
  • Male Fish in North Carolina rivers Found to Have Female Parts (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1Jq9WWW                                                Scientists suspect exposure to pesticides, factory farm waste and birth control drugs that pass through wastewater may be to blame.

 

Pollinators

  • What Is Killing America’s Bes and What Does It Mean for Us? (Rolling Stone) http://rol.st/1E3aHc6                                         Pollinators are vanishing, and a silent spring could become a horrifying reality. So why won’t the DPA do more?

 

Animals

  • China Could Stop the US From Doping Pigs (takepart) http://bit.ly/1EwCcpw                                                                                         The biggest consumer of pork is turning to European farmers.

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • So Long, Big Mac: Cleveland Clinic Ousts McDonald’s From Cafeteria (NPR) http://n.pr/1MFqZez
  • Could Broccoli Leaves Be the Next Kale? (takepart) http://bit.ly/1TMfLcn                                                                                           The story of how yesterday’s compost could become the juice of tomorrow.
  • How Subway Sandwiches Are Fueling a Major Public Health Crisis (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1NpiUut                                                      The massive use of antibiotics on factory farmed animals is leading the world toward a time when common infections and minor injuries will once again be deadly to humans.

 

Resources

  • Good Laws, Good Food: Putting Food Policy To Work In The Navajo Nation (John Hopkins School of Public Health) http://bit.ly/1hHUizX

 

Events

  • UC Gill Tract Community Farm Harvest Festival, September 20, 2015. 11am-6pm, Gill Tract Community Farm, San Pablo Ave & Marin Ave in Albany, CA http://bit.ly/1TY5TMx
  • 9t Annual Farm and Food Leadership Conference, September 25-26, 2015. Bryan/College Station TX (Farm and Ranch Freedom) http://bit.ly/1PhuKUZ
  • 2015 Growing Food and Justice for All Gathering H.E.A.L Our Food System, September 25-27, 2015; Chicago, IL (Growing Food and Justice for All) http://bit.ly/1LgVSp1
  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension is hosting Savor the Season – A Food Preservation Weekend, October 2-4, 2015. Blueberry Cove Camp, Tenants Harbor, ME http://bit.ly/1LhnWbX
  • Terra Madre Giovani “We Feed the Planet” Conference, October 3-6, 2015. Milan, Italy http://bit.ly/1JmAxKv
  • 4th Annual National Incubator Farm Training Initiative (NIFTI) National Field School: National Incubator Farm, October 7-9, 2015. Durham, NC http://bit.ly/1Lpmt3e
  • Seedstock 4th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference: Innovation and the Small Farmer, November 3-4, 2015. University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA http://bit.ly/1Jd0wSG
  • Sustainable Farming Association 2016 Annual Conference, February 13, 2016. Gorecki Center at the College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, Minn http://bit.ly/1Wz3IxT

 

Other

  • Local Food, Local Places, Deadline September 15, 2015  Technical support to encourage community members to develop action plans that use local food to support healthy families and communities. (EPA) http://1.usa.gov/1LgXdwi
  • Organic Research Initiative (Midwestern Universities) Request for Applications, Deadline September 25, 2015 (Ceres Trust) http://bit.ly/1DYjNY3
  • Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education – Multiple grant opportunities, Deadline varies by state and project http://www.sare.org/

 

The Wonder of Carrots!

Produce of the Week

Carrots aren’t just for the rabbits anymore. This vibrant root vegetable is chocked filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Carrots offer several health benefits and are particularly beneficial for organs like the eyes, skin, digestive system and teeth. As one food guru puts it,  “No doubt, it is a favorite of Bugs Bunny and accounts for his swiftness, energy and intelligence.”

Carrots were  first domesticated in Afghanistan about 5000 years ago. They looked quite different than its modern day orange ancestor. The Afghani carrot had purple exteriors with yellow flesh. Bright orange carrots were developed by the Dutch in the middle ages and today, are the most common ones.

Source: burpee.com

Fun Fact: The biggest carrot recorded is more than 19 pounds and the longest is over 19 feet!

The delicious root vegetables are of the most widely used and enjoyed vegetables in the world. Mainly because they grow relatively easily in different environments.

