Jenny’s Food & Ag Update September 30, 2015

 

  • Counting Values: Food Hub Financial Benchmarking Study (National Good Food Network) http://bit.ly/1PhvdX9
  • Rejoice! We’ve sourced local (Australia) and climate conscious beers for you (1 Million Women) http://bit.ly/1G3QIpw
  • Homeless People In Atlanta Plant Organic Garden, Provide Food For Shelter Residents (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1Id3ra9      The residents have already raised small crops of lettuces, collards, ale, chard and carrots.
  • Narendra Modi and Monsanto: Making India Friendly to Global Capital (Global Research) http://bit.ly/1MFND6F
  • Some California Pumpkin Crops Ripening Way Before Halloween Due To High Temperatures (Consumerist) http://bit.ly/1YAQDVP
  • Yoplait Yogurt Cups Have Been Killing Small Animals For Years (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1KRhs27                                         Hungry critters stick their heads inside, but they can’t get them out.
  • The Global Food War Is Escalating – Whose Side Are You On? (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1QEYaNs                                                            Unless we move decisively as a global community to transform our degenerative food, farming and energy systems, we are doomed.
  • This Pest Has Shut Down South Florida’s $700 Million Fruit Industry (NPR) http://n.pr/1L3cNvL
  • A Garden Grows in a Superfund Site (takepart) http://bit.ly/1FApWKR                                                                                 Floating landscaping is bobbing along Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal

 

Food Insecurity, Hunger, & Obesity

  • Government Shutdown Would Shut Down Food Stamps (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1NRMBVB                                           The program helps 45 million Americans.
  • The Truth About Poor People’s Eating Habits Will Surprise You (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1WodZMp                                                                 Yet more anti-poor propaganda
  • 1.5 Million American Families Live on $2 a Day – These Authors Spent Years Finding Out Why (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1VjD9Jq
    • Here’s What It’s Like Trying to Survive on Less Than $2 a Day in America (Policy.Mic) http://bit.ly/1QC0Mf0
  • To Cut Costs, College Students Are Buying Less Food and Even Going Hungry (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/1NR1oy4
    • Study: Safety, Security, and College Attainment: An Investigation of Undergraduates’ Basic Needs in Institutional Response (Wisconsin Hope Lab) http://bit.ly/1PfTnBH

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • Farmworkers Finally Get Safety Regs Every Other Industry Has Had for Decades (takepart) http://bit.ly/1OEc9FM
  • Why Raising Wages at Walmart Would Make America Healthier (Yahoo!) http://yhoo.it/1FdBKma                                                      Walmart’s recent wage increase to $10 an hour does to cover the basic needs – food…
  • Campaign for a “Worker Bill of Rights” Puts ALEC in Spokane’s Crosshairs (truthout) http://bit.ly/1ixtHFV
  • Fairness for Franchise Businesses and Workers (NYT) http://nyti.ms/1VeuBcb
    • California AB-525 Franchise relations: renewal and termination (California Legislative Information) http://bit.ly/1KErj6P
    • Petition for Investigation of the Franchise Industry http://bit.ly/1QEeoX3                                                                                SEIU petitions FTC to investigate the predatory practices of franchisors toward franchisees, and in turn workers

 

Business & Economy

  • McDonald’s Tries to Lure Back Customers With Organic Burgers (takepart)                                                                                                                       The ground beef patties served up on to new menu items in Germany will be GMO-free too
  • The 7 most dangerous myths about a $15 minimum wage (Salon) http://bit.ly/1P6qtUY                                                                      Conservatives insist it will cost the country jobs and raise unemployment. They’re wrong on both accounts
  • New York City Credit Unions Give Mom-and Pop Stores a Chance, Despite Gentrification (Yes!) http://bit.ly/1JBplmN

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Food Shaming Is Out, Funny Looking Vegetables Are In (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1LFhQBt                                                          Delicious, high-end cuisine made from crooked veggies and discarded food? Yes please.

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Reversing the Tide: Cities and Countries are Rebelling Against Water Privatization, and Winning (Occupy.com) http://bit.ly/1MPTIh7

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • Another EU Nation Has Banned Planting GMO Crops (takepart) http://bit.ly/1j4rQJt                                                                                  Northern Ireland has followed Scotland in saying that genetically engineered varieties cannot be grown in the country.
  • California Is One Tiny Step From Really Stopping Antibiotic Abuse on Farms (takepart) http://bit.ly/1KIqiOm                                       A bill on the governor’s desk would significantly rein in the livestock industry’s overuse of lifesaving drugs

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Lie of the land: Only 39 of 133 GM crop field trials monitored in 6 years (DNA India) http://bit.ly/1iKnLu3

 

Poisons

  • Four Decades of Herbicide Use Is Creating Zombie Weeds That Just Won’t Die (Vice News) http://bit.ly/1Ky3aBT

 

Pollinators

 

