Jenny’s Food & Ag Update April 27, 2016

  • Palestinians create seed bank to save their farming heritage in the Holy Land’s hills (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1NJzUrF                  In the birthplace of agriculture, traditional crops are dying out. But one woman has a plan to preserve them
  • The Seed-Saving Farmers Securing the Future of Food (Yes!) http://bit.ly/1VEAlfh                                                                                              The problems of – and the solutions for – our industrialized food system start at the most basic level: the seed.
  • Archaeologists Dig Up An 800-Year-Old Native American Pot. What They Found Inside Is Changing History (CFWE) http://bit.ly/1SYs4fF
  • How a Health Clinic Made a Local Grocery Store Part of Its Prescription (Yes!) http://bit.ly/1NBUU3J                                                      A partnership between a Boston health clinic and a local grocery shows what economic development can do when it makes community health a priority.
  • Vandana Shiva: How Biodiversity – Not Toxic Monocultures – Sustainably and Efficiently Feeds the World (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/20VImvw                                                                                  Chemical-intensive monocultures produce less food per acre than biodiverse, ecological farms.
  • Going to Pot (Takepart) http://bit.ly/1QlGgx4                              Humboldt County’s marijuana boom is destroying a unique redwood forest ecosystem and killing some of California’s rarest wildlife. Now veteran pot farmers are fighting the ‘green rush’ to make cannabis cultivation truly sustainable.
  • No US Standards, Pot Pesticide use Is Rising Public Health Threat (Food & Environmental Reporting Network) http://bit.ly/23HEBN0
  • SoCal Grocery Store on Wheels Tackles Food Access Challenges (Seed Stock) http://bit.ly/1WhVri6
    • (Toronto) Metro Buses Converted Into Mobile Food Markets For Low Income Neighborhoods (Black Business) http://bit.ly/1Sx0Hf7
  • The 10 most vegetarian countries in the world – in order of meatlessness (collectively) http://bit.ly/1Sy668T
  • The Dairy of the Future Could Come From 3-D Printers, Not Cows (takepart) http://bit.ly/1VifJZU                                                    Making milk, cheese, butter, and other products by printing with sodium caseinate may be healthier and more sustainable.
    • Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Calcium caseinate: Casein; Sodium caseinate (FDA) http://1.usa.gov/1TdKid4                                                                                    Now imitation milk and dairy products…
  • Chicago Council highlights market-driven horticulture projects in Zambia (UC Davis) http://bit.ly/1VIchrj
  • Patrick Holden: ‘cheap’ food is costing the Earth, and our health (The Ecologist) http://bit.ly/1MKFlMa
  • From N16 to SW9: How London’s Urban Farmers are Cultivating the City (modern farmer) http://bit.ly/1rpPpkm
  • Tobacco, Alcohol, and Processed Food Industries – Why Do Public Health Practitioners View Them So Differently? (frontiers in Public Health) http://bit.ly/26hIzwV
  • Future of You: Stanford’s Virtual Reality Lab Turned Me Into a Cow, The Sent Me to the Slaughterhouse (KQED) http://bit.ly/24b9bOa

 

Hunger, Food Access & Insecurity, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Six Years After Recession, Many rural Families Still Rely on School Pantries (takepart) http://bit.ly/1pfBds9                            Outside cities, child hunger rates are higher and employment rates lag. That’s why school-based pantries are a popular way to feed families.
  • Idaho’s Shift In Food Stamps Timing Could Make For Empty Bellies On Independence Day (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1SkNwf5
  • Starvation in Australia: Utopia’s dirty secret (The Ecologist) http://bit.ly/1YIUpux                                                                                Australian governments have long waged a one-sided ware on the continent’s Aboriginal peoples…
  • Q&A: Bill Shore, Hunger Activist, Co-Founder, Share Our Strength (UC Food Observer) http://bit.ly/1T5zv4t

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • What Can A Strawberry Teach Americans About Food Waste? A Lot, Groups Hope (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1pnf9Mf

 

