Jenny’s Food & Ag Update, November 17, 2015


  • 14 hot food trends for 2016 (Restaurant News)                                                                                      Really?
  • Farm bill favors corporations and ignores people of color (grist)
    • Farm Bill Report (University of California Berkeley Diversity)
    • The Farm Bill: Corporate Power and Structural Racialization in the US Food System (University of California Berkeley Diversity)


  • India’s Indigenous Peoples organize to protect forests, waters and commons (The Ecologist)
  • Vandana Shiva: West’s ‘fail-anthropy’ (The Asian Age)                                                                                        “’One Agriculture’ will starve the world and worsen the refugee crisis. The Gates Foundation, pretending to feed the world, is propagating the very source of half the climate problem.”
  • Making a Meal That’s Bred-to-Order (The Atlantic)                                                                            Plant breeders are working with chefs to create a better-tasting new varieties of fruits and vegetables.
  • San Francisco Becomes First City to Ban the Sale of Plastic Bottles (Nation of Change)
  • Farmers Honor Late Neighbor With ‘Unbelievable’ Gesture Of Support (Huffington Post)

“It’s a small community. We all stick together.”


  • Taste the Crown Jewel of the Grain World: Hand-Harvested Wild Rice (takepart)                                                        This ancient Native American staple crop provides economic and environmental benefits on tribal lands.


Food Insecurity, Hunger, & Obesity

  • When Employees Buy Restaurant Ingredients at Cost, They Get More Than Better Food (National Geographic)
  • Fixing A Food Desert Isn’t As Easy As Putting A Grocery Store On Wheels (Huffington Post)                            A mobile grocery store in New Mexico is no more. What’s sprung up in its place could be even better.
  • US Obesity Rates Are Rising Again, Especially Among Minority Women (Huffington Post)                          And experts say they don’t have an explanation as to why.
  • There’s Little to Celebrate in New CDC Report on Obesity (takepart)                                                      Both child and adult rates appear to be plateauing, and declines were only seen in on demographic group.



  • Papa John’s Franchisee Gets Jail Time For Failing To Pay Full Wages (Huffington Post)                                  It’s very rare that a business owner serves time for wage theft.
  • Joe’s Crab Shack Becomes First Major Chain To Drop Tipping (Huffington Post)                                        Servers will now be paid at least $12 an hour.
  • Tyson Foods Wants the Supreme Court to Let It Keep Stealing Workers’ Wages (Mother Jones)               Tyson Foods gets sued a lot by its employees. It wants the Supreme Court to make them stop.
  • Campaigns for Paid Family and Medical Leave Gain Momentum, Despite GOP Resistance (truthout)
  • Sorry, Eating Chicken Is Indefensible: The Real Horrors Behind America’s Most Popular Meat (AlterNet)      Chicken is seen as cheap protein and convenient food. But the labor practices and “killing line” are horrifying.
  • Complaints Against Multinational Supermarket Chain a Test of labor Protections in International Trade Agreements (UFCW Local 770)                                                       Coalition of Labor and Consumer Groups File NAFTA and OECD complaints to Halt Worker Abuse at Mexican Retail Giant Chedraui Commercial Group
  • How a ‘Right to Your Job’ Law Could Help Unions Fight Back Against ‘Right to Work’ (In These Times)


Business & Economy

  • Ben And Jerry’s New Vegan Ice Cream Will Be Made With Almond Milk (Huffington Post)
  • Improving Lives by Connecting the Coffee in Your Cup to the Farmer Who Grew It (takepart)                         By naming roasts after growers – and paying a premium price for beans – Austin-based Tiny House hopes to make life better on Nicaraguan plantations.
  • Taco Bell is a Crunchwrap Supreme jerk on food sourcing (grist)
    • Report: How Top Restaurants Rate On Reducing Use of Antibiotics in Their Meat Supply (Friends of the Earth & NRDC)
  • Starbucks Offers Free College Tuition To Military Spouses And Children (Huffington Post)                    Military families can now earn bachelor’s degrees at Arizona State University for free.
  • Almost Half of All American Workers Make Less Than $15 an Hour (The Nation)                                          Three years after the first #FightFor15 strike, workers nationwide rallied again yesterday for living wages and union rights.