Animals

  • California Governor Urged To Sign Bill Limiting Antibiotics In Farm Animals (Consumerist) http://bit.ly/1KyAeqx
  • Report Card on Antibiotics Regulation Will Have Obama in Summer School (takepart) http://bit.ly/1jnyIS8                                           A year after the president announced an executive action to address drug resistance, little has been accomplished

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • Former peanut executive sentenced to 28 years in prison (Washington Post) http://wapo.st/1NIox5H
    • Salmonella peanuts killed 9 people. Why wasn’t the company’s CEO charged with murder? (Vox) http://bit.ly/1Whinwz

 

Events

  • Living On the Land: Stewardship for Small Acreages Class, October 1, 2015, 6pm – 9pm, Doreana Elementary School, 37141 Row River Rd, Doreana, OR 97434 (Oregon State University) http://bit.ly/1OFRMYB

 

  • Solar Energy on the Farm I, Broad Leaf Farm, 409 Robinson St., Everson, WA, 98247, Whatcom County, October 5, 2015, 12:30pm – 4:00pm (Tilth Producers) http://bit.ly/1VmE55n
  • Local Buying Mission Tour and Tradeshow, Washington State Department of Agriculture, October 5, 2015, 8:30am – 6:00pm (PDT) Spokane, WA http://bit.ly/1h9V1Jv
  • Webinar: Climate Change and Organic Agriculture, October 6, 2015, 3pm (EDT) (Science & Technology Training Library) http://bit.ly/1O7smmI

 

Other

  • California Department of Food and Ag Seeks Public Comment on New Program Priorities (Calif. Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley) http://bit.ly/1iI5hd2

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update September 21, 2015

 

  • Sales from organic US farms reaches $5.5 billion – USDA (Reuters) http://reut.rs/1KCJj63
    • Up 72 Percent From Just Six Years Ago, Organic Farm Sales Soar (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1NEuv7U                           “We need a higher rate of growth in order to get close to meeting the demand,” said Laura Batcha, chief of the Organic Trade Association
  • Women Are the Key to Bringing Sustainability to the Corn Belt (takepart) http://bit.ly/1gu3F4Y                                                                Much of the farmland in the Midwest is under female ownership – and conservationists are hoping that could have long-term benefits.
  • Land Claims: An Indigenous People’s History of the United States (In These Times) http://bit.ly/1Kl2zF3
  • In Total Bay Area Move, Food Writer Mark Bittman Leaves NYT For Food Startup (sfist) http://bit.ly/1Y4PmWO
  • “From Ketchup to California Cuisine: How the Mechanical Tomato Harvester Prompted Today’s Food Movement” (California Institute For Rural Studies) http://bit.ly/1Or702R
  • Asian Countries Have Nordic Berry Fever, And Finland Can’t Keep Up (NPR) http://n.pr/1W4RJXG
  • 5 Ways to Guarantee a Successful WWOOFing Experience (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1JaE73O                                                                     So you want to volunteer on an organic farm? Here are tips to make sure you get the experience you want.
  • Soil is Life: Herbivorous Solar Conversion and Carbon Sequestration in the Shenandoah Valley (In These Times) http://bit.ly/1QEfYJk
  • What Exactly Is The Microwave Doing To Your Food? Here’s The Science (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1F8Mli2                          Don’t worry, scientists say microwaved food can be just as nutritious as conventionally cooked food.
  • The Secret History of Black Chefs in America (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1VZTC7R                                                                                       How one woman revived a buried culinary legacy
  • World’s Best Restaurant Is Betting the Farm on Its Future (takepart) http://bit.ly/1V50mVc                                            Copenhagen’s Noma will close after New Year’s Eve 2016 and reopen with a new focus on growing its own ingredients.
  • What if One Farm Raised (Almost) Everything You Ate? (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1Ks1paD                                                                       Whole-diet CSAs are stretching the limit of the farm-to-consumer relationship, while providing community and convenience in rural America.
  • Chiles: Good for Cooking, Good for Studying Climate Change (takepart) http://bit.ly/1PhIW0t                                                              Native to Mexico, the spicy crop is grown and enjoyed throughout the world.

Food Insecurity, Hunger, & Obesity

  • Why Food Belongs in Our discussions of Race (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1Obtx4m                                                                                     While the Black Lives Matters movement works to put a stop to police violence, another less-visible form of structural violence is taking place across America.
  • How America’s Wealth Gap Show Up On Our Dinner Plates (NPR) http://n.pr/1QRv0v8
    • Study: Dietary Quality Americans by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Status (American Journal of Preventive Medicine) http://bit.ly/1NI71QQ
  • A Predictable Emergency (the stop, Canada) http://bit.ly/1Yhnyi6                                                                                            The argument for a basic income…
  • Guaranteed Basic Income Is Not a Panacea (truthout) http://bit.ly/1QttzlX
  • Food Aid Was Just Cut To Refugees In Jordan. The Impact Could Be Deadly. (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1PgwMVM

 