Children & School Food

  • First Lady’s visit highlights Newark school’s innovative food program (Brick City Live) http://bit.ly/21cQgAV
  • Brazil’s School Food Revolution (Medium) http://bit.ly/1YMZPoc  In an effort to help nutrition and rural economies, a new law mandates that 30 per cent of school food be purchased from smallholder farmers…
  • The Most Sustainable Restaurant In The World Might Be This School Cafeteria (Fast Co Exist) http://bit.ly/1Noquak

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • Why America’s impressive 5% unemployment rate feels like a lie for so many (Quartz) http://bit.ly/1XLP5X2
  • What does Student Loan Forgiveness Have to Do with Farming? Everything. (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1VN6gcY                                          As more farmers retire, some lawmakers see student loan forgiveness as key to keeping small-scale producers on the land.
  • The Racist, Twisted History of Tipping (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1rrIWp1                                                                                  Gratuities were once an excuse to shortchange black people. In fact, they still are.
  • Guest worker program provides labor, poses difficulties for San Luis Obispo County growers (San Luis Obispo Tribune) http://bit.ly/1r2Itce
  • New York City’s Ambitious Ban-The-Box Law Is Already Transforming Lives (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1Tjdfqo
  • NLRB issues historic Complaint against company alleging that misclassification violates workers’ right to form a union (Justice for Port Truck Drivers) http://bit.ly/244g7ws
  • Teamsters, Working Partnerships USA, Jobs With Justice Escalate Protests Against Abuses In Chipotle’s Supply Chain (PR News) http://prn.to/20UKN1w                                                                Chipotle Supplier Taylor Farms Criticized for Food and Worker Safety Issues
  • Worker Cooperative Are More Productive Than Normal Companies (The Nation) http://bit.ly/1WKRwL1                              When maximizing profits isn’t the only goal, companies can actually work better.

 

Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Victory for Walmart Employees: $224 Million Awarded for Stolen Lunch Breaks (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1VPjCW1      In addition to paying wages so low that many employees qualify for food stamps, Medicaid, and housing subsidies…
  • Why Organic Restaurant Certification Matters (Civil Eats)
  • After A Year, Seattle’s New Minimum Wage Hasn’t Raised Retail Prices (Fast Co. Exist) http://bit.ly/219m1dU                                  Business owners did a bunch of handwringing about how damaging to the economy the wage increase would be. But so far, they’re wrong.

 

Protests

 

Food Fraud/Scandals

  • The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Battelle Launch Tool to Fight Food Fraud (PR News) http://prn.to/1VhloiF  EMAlert enables food manufacturers to manage vulnerability to Economically Motivated Adulteration (EMA)

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Watch: River Explodes Into Flames From Methane Coming From Nearby Fracking Sites (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1Qw6NYR
  • Will Fracking-Induced Earthquakes cause the Next Coal Ash Disaster? (Earth Justice) http://bit.ly/1pqzctd
  • How To Get Cleaner Water For 700 Million People (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1SmzOIG                                                                            Let nature take the wheel.
  • Navajo Water Supply is More Horrific than Flint, But No One Cares Because they’re Native American (Native American News) http://bit.ly/1WdxaJR
  • Sperm Whales Found Dead In Germany, Stomachs FULL Of Plastic And Car Parts (True Activist) http://bit.ly/1TlN7eJ
  • Pacific Bluefin Tuna Population Has Dropped 97% From Historic Levels (Time) http://ti.me/1VKdhv1                                                                    In some areas, Bluefin tuna is harvested at triple the levels considered to be sustainable
  • Scientists Have Discovered a 600-Mile Coral Reef (The Atlantic) http://theatln.tc/1VMBsJf                                                                                      It’s at the mouth of the Amazon River

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • USDA Sued for Corporate Hijack of Organic Industry Governing Board (The Cornucopia Institute) http://bit.ly/1StPj6S
  • The EPA’s Silent, Guilty Role in the Flint Water Crisis (New Republic) http://bit.ly/1WeLIsP                                                          Michigan’s governor has borne the brunt of the blame, but there’s plenty to go around.
  • Let’s not lag on calorie labeling at restaurants (medium) http://bit.ly/1SbXsLb                                                                                                It’s been six years since Congress passed a national policy to allow people to make informed choices when eating out…
  • Maryland To Become The Second State To Guarantee Fair Minimum Wage For Workers With Disabilities (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1YJRT7d                                                                                                It is legal to pay as little as $0.06 per hour to the disabled.
  • Mississippi Budget Strained As Less Go To Prison; State Requires Slave Labor To Function Fiscally (The Intellectualist) http://bit.ly/1qXF26L
    • Slave Labor – A Calm Revolt in Georgia Brings This Issue to the National Spotlight (Daily Kos) http://bit.ly/1Sjngll

