Jenny’s Food & Ag Update December 28, 2015

 

  • World’s Small Farmers Fighting Back as WTO Pushes Corporate Agenda (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1YCS7RY                              The WTO is aiming to strengthen a ‘corporate-driven free trade regime’ while ignoring solutions that would protect small-scale farmers and increase food security, says La Via Campesina
  • This Forgotten Ancient Grain May Be Responsible For Society As We Know It (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/1khFmcH
    • Millet: The missing link in prehistoric humans’ transition from hunter-gatherer to farmer (EurekAlert) http://bit.ly/1RjwTUA
  • There’s A Way to Save Our Future. So Why Aren’t More People Talking About It? (CommonDreams) http://bit.ly/1NPbj4D        Transitioning to organic regenerative agriculture practices ‘offers the best, and perhaps our only, hope for averting a global warming disaster.’
  • A West Virginia Family Leaves Coal for Local Food – And Wants to Help Other Do the Same (Yes) http://bit.ly/1QQXNDe                In a place where coal’s legacy has left residents struggling, one family has a vision of a healthier future.
  • Winter Is Here – Is Steak Season Over? (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1ZvJHbU                                                                                            Why some ranchers and chefs think fresh meat should be enjoyed seasonally.                                                                                                                     This is an issue I have been talking about for many years…
  • Mendocino County Meat Plant Study (University of California Cooperative Extension) http://bit.ly/1OtzzPm
  • Hydroponic Greenhouse Basil Production: Comparing Systems and Cultivars (HortTechnology) http://bit.ly/1V9sS43
  • The State of Rural America in 2015 (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/1JvfsZo                                                                                            About two of three rural counties lost population between 2010 and 2014
  • As US Bids Adieu To ‘Bleu,’ Not All Chefs Say It’s Cream Of The Crop (NPR) http://n.pr/1NEUKZ0                                                                   … The (San Francisco) Le Cordon Bleu affiliate is among 16 schools due to close after graduating their final classes due to start in January.
  • Oppression, Privilege and the Politics of Food: Why I Decided to Go Locavore (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1YERRBU                                    My experiment is about the wider context of where our food comes from and our access to it.

 

Food Insecurity, Hunger, & Obesity

  • Taking Global Food Security: How Can We Feed People on a Climate-Stressed Planet? http://bit.ly/1Uaug5i                                         As climate change threatens food production around the globe, we need to look at the role of water and energy.
  • Study reveals disturbing hunger trends in world’s highland area (UN FAO) http://bit.ly/1Qj3eKX                                      Mountain people under double pressure of climate change and growing food insecurity
  • Pizza Delivery Driver Rallies Support To Give Homeless Customer A New Place To Live (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1khY0kz

 

School Food

  • This School Cafeteria Worker Gave A Hungry Student A Free Lunch. She Was Fired (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1Tiwbou
    • School Offers Job To Cafeteria Worker It Fired For Feeding Needy Student (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1PmM5x2      But Dalene Bowden doesn’t know I she should go back to the lunchroom

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • How to End 30 Years of Wage Stagnation (Yes) http://bit.ly/1Yl0Oe4                                                                                Rebuilding workers’ rights is possible – even with labor policy’s 30-year gridlock.
  • Raising Restaurant Workers’ Wages Won’t Cause Job Loss (takepart) http://bit.ly/1mbMc56                                                                     A study released this week challenged the restaurant industry’s claim that it will not be able to keep up with minimum wage increases.
  • Study: Have Minimum Wage Increases Hurt the Restaurant Industry? The Evidence Says No! (Cornell University School of Hotel Administration) http://bit.ly/1QOF6AD
  • Did Minimum Wage Increases Really Kill 200K Jobs? Nope. (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1Plc1Lb
  • Fall in love with the people behind your lettuce with this moving film on farmworkers (grist) http://bit.ly/1mcXs1a
  • Biting the Hands That Feed: New York’s Immigrant Farmworkers Face Appalling Treatment (truthout) http://bit.ly/1QMFuzz
  • When the Workers Become the Owners: Taking the Co-op Movement to the Next Level (truthout) http://bit.ly/1kjPjpP

 