School Food

  • 5 Things to Know About the Congressional Battle Over School Food (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1L0enc6                                                     Kids are finally getting more whole grains and vegetables at school. But the healthier rules are at risk as Congress debates Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
  • These Two Genius Tricks to Improve School Food Have Nothing to Do With What’s for Lunch (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1MrDISa
    • Study: The Effect of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program on Childhood Obesity (Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy) http://bit.ly/1LqCMfh

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • From Kerala to Florida, women farm workers are organizing and winning! (Women in and Beyond the Global) http://bit.ly/1UUa6RZ
  • Sexually Abused Farmworkers Get Their Day in Court – and Win (takepart) http://bit.ly/1OJyEbf                                                                 Here’s another egregious example of why we need better labor protections for US farmworkers.
  • UPDATE 1 – Florida jury awards $17 million to abused migrant female farm workers (Reuters) http://reut.rs/1NNfQJd
  • The Failed Promise of California’s Farm Labor Relations Law (California Institute For Rural Studies) http://bit.ly/1QdeeG6
  • 10 Cities Where It’s Most Terrifying To Scrape By On Minimum Wage (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1ObptkH                        Workers making minimum wage in New York have had it easy, at least compared with these counties.
  • How Cities Can Join the Fight Against Wage Theft (Equal Voice For America’s Families) http://bit.ly/1NBxY8w                                         A group from the Texas-based Fuerza del Valle Workers’ Center, which battles wage theft, is asking local elected leaders to step up, take action and fight poverty.
  • This Is How Bad the Sharing Economy Is for Workers (The Nation) http://bit.ly/1Kb0YOq                                                                      And this is how reformers and activists might win protections for Silicon Valley’s so-called “independent contractors.”
  • Northwest Legume Farmers Feel The Squeeze From Oregon’s Port Feud (NPR) http://n.pr/1Lm6FgT

 

Business & Economy

  • Good-bye, Snickers. Hello, Cashews: Target Ditches Checkout Aisle Junk Food (takepart) http://bit.ly/1KZRNX0                                   A pilot grogram from the big-box retailer will put more good-for-you treats in front of waiting shoppers
  • McDonald’s just launched a new burger unlike anything we’ve seen (Business Insider) http://yhoo.it/1iFqiFF
  • Annie’s Now Makes Vegan Mac and Cheese (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1FUxaE5                                                                                         It’s formulated with pumpkin and sweet potato powders.

 

Protests

  • $2 an hour for disabled workers? Protest planned today (Detroit Free Press) http://on.freep.com/1P325mD                                             Yes, disabled workers can be paid as little as $2 per hour, additionally we have only a 17% employment rated (Bureau of Labor Statistics) http://1.usa.gov/TKEJLR

 

  • $2,83 an Hour Plus Tips at Olive Garden Is a Poverty Wage and Must Change (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1P59IsT                                   Darden Restaurant chain underpays its workers

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Battle Over Flaming Water and Fracking Reignites as Analysis Prompts Call for Renewed EPA Investigation (Desmog) http://bit.ly/1QDP1Fq
  • There Are 45 Fracked Wells Within 2 Miles of My Daughters School (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1KkaTUf                                                           I believe California is illegally discriminating against students of color by permitting wells that are disproportionately close to the schools they attend.
  • Can This Genius Strategy Stop Big Ag from Dumping Fertilizer Into Drinking Water? (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1EDrl2w         One Iowa utility is sick of sky-high nitrate levels in tap water – so it’s taking action.
  • Why America’s Deadly Love Affair with Bottled Water Has to Stop (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1Kr7Y9b                                                        Last year, Americans drank more than 10 billion gallons of bottled water. Wildlife and the environment paid.
  • Snowpack In Sierra Nevada At 500 – Year Low (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1Fb1tv6                                                                                          An “ominous sign of the severity of this drought,” researchers said.
  • Amazing New Process Treats Wastewater, Captures Carbon and Makes Renewable Energy (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1gXFQ68          An electrochemical reaction that absorbs more C02 than it releases while creating renewable energy could transform emission-heavy industries.
  • Seabirds Are Eating Plastic Litter in Our Oceans – but Not Only Where You’d Expect (truthout) http://bit.ly/1LvexZ2
  • In First, TEPCO Dumps Fukushima Groundwater Into Pacific Ocean (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1M9PZrm                          Local fishermen worry the discharge even of the ground water will heighten contamination concerns and hurt their already battered reputation
  • Pacific Ocean warming 15 time faster than before (USA Today) http://usat.ly/1JvOBAD                                                                                  Some parts of the Pacific Ocean have warmed 15 times faster in the last 60 years than they did during the previous 10,000 years.
  • Global marine populations slashed by half since 1970: WWF (Democratic Underground) http://bit.ly/1NC6XC3
    • Tuan and mackerel populations suffer catastrophic 74% decline, research shows (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1KeXHzU                                                                          Numbers fell by almost three-quarters over the last 40 years risking loss of the species, says WWF report
  • Climate Change And Overfishing Are Driving The World’s Oceans To The ‘Brink Of Collapse’ (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1LGwXq3