  • Fast Food Strikes Hit Cities Throughout The Country (Huffington Post)                                                                             The campaign says workers earning less than $15 per hour are “a voting bloc that can no longer be ignored.”                                                  Less than 50% of US workers make $30,00 per year, you are right, they can’t be ignored…
  • Photos Show Workers Around The Country Striking For $15 Minimum Wage (Huffington Post)
  • In Latest Round of Fast Food Strikes, Fight for $15 Tells Politicians: “Come Get My Vote” (In These Times)


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Should you be eating fruit foraged from urban landscapes? (grist)
    • Is Food Foraged in Cities Safe to Eat? (Civil Eats)                                                                                 Early research has found that some foraged urban foods are not only safe, they also have higher levels of nutrients.
  • One Kitchen Aims to Upcycle Food Waste and Employ the Poor (takepart)                                                                   The Alameda Kitchen will take unwanted fruits and vegetables and turn them into meals for a good cause.
  • Park Service removes garbage cans from San Francisco beach… to prevent litter (grist)


Water & Our Oceans

  • Report: Water, Drought, Climate Change, and Conflict in Syria (American Meteorological Society)
  • The Drought Is Turning Dairy Farmers Away From Thirsty Feed Crops (takepart)                                           Redwood Hill Farm is substituting the shrub tagasaste for water-loving alfalfa.
  • Monster Fish Makes a Rare Appearance in Cambodia (takepart)                                                                                     Fishers catch and release a critically endanger Mekong giant catfish.
  • Monsanto Accused of Knowingly Polluting SF Bay with Toxic PCBs (Common Dreams)                        Oakland city attorney says the chemical giant ‘chose profits over people, and American cities and citizens are still suffering the consequences.’
  • San Francisco Bay PCBs TMDL Project (California Environmental Protection Agency)                                        We have been warned since 1994 not to eat fish from the San Francisco Bay due to PCBs…
  • OEHHA: A guide to eating San Francisco Bay Fish and Shellfish based on mercury or PCBs (California Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Chemicals used in oil spill cleanup made Gulf disaster worse (grist)
    • Study: Chemical dispersants can suppress the activity of natural oil-degrading microorganisms (National Academy of Sciences)
  • Plastic Contaminates Table Salt in China (Scientific American)
    • Study: Microplastic Pollution in Table Salts from China (Journal of Environmental Science & Technology)


Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • TPP Ignores Workers’ Needs and Fails to Address Weaknesses from Past Trade Agreements (Huffington Post)
    • Worried TPP Will Hurt Workers? This Case Will Provide Some Clues (Common Dreams)                              “If the administration fails to take strong action, critics will see it as a signal that the US is falling short on linking trade, investment, and labor rights.”
  • European scientists (European Food Safety Authority) say weedkiller glyphosate unlikely to cause cancer (Reuters UK)                                                                                 Really? When the world cancer authority (IARC) took into consideration not only glyphaste but the interaction with other chemicals… What of the precautionary principle?
  • Farm bill favors corporations and ignores people of color (grist)
    • Report: The US Farm Bill: Corporate Power and Structural Racialization in the US Food System (UC Berkley Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society)
  • What’s ‘Natural’ Food? The Government Isn’t Sure And Wants Your Input (NPR)
    • Think You Know What ‘Natural’ Means? The FDA Wants You to Share (takepart)                                    After more than 20 years, the feds may be getting serious about coming up with a legal definition for the label food makers love to use and abuse


GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • India: Farmers criticize GM promoters’ covert practices (live mint)                                                                         Farmers ask government stop approval process for commercialization of genetically modified mustard
  • New GMO-Free Zone Will Protect Traditional Farmers in Colorado (AlterNet)                                             The zone will help traditional and organic farmers avoid the risk of transgenic contamination from nearby GE crops, particularly GE corn.



  • Will the EPA Ban a Pesticide That’s Been Lowering Children’s IQs for Year? (In These Times)
  • Why the United States Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market (In These Times)                                                            A 6-month investigation finds that the revolving door between government and the chemical industry has led the EPA to rely on easily manipulated research…



  • Farmers Have Been Enjoying The Fruits Of Bee Labor For 9,000 Years (The Salt)
    • Clay Fragments Suggest How Long We’ve Been Relying On Honeybees (National Geographic)



  • There’s a Horrifying Pork Factory Video Going Around. The Story Behind It Is Even Worse. (Mother Jones)    The puss-covered meat, poop-caked pigs, and snoozing employee? That’s supposed to be a model for the rest of the industry?
  • Undercover Video Appears To Show Pigs Conscious, Shaking In Pain As They Face Slaughterhouse Death (Huffington Post)                                                                               Pigs that appear covered with feces and sores are headed for processing in the video at one of the largest US pork producers.
  • ‘Not Safe to Consume’: Insiders Blow Whistle on Pork Inspection Regime (Common Dreams)    “Personally, I will not eat any products that bear the name of the company which this meat is produced,” Says USDA whistleblower
  • Turkey Prices Expected to Rise 15 to 20 Percent This Thanksgiving (Yahoo!)                                  Due to culling of turkey flocks in response to Avian Flue earlier this year…


Healthy/Safe Food

  • This Is How Much Sugar You Should Eat, According to the FDA’s New Guidelines (Mother Jones)