Business & Economy

  • Was 2015 the Year Big Food Began to Lose Its Sway? (Yes) http://bit.ly/1ONprLw                                                                          Companies like Coca-Cola and Monsanto were called out for conflicts of interest, leaving many in the public health sector to wonder if next year transparency might become the new normal.
  • Afraid of Food Activists, Big Food Is Increasingly Using Dirty Tricks (Counter Punch) http://bit.ly/1UbHcbm
  • Healthy theme park meals? (Cornell University Food and Brand Lab) http://bit.ly/1MwUJED                                                                     Healthy side-dish and beverage alternatives are embraced by Disney World visitors
  • Chipotle’s Sustainability Hypocrisy Could Eclipse Its Food Poisoning Fiasco (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/22rMhlF
  • Nestlé Just Set The New Standard For Using Cage-Free Eggs (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1OiALP3                                                      If the world’s biggest food company can do it in five years starting from scratch, anyone can.
  • The Plutocrat’s Case for Raising the Minimum Wage (The Atlantic) http://theatln.tc/1khXOln                                                            Nick Hanauer is on an unusual mission.
  • The Sharing Economy? Or the Share-the-Crumbs Economy? (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1QOqXDj                                                                  The vision has a utopian spin that is incredibly seductive in a world where both government and big business have let us down.
  • Stunning maps showing how much you need to earn in each state to afford a two-bedroom rental unit (Daily Kos) http://bit.ly/1NRIcxq

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • France Has a Power Plant Fueled by Cheese (Smithsonian) http://bit.ly/22r9LYe                                                                                                 The new biogas plant uses a by-product of the regionally produced Beaufort cheese to generate energy
  • French power station generates electricity from cheese (The Telegraph) http://bit.ly/1TZaERN                                                         Cheese-based power station in the Alps produces enough power to supply a community of 1,500

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • In Ohio, Communities Work to Defend Themselves Against Fossil Fuel Industry (truthout) http://bit.ly/1OncLud
  • Harmful algal blooms and water quality (EurekAlert) http://bit.ly/1mAQZx1                                                                                        Are harmful algal blooms becoming the greatest inland water quality threat to public health and aquatic ecosystems?
  • FOIA Request Shows Govt. Lied About Lead in Water, Knowingly Poisoning Countless Children (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1kmeCru      Instead of keeping children safe from toxic chemicals, Michigan officials repeatedly lied about the safety of their drinking water.
  • Flint Kids Have So Much Lead in Their Blood That the Mayor Declared a State of Emergency. Thanks GOP. (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1O8S8In                                                                                             The beleaguered city’s water problems can be traced back to a controversial move by Michigan governor Rick Snyder
  • It’s Official: Eating Food Watered with (Treated) Grey Water Is Fine (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/1QLy9Qu                                            In dry or arid areas, from Israel to California, water use can be tightly regulated, especially for gardens. But there’s another source of water that’s going unused, and a new study suggested we should take a closer look at it.`
  • Increased toxicity due to migration? (EurekAlert) http://bit.ly/1mgDFNZ                                                                                Invasive seaweed amplifies its defensive capacity
  • Fish Stocks Are Struggling To Rebound. Why Climate Change Is On The Hook (NPR) http://n.pr/1TLHpSp
  • Allowing Corporate Sponsorship of Great Barrier Reef Likened to Naming Hospital After Tobacco Company (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1OlaNdL                                                                                Opponents slam Australian government’s controversial new initiative for reef conservation

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • European Parliament calls for patents on plants derived from conventional breeding to be stopped (GMWatch) http://bit.ly/1mhIlmz
    • Patents on plants and animals – time to act for European politicians (No Patents on Seeds) http://bit.ly/1m81Aj1
  • Jim Hightower: The Trans-Pacific Trade Scam (Other Words) http://bit.ly/1OP8b8K                                                                                    Despite what President Obama says, the TPP does indeed create a corporate end run around our (US) laws.
  • Veggie farming to bring in the cash (Phnom Penh Post) http://bit.ly/1PmTXhT                                                                          Cambodia’s agriculture sector has long been dependent on vegetable imports from its bigger neighbors. However, the government has now set aside $20 million to promote vegetable farming in the Kingdom.
  • Follow The Money: Congress Uses Budget Bill To Rewrite Food Policies (NPR) http://n.pr/1k3vH9r
    • How Congress’ crazy omnibus spending package will change what we eat (grist) http://bit.ly/1YGCIjt
    • And Just Like That, “Free Trade” Pact Trounces US Law (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1Olddct                                    Congress kills country-of-original label law with provision tucked into omnibus budget.
  • Courts Will Continue to Be Food Safety Enforcement’s Big Stick in 2016 (Food Safety News) http://bit.ly/1Myypug
  • News Release: USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service Announces Standardized Approach to Residues without Established Public Health Tolerances (USDA) http://1.usa.gov/1YEoLND
  • How an Agency Charged with Protecting Endangered Animals Ignored Them Instead (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1TkBDHh  US Fish & Wildlife Service did not intervene in thousands of environmentally harmful projects, new analysis shows
  • From Farm to Table, via the Bronx (NYT) http://nyti.ms/1km8zmA                                                                                  Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio are working together to build a regional wholesale local produce market at the Hunts Point produce market

