Jenny’s Food & Ag Update, November 2, 2015


  • This Women’s Collective Is Using Agroecology to Fight India’s Green Revolution (AlterNet)                    India once had 14,000 different varieties of rice. But the Green Revolution displaced those traditional varieties with hybrids that can only be grown with chemical fertilizers.
  • From ‘Sustainable’ to ‘Regenerative’ – The Future of Food (Organic Consumers Association)
    • Biomimicry: using nature’s designs to transform agriculture (The Guardian)                                        Finalists in the Food Systems Design Challenge are creating cutting edge agriculture systems using some of the world’s oldest designs
  • You Choose: Do You Want to Eat Food Produced by Degenerative or Regenerative Agriculture? (EcoWatch)
  • Sowing Sustainability: How Kids in California Are Learning How to Grow and Sell Organic Food (AlterNet)      The produce revenue that children earn go directly into their own savings accounts that supports their future education.
  • Let’s cultivate our soils wisely (The Sacramento Bee)                                                                           International Year of Soils and other efforts are promoting good management if farmers use best practices they can help easy California’s water shortage
  • Iowa: Rural town aims to be “the place” for local food firms (Wallace Center)                                                  People building strong places with local and regional food
  • Bread Is Broken (NYT)                        Industrial production destroyed both the taste and the nutritional value of wheat. One scientist believes he can undo the damage.         It’s not just wheat that has had its taste and nutritional value destroyed…
  • The Great Pumpkin Shortage Is Coming (Other Words)                                                                                       Spooky weather patterns are disrupting specialty crops.
  • The Case for Home Cooking: What We Lose by Eating Out and Ordering In (AlterNet)                                      Our busy lifestyles are preventing us from fully embracing our adult domestic coolness.
  • Food Hub Benchmarking Study (National Good Food Network)                                                                                           Data dive explores financials at wholesale end of local food business
  • Is Eating Organic the Only Way to Make California Agriculture Sustainable? (The People’s Vanguard of Davis)
  • Special Ed Teacher’s Job Program Empowers Students, Changes Minds, Melts Hearts (takepart)                     The San Francisco teacher wants the entire school to
  • 8 Nations Going Vegetarian, Proving To The World Less Is More (Peaceful Warriors)
  • Buckraking on the Food Beat: When is it a conflict of interest? (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting)
  • Could a Superfood Help Save Haiti’s Forests? (takepart)                                                                                    Moringa company Kuli Kuli wants to help to reforest the island by developing a moringa economy.
  • Is Indonesia’s Fire Crisis Connected to the Palm Oil in Our Snack Food? (AlterNet)                                                   The widespread burning of tropical rainforests and peatlands to develop palm oil plantations is one of the largest sources of carbon pollution today.
  • Indonesia is burning. So why is the world looking away? (The Guardian)                                                                         A great tract of Earth is on fire and threatened species are being driven out of their habitats. This is a crime against humanity and nature
  • Peruvian indigenous leader in London to denounce illegal deforestation of 5000 hectares of Peru’s Amazon for palm oil (Forest Peoples Programme)


Food Insecurity, Hunger, & Obesity

  • Florida Restaurant Combats Local Hunger With Price-Free Menu (Huffington Post)                                         Everyone has a seat at these tables.


School Food



  • In Minneapolis, a Strong ‘Fair Scheduling’ Law for Workers Runs Into a Corporate Roadblock (In These Times)
  • A Bill of Rights That Puts Workers Above Corporations (In These Times)                                                                           It’s up to the voters of Spokane, Washington
  • The Hellish Conditions Facing Workers At Chicken Processing Plants (Think Progress)


Business & Economy

  • How This Small Business Is Tackling Poverty And Paying Its Employees Twice the Minimum Wage (forbes)                                                                                   The Lancaster Food Co.
  • After Company Raises Minimum Salary to $70,000, Revenue and Profits Double (ThinkProgress)
  • An Awful Bitter Brew (Other Words)        Should one beer behemoth control 70 percent of the US market?
  • Hershey: US Income Inequality Is Transforming The Chocolate Business (Huffington Post)                       CEO: “We are seeing a widening disparity between upper-income and lower-income”                                                                                                           With fewer having the means to purchase what the middleclass has traditionally purchased, we will see more companies of all stripes suffering loss of sales…



  • Groups Gather at Nation’s Capitol to Pressure Congress to Ban Fracking on Public Lands (EcoWatch)


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • A chef’s manifesto: let’s tackle food waste with good fare (The Guardian)                                                                     Dan Barber: ‘If you think not leaving your plate full of food is the way to deal with this issue, you’re letting yourself off too easy.’


