Jenny’s Food & Ag Update November 22, 2015


  • Borrow, Save, Share: 3 Ways Seeds Can Democratize Our Food System (Yes!)                                                            Just six companies control 63 percent of the commercial seed market. But seed libraries offer us an opportunity to reclaim the seed commons and create our own community food systems.
  • Got Food? How Local Food Systems Can Build Resilience for Turbulent Times (The Solutions Journal)
  • This Maine Co-op’s Trying to Bring Fresh, Local Food to 10,000 College Students (Yes!)                                     For the past 10 years, University of Maine students have been fed by a giant corporate food distributor. I Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative wins the next contract, they’ll send millions of dollars to local farmers and fishermen instead.
  • Alarming Developments in Palm Oil Industry in Latin America Spur Global Call to Action for Palm Oil Traders (Other Words)
  • The Color of Food: How Gardens and farms an Help Us Heal From a History of Racism (Yes!)              When we work together, share meals together, and laugh together, we’re repairing relationships with the soil as a community.
  • More Mexicans Leaving Than Coming to the US (Pew Research Center)                                                             New Loss of 140,000 from 2009 to 2014; Family Reunification Top Reason for Returning
  • Farmland, Food, and Bioenergy Crops Need not Compete for Land (The Solutions Journal)
  • Israeli military offers a death-free experience – for soldiers’ diets, at least (grist)                                                Veganism is on the rise in Israel, and the military is taking note.


Food Insecurity, Hunger, & Obesity

  • Bewildering Biodiversity – A Success Story of Food Security for Indigenous Peoples in India (IPS News)
  • After Decades in a Food Desert, These Neighbors Are Building a $2 Million Co-op – And They Own It (Yes!)
  • Gardening for Victory: One Battle for Urban Food Security (The Solutions Journal)
  • California Wants to Help Low-Income Residents Buy More Fresh Produce (Civil Eats)                                                        A new bill could help more Californians afford to shop at farmers’ markets and food hubs and help pave the way to similar effort nationwide.



  • Death in The Fields (The Desert Sun)    Six California famrworkers died in the summer of 2008 after laboring in the heat. Lawsuits spurred change.
  • Transgender Employee Sues Wal-Mart (Huffington Post)                                                                                           … They’ve got wage and hour lawsuits, gender discrimination lawsuits, disability discrimination lawsuits, racial discrimination lawsuits, and age discrimination lawsuits…
  • It’s the 50th Anniversary Of the Strike to Bring Fair Wages for Farm Workers: RFK, Jr. Reminds Us of their Bravery (Ring of Fire)
    • United Farm Workers celebrate the Delano Grape Strike ’65 movement (The Renegade Rip, Bakersfield College)
    • US civil rights milestone marked at Delano’s historic Forty Acres (Angelus News)
  • How This Brooklyn Neighborhood is Putting Healthy Food in Business (Yes!)                                                                   A co-op training program in Brooklyn could serve as a model for other cities looking to combat the effects of gentrification for long time residents.
  • The “Sharing Economy” is the Problem: The Cooperative Economy is the Solution (Grassroots Economic Organizing)
  • Three Part Series on Black Cooperatives


Business & Economics

  • Taco Bell to Switch to Cage-Free Eggs After 2016 (WSJ)                                                                Restaurant chain says its 6,000 US locations will shift to cage-free eggs by the end of 2016
  • The Last Major Fast-Food Chain to Promise Cage-Free Eggs Will Be the First to Serve Them (takepart)    Taco Bell will implement the changes by the end of 2016, while McDonald’s won’t finish its supply overhaul until 2025.
  • Kroger Feeds the Foodopoly by Gobbling up Wisconsin Supermarket (Food & Water Watch)  Kroger, the largest conventional supermarket chain in the US, is buying Wisconsin based grocer Roundy’s, further consolidating our squeezed food chain.
  • Corporations replace peasants at the “vanguard” of China’s new food security agenda (GRAIN)
  • McDonald’s ordered to pay $355,000 for discriminating against legal immigrants (RT)
  • As Boomers Retire, Millions of Small Businesses Will Change Hands. Can We Keep Them Local? (Yes!)  A “silver tsunami’ of retiring business owners is coming, and with it, one of the biggest changeovers of privately held companies in US history. Here’s how we can help owners pass their legacies – to their workers.
  • Syngenta convicted: Justice finds company responsible for armed attack on encamped rural workers (Terra de Direitos)
  • The Bank-Free, KIY Lending System That Helps Friends and Families Finance Themselves (Yes!)        Who needs banks when you have communities? This finance model lets people help each other – without interest.
  • Turkey at $1.38 a Pound Sounds Great. Until You Think About What That Means. (Mother Jones)             … the exploitation of farmers, animals, farm workers, processing, packaging, transportations, and grocery while poisoning the land, water and creating antibiotic resistance…
  • That turkey on your plate could use some industry competition (The Washington Post)
  • Report: Unsafe at These Speeds (Southern Poverty Law Center)
  • Does the chicken industry pluck farmers? (grist)                                                                                               The other side of the argument: there are always winners and losers… Really? Tick-tock the game is locked…



  • Protesters Continue to Try and Stop Massive Water Shut-Offs in Detroit (truthout)
  • These Are The Face Of The Fight For 15 Movement (Huffington Post)                                                                 Workers protested nationwide Tuesday in an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Here are some of their stories.