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Move Over, Monsanto: The Pesticide and GMO Seed Industry Just Spawned a New Behemoth (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2251TeR
  • has to look into Bt cotton crop failure in Riachur: Experts (The Hindu) http://bit.ly/1NECL79
    • Indian govt to control Bt cotton seed prices by fixing maximum retail price: Centre to control Bt cotton seed prices by fixing MRP (Economic Times) http://bit.ly/1Sew2Ed
  • Philippines Supreme Court ban on GMOs a “major setback” for the GM industry (GM Watch) http://bit.ly/1lUiD7t
  • Jackson County, OR GE-Free Zone successfully Protected From Legal Challenge (The Center For Food Safety) http://bit.ly/1NFQhYj
  • It’s practically impossible to define “GMO’s” (grist) http://bit.ly/1Ika6Fp                                                                                       Really? Changing naturally occurring DNA in plants, animals, birds and fish can’t be defined?
  • The GMO Issue: False Claims, Pseudo Analysis And A Politically Motivated Agenda (Counter Punch) http://bit.ly/1OuQOzH

 

Poisons

  • Atrazine: The Latest pesticide on Trial (Civil Easts) http://bit.ly/1S7ToeB                                                                                         With California working to list atrazine as toxic to the reproductive system, three of the United Stats’ most-widely used pesticides are under fire for adverse health effects.
  • In Vino Veritas: Pesticides Used in Vineyards Are Blamed for Health Problems (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1QSZosg                       Andrew Wasley reports on the consequences of the French wine industry’s love affair with pesticides.
  • Florida International University scientists discover how arsenic builds up in plant seeds (EurekaAlert) http://bit.ly/1QXvaTv

 

Pollinators

 

Animals

  • Cruising toward cage-free (Meat+Poultry) http://bit.ly/1RJdpcf     Carnival Corp & plc announced it will switch to 100 percent cage-free across all of its brands by 2015…
  • Stroking helps calves develop a better relationship with humans increases weight gain (EurekAlert) http://bit.ly/1Ti759l                  No surprise there…

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • New Food Safety Institute for Helping New York Producers Comply With FSMA (Food Safety News) http://bit.ly/1VdPikJ
  • These Countries Are Using a Shocking Amount of Antibiotics on Animals (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1Nj1Kul                                            If we don’t change our ways, superbugs could soon kill 10 million people a year, a new report warns.
  • Antimicrobials In Agriculture and The Environment: Reducing Unnecessary Use and Waste (The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance) http://bit.ly/1SLeZYn
  • More bad news for Chipotle (Meat+Poultry) http://bit.ly/22qOWfy
    • Chipotle Outbreak Illness Count Hits 514 as CMG Stock Dives Below $500 (Food Safety News) http://bit.ly/1YEGzs5
    • Chipotle Reveals Changes to Food Prep to Address Safety Concerns (takepart) http://bit.ly/1PlmQuU                                  With nearly 500 people becoming sick after eating at the popular Mexican joint, its food safety standards are getting an overhaul.
  • Blanched onions: Chipotle tweaks cooking after E. coli scare (Yahoo!) http://yhoo.it/1PlfJok                                                             Blanched onions, pre-shredded cheese: Chipotle changing cooking methods after E. coli outbreak
  • Survival of Salmonella in Cookie and Cracker Sandwiches Containing Inoculated, Low-Water Activity Fillings (PubMed) http://1.usa.gov/1QIxjUV
    • Harmful bacteria can survive in sandwich crackers, cookies for months, University of Georgia study finds (EurekaAlert) http://bit.ly/1J3xk2F
  • Protein In The Gut May Explain Why Some Can’t Stomach Gluten (NPR) http://n.pr/1RFvRBu                                                                            Those who avoid gluten may not be food faddists after all. Researchers are finally homing in on makers for gluten sensitivity in the body.

Events

  • Watersong Summit, January 17, 2016, Impact Hub Oakland CA http://www.watersongsummit.ca/                                                               The mission of Watersong is to connect community members, local businesses, social impact organizations, policy makers and scientists around our relationship with the water cycle.
  • CommonBound Conference 2016, July 8-10, 2016, Buffalo State University, Buffalo NY (New Economy Coalition) http://bit.ly/1QIrfvs

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update, December 23, 2015

 