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • The Revolving Door Between Monsanto, the FDA, and the EPA: Your Safety in Peril (linkis) http://bit.ly/1iJZkfK
  • Showdown in the “Show Me” State (truthout) http://bit.ly/1VZcynp                                                                                              … ALEC and its allies in the restaurant, hotel, and other industries have stepped up their use of preemption legislation to stop local democratic action on progressive policies…

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Why the FDA’s Policy on Genetically Engineered Foods Is Fraudulent and Illegal (Organic Consumers Association) http://bit.ly/1NkxOkd
  • Move Over Test-Tube Burger, There’s a Lab-Grown Chicken Breast in the Works (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1M6kpe3                    The research is still in its infancy, but an Israeli scientist hopes to bring this animal-free meat to the masses.
  • DNA Sequencing Reveals Food’s Secrets – but Consumers May Not Learn What’s Uncovered (takepart) http://bit.ly/1LH9OUf    Clear Lab’s new analysis service can test the complete makeup of a product, including unintended ingredients and pathogens, with one test.

 

Poisons

  • Honey Bees Win One Battle with EPA, But the War Against Pesticides Continues (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1ikNqZl        Sulfoxaflor has been linked to the mass die-off of honeybees.
  • Neighbors Raise Stink Over Strawberry Farm’s Pesticide (The Cornucopia Institute) http://bit.ly/1KE455k

 

Pollinators

 

Animals

  • As McDonald’s Signals Major Shift, A Reminder That ‘Cage-Free’ Does Not Equal ‘Cruelty-Free’ (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1NLry6X                                                                                      Lauded as important development, major fast-food chain commits to sourcing only ‘cage-free’ eggs within ten years
  • Chicken Disneyland (Other Words) http://bit.ly/1j08PYr          McDonald’s is slowly transitioning to cage-free eggs, but that’s only slightly better deal for the chickens.
  • More Superbugs? Despite Warnings, Farm Antibiotic Use Is Rising Worldwide (takepart) http://bit.ly/1iHAmy5                             The expanding global middle class wants to eat more cheap meat.

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • The Shocking Amount of Fast Food Kids Eat Every Day (takepart) http://bit.ly/1LHbblV                                                                                                   A new report reveals that the numbers have held steady since the 1990’s.
  • Caloric Intake From Fast Food Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 2011-2012 (CDC) http://bit.ly/1LHbblV
  • America’s 25 Top Restaurant Chains, Ranked by Antibiotic Use (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1F0ZlX1
    • Report: Chain Reaction: How top restaurants rate on reducing use of antibiotics (Friends of the Earth) http://bit.ly/1F0ewQe
  • The US Doesn’t Have Enough Of The Vegetables We’re Supposed To Eat (Bay Area Bites) http://bit.ly/1WbH7WY
  • UK and China agree £45m pig semen export deal (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/18C8nJG                                                                            Environment secretary Own Paterson says he has also begun negotiations to export pigs’ trotters to China

 

Events

  • Food First 40th Anniversary Gala http://bit.ly/1FJ68zc          October 16, 2015, 7pm – 10pm                                                               Impact Hub, 2323 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

 

Other

  • Local Bay Area Chefs Wanted for ‘Healthy Corner Store Chef Challenge’ (bay area bites, KQED) http://bit.ly/1McChEb

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update, September 14, 2015

 

  • Food is Free in a City Near You (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1Q1vXjE    From Austin to Iowa City, a new kind of sharable community garden is springing up.
  • A world network of seed information is taking root (Sci Dev Net) http://bit.ly/1R9nY5n                                                                                    Efforts to preserve and protect plant information are accelerating – but not without risks…
  • Former Black Panther Launches Oakland Urban Farm to Give ex-Prisoners a Fresh Start (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1g98H6T                    Veteran activist Elaine Brown has hatched a plan that begins with a farm, and could bring about a renaissance in an under resourced neighborhood.
  • Why Some Canadian maple Syrup Producers Are Defying Their ‘Cartel’ (NPR) http://n.pr/1LmlhZa
  • In Southern California, Oil and Farming Don’t Mix (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1Fzk9PS                                                                                          How a small farm survived an oil disaster with some faith and a little help from friends.
  • Why Are We Drawn To Heirloom Fruits and Veggies? They’re ‘Edible Memory’ (NPR) http://n.pr/1i1UkDk
  • Kite Hill CEO: We want to change the entire dairy landscape (Food Navigator) http://bit.ly/1M0sjph                                                         If current trends continue, almond milk will account for an astonishing 19% (dollar share) of the US retail dairy and dairy alternative beverage market in 2019…
  • We Tell Ourselves Stories to Lean to Eat Bugs (takepart) http://bit.ly/1KiklbK                                                                             Researchers are hoping to create a cultural context for eating insects and, in turn, helping to save the environment.
  • Why is a Paris suburb scrapping an urban farm to build a car park? (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1FBfQDH                                      With the UN climate conference putting Paris in the eco-spotlight this year, the impending closure of R-Urban, a project at the forefront of urban sustainability, seems curious – not least in its timing.
  • They Want to Pave This Urban Farm and Put Up a Parking Lot (takepart) http://bit.ly/1Nw48SY                                                                      A Paris suburb’s R-Urban project was hailed as an innovative way to bring fresh food to the community.
  • Oh, Nuts! Why California’s Pistachio Trees Are Shooting Blanks (NPR) http://n.pr/1ULyTrg                                                                               This year, many of the pistachios gown in California’s San Joaquin Valley are missing the green fatty meat that nut lover crave. Instead, they’re empty inside, the result of drought, heat and weather pattern changes…
  • With Effort, the Northeast Is Once Again Becoming a Breadbasket (Edible Manhattan) http://bit.ly/1K4ofS4              Amid the modern wheat-related gloom and doom, a small group of true believers have been working diligently to reconfigure our relationship with wheat.
  • Climate Change 2015: Growing Risks, Critical Choices (Climate Council, AU) http://bit.ly/1UctrIy
    • Report: Climate Change 2015: Growing Risks, Critical Choices (Climate Council, AU) http://bit.ly/1UNNAtQ                                       Australians will pay $7 Billion a year more because of increasing drought…