Food Fraud/Scandals

  • Indian Government Sues Nestle for $99 Million After Finding Lead in Instant Noodles (Peaceful Warriors)


Water & Our Oceans

  • Texas Activists Form Statewide Coalition to Confront Fracking Despite Pushback From State, Industry (truthout)
  • Utah’s Hopes For Oil Shale Bonanza Has A Public Relations Problem, Industry Symposium Hears (DesmogBlog)
  • Alarming Uptick of Earthquakes in Kansas Linked to Fracking With 52 in Just the Last Two Weeks (truthout)
  • (Queensland, Australia) Farmers should have right to veto coal seam gas on their land, says Warren Truss (The Guardian)
  • Coca-Cola Has Poisoned the Drinking Water of Millions in Sri Lanka (AlterNet)                                                         The beverage giant apologized for leaking diesel fuel into the Kelani River, leaving millions without water.
  • What If Your Tap Water Was Too Polluted to Drink? (The Nation)                                                                                             This sorry state of affairs is the daily realty for too many Americans.
  • Sustainable Ocean Farming Innovators Win The 2015 Buckminster Fuller Challenge (Global Possibilities)
  • How Washington (State) Transformed Its Dying Oyster Industry Into A Climate Success Story (Think Progress)
  • Why Is It So Hard To Save Gulf Of Maine Cod? They’re In Hot Water (NPR)                                                               And what of ocean acidification?
  • Plastic Trash Found in Arctic Ocean, Likely Forming Sixth Garbage Patch (EcoWatch)


Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • Big Win for Farm Workers as EPA Moves to Ban Dangerous Pesticide (Common Dreams)                Agency’s proposal hailed as ‘a step forward on the path to environmental justice.’
  • EPA to Ban Dangerous Pesticide Chlorpyrifos (Earth Justice)                                                                                  Victory: Children, communities and workers to benefit from long overdue phase-out of neurotoxic agricultural chemical
  • Senate’s First Biotech Hearing in a Decade Was a Lopsided, Pro-Industry Affair (AlterNet)                                When Senators questioned agency officials on regulatory procedures of GE crops and Biotechnology, no answers were given that address scientific studies needed to ensure their safety.
  • Pro-GMO Witnesses Participate in Senate Haring on GMO Labeling (Nation of Change)
  • Another example of a federal agency operating by fiat (Capital Press)                                                                          Critics say the head of the National Organic Program is keeping secret the names of experts used to formulate policy, has failed to vigorously enforce regulations and punish violators, and is acting at the behest of large corporations.
  • Meet the Federal Agency Rubber Stamping the Rampant Expansion of Fracking (AlterNet)                The agency that once operated quietly under public radar has become the target of activist outrage for spearheading fossil fuel corporate domination.
  • Brown signs two oil spill bills, but marine protected areas aren’t fully protected (Bay Area Independent Media Center)


GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • GM Crops Now Banned in 38 Countries Worldwide – Sustainable Pulse Research
    • All Monsanto GMO Cornfields Burned Down in Hungary (Peaceful Warriors)                                  Hungary has located and destroyed 1000 acres of maize that was found to be grown with genetically modified seeds. Hungary is a nation where genetically modified seeds are banned along with other genetically modified ingredients.
  • Hawaii Sees Tenfold Increase In Birth Defects After Becoming GM Corn Testing Grounds (Peaceful Warriors)
  • More Than 100 Monsanto Employees Crashed My Presentation on GE Crops and Pesticides (AlterNet)      It’s not easy staring Goliath in the face and speaking hard truths. But it’s important.
  • Report: Pesticides in Paradise: Hawai’i’s Health & Environment at Risk (Center for Food Safety)
  • Bernie and Hillary Support GMOs – but They Don’t Want Labeling Laws to Go ‘Dark’ (takepart)        According to the polling data, voters from both parties support labeling laws.
  • Genetically-Engineered Soybeans Give Altered Milk and Stunted Offspring, Researchers Find (AlterNet)       This result is the strongest demonstration so far of altered growth and development in offspring of GE-fed mothers.
  • Mexico’s Chefs Are Fighting a Future of Genetically Modified Corn (Organic Consumers Association)



  • Whistleblower Accuses USDA of Censorship Over Anti-Pesticide Reports (Common Dreams)          ‘Bureacracys under political pressure from corporate stakeholders routinely shoot the messenger, even if they are wearing a lab coat.’
  • For the First Time Ever, a US Food Company Has Committed to Phasing out Bee-Killing Seed Coatings (AlterNet)                                                                            Responding to public pressure to save bees, America’s second biggest popcorn supplier will eliminate neonicotinoid seed coatings.


  • For the First Time Ever, a US Food Company Has Committed to Phasing Out Bee-Killing Seed Coatings (AlterNet)                                                                          Responding to public pressure to save bees, America’s second biggest popcorn supplier will eliminate neonicotiinoid seed coatings.



  • It’s Official: Jon and Tracey Stewart Convert 12-Acre Farm to Animal Sanctuary (EcoWatch)
  • Home (again) on the range: Purebred bison return to Larimer County (Denver Post)                    Collaboration among CSU and area agencies keeps Yellowstone bison genetics intact, removes troublesome brucellosis


Healthy/Safe Food

  • We Are Winning the Fight Against Big Soda and the Health Catastrophe They’ve Created (AlterNet)        Soda and other food corporations will spend fortunes to influence political processes – but we can still win.
  • In ‘Soda Politics,’ Big Soda At Crossroads Of Profit And Public Health (NPR)
  • The science is in: the case for a sugar tax is overwhelming (The Guardian)
    • Health Threat of Sugar Is Vastly Underestimated, Study Claims (AlterNet)                                             New research says sugar causes high blood pressure and heart disease regardless of weight gain, but critics doubt results.
  • Chipotle Closes Locations In Washington, Oregon After E. Coli Outbreak (Huffington Post)                          The Mexican fast-food chain temporarily closed at least 43 restaurants in the two states.
  • Processed Meats Rank Alongside Smoking as Cancer Risks, WHO Says (AlterNet)                                      Confirming the worst fears of bacon lovers.
  • Medical Doctor Sells Practice, Open Up “Farmacy” Using Food as Medicine (Organic Consumers Association)