Carrots are very versatile in a number of dishes across and many different cuisines.   It can be enjoyed raw or cooked or in juices and smoothies.

Check out our Produce of the Week  pinterest board for more recipe ideas and tidbits!

Source: Style Craze: Health

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update August 16, 2015

 

  • Four Ways Mexico’s Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Future (Yes!) http://bit.ly/1N0zz7p                  How can we get the most out of our farmland without harming the planet? I traveled to rural Mexico to learn from indigenous farmers.
  • World Resources Report 2013-2015: Creating a Sustainable Food Future (World Resources Report) http://bit.ly/1DL4RMT
  • Kenyan Pastoralists Fighting Climate Change Through Food Forests (Inter Press Service) http://bit.ly/1DVXpJ8
  • 5 Ways America’s Farmers’ Markets Have Evolved (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1MO7fnJ                                                                                           For National Farmers’ Market Week, we took a look at the important ways these public institutions have changed in recent years.
  • Maine Sail Freight Revives Salty History of Revolution, Independence (truthout) http://bit.ly/1NbtS5O                                      … When Maine Sail Freight launches its maiden voyage at the end or August carrying 11 tons of local, Maine-made cargo, the Green horns – a plucky band of young farmers…
  • How the Midwest’s Corn Farms Are Cooking the Planet (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1TsUYoA
    • Study: Indirect nitrous oxide emissions from streams within the US Corn Belt scale with stream order (PNAS) http://bit.ly/1gLyG4Z
  • Scientists Just Came Up With the Craziest Way to Protect Your Kale (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1W46wCQ
  • This Jail’s Urban Farming Project Benefits Inmates, Local Charities (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1DNtjNh                         The unique program has been called a “win” for all involved.
  • Former Tyson poultry plant to house culinary school (Meat + Poultry) http://bit.ly/1L6AfrC                                                                             A local college culinary program (Bentoville, Ark) is moving into Tyson Foods’ old digs. Thanks to a $15.1 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation…
  • Black and Latino youths get ‘double dose’ of ads for unhealthy foods (Raw Story) http://bit.ly/1MoNUL1
  • Humans Have Used Up A Year’s Worth Of The Earth’s Resources in 8 Months (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1DOrCPL                  We’re going into ecological debt.
  • Can the Milan Expo Bring Food Systems Into the Global Spotlight? (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1P90U4P                                         The event has drawn millions of visitors to view art, science, and technology focused on feeding the planet.
  • It’s the Second Dirtiest Thing in the World – And You’re Wearing It (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1IQNpTO                                                          Only Big Oil pollutes more than Big Textile.
  • 15 Photos Of People From All Over The World Next To How Much Food They Eat Per Day (Dose) http://bit.ly/1J2lsvA

 

Hunger & Obesity

  • Food insecurity a heavy cost on Ontario’s health care system: study (The Globe and Mail) http://bit.ly/1HBWIoM
  • Obesity is an incurable disease. So why is the government intent on punishing suffers (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1hyHxYz
    • Study: “Eating addiction”, rather than “food addiction”, better captures addictive-like eating behavior (Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews) http://bit.ly/1s5Vscm
    • Treating obesity seriously: when recommendations for lifestyle change confront biological adaptations (The Lancet) http://bit.ly/1aVupbY

 

School Food

  • No More Feeding Tots to Tots: The USDA Wants 3.8 Million Kids to Eat Healthier (takepart) http://bit.ly/1HCbPTF                       School lunches may have gotten a much-needed makeover, but a significant group was left out.

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • Are Restaurants Facing a Chef Shortage? (Eater) http://bit.ly/1P2gJKO                                                                                    There has been a shortage in the San Francisco Bay Area for at least the last three years… But it’s not just SF, Chicago, NY , DC and other cities are having the same issue..
  • El Super grocery chain settles complaints it refused to bargain with union (LA Times) http://lat.ms/1WfTrX4

 

Business & Economy

  • A Chick-fil-A owner shocked his employees in the best way after shutting down for renovations (Yahoo!) http://yhoo.it/1J7FFQM

 

  • It’s not just Coke: Big Food and the new Astroturf (campaign) http://bit.ly/1DL3ZIb
    • Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets (NYT) http://nyti.ms/1HCCHyh        Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, is backing new “science-based” solution to the obesity crisis: To maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories.
  • General Mills Announces New, Wellness-Focused product Line-up (StreetInsider) http://bit.ly/1HrS67V                                          Really?
  • Is the Local Economy the Solution to a Post-Capitalist World? (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1P9fREd                                                                       In his new book, Michael Shuman debunks many of the myths around economic development.