 

Food Insecurity, Hunger & Obesity

  • Rate Of US ‘Food Insecurity’ Stubbornly High (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1UCKLff                                                                                Despite an improving economy, many Americans struggle to get enough good food.
  • Big Data Helps Show a Different Face of Hunger in America (takepart) http://bit.ly/1XTWIwe                                                       Mapping food insecurity in Washington, DC, could change the way food banks serve those in need.

 

School Food

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • Your Next Cup of Tea Could Be Supporting Child Slavery (takepart) http://bit.ly/1VUAY1k                                                                   An investigation from BBC News is just the latest to reveal the human rights violations happening in Assam, India.
  • Real Median Hourly Wages Continue To Drop Around The Country (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1FAiwl8                       “Some workers’ wages are so low that employers are not able to push them down any further.”
  • Low-Income Workers See Biggest Drop in Paychecks (NYT) http://nyti.ms/1fXgaG7
  • Report: Occupational Wage Declines Since the Great Recession: Low Wage Occupations See Largest Real Wage Declines (National Employment Law Project) http://bit.ly/1i18k0f
  • How the on-call irregular scheduling harm the American workforce (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/1LSqpab
  • New AFL-CIO Report: Landmark Year in Collective Bargaining Will Raise Wagers for Millions (AFL-CIO) http://bit.ly/1FFFuaz
  • The Evidence Keeps Piling Up: Unions Are Good For US Workers (Very Good) (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1OI15nN                           ‘When working people speak with one voice, our economy is stronger, and all workers do better.’

 

Business & Economy

  • Meat processors under fire as beef farmers complain of exploitation (ABC News) http://ab.co/1O9JVCn
  • This Zero-Waste Grocery Store Has No Packaging, Plastic or Big-Name Brands (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1Y05atJ
  • Chipotle Says It Dropped GMOs. Now a Court Will Decide If That’s Bullshit. (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1OGpJW5                          Turns out, proving that your food is GMO free is pretty difficult
  • Chipotle’s Sustainable Pork Producer Just Sold Out to Big Ag – but Maybe That’s a Good Thing? (takepart) http://bit.ly/1EUJx8g  Perdue Farms, a leading poultry producer, is buying pioneering meat company Niman Ranch.
  • Niman Ranch Pork: Now Brought to You by Perdue (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1M5oFdP
  • What the Sale of Niman Ranch Could Mean for Farmers (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1geBuHi                                                                             With further consolidation in the meat market, some experts worry about the watering down of a once truly sustainable brand.
  • McDonald’s Continues Image Shift With Move to Cage-Free Eggs in North America (WSJ) http://on.wsj.com/1KaLg9x
    • McDonald’s Announces It’s Making the Transition to Cage-Free Eggs (Organic Authority) http://bit.ly/1KbQCgp                      The company uses a reported 2 billion shell and liquid eggs per year – or around 4 percent of the eggs produced in the US…
  • The Decline in Labor’s Share of Corporate Income Since 2000 Means $535 Billion Less for Workers (Economic Policy Institute) http://bit.ly/1EZUPrt

 

Protests

  • French Farmers Take To The Streets Of Paris With 1,000 Tractor Protest (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/1XY8AgN

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Dumpster diving for dinner: do you have what it takes to eat ‘freegan’ food? (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/1NsDiLt
  • Composting in New York City Just Got Easier (takepart) http://bit.ly/1iFHQ4c                                                                                             By recycling food scraps and other organic waste, New Yorkers are fertilizing local businesses and reducing the city’s carbon footprint.

