Jenny’s Food & Ag Update, November 29, 2015

  • Fighting Pests With Sound Waves, Not Pesticides (takepart) http://bit.ly/1NsECNW                                                                                Scientists have invented a device that uses acoustics to mimic the mating call of an insect that has been devastating Florida’s orange groves. Question is, can this technique be used for other insects?
  • The Curious Case of the Antidepressant, Anti-Anxiety Backyard Garden (Yes!) http://bit.ly/1loM69J                                                Whether it’s microbes in the dirt or fresh air – or both – researchers do know this: Gardening is strong medicine.
  • 8 Colorful Ways Countries Around the World Give Thanks for Their Harvest (takepart) http://bit.ly/1Q5nKx7
  • On Thanksgiving, There Is Such a Thing as Free Lunch (takepart) http://bit.ly/1NfTJ8p                                                                                           Some restaurants that say open on the holiday celebrate by giving food away to benefit their communities.
  • Jim Hightower: What Exactly Are We Celebrating on Thanksgiving? (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1Ni0URY                                 We face a momentous choice: a food future rooted in the ethic of sustainable agriculture or in exploitative agri-industry.
  • Ahead of Thanksgiving, Tribes Earn New Grants to Support Local Food and Farming (takepart) http://bit.ly/1N2osWz                    Moving toward food sovereignty is good for the stomachs and souls of Native Americans.
  • Native Americans mark Thanksgiving with mixed feelings, and a meal on LA’s skid row (LA Times) http://lat.ms/1kUxgrB
    • The “Honorable Harvest”: Lessons From an Indigenous Tradition of Giving Thanks (Yes!) http://bit.ly/1lRwDPE
    • Decolonize Thanksgiving (California Institute For Rural Studies) http://bit.ly/21h2Wb4
    • What’s Missing From Our Thanksgiving Menus? Justice for Farm Workers (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/21fXYLI
    • Why Are Organic Cranberries So Hard to Find? (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1ldHZgr
    • The Effects of Cranberry Bogs on Area Flora and Fauna (McAlester College) http://bit.ly/1Iie9fY
    • The Turkey Report (Clear Food) http://bit.ly/1T1NBG5
    • From Holiday Bird to Cold Cuts, Take a Scientific Look at What’s in Your Turkey (takepart) http://bit.ly/1lneVmx        California lab brings high-tech scrutiny to the search for the perfect bird.
  • Wild turkeys are tough old birds. Here’s why you should hunt and cook them (grist) http://bit.ly/1Q1ryiM                                                         If you have never eaten wild turkey, you should.                              Note: they do need to be cooked differently…
  • Less Meat Consumption Critical to Achieve Global Climate Goals (TriplePundit) http://bit.ly/1HvYKhh
    • If We’re Going To End Factory Farms, We Need To Eat Way Less Meat (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1XweEde                 Meat consumption is down after decades of growth, but the US still eats more of it than any other country.
  • ‘Decolonize Your Diet’ With Healthy Plant – Based Mexican Cooking (takepart) http://bit.ly/1Xk3g49                                                    A new cookbook explores a cuisine built around healthy native crops that predate the arrival of Europeans in the Americas.
  • There’s A Burger That Costs $300k. We’re Not Kidding. (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/21kbEW0                                           Who’s actually buying this stuff?
  • If you can’t stand the heat (The Economist) http://econ.st/1XlSFLp                                                                                          How farmers in poor countries are responding to climate change
  • Global Trade Won’t Solve the Food Shortages Brought on by Climate Change (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1lnsqCU
  • What Americans Can Learn From a Beautiful French Film About Farming (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1JU6Hgk                                              After Winter, Spring looks at radical changes in modern agriculture through the lens of a tiny French village.

 

Food Insecurity, Hunger, & Obesity

  • American Hunger-Related Healthcare Costs Exceeded $160 Billion in 2014, According to New Study (In These Times) http://bit.ly/1OciGa4                                                                                          Food insecurity, especially for children, remains near record high despite the Great Recession’s official end.
  • 160 Billion: The Health Costs of Hunger in America (Bread for the World) http://bit.ly/1Q5EsMJ                                                              This is what we found with Meals on Wheels, less food, worse health outcomes. No surprise.
  • One Nice Meal Won’t Cut It – How You Can Really Help the Hungry This Thanksgiving (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1PPV10A        Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, was clear that soup lines weren’t the answer to poverty.

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • A Bill of Rights That Puts Workers Above Corporations (In These Times) http://bit.ly/1H4FCRB                                                                          It’s up to the voters of Spokane, Washington.
  • In New York, Farmworkers Rally for 1 Cent of Dignity (The Nation) http://bit.ly/1lvgZct                                                                                    The Coalition of Immokalee Workers has won battles with McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Chipotle, and Taco Bell. Is Wendy’s next?
  • Eric Schlosser on the People Behind Our Food (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1MV9MbJ
    • Food Workers, in Their Own Voices (East Bay Express) http://bit.ly/1PIAPOg                                                                                         A new oral history project attaches a face – and a voice – to the people who feed America.
  • Workers Say Turkey Processing Jobs Are Thankless (Takepart) http://bit.ly/1Xo8HEk                                                                                              Top producers have pledged reform, but workers say meeting holiday demand causes injuries and pays too little.
  • World’s First Robotic Farm to Produce 30,000 Heads of Lettuce Per Day (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1PUAdDv
  • Why the Sharing Economy Is Harming Workers – And What Must Be Done (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/21m85yx
  • World’s First Robotic Farm to Produce 30,000 Heads of Lettuce Per Day (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1PUAdDv
  • “I often had to skip meals”: Senate Dining Room Workers Want a Union, Say They’re Living in Poverty (In These Times) http://bit.ly/1I8Q3cD