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Tempest in a Green Bin (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1Dv5kCG        Should we pay the true price of compost?

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • EPA owns up to toxic sludge leak tainting Colorado river (MSNBC) http://on.msnbc.com/1gYOj9Z                                                  … a torrent of toxic sludge – the color of hot mustard and rife with poisonous metals has been flowing through Colorado, Utah and New Mexico…
  • Rivers Shut Down Over EPA’s Spill Of 3 Million Gallons Of Toxic Water (NPR) http://n.pr/1IWPHjn

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • USDA Gives $63 Million In Grants To Rural Farms For Renewable Energy Projects (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/1MmAcIx
  • Finally! SEC Votes to Disclose Exorbitant CEO-Worker Pay Ratio (CommonDreams) http://bit.ly/1JXGQD0                                            “We finally have an official yardstick for measuring CEO greed,” said Institute for Policy Studies analyst Sarah Anderson.
  • In California, an unsatisfying settlement on pesticide-spraying (The Center for Public Integrity) http://bit.ly/1NnokTx                 The EPA touted its only preliminary finding of discrimination in a civil-rights case, but the complainants were less than thrilled with the outcome
  • Chris Christies Is Turning Tap Water Into a Private Commodity (The Nation) http://bit.ly/1MdgRsN                                                                A new law pushed by the governor makes it even easier for towns to sell their public utilities to private corporations.
  • California Dept. of Food and Ag (CDFA) introduces California Farmer Marketplace (CDFA) http://bit.ly/1JSDXDG

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • OCA Cites President Obama’s Executive Order on Preemption; Calls on the President to Veto the DARK Act (CommonDreams) http://bit.ly/1JggMEw
  • Get the GMO Out of My Mustard (CommonDreams) http://bit.ly/1TyPPRi                                                                                      Sarson Satyagraha to stop terminator technology
  • The Next Great GMO Debate (Technology Review) http://bit.ly/1UAaqBJ                                                                                       Deep inside its labs, Monsanto is learning how to modify crops by spraying them with RNA rather than tinkering with their genes.
  • $51 Million: That’s How Much Big Food Spent So Far This Year to Defeat GMO Labeling (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1TvIqwG

 

Pollinators

 

Animals

  • A Muscle Drug For Pigs Comes Out Of The Shadows (NPR) http://n.pr/1J4uAeQ
    • American farmers have to stop juicing their pigs to meet China’s food safety standards (Quartz) http://bit.ly/1MmxCCb                                                                                  For years, the US pork industry has stood by the safety and efficacy of a controversial growth drug (Ractopamine) banned in nearly 200 countries…
  • What do zombies, pandemics and the price of eggs have in common? (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/1PsrFSN

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • Food industry has long trans fat wish list (Politico) http://politi.co/1P7SIls                                                                                 Special exceptions sought for pie crusts, chicken breading and other food items.
  • The Worst Type of Fat for Your Health Has Been Identified (Yahoo!) http://yhoo.it/1Wis6DQ
    • Study: Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies (The BMJ) http://bit.ly/1hx3RBV

 