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Megacity drought: Sao Paulo withers after dry ‘wet season’ (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/1J1l3os
  • Killing the Colorado (ProPublica) http://bit.ly/1iI0qc5                   The river that sustains 40 million Americans is dying – and man, not nature, is to blame.
  • The Drought Isn’t Just a California Problem (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1MImvnc                                                                                               A rundown of the Western State in the middle of serious dry spells
  • Here’s What I Saw in California Town Without Running Water (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1it6KnF                                                  Thanks to the drought, many people in East Porterville can’t cook, shower, or flush the toilet at home.
  • Seafood Companies Bolster the President’s Fight Against IUU Fishing (TriplePundit) http://bit.ly/1FAqOtj
  • Temporary ban on fishing reflects how fragile Arctic ecosystem is (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/1IMDkqS

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • USDA Expands Farm Safety Net, Offers Greater Flexibility for Beginning, Organic and Fruit and Vegetable Growers (Sustainable Cities Collective) http://bit.ly/1iANi8H
  • California Becomes First State to Label Monsanto’s Roundup As a Carcinogen (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1O1HXnI
  • California Is About to Ban Those Little Pieces of Plastic in Your Toothpaste and Face Scrub (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1JKcIHE
  • California Is Fining a Company Listed on Starbucks’ Bottle Water Labels – for Making the Drought Worse (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1L9mYJB
  • First Soda, Now Salt: New York City Slaps Warning Labels on Restaurant Menus (takepart) http://bit.ly/1NwkLhh                              Gotham’s board of health is cracking down on sodium-packed meals from chain eateries.

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • EU Regulators have found hidden viral gene in commercial GMO Crops and Monsanto’s hypocrisy on how GMOs are so unique that are patentable but substantially equivalent that don’t need to be labeled (Seattle Organic Restaurants) http://bit.ly/1kQAOW0
  • Do Seed Companies Control GM Crop Research (Scientific American) http://bit.ly/1kZuagK                                                          Scientists must ask corporations for permission before publishing independent research on genetically modified crops. That restriction must end
  • Food Industry Enlisted Academics in GMO Lobbying War, Emails Show (NYT) http://nyti.ms/1VFekK8
    • The Puppet masters of Academia (or What the NY Times Left out) (Independent Science News) http://bit.ly/1K5ChXh
    • University Scientists Caught Conspiring with Monsanto to Manipulate Public Opinion on GMOs (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1L9fLxe
    • Monsanto Brings on Academics to Push ‘Benefits of GMOs’ (Info Wars) http://bit.ly/1XY2bCd                                                           As former pro-GMO scientists change their tunes
  • Dealing with the rational fear about GMOs and global catastrophe (grist) http://bit.ly/1FCKUDe
    • The Precautionary Principle (with Application to the Genetically Modification of Organisms) (Nissim Nicholas Taleb) http://bit.ly/1i4QXee

 

Poisons

  • ‘Incredible News for Bees’: Court Rejects EPA Pesticide Approval (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1UKyuQH                        Neonicotinoid known as sulfoxaflor may not be used in the US until EPA obtains necessary scientific research
  • Bees Have Their Day in Court – and Win Big (takepart) http://bit.ly/1imh1lT                                                                                                  A federal appeals court overturns the government’s approval of a powerful new pesticide linked to pollinator deaths.

Pollinators

 

Animals

  • How did wild boar become farmyard pigs? Genetic data reveals the answer (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/1KbRPEl

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • Beyond Kombucha: The Fizzy, Healthy World of Fermented Drinks (takepart) http://bit.ly/1XXwNUf                                      Probiotic-packed beverages are popping up all over the place.
  • The Biggest Cause of Death Around the World Is Something We Can Fix (takepart) http://bit.ly/1FEmedm                                                 An analysis of 23 years of data from 188 countries reveals the top killers of people across the globe.
  • Study: Global, regional, and national comparative risk assessment of 79 behavioural, environmental and occupational, and metabolic risks or cluster of risks in 188 countries, 1990-2013: a systemic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (The Lancet) http://bit.ly/1iiofr2
  • Farms Without Wildlife Don’t Produce Safer Food, Study Finds (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1KfCnY9                                                            Sterile monocropping does not result in fewer pathogens in produce, say researchers at the University of California.

 

Tasty Tomatoes

Produce of the Week

Some think of the tomato as a fruit and others think of it as a vegetable, but one thing is certain with this “produce-fluid” plant is that it is packed to the max with nutrition. The tomato has been referred to as a “functional food”–meaning it goes beyond basic health benefits and is part of a group of food that can actually prevent chronic disease.

Source: simply-delicious.co.za

FUN FACT: only 200 years ago the tomato was thought to be poisonous in the U.S

Nutrients found in tomatoes can help with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline is abundant in tomatoes, and can also help maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation.

Source: MNT

Source: productionparadise.com

The tomato is very popular around the world, and is so versatile that it comes in over a thousand different varieties that vary in shape, size, and colour. There are small cherry tomatoes, bright yellow tomatoes, Italian pear-shaped tomatoes, and the green tomato, famous for its fried preparation in Southern American cuisine.