  • Editor’s Note: Food Is Political (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1MBSGpk  In order to put food on the political agenda, we can’t just buy our way to a better food system.
  • Counting on Agroecology: Why We Should Invest More in the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture (2015) (Union of Concerned Scientists) http://bit.ly/1NJT3tm
  • Report: Can Hospitals Heal America’s Communities? (Community Wealth) http://bit.ly/1Js3mjG                                                                          “All in for Mission” is the Emerging Model for Impact – Democracy Collaborative
  • What the Hunger-Gatherers from ‘In Defense of Food’ Can Teach Us About Our Diets (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1XrC1di                           At the heart of the new documentary based on Michael Pollan’s best-selling book is the story of a Tanzanian tribe that still eats the way it has for millennia.
  • The ‘Extinction’ Of Bananas Shows Us Why Our Food System Needs Help (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1NHYDMF                The good news? One expert’s solution involves eating more food.
  • Over the Last 40 Years, We’ve Squandered More Than a Third of the World’s Farmland (takepart) http://bit.ly/1NQz69v      Pollution and erosion have led to a ‘catastrophic’ loss of arable land.
  • At This New Vegan Restaurant, Your Kale Salad Is Served With Social Justice (takepart) http://bit.ly/1ICZEbV
  • Veggies Under Glass: Greenhouses Could Bring Us Better Winter Produce (NPR) http://n.pr/1QdIGng
  • Should Food Critics Critique More Than Just Taste? (takepart) http://bit.ly/1NU8Jzy                                                                                             The job of critics to tell people what to teat – but why don’t they delve into the ethical reasons for ordering a dish instead of focusing largely on flavor?
  • Indonesian peat fires linked to global pal oil companies and their financiers, Friends of the Earth report finds (Friends of the Earth) http://bit.ly/1OR6v2Q
  • Fine Brine From Appalachia: The Fancy Mountain Salt That Chefs Prize (NPR) http://n.pr/1T5ldCg
  • A Bitter Harvest: Inside Japanese-American Internment Camps During World War II (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/1mbzsv4
  • Learn How This Family Grows 6,000 Lbs. of Food on Just 1/10th Acre (The Mind Unleashed) http://bit.ly/1NOVmOr

 

Food Insecurity, Hunger, & Obesity

  • Climate Change Could Starve Island Nations Before They’re Flooded (takepart) http://bit.ly/1OX3hec                                                 Sea level rise may wipe some small Pacific countries off the map, but that’s not the only problem residents have to worry about.

 

School Food

  • Kids Are Boycotting School Lunches That Are Worse Than Prison Food (takepart) http://bit.ly/1Oh18VU                                                  Some Chicago teens have had it with rotten fruit and stale pizza prepared by food service provider Aramark.

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • $15/Hour Minimum Wage: Disaster or Opportunity for Family-scale Farmers? (Food First) http://bit.ly/1NWiPA2
  • Venezuela Frees Workers Detained For Not Making Enough Pepsi (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1NHdAia                                   The country’s president accused the workers of slowing production or hoarding goods to spur product shortages.
  • Graham Thomas: Alberta’s farm workers finally given protection (Edmonton Journal) http://bit.ly/1TBWBkN                                      Every year, farm workers in Canada die from a disturbingly long list of mishaps including strangulation, electrocution, asphyxiation, drowning and traumatic amputation.
  • A Safety Net for On-Demand Workers? (The American Prospect) http://bit.ly/1jOkmKc
    • Report: A Proposal for Modernizing Labor Laws for Twenty-First-Century Work: The “Independent Worker” (The Hamilton Project) http://bit.ly/21PjgjL
  • How drought has hit farmworkers hard in Fresno, Tulare counties (The Fresno Bee) http://bit.ly/1IPMa7z
    • Scorched (Pacific Standard) http://bit.ly/1IgxhPB                        For Central American migrants, the promise of work in the fields of California has dried up.
  • Death in The Fields (The Desert Sun) http://desert.sn/21QlEqh      Advocates watch over the farmworker community, sure safety laws are followed
  • Survey reveals local farmworkers face housing and health inequities (Sonoma West) http://bit.ly/1mbO0uG
    • Looking to Settle Down, Immigrant Farmworkers Face Housing Crisis (Mid-Missouri Public Radio) http://bit.ly/1GYINzy
    • Housing for Immigrant Farmworkers Families Remains Woefully Short (Rocky Mountain News) http://bit.ly/1lv9pPA
    • Farmworkers find a bumper crop of squalor in Coachella Valley trailer parks (LA Times) http://lat.ms/1McMhL6
  • Bringing solutions to COP21 – a conversation with Cooperation Jackson’s Brandon King (Waging Nonviolence) http://bit.ly/1OOPENY

 