Events

  • Domestic Fair Trade Association 10 Year Anniversary Celebration, August 9, 2015, 7pm – 9pm, IMPACT Hub Seattle, WA http://bit.ly/1MoCNS5
  • California Central Coast Organic Strawberry Field Tour @ UCCE Santa Cruz County, August 20, 2015, 8am – 1:00pm                       Co-organized by University of California Santa Cruz, University of California, UC Cooperative Extension, and San Jose State University  http://bit.ly/1WdJPMz
  • Webinar: Measuring Sustainability with Field to Market and the Fieldprint Calculator, August 26, 2015, 10:00am – 11:00am, American Society of Agronomy, 1.0 CEU http://bit.ly/1bmoWuI
  • Webinar: Environmental Benefits of Organic Agriculture: Soil, August 27, 2015, 10:00am – 11:00am, USDA NRCS Science and Technology http://bit.ly/1DIDxi1
  • Webinar: Revisiting Organic Agriculture – Weed Management, September 1, 2015, 10:30am – 11:30am, American Society of Agronomy http://bit.ly/1bmoWuI
  • Meeting: Truth or Myth: Neonicotinoids and Their Impact on Pollinators @ UC Davis Conference Center, September 9, 2015, 10am – 3:30pm http://bit.ly/1f4xhVU
  • Eating Words, The Edible Institute Food Writing Conference, October 2-4, 2015, Iowa City http://bit.ly/1UDP2LT

 

Education

  • Immigrant Owned Worker Coops Teach-in, August 18, 2015, Alchemy Collective Café, 1741 Alcatraz Ave., Berkeley, CA 94703 (Sustainable Economies Law Center) http://bit.ly/1L6y7Qs

Potatoes gonna potate!

Produce of the Week

In all shapes and forms, the potato is the most recognized veggie  and a fan favourite around the world.

Researchers believe that potatoes have been harvested since 1400 BCE in Peru– which remains to be the potato capital of the world today!

source: http://www.idrc.ca/

The potato gets a bad reputation for being a fatty, starchy carbohydrate when in fact it is actually a very healthy source of fibre, potassium, and vitamin C. Studies have shown that the potato is a great source for weight loss and can help maintain a lean body– if we go easy on the butter and sour cream :)

FUN FACT: Potatoes are TOTALLY gluten-free.

ANOTHER FUN FACT: The potato is about 80% water and 20% solid.

What makes potatoes so popular?

  • They grow everywhere! And are found in 125 countries worldwide.
  • Potatoes are available year-round as they are harvested somewhere every month of the year.
  • They’re the perfect comfort food. Some polls have shown that potatoes are the most popular side dish beating pasta and rice.
  • Potatoes have a neutral flavour– that’s why they complement so many different dishes.
  • You can colour coordinate your potatoes! They come in brown, red, yellow and violet.
  • Canada has natural advantages when growing potatoes. Our harsh winters, temperate summers and fertile soils make the perfect breeding ground for potatoes.
  •  Canada is a world leader in potato production, and we grow over 150 different varieties.

Check out our Produce of the Week pinterest board for more recipe ideas and tidbits!

 

I couldn’t resist :)

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update, August 10, 2015

 

  • Starting in the Classroom: A Chicago Advocacy Group Helps Kids Rethink Food (In These Times) http://bit.ly/1W9PiUN
  • The Local Food Movement Has Tripled in 20 Years, and Now Critics Are Taking Cheap Shots (AlterNet)                                           Why are some trying to tear down this movement?
  • Kenyan Women Are Quietly Revolutionizing Farming. And The Government’s Noticing (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1M7Hcst
  • ‘Good Food’ vs. ‘Big Food’ (Politico) http://politi.co/1IE1APg     Food and beverage powerhouses spend big money on lobbying. Companies like Chipotle and Whole Foods don’t.
  • Biodiversity conservation: The key is reducing meat consumptions (Science Direct) http://bit.ly/1JN0odh
  • Feel the Burn for Years and Years: Eating Spicy Food Is Tied to Longevity (takepart) http://bit.ly/1J4JOXw                                      When it comes to capsaicin, what doesn’t kill us may make us stronger.
  • Everything you always wanted to know about fish farming but were afraid to ask (grist) http://bit.ly/1De1NbD

 

Hunger/Food Shortages

  • An unstoppable problem is making it increasing difficult for the world to produce enough food (Business Insider) http://read.bi/1Ij9kVx
    • Feeding People on Our Stressed Planet Will Require a ‘Revolution’ (CommonDreams) http://bit.ly/1P7sCzB             Two renowned scientists – Stanford’s Paul Ehrlich and UC Berkeley’s John Harte – argue that feeding the planet goes way beyond food…
  • Looting turns Deadly In Venezuela Amid Severe Food Shortages (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1Iuk2GC                                             “The farther you get from the capital, the worse the economic situation is.”
  • Here’s How We Can End Global Hunger in 15 Years (takepart) http://bit.ly/1KXOiwE                                                                                         The new goals proposed by the UN could easily be achieved.