Tomatoes are fruits in a botanical sense, but they don’t have the dessert quality sweetness of other fruits. Instead they have a subtle sweetness that is complemented by a slightly bitter and acidic taste, that is why they are often prepared and served like other vegetables.

Source: World’s Healthiest Foods

CUTE FACT: The French sometimes refer to the tomato as pomme d’amour, meaning “love apple.”

Farmers produce close to a million metric tons of tomatoes in Canada every year. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, have added scientists to their team to find better ways to grow tomatoes in the field or greenhouse.

Source: Agriculture Canada

Source: Grow Calgary

Tomatoes can be easily incorporated into your daily diet by using them in sauces and soups. Add a slice to your sandwich or wrap. Or to rice and beans, quesadillas or tacos. My favourite is adding them to your omelets or scrambles for breakfast.

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

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update September 8, 2015

  • Procurement Can Be a Powerful Tool for Local Economies, but Takes More Than Policy Change to Work (Institute For Local Self-Reliance) http://bit.ly/1PBb7r9
  • Garum sauce: ancient Rome’s ‘ketchup’ becomes a modern-day secret ingredient (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1Ej4vwY  Also know as colatura di alici, the centuries-old condiment of fermented and salted anchovies adds a sharp, savory flavor to simple pasta dishes
  • Humans Carry Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Than Animals They Work With (Dairy Today) http://bit.ly/1hgaFmU
  • Yes, the Local, Sustainable Fruits and Vegetables You Buy Do Taste Better (takepart) http://bit.ly/1UqwqCr      Knowing that foods are produced ethically creates a perception of better taste, according to a new study.
  • Study: Savouring morality. Moral satisfaction renders food of ethical origin subjectively tastier (Appetite) http://bit.ly/1Gpdyal
  • One of the World’s Biggest Food Companies Is Getting Serious About Cutting Emissions (takepart) http://bit.ly/1igDdNS                                                               General Mills announces a plan to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases it generates by nearly a third over the next decade.
  • “You Fly to the Edge of the Tar Sands, and… No Life”: A Montana Professor on the Issue of Our Time (Yes!) http://bit.ly/1JWLbWS                                                      University of Montana professor George Price on permaculture, race, and how he’s standing up to tar sands extraction.

 

Hunger & Obesity

  • Busting the Myth of the Food Desserts: A Farmer’s Market in Milwaukee Sautés Statistics (In These Times) http://bit.ly/1MZOaAd
  • Jim Hightower: Have Your Coke and Guzzle It Too (Other Words) http://bit.ly/1XvkIp5                                                         The world’s largest purveyor of sugary sodas now peddles empty-calorie science too.

 

School Food

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • NLRB Decision Could Mean Excellent News for Fast-Food and Other Low Wage Workers (truthout) http://bit.ly/1Uocwbb
    • A Big Win for Fast Food Workers (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1VFPTfF
    • The Labor Ruling McDonald’s Has Been Dreading Just Became A Reality (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1LEhMTu                                                             The fast-food giants are not going to be happy.
  • New Labor Ruling: What Does It Mean for Small Business Contractors? (Triple Pundit) http://bit.ly/1NVuDBf
  • How Farmworkers’ Fight for Fair Wages Is Emerging in Your Produce Aisle (Realty Check) http://bit.ly/1UsZQuz
  • Next Year, Breaking Off a Piece of This Candy Bar Won’t Involve Child Labor (takepart) http://bit.ly/1Nan89n  Nestlé is cleaning up the supply chain for one of its iconic chocolate brands – but there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
  • More Bad News for A&P Supermarket Workers as Judge OKs Assaults on Union Contracts (In These Times) http://bit.ly/1JRrSy2
  • Companies paying Americans the least (Yahoo!) http://yhoo.it/1VFhqhn                                                                Seven of the ten companies listed are food business…
  • Robert Reich: In the New Economy, Workers Take on All the Risk (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1LBXVUR                                   More Americans than ever don’t know what they’ll be earning next week. That’s why we need income insurance.

 

Business & Economy

  • Monsanto’s Bid Become A Pesticide Giant Is, Thankfully, Dead (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1Jk4FRp                         A merger with rival Syngenta could have created a monster.
  • McDonald’s declines Burger King’s ‘McWhopper’ offer (MSNBC) http://on.msnbc.com/1i34JhM
    • McD’s Wants You to Know About All-Day Breakfast – but Not It’s Switch to Real Butter (takepart) http://bit.ly/1hFijr7                                                                      The fast-food giant once again is struggling to catch up to consumer taste.
  • Good Eggs Downsizing in SF, Shuttering Operations in LA, Brooklyn and New Orleans (Eater) http://bit.ly/1LZUR52
  • The Number of Americans Living on Less Than $2 a Day Is Skyrocketing (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1ECtOKQ         Research shows 1.5 million households and 3 million children are living in desperate economic conditions.

 

Protests

  • Farmers Stage 1,000 – Strong Tractor Protest In Paris (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1PNq3Cq                              The farmers are seeking tax breaks from the French government and EU action to level the playing field with neighboring countries.