Business & Economy

  • A Conservative Estimate of ‘The Wal-Mart Effect’ (Economic Policy Institute) http://bit.ly/1Niox9D                                                       Wal-Marts growing trade deficit with China has displaced ore than 400,000 US jobs
  • Chipotle CEO Apologizes Over Illnesses, Pledges to Be ‘Safest Place to Eat’ (Yahoo!) http://yhoo.it/1Y5h9nh
    • There’s a crisis at Chipotle (The Washington Post) http://wapo.st/1Qx38hs                                                                            Food poisonings and other challenges are threatening the darling of fast foods reputation
  • DuPonte, Dow Chemical Agree to Merge, Then Break Up Into Three Companies (WSJ) http://on.wsj.com/1SS24E9                    Deal forms $130 billion chemical, agricultural giant amid weakening commodity prices
  • Peeling back the wrapper: Why would Mars Support the new added sugars label? (US Food Policy) http://bit.ly/1mbb8tj

 

Protests

  • French Farmer-Activist José Bové on Paris Protest Ban: “We are in Prison in Our Own Home” (Democracy Now!) http://bit.ly/1ORWiRN

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Proposed Law Would Cut Back on Food Waste From Farm to Fridge (takepart) http://bit.ly/1m8T8zV
    • Selling Ugly Fruits And Vegetables Could Be Key To Solving America’s Food Waste Problem (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1LjlLle
    • USDA and EPA Join with Private Sector, Charitable Organizations to Set Nation’s First Food Waste Reduction Goals (USDA) http://bit.ly/1OS3222
  • Surprise! These 15 Common Grocery Store Items Are Almost Never Recyclable (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1lINOma                      So think twice before chucking them in the blue bin.

 

Food Fraud/Scandals

  • 100 Percent Organic? Court Allows Consumer Lawsuits Over Mislabeled Foods (takepart) http://bit.ly/1SHUpbt                California residents will now be able to sue over improper use of the USDA label.

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Oklahoma Earthquakes: Bombshell Doc Reveals Big Oil’s Tight Grip on Politicians and Scientists (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1OTzVeU
  • Michigan Ignored ’Conclusive Evidence’ Of Flint Lead Poisoning, Researcher Says (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1Ili9C0               The state says it made an honest mistake.
  • Ethiopia’s Worst Drought in Decades Is Leading to More Child Brides (takepart) http://bit.ly/1RftbeE                                                          As food scarcity increases, more families are marrying off their daughters in hopes of survival.

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • How the TPP Fulfills Big Ag’s Wish List (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1U0OAa6                                                                                           The deeply flawed agreement compromises food safety and public health – and open the possibility for private corporations setting food standards.
  • Stop Water for Coca-Cola: 18 Village Councils in India (India Resource Center) http://bit.ly/1lrJOqJ
    • New Groundwater Regulations to Impact Pre-Existing Coca-Cola, Pepsi Plants (India Resource Center) http://bit.ly/1SMi0Yp
  • Move to Tax Sugar Beverages in India Welcomed by Public Health Advocates (India Resource Center) http://bit.ly/1SL9usN
  • US faces $1 billion trade penalties for meat labels (Al Jazeera) http://bit.ly/1XZ7ler                                                                                          WTO rules Canada and Mexico may impose $1 billion in tariffs on US over unfair country-of-origin labeling
  • This WTO Ruling Is Perfect Example of How Big Trade Deals Trump Democracy (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1Qud37k        NAFTA partners can sue the US for a combined $1 billion annually in retaliatory tariffs over Country of Origin Labels for Meat
  • Good-Bye to ‘COOL’: Congress Repeals Country of Origin Meat Labeling Rule (takepart) http://bit.ly/1RAoyvK                          Without these labels, consumers will have a hard time telling whether their meat is from America or Brazil.
  • Report: Long-Term Benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Office of the President of the United States) http://1.usa.gov/1HV2bOD
    • SNAP Benefits Do Much But Are Often Too Small (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) http://bit.ly/21PMQ8K
  • Firebaugh farmer honored by White House for soil health techniques (The Fresno Bee) http://bit.ly/1JpmYVN
  • US government approves transgenic chicken (Nature) http://bit.ly/1PY4tiV                                                                                            The eggs of the genetically engineered animal contains an enzyme that can treat a rare disease.
  • Heat on EPA as National Study on Fracking Risks to Drinking Water is Challenged (DeSmog) http://bit.ly/1XNEzmi
    • EPA’s Study of Hyrdraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Water Resources (EPA) http://1.usa.gov/1PWuPlo
    • Toward an understanding of the environmental and public health impacts of shale gas development: an analysis of the peer-reviewed scientific literature, 2009 – 2014 (PSE Healthy Energy) http://bit.ly/1NUcXHk
  • The House Just Voted to Ban Those Tiny Pieces of Plastic (microbeads) in Your Toothpaste (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1TZSz6x
  • Whistleblower Speaks Out Against USDA, Corruption and Systemic Pesticides (truthout) http://bit.ly/1m68tRW
  • This Scientist Uncovered Problems With Pesticides. Then the Government Started to Make His Life Miserable. (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1XFFqFy                                                                                               … It’s abundantly clear that many of Lundgren’s findings don’t jibe with industry interests.
  • San Francisco Makes a Small Retreat in Its War Against Soda (takepart) http://bit.ly/1R8jL4v                                                                           A provision that would ban soft drink ads on city property was repealed.
  • National Soda Tax Would Save Half a Million Kids From Obesity – and Save Money Too (takepart) http://bit.ly/21N0Akx                 Public health researchers say taxing sugary drinks may be one of the most cost effective ways to address the public health problems the beverages are associated with.