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • Washington has failed to enforce labor rights. Can cities step in? (Al Jazeera) http://bit.ly/1T1tK8q                                                             With cities raising minimum wages and passing paid sick leave, communities must make sure employers comply with the law
  • Is the Senate Finally Getting Behind Fair Pay for Government Contractors? (The Nation) http://bit.ly/1W9Cqhd                      Federal contract workers are pushing Congress for living wages and a union on Capitol Hill – but the fight is not over yet.

 

Business & Economy

  • Dunkin Donut CEO Who Makes $4,887 an Hour Outraged at $15 Minimum Wage (In These Times) http://bit.ly/1JRaVEh
  • As Nabisco Ships 600 Jobs Out of Chicago to Mexico, Maybe It’s Time To Give Up Oreos (In These Times) http://bit.ly/1HbsAjR
  • Vegan Company Turns Down Google’s $300 Million buy-Out Offer (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1hr05dc

 

Protests

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Powder Extends Almost – Expired Food’s Shelf Life, Could Be Key To Ending Hunger (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1KcFR2Q
  • Lucky Lobsters Jam China Flights, Sending US Prices to Record (Bloomberg) http://bloom.bg/1IfOOVP                                                   The same thing has happened with many fish species, especially Black Cod

 

Food Fraud/Scandals

  • Big Food Tech Start-up Faces Unsavory Allegations (takepart) http://bit.ly/1hs8mNX                                                                                        Will the charges of ex-employees derail the eggless revolution hatched by Hampton Creek?
  • Sex, lies, and eggless mayonnaise: Something is rotten at food startup Hampton Creek, former employees say (Business Insider) http://read.bi/1ImbmnR

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • The Big-Ag-Fueled Algae Bloom That Won’t Leave Toledo’s Water Supply Alone (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1KQFVTs
  • EPA Causes Massive Mine Waste Spill in Colorado That Turns River Orange (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1JRNTx7
    • As Colorado Spill Hits New Mexico, Alarm Sounds Over Abandoned Mines (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1L0fvBB
  • California’s Drought Is So Bad That Thousands Are Living Without Running Water (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1DeWicC
  • Skyrocketing Water Use for Fracking Is Putting Drinking Sources at Risk (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1Pe0lYh                                          Fracking uses more than 28 times the water it did 15 years ago, according to a new study.
  • California Finds Several Negative Impacts of Fracking, Approves Offshore Frack Jobs Anyway (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1exUUWZ    Just days after state regulators approved nine new offshore frack jobs, they agreed that fracking has unavoidable impacts to air quality, public health and the climate
  • A huge, toxic algae bloom (red tide) is basically eating the West Coast Alive (grist) http://bit.ly/1MdbZCB                                               The bloom which emerged in May, stretches thousands of miles from the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California to Alaska’s Aleutian Islands…

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • US Trade Representative Tells WTO That Cool Damages Are Much Lower Than Estimated (Food Safety News) http://bit.ly/1IWq3Q3
  • People Are Dying from Contaminated Food, but Obama and Congress Don’t Seem to Care (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1K3h1NI      Sweeping food safety reform bill was passed five years ago, but not a single new rule has yet been implemented – and people continue to die.
  • TPP: Trans Pacific Partnership talks fail in face of NZ, Canada dairy clash (NZFarmer) http://bit.ly/1HpwPbw
    • Japan’s “Sacred” Rice Farmers Brace for Pacific Trade Deal’s Death Sentence (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/1MXg3FG      There are now around 2 million rice faremers in Japan, down from 4 million in 2990 and as many as 12 million in 1960…
  • Government Wants Peanut Corp of America Victims to Testify at Sept. 21 Sentencing (Food Safety News) http://bit.ly/1MUITtr