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Catalan project harvests unwanted fruit and veg for people in need (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1JrDBzO          Barcelona-based Espigoladors sends volunteers into the fields to pick leftover produce for distribution to the vulnerable and unemployed
  • Can’t Get Blood From a Stone, but You Can Make Water out of Food Waste (takepart) http://bit.ly/1POEDd3  Researchers at Miami University have figured out a way to get some of the wasted resources back from trashed fruits and vegetables.
  • Here’s How 180,000 Tons of Food Waste Will Skip the Landfill (takepart) http://bit.ly/1JFtyJN                                      An anaerobic digester facility will help reduce the amount of refuse that’s piling up in garbage dumps on the New York metropolitan area.

 

Food Fraud/Scandals

  • Honey Labels Put Customers in Sticky Situation (eco’RI News) http://bit.ly/1JwvpR2                                                       With no set guidelines and no one really checking, consumers are left to figure out what local means

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Drought Relief Bill Threatens to Drown Sacred Sites of a Northern California Tribe (truthout) http://bit.ly/1KNnYTt
  • Nestle, the California Drought and Why Buying Bottled Water Is the Dumbest Thing You Can Do for the Planet (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1UuyJnW
  • Too Warm, Too Few Fish: Health Warning for World’s Oceans (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1hgjTQb                        Rampant overfishing combined with the impact of climate change is seriously endangering the well-being of the oceans.

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • California Approves Strongest Equal Pay Protections in all of US (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1OmfSVc

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Latvia and Greece Start Green Wave of GM Crop Bans across Europe (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1Fq5TJl
    • US regulator sued for withholding information on GMO crops (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) http://bit.ly/1NIem1i
  • Germany follows Scotland’s example with move to ban all GM crops and opt out of EU approvals (The Indpendent) http://ind.pn/1NTuP0H
  • Chipotle attacked by corporate front group over non-GMO policy (GMWatch) http://bit.ly/1IP32tA                                    Big Tobacco and Biotech-funded Center for Consumer Freedom launches smear campaign… Rick Berman’s PR Firm Berman & Co is at it again…
  • Chipotle vows to fight ‘meritless’ GMO lawsuit, but case highlights legal minefield over Non-GMO claims (Food Navigator) http://bit.ly/1JHN2NN
  • Class-Action Suit Alleges Chipotle’s GMO-Free Campaign Is Deceptive (NPR) http://n.pr/1JPK23r
  • Chipotle Slapped With Lawsuit for Allegedly False GMO-Free Claims (truthout) http://bit.ly/1LOZFre                         The first chain restaurant to declare its menu free of genetically engineered ingredients still serves items that are either made with or raised on modified crops.

 

Poisons

  • Pesticides Blamed for Bee Declines Widespread in US Waterways (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1PzjQKg                           Expert says neonicotinoids, even at EPA’s ‘safe’ levels, could devastate aquatic invertebrates.
  • More evidence of Roundup’s link to kidney, liver damage (Environmental Health News) http://bit.ly/1hkRnwE
    • Study: Transciptome profile analysis reflects rat liver and kidney damage following chronic ultra-low does Roundup exposure (Environmental Health) http://bit.ly/1NB1tqX
    • Sofia Gatica, Argentine Activist, Faced Anonymous Death Threats For Fighting Monsanto Herbicide (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1EHZuyr
  • Organic Consumers Association and Green Peace Mexico Join Forces to Ban Agrochemicals in Food and Farming in Mexico (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1JXRppq

Animals

  • Why the Era of Cruel Extreme Confinement of Animals Raised for Food Appears to Be Coming to an End (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1hSHIym               All the key players in the industry are moving to adopt more humane approaches.
  • Bird Flu Is Changing the Egg-Shopping Game (takepart) http://bit.ly/1JRCc9i                                                                    Prices are still high following the devastation brought to the poultry industry earlier in the year.
  • Undercover Investigator Reveals Footage McDonald’s Will Most Definitely Not Want to Go Viral (Nation of Change)

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • There Is Poop in Basically All Hamburger Meat (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1Jrw8Qu                                                         But there’s less bacteria – and way fewer antibiotic-resistant strains – in grass-fed beef than conventional, consumer Reports finds.
  • Why You Really Might Want to Go with Having a Veggie Burger Instead (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1LBXCcE      Antibiotic-resistant supberbugs found lurking in 1 in 5 conventional ground beef samples.
  • Health officials stymied in quest to test farm pigs for salmonella (Seattle Times) http://bit.ly/1LcguJP
  • Why It’s Getting to Be Damn Near Impossible to Know What Food Is Actually Healthy (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1PzjnYs  Corporate funding is producing oceans of questionable information when it comes to health.

 

Events

  • Closing the Hunger Gap: Cultivating Food Justice Conference. September 13 – 16, 2015. Portland, Oregon. http://thehungergap.org/
  • 9th Annual Farm and Food Leadership Conference, September 25-26, 2015. Bryan, TX (Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance) http://bit.ly/1Tr1IU4