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Food industry pushing to thwart GMO labeling by end of year (Associated Press) http://apne.ws/1XSIb6n                                          Food companies are mounting an aggressive year-end push to head off mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods.
  • Big Food Discriminates Against the Poor by Pushing QR Codes to Label GMOs (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1RDk4DG                                    The food industry is pushing for QR codes instead of clear package labels, leaving consumers without smartphones in the dark.
  • Do We Really Want GMO Salmon Swimming Into the Food Chain? (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1XUrwQ3                                              What’s the history behind the approval of genetically engineered salmon?
  • Major Japanese and American Consumer Groups Oppose Genetically Engineered Salmon (The Center for Food Safety) http://bit.ly/1M1Pe0h
  • Some Texas suppliers, restaurants to bypass genetically modified salmon (Dallas Morning News) http://bit.ly/1SN07c4
  • Mosquitoes engineered to pass down genes that would wipe out their species (Nature) http://bit.ly/1SKNn5Q                                          ‘Gene drive’ that spreads infertility could eliminate mosquitoes that transmit malaria in Africa.

 

Poisons

  • The World’s Largest Garden Supply Store Is Phasing Out Bee-Killing Insecticides (takepart) http://bit.ly/1V3gdQh                         The Home Depot will stop pretreating plants with neonicotinoids by 2018.

 

Pollinators

  • Urban hives can help safeguard the future of food, says a scientist and beekeeper (phys.org) http://bit.ly/1NMT9iV

 

Animals

  • When It Comes to Climate Change, the Meat of the Matter May be What We Eat (takepart) http://bit.ly/1NU1FMY                Delegates at the Paris climate talks are taking the issue of livestock production and consumption very seriously.
  • Criminal Animal Abuse Revealed at Yet Another Major Poultry Company (takepart) http://bit.ly/1TFxZaM                                Undercover investigations have succeeded in exposing vicious cruelty on factory farms – which is why Big Ag want the investigations outlawed.
  • Activists Move to Sue Operator of a Gay Wolf Fur Farm (takepart) http://bit.ly/1lMzRUb                                                                     An animal rights group argues a Minnesota woman is violating the Endangered Species Act by raising and skinning the protected predators.

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • Chipotle Increases Its Safety Measures as E. Coli Outbreak Spreads to Nine States (takepart) http://bit.ly/1OgjOFr

 

Events

  • Transforming Food Access Summit: Accelerating Affordability with Nutrition Incentives, January 11 -13, 2016, Emory Conference Center & Hotel, Atlanta, GA (Wholesome Wave) http://bit.ly/1Njp62Z
  • 36th Annual EcoFarm Conference: Regenerating our Lands and Water, January 20 – 23, 2016, Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA http://bit.ly/1zuMnwL

 

Funding

  • The Kresge Foundation Call for Proposals: Food as a Creative Platform for Neighborhood Revitalization                                             The Kresge Foundation seeks to support and accelerate local efforts that successfully use food as a platform for health, economic development, and cultural expression, creating co-benefits for all — particularly low-income residents and families.This funding opportunity aims to surface and accelerate the most promising initiatives that use food-oriented development as a comprehensive community revitalization strategy. Kresge invites proposals from organizations and collaborations leading mission-driven food initiatives in economically distressed urban neighborhoods. Kresge intends to award as many as 20 planning grants of up to $75,000 each in the first quarter of 2016. Complete proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, January 15, 2016.  http://kresge.org/opportunities
  • Request for Proposals: 2016 Grant Cycle for Small Farms & Sustainable Agriculture Projects from The FruitGuys Community Fund http://bit.ly/1TFsKbd

 

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update December 7, 2015

 