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • GM-crop opponents expand probe into ties between scientists and industry (Nature) http://bit.ly/1K7qjYZ                                  Activist group compels records from 40 researches at US public universities.
  • Scotland to ban genetically modified produce while EU-approved controversial crops are to be grown in England (Daily Mail) http://dailym.ai/1IWLqkj
  • Want a Bird Flue-Free World? Consider Breeding (GMO) Resistant Birds (National Geographic) http://bit.ly/1MWuJrG
  • UK company withdraws its application for release of genetically engineered flies in Spain (Test Biotech) http://bit.ly/1hqzHAd
  • Farmers see new Bayer products at field day (Agri News) http://bit.ly/1hqEYHU                                                                                      New multi-herbicide-tolerant GM crops unveiled…
  • How to Cover Up the Pesticide Industry’s GMO Scheme and New 2,4D ‘Agent Orange’ Crops (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1Kb1ag9
  • An Illusory Consensus behind GMO Health Assessment (Journal of Science, Technology, & Human Values) http://bit.ly/1W9j1gy

 

Poisons

  • Supermarkets and garden centers ban Roundup weedkiller suspected of causing cancer (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1hnEG4A                                                                                      Retail outlets across Europe are taking glyphosate – the main ingredient of Monsanto’s Roundup – off their shelves, despite government officials declaring it safe to use

 

Pollinators

 

Animals

  • A Federal Judge Just Struck Down Idaho’s Law Against Secretly Videotaping Animal Abuse on Farms (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1Pe5LCp
    • Court Says No To Gagging Those Who Reveal Farm Animal Abuse (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1g73xsg                          “This is a huge victory not only for the Constitution but animals and consumers.”
  • Could Bird Flu Mean the End of Industrial Eggs? (takpart) http://bit.ly/1hs1PTq                                                                                   Millions of laying hens have died this year, but chickens raised outdoors have been affected far less than those on factory farms.

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • The World’s Largest Cereal Company Is Ditching Artificial Ingredients (takepart) http://bit.ly/1IOrO1w                                  Kellogg is the latest food firm to turn toward plant-based dyes and favors.
  • Everyone’s Got The Kale Poisoning ‘Study’ All Wrong (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1Hn1OVD                                                                       But the problem isn’t science – it’s journalism.
  • Cilantro Contaminated With Feces, Toilet Paper Sickens Hundreds (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1eREk4p                    Health officials found feces and toilet paper in fields at 11 farms.

 

More like Dandy-lion!

Produce of the Week

I thought it would be fun to explore the world of dandelions. Often a pain in the butt for many gardeners in North America, this pesky plant is revered in Asia and Europe for its healing properties  and nutritious rewards.

FUN FACT:

The dandelion is believed to have evolved over 30 million years ago! 

 Dandelions are rich in vitamin A, C, iron, and calcium. Its extract or derived ingredients are commonly found in medicine.

Common health benefits for the consumption of dandelions include: relief from liver disorders, diabetes, urinary disorders, acne, jaundice, cancer, and anemia.

It also helps in maintaining bone health, skin care and is beneficial  for weight loss.

With so many benefits and with it being so readily available, it seems odd that dandelions are not part of our everyday food lifestyle.

Source: Organic Facts 

source: blog.getnarrative.com

Every part of the dandelion is edible and can be use in several different ways.

The easiest way to think about dandelions is like a veggie. You can toss it in with salad, cook it like you do with spinach, and even deep fry it like a cauliflower.

The Prairie Homestead blog did a really great  job of putting a list of recipes together. I encourage you to check them out

You can also drink it!

Dandelion Tea:

Dandelion tea is becoming more popular. If you’re not feeling adventurous to make your own tea you can buy it in stores

 Dandelion Smoothie:

Source: blog.freepeople.com

The key with the smoothie is to find the right balance of sweetness to offset the bitterness of the dandelions.

Dandelion flowers make great wine… who knew that?

Source: klaudynahebda.pl/dandelion-wine-recipe/

Maybe the next time you see dandelions, you’ll see it for its perks rather than as a pest.

But if you’re still having troubles chewing on the idea of dandelions being edible, there are many effective ways to get rid of them organically.