 

Business & Economy

  • New York Times and Washington Post Journalists Failed to Disclose Sources’ Funding From Monsanto (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1QMlAUx                                                                                          Also: New Yorker, The Atlantic, ABC News, Forbes and others. This is unacceptable collapse of journalistic standards.
  • Walmart’s Wage Increase Is Hurting Its Stock Price—and That’s OK (The Nation) http://bit.ly/1Hh1sHe                                                            The stock market doesn’t take long-term economic growth into account very well, so why do we look to it to see if higher wages are succeeding?
  • Tesco agrees $12m payout to US shareholders over accounting scandal (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1Ii9ISm                                            UK’s biggest retailer sued after overstating 2015 first-half profit by £263m, causing a hit on stock prices when the error came to light. Tesco is the UK’s largest grocer…
  • Coke Adds Fraud: Exposing the Beverage Giant’s Shady Research Practices (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1kSn3f7                                                    One of America’s once-most-trusted brands funds research downplaying the link between sugary drinks and obesity.
  • APNewsBreak: Emails reveal Coke’s role in anti-obesity group (Associated Press) http://bit.ly/1Oe9RfQ
  • Coca-Cola Was Less Than Hands Off With the Anti-Obesity Group It Funded (takepart) http://bit.ly/1Q5nYEn                          Emails obtained by The Associated Press show that the relationship went beyond a simple donation.

 

Protests

  • To Protest Walmart on Black Friday, Organizers Are Seeking Food for Underpaid Workers (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1XzD9q1                                                                                        They’ve got 1,000 collection drives planned.

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Need $23,000 Worth of Chocolate Health Bars? Dumpster Dive (takepart) http://bit.ly/1HdwEan                                                                   Meet the Canadian couple who survived on food-waste-only diet for six months.
  • Can We End America’s Massive Food Waste Problem? (Yes!) http://bit.ly/1NC8dWC                                                                                      Almost half of America’s food is thrown out every year. Despite the popularity of things like local markets and farm-to-form initiatives, the US food system remains a heavily industrialized, wasteful business.

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • As Brazil’s Largest City Struggles With Drought, Residents Are Leaving (NPR) http://n.pr/1LuIaJq
  • Running dry: How the drought is forging a new California (SF Chronicle) http://sfchron.cl/1IKavtZ                                                Californians are living through a slow-motion natural disaster, a four-year drought that is combining with record heat to challenge the state in unprecedented ways.
  • California’s Drought Impacts Agriculture, Employment (California Institute For Rural Studies) http://bit.ly/1HoD9at
  • More California Farmers Switch To Almond Growing, Update on Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Water (California Institute For Rural Studies) http://bit.ly/1T5XKAU
  • Top of the Food Chain: Fine Dining Pushes for Sustainable Seafood (takepart) http://bit.ly/1IaldQZ                                            Salmon and shrimp may be popular fare, but leading chefs prove that less familiar local seafood can earn top honors.

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • EPA Turnaround on Toxic Herbicide ‘Huge Victory for Future of Food’ (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1IpRBda                        Revoking Enlist Duo approval, agency sides with green groups and pulls brakes on ‘lethal cocktail of chemicals’ Yes!
  • US (EPA) Changes Mind, Nixes Weed Killer Toxic to Monarch Butterflies (takepart) http://bit.ly/1OxddsB                                    Agency reverses course a year later on weed-killing herbicidal cocktail that could further threaten declining monarch butterfly populations.
  • Water Pollution Trading Programs Under Fire as Report Finds Lax Oversight, “Shell Games” Put Waterways at Risk (DeSmog) http://bit.ly/1R5F0mx
  • Congress Isn’t Delivering the Progressive Food Policy Americans Want (takepart) http://bit.ly/1WZSjKe                                                        Even as substantial majorities of voters say they want an overhauled progressive food system, lawmakers remain stuck in the status quo.
  • States Battle Cities Over Minimum Wage (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1CEu76t                                                                                               16 states have laws forbidding local municipalities from raising the minimum wage, and/or benefits, via ALEC…
  • California Climate and Agriculture Legislative Roundup (California Institute For Rural Studies) http://bit.ly/1XhgRhZ

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Costco Joins a Host of Retailers Refusing to Sell GMO Salmon (takepart) http://bit.ly/1XzAJro                                                                     The second-largest retailer in the world is now one of more than 60 US supermarket chains rejecting the laboratory fish.

 

Poisons

  • Dangerous Pesticides Are Being Found In Colorado’s Weed (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1Pb2XcO                                                The state doesn’t yet require marijuana businesses to conduct pesticide testing, leading to a “buyer beware” market.

 

Pollinators

  • Scientists Say They’ve Found the ‘Missing Link’ on Bees and Pesticides (care2) http://bit.ly/1P1zmlT

 

Animals

  • Jack in the Box and General Mills Commit to Sourcing Cage-Free Eggs (TriplePundit) http://bit.ly/1Niof5Z
    • Jack in the Box Says ‘No’ to Birds in the Cage (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1SolnVr                                                                                           Five to 10 years is a long time for chickens to remain in cages, but Jack in the Box’s announcement is still great progress – 5 to 10 years? CAFO chickens are usually culled after one to two year… (Farm Sanctuary) http://bit.ly/1iG3Zvw
  • Even at Whole Foods’ Best Farm (Diestel Family Turkey Ranch), Turkeys Suffer (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1Tg3KYs

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • Chipotle Shares Plummet as E. Coli Outbreak Spreads (takepart) http://bit.ly/1lnge4R                                                                                          Cases have been reported in six states.

 

Education