  • To Bring People Together to Fix Global Challenges, Try Food (National Geographic) http://bit.ly/1MYeDdg
  • World Soil Day Champions an Untapped Resource to Solve the Climate Crisis (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1SJUNpH        “We’re in Paris right now to ensure that the potential of soil and regenerative agriculture as a solution to our climate crisis is fully recognized by the world’s policy makers’
  • Vandana Shiva: Paris and Peace (Asian Age) http://bit.ly/1OQcuDb                                                                                      “Land, water and agriculture related conflicts are deliberately mutated related conflicts to protect the militarized agriculture model which has unleashed a global war against people.”
  • Could Gardening Offer the Key to a Happier, Healthier Life? (National Geographic) http://bit.ly/1PFWoix
  • The Taste of Food Goes Far Beyond the Tongue (National Geographic) http://bit.ly/1OouW7x
    • Beyond Taste Buds: The Science of Delicious (National Geographic) http://bit.ly/1MA5yt7                                                   Taste receptors, volatiles, gustatory cortex: There’s more to ‘yum’ than you might think
  • Scientists Hooked Up an Inflatable Bag to a Cow Stomach. The Time Lapse Video Is Insane (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1NqdFFL                                                                                        Now we can finally see just how gassy these beasts really are.
  • Infographic: A World with Zero Hunger Needs: Resilience to Climate Change (World Food Program) http://bit.ly/1leufli
  • Can Better Grazing Help Diary Farmers Cope With Drought and Climate Change? (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1QExrQ6                        Some farmers are finding that not all grazing is the same.
  • The Case For A Meat Tax (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1Tjz9IS                                                                                               It could cut greenhouse gas emissions in a big way.
  • Report: Tackling Climate Change Through Livestock (FOA of the UN) http://bit.ly/1Ttez9O                                                                                      A global assessment of emissions and mitigation opportunities
  • Report: Changing Climate, Changing Diets: Pathways to Lower Meat Consumption (Chatham House) http://bit.ly/1Ophe2l
  • Your Favorite Banana Is Facing Extinction As Deadly Fungus Spreads (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1PuTBIW                            The world’s most popular banana, the Cavendish, is under serious threat from seemingly unstoppable Panama disease.
  • Worse Comes to Worst: Bananas and Panama Disease – Plant and Pathogen Clones Meet (PLOS) http://bit.ly/1kKBQZx            The repercussions of monoculture, once again…
  • What is Food Sovereignty? (Char-Koosta News) http://bit.ly/1HLOKAz                                                                                      Notes on the Food Sovereignty Summit at the Oneida Nation, Green Bay, WI
  • Who Owns Southern Food? (National Geographic) http://bit.ly/1QZzhQf
    • Edna Lewis and Black Roots of American Cooking (NYT) http://nyti.ms/1QfKBGq                                                                               The chef and author made the case for black Southern cooking as the foundation of our national cuisine. Does she get the credit she deserves?
  • In Season: Quince (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/1NMR4K9      One of my favorites, the smell of quince on the tree, ginger bread with quince, Sharbat-e Eh Limou (Persain quince drink)…
  • In Favor of the Misunderstood Quince (NYT) http://nyti.ms/1Q63j4v                                                                                      And one of my favorite NYC museum and the surrounding park…
  • How Chicago’s Slaughterhouse Spectacles Paved The Way For Big Meat (NPR) http://n.pr/1TnVpS8
  • Climate-Ready Soil (NRDC) http://on.nrdc.org/1kIP7Sb                 How cover crops can make farms more resilient to extreme weather risks

 

Food Insecurity, Hunger, & Obesity

 

 

School Food

  • This Junk-Food-Funded Elementary School Curriculum Is Bonkers (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1O5g8WX                                  Kids are learning that they can exercise away Big Macs and Pepsis. Scientists beg to differ.

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • Fair Food Program takes United Nations Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva by storm… (Coalition of Immokalee Workers) http://bit.ly/1lghiYY
  • Worker Advocates make Thanksgiving Appeal to Poultry CEOs (National Council for Occupational Safety & Health) http://bit.ly/1NWREPF
  • California’s ‘vomiting gas’ pesticide use rose 650 percent in 2 decades (Reveal) http://bit.ly/1Q3Y5X3
  • “All You Americans Are Fired.” (BuzzFeed) http://bzfd.it/1PFMSMv                                                                                       The H-2 guest worker program, which brought in 150,000 legal foreign workers last year, isn’t supposed to deprive any American of a job. But many businesses go to extraordinary lengths to deny jobs to US Workers…
  • COP21: What Paris Can Learn From a Mississippi Co-op (yes!) http://bit.ly/1PRzrsX                                                                                Cooperation Jackson heads to the Paris climate talks to show what a just transition to a green economy looks like.
  • How Co-ops Build Stronger Communities, a New Economy and Better World (TESA Collective) http://bit.ly/1XWNGvr

 