Try mixing:

  • 1 Gallon White Vinegar
  • 2 Cups Epson Salt
  • 1/4 Cup  Dish Soap

Put the mix in a spray bottle and squirt. Try not to get it on the lawn and other plants because this concoction is an effective herbicide.

Check out our Produce of the Week pinterest board for more recipe ideas and tidbits! 

 

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update August 3, 2015

 

  • America’s Getting Fatter? Not Anymore (newser) http://bit.ly/1GVmnbt                                                                                        Food consumption is changing for the first time in decades
  • Goodbye to Bananas As You Know Them (delish) http://bit.ly/1KB7Oic                                                                                            One of the world’s most popular fruits is in big trouble.
  • Climate Pledges by Walmart, Bank of America and 11 Other Companies Are Mostly Symbolic (truthout) http://bit.ly/1gmdVNG
  • Mass Die-Off of Fish Underscores Dangers of Palm Oil Industry in Guatemala (truthout) http://bit.ly/1Ddw4aq
  • Generation Yum: Why Millennials Are the Most Food-Obsessed Generation in History (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1Ha66iZ
  • Are Farmers Market Eggs Really Worth It, And Do They Taste Better? (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1MGfsuX                          “The more can be truly outside and run around under the sun, the happier you are.”

Hunger

  • States Rethink Restrictions On Food Stamps, Welfare For Drug Felons (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1INZPRs
  • Homeless People In Atlanta Plant Organic Garden, Provide Food For Shelter Residents (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1LQLToY  The residents have already raised small crops of lettuces, collards, kale, chard and carrots.
  • As Heat Wave Sweeps Iraq, Thousands Demand Water, Electricity, Sustenance (CommonDreams) http://bit.ly/1IEDx2D    Mass marches against government failure and corruption sweep Iraq’s capital and southern cities. Temperatures were over 120°F…

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • Chocolate’s Child-Labor Problem Keeps Getting Worse (takepart) http://bit.ly/1UgLdfp                                                                         A new report shows an increase in children working on cocoa farms.
  • Beyond Brothels: Farms And Fisheries Are Frontier Of Human Trafficking (npr) http://n.pr/1OzBEoe
  • ‘Fight for $15’ Tallies Giant Win in New York As Movement Marches on (CommonDreams) http://bit.ly/1IipBHY                   Latest victory for low-wage workers, declared on McDonald’s worker, ‘has showed me what’s possible when people stick and work together.’ And what about raising the minimum wage for other workers?
  • Victory for Farmworkers as Major Grocer Meets Demands for Fair Food (CommonDreams) http://bit.ly/1OJ687p                     Ahold USA joined more than a dozen food industry giants by joining the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ human rights program
  • By Eating Fish, You Employ Trafficking Victims. Here’s How You Can Avoi Corrupt Product Chains (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1VQJwqR                                                                                     “To think that one in three fish you eat in the US could be illegal, that’s a bit scary.”
  • Report: Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal and Corporate Supply Chains (Verité) http://bit.ly/1VQJK1i

Business & Economy

  • Here’s what a $15 per hour wage means for fast food prices (Fortune) http://for.tn/1MEsF7G                                                                    … raising pay for fast food restaurant workers to $15 an hour – the minimum wage that cities like Seattle and San Francisco have already adopted – would result in an estimated 4.3% increase in prices at those restaurants… Remember, wages should run 25% (30% – 35% with management salaries) of the final sales price of all food and drink sales…
  • Study: Raising wages to $15 an hour for limited-service restaurant employees would raise prices 4.3 percent (Perdue University) http://bit.ly/1Jsnw0t
  • This San Francisco Café Is Just Fine With The $15 Minimum Wage (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1D9PD3f                       Owners say the wage hike makes sense, given the city’s sky-high cost of living.
  • Big Food Wants You to Believe These 7 Products Are Healthy (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1KIU6dj                                                              They’re not – and their supposed benefits are readily available in actual food.
  • 365 companies, investors throw weight behind EPA’s Clean Power Plan (Yahoo!) http://yhoo.it/1JX1BKP                                   Nestle, General Mills, and more than 300 other companies back a proposed plan to slash carbon emissions.
  • Four Alternative Financing Options for Social Enterprises and Cooperative Businesses (Green Collar Communities)
  • Robert Reich: Worker Pay Is Rising at the Slowest Rate Ever Recorded (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1IypKGC                              Republicans have it completely backwards – higher wages can only help the overall economy.