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste


Water & Our Oceans

  • Another Round of Water Nightmares for Flint (Food & Water Watch)                                                                        Over recent years, Flint residents have been subjected to illegally raised utility costs and poisoned water. Now, sixty percent of Flint water customers face having their water shut off.
  • Some Wisconsin Water Is Comparable to a Third World Country (Thank’s Scott Walker) (Esquire)                   “We can’t drink, brush our teeth, wash dishes, wash food; we can’t use our water, said one resident.
  • Study: Project: Failure at the Faucet (Wisconsin Watch)                                                                                  Nearly half the private wells in Wisconsin have tested as unsafe – 2013 state researchers’ study of rural well water…
  • From Commutes to Corals: Reincarnating New York’s Subway Cars (The Solutions Journal)
  • Incredible Infographic Shows How We Have Ruined our Oceans – and Ourselves as a Result (AlterNet)      From plastic trash and discarded fishing gear to oil spills and pesticide runoff, human beings have treated the oceans as a vast dumping ground.
  • Only 1 Percent of the Earth’s Oceans Are Environmentally Protected (Yes!)                                                    How the majority of life on Earth lives under the sea, and 22 other facts about or world today.
  • Scaling Up Seafood Sustainability: An Illustrated Journey (The Solutions Journal)


Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • The WTO Just Dealt a Blow to US Consumers and Dolphins (Huffington Post)
    • United State – Measures Concerning the Importation, marketing and Sale of Tuna and Tuna Products (WTO)
  • Latin American Legislators Find New Paths to Fight Hunger (IPS News)                                                                            With eight specific commitments aimed at pushing through laws and policies on food security and sovereignty, family farming and school feeding programs, legislators from 17 countries…
  • Latin American Legislators, a Battering Ram in the Fight Against Hunger (IPS News)
  • “Congress To Vote on Bill To Ban Microbead Hygiene Products in US” (Society of Environmental Journalists)
  • Our Government Is Destroying Geese Families In the Cruelest Way (The Dodo)                                                … Wildlife Services has been Killing millions upon millions of animals for over 100 years. The Wildlife Services is a branch of the USDA.
  • US Agriculture Department Inducts Cesar Chavez into ‘Hall of Heroes’ (Latin Post)
  • The USDA Is Putting $34.3 Million Into Local Food Projects. Will It Be Enough? (Yes!)                                           Those in the food justice movement question whether the agency’s recent efforts are a superficial attempt to t appear supportive of local food and minority farmers.
  • FDA OKs genetically modified salmon for human consumption (PBS Newshour)                                            We have lost this battle, but the war is not over…
  • FDA takes several actions involving genetically engineered plants and animals for food (FDA)        AquaAdvantage Salmon, voluntary labeling of foods from GE sources…
  • Emergency Lawsuit Filed To Fight FDA Approval of ‘Frankenfish’ (Common Dreams)                                                        In addition to profound potential for ecological impacts, critics say move by FDA ignores fundamental right of consumers to know how their food is produced
  • EPA Finding on Fracking Water Pollution Disputed by its Own Scientists (Society of Environmental Journalists)


GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • BRIEF –Novozymes says BioAg Alliance targets 25-50 percent of US farmland by 2025 (Reuters)
  • Eco Groups Take Canadian Government to Court in GMO Salmon Fight (Common Dreams)      Genetically modified fish pose too high of a risk to surrounding ecosystems, lawsuit states.
  • The First GMO Animal Was Just Approved. But You Probably Won’t Be Eating It Anytime Soon. (Mother Jones)
  • Concerned Americans Urge White House to Overhaul GMO Regulation by the Thousands (Food & Water Watch)
  • David and Goliath: Illinois Farer Takes on the World’s Largest Agrochemical Company Over GMO Corn (AlterNet)                                                                                              US corn exports are still down 85% after Syngenta’s rush to the market with genetically modified product led to a ban in China, a farmer claims in court.


  • Pesticide Exposure Linked to Abnormal Sperm (AlterNet)                                                                                                A new study has found that exposure to organochlorine chemicals like DDE And PCBs may lead to fertility problems.
  • Study: Sperm Aneuploidy in Faroese Men with Lifetime Exposure to Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Pollutants (Environmental Health Perspectives)
  • Monsanto’s Roundup: The Whole Toxic Enchilada (EcoWatch)
    • EU Gives Monsanto Mixed Message on Roundup’s Cancer-Causing Potential (AlterNet)          Research shows that glyphosate, the main ingredient in the pesticide Roundup (no, herbicide), can damage DNA, disrupt development and cause morbidity, even at normal levels of use.




Healthy/Safe Food

  • Hold on to your lacerations: We’re heading towards a terrifying, post antibiotic world (grist)
  • Chipotle E. coli outbreak reaches six states, shares tumble (KELO)
    • “E. Coli Bacteria Can Transfer Antibiotic Resistance To Other Bacteria” (Society of Environmental Journalists)
  • Is This Chemical in Your Pizza Crust? (Civil Eats)                                                                                        Why is potassium bromate, a possible human carcinogen, still available in US baked goods, despite being banned around the world?
  • Here’s Why You Should Heed the WHO’s Processed Meat Warning (Yahoo!)                                                  A new study shows the public doesn’t like pregnant pigs being kept in tiny crates. Really, they are cages…