Business & Economy

  • Wages Up, Prices Low: Shake Shack’s Food for Thought for the Fed (NYT) http://nyti.ms/1QZQPf1                                                                 If working men and women get paid more at restaurants chains, prices will go up, right? That’s not what’s happening…
  • Monsanto earnings fall 34% after a year of global protests (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1AW7F6H                                                         Company that has come under fire for its genetically modified sees said its earning fell 34% in its first fiscal quarter
  • Corporations, Not People, Have Been Made Stakeholder in the New Global Order (truthout) http://bit.ly/1m7n3bH
  • Green Capitalism: How Multinationals Use Climate Change to Impose an Industrial agriculture Model (truthout) http://bit.ly/1TCf95h

 

Protests

  • Artists install faux ads to protest corporate greenwashing in COP21 (ZME Science) http://bit.ly/1N4K0CO

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

 

  • Pedalling Compost While Building a Better Community (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1XFqpDI                                                                             How an Austin-based team of bicyclists is delivering green goods to local farms and gardens, and diverting scraps from the landfill.

 

Food Fraud/Scandals

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Fraking Expands in Latin America, Threatening to Contaminate World’s Third Larges Aquifer (truthout) http://bit.ly/1OchYFu
  • Western State Regulators Struggling to Keep up with Radioactive Fracking and Drilling Waste: New Report (DeSmog) http://bit.ly/1NnlceM
  • Another Earthquake Hits Oklahoma: Officials Worry Stronger Quake Could Threaten National Security (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1HBMlZ3                                                                                          One of the largest North American crude oil storage facilities is in Cushing, OK…
  • Life around New Mexico’s gas wells: how fracking is turning the air foul (The Raw Story) http://bit.ly/1PVe2Pn
  • The Central Valley is sinking: Drought forces farmers to ponder the abyss (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1TD4wz4                                   As people dig even deeper to find water, nearly 1,200 square miles of California is sinking 2 inches a month – destroying roads, bridges and farmland in the process
  • Scientists shocked to find out global warming is wiping out cod fisheries (ZME Science) http://bit.ly/1NIBbUY                                      Cod fisheries around the US, and especially in the Gulf of Maine have reached catastrophic level – only 3% of sustainable levels. Should we be surprised?

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • Seven Ways Congress Is Trying To Destroy The Endangered Species Act (Earth Justice)
  • Sunnyvale City Council Raises Minimum Wage (NBC Bay Area) http://bit.ly/1lxn1Jm                                                                                       Anyone who earns minimum wage in Sunnyvale is set to receive a raise. The Sunnyvale City Council voted Tuesday night to increase the minimum wage in the city to $15 by 2018.

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Seralini’s team and CRIIGEN win two court cases about their research on toxicity of GMOs and pesticides (GMWatch) http://bit.ly/1NWyzNx
  • Report: Outsmarting Nature? (etc Group) http://bit.ly/1IsPdT8      Synthetic Biology and Climate Smart Agriculture
  • Report: Extreme Biotech meets Extreme Energy (etc. Group) http://bit.ly/1PUWWRw
  • Mega-Mergers in the Global Agricultural Inputs Sector: Threats to Food Security & Climate Resilience (etc Group) http://bit.ly/1l0KHWW
  • Mass Tort Suits Proceed Against Syngenta for Genetically Modified Corn (Lawyers & Settlements) http://bit.ly/1NCz6tv
  • Scientists genetically modify mosquitoes to make them malaria resistant (The Raw Story) http://bit.ly/1jsnjzO
  • GM soy produces less than non-GMO – university study (GMWatch) http://bit.ly/1RflzYK                                                                     Is anyone surprised?
  • China builds massive cloning factory to feed its people (ZME Science) http://bit.ly/1HHbr97                                                                           A massive, 200 million yuan (over $31 million) commercial animal cloning facility will be built in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area with the sole purpose of cloning China’s cattle.

 

Poisons

 

Animals

  • 10 things to know before you eat your next chicken dinner (Reveal) http://bit.ly/1YM5ADI                                                           10. Other countries don’t stand for salmonella the way we do.        Keep in mind that we hold the person that cooks the poultry responsible for the contamination that takes place before they receive it…
  • Post Holdings’ Michael Foods Provides Statement on the Future of Cage-Free Egg Products (Post Holdings) http://bit.ly/1OLMn0d                                                                                  “Cage-free is emerging as the likely future of the egg industry,” – Jim Dwyer, Michael Foods’ President and CEO
  • Why not enough poop in the ecosystem is a big problem (SME Science) http://bit.ly/1NrrOHb                                                                        Too little in some places and too much in others…

 

Healthy/Safe Food

 

Education

  • Internship support new concentration in agroecology and sustainable food systems (University of California) http://bit.ly/1YOW7vj