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Garbage In, Garbage Out (Earth Island Journal) http://bit.ly/1D9PKMi                                                                                              7 Days of Garbage
  • The Movement To Stop Food From Being Wasted Is Booming (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1KKui0k                                                                  New ways of dealing with the massive amounts of excess food which exacerbates drought and climate change.

Food Fraud/Scandals

  • Turns Out, Almond Milk Has No Almonds In It (Thrillist) http://bit.ly/1Jtiilg
    • Your Almond Milk is Probably (Definitely) Fake (delish) http://bit.ly/1JStUtK                                                                      Companies are getting sued over what’s actually in this stuff.

Water & Our Oceans

  • Series Of Earthquakes Strikes Oklahoma Near Wastewater Disposal Wells (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1VQk3xM
  • California beats water conservation goal despite hottest June ever (MSNBC) http://on.msnbc.com/1SQ31eK                      Remember, this is residential water use, not industrial…
  • California’s Drought and the Politics of Inequality (truthout) http://bit.ly/1IO0LFr
    • Case in Point: Tom Selleck Accused Of Stealing Water for California Ranch (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1VPWZ24      Selleck has since reached a tentative settlement…
  • Factory Farm Runoff Is Polluting Lake Erie, But CAFO Sewers Are Not the Answer (In These Times) http://bit.ly/1S3LmoN
  • Why Are Hundreds Of Thousands Of Salmon Dying In The Northwest? (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1LYNCKv             Columbia and other Northwest river temperatures are running 10ºF higher than usual…

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • The 275 Members of Congress that Voted For The Dark Act (eat local grown) http://bit.ly/1DaksVO
    • House Votes to Let Monsanto Deceive Consumers about GMOs (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1JYxC58                                       House lawmakers apparently don’t care that 93 percent of Americans are in favor of mandatory labeling of GMOs.
  • Senate Bill Seeks to Repeal Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling for Beef, Pork and Chicken (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1ISBYQB                                                                                       Some senators want to let meat companies and international trade tribunals control information about where our food comes from.
  • CA Fines Six Firm for Selling Pesticide-Tainted Imported Produce (Food Safety News) http://bit.ly/1KC0Nk5
  • Alabama reconsiders immigration law after not-brown person gets arrested (Daily Kos) http://bit.ly/1KHzd4X

Poisons

  • Bill Nye on the Monsanto Eco Disaster: ‘We Accidentally Decimated the Monarch Butterfly Population’ (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1OY7AmR                                                                       Monsanto’s glysophate doesn’t just kill weeds – it also kills other plants that pollinator species depend on to survive. Accidently? W have known for years…

Pollinators

  • Reviled Corporate Lobby Group ALEC Now Working Overtime to Push the ‘Beepoclypse’ (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1It3FsM
  • Pesticides Are Killing Greece’s Bees: Honey Industry Suffers Amid Broader Economic Turmoil (truthout) http://bit.ly/1VPYGwB                                                                        Controversial conservative group says bee deaths have been overhyped and blame poor land management: ‘We’re not in a battle against nature’

Healthy/Safe Food

  • Chipotle Beats Out Subway As America’s ‘Healthiest’ Fast Food Chain (Thrillist) http://bit.ly/1LUR9cO
  • (LA) City Council Makes Park Vending Ban Official, Still Doesn’t Address Street Food Concerns (LA Eater) http://bit.ly/1IR5J4g
  • FDA Ban After Hundreds Sickened by Cilantro Grown in Toilet Paper – Strewn Fields (Yahoo!) http://yhoo.it/1HYV44e
    • Cilantro is Causing a Huge Parasite Outbreak (delish) http://bit.ly/1OMtaLa                                                                                      Be warned: Major crops are infected and could make you seriously sick.
  • Four Everyday Spices Are Recalled Due To Salmonella (delish) http://bit.ly/1SNGjEc                                                                                           The country’s second largest supermarket is pulling black pepper – and more.