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • GMA Calls on Senate to stand Up for Agricultural Biotechnology to Protect Farmers and Consumers (PR Newswire) http://prn.to/1SXMV2E                       During GMA Science Forum, President and CEO call for action to head off reformulation
  • Nationwide GMO labeling, insurance coverage & increased enforcement top Natural Products Association’s wish list on Capitol Hill (Food Navigator) http://bit.ly/22LlfTS
  • Industry fingerprints all over Reuters’ attack on IARC over glyphosate and canter (The Ecologist) http://bit.ly/1VE9S1i
  • GMO Mushroom Sidesteps USDA Regulations (Buzz Flash) http://bit.ly/1qDbkn9
    • This Tiny Mushroom Could Pave The Way To Curbine Hunger (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1QnnaGY                                           The genetically altered mushroom was cleared by the USDA
  • CRISPR Is Going To Revolutionize Our Food System – And Start A New War Over GMOs (Fast Company) http://bit.ly/1SiUC3E
  • Nutritionally-enhanced GM crops? Too bad about the deformed butterflies (The Ecologist) http://bit.ly/1Sw5c9R
    • Study: Long-Chain Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Have Developmental Effects of the Crop Pest, the Cabbage White Butterfly Pieris rapae (PLOS one) http://bit.ly/1VIuCUZ

 

Poisons

  • The Creepy Way Processed Food Packaging Messes With Your Hormones (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1T6fHOt
    • Study: Recent Fast Food Consumption and Bisphenol A And Phthalates Exposures among the US Population in NHANES, 2003-2010 (Environmental Health Perspectives) http://1.usa.gov/1Qv4nts
  • Fracking a Possible Cause of Disturbing Birth Defects and Deaths Found in Horses (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1NImbBy                      Research has linked the presence of the byproducts of hydraulic fracturing to numerous animal deaths and stillbirths.
  • Private Tests Show Cancer-Linked Herbicide in Breakfast Foods: FDA mum on Its Assessments (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1SR9SEg
    • Report: Glyphosate Levels in Breakfast Foods (Alliance for Natural Health USA) http://bit.ly/23IprJV                                            … The major finding from this analysis is that glypohosate is showing up in food products where it’s not intended to be, supporting claims made by many critics that glyphosate is far more ubiquitous in our food system than the public is made to believe…
  • Report Exposes Food Industry Cover-up (The Cornucopia Institute) http://bit.ly/1NAl6LP
    • Carrageenan: New studies Reinforce Link to Inflammation, Cancer and Diabetes (The Cornucopia Institute) http://bit.ly/1rhupfD

 

Pollinators

  • Markham (Ontario) becomes Canada’s first monarch friendly city (David Suzuki Foundation) http://bit.ly/1U5mSva

 

Animals

  • California Poultry Update (UC Food Observer) http://bit.ly/1NHEtmo                                                                        “Commercial table egg production has gone through huge changes in the last few year – from conventional systems to enriched cages to new cage free poultry systems. The pendulum has swung very far, very fast.”
  • Animal welfare regulation in the UK is about to take a massive, gruesome U-turn (collectively) http://bit.ly/1SdJrN3                        The UK Government’s deregulation plans for parts of the animal agricultural industries means that barbaric practices like ‘tail-docking’ will be easier to justify. So… Why?

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • Whole Milk May Have a Surprising Health Benefit (takepart) http://bit.ly/1U6jekN                                                                                      Recent research shows that full-fat dairy isn’t so bad for you after all.
  • Circulating Biomarkers of Dairy Fat and Risk of Incident Diabetes Mellitus Among US Men and Women in Two Large Prospective Cohorts (Circulation America Heart Association Journal) http://bit.ly/1Ti7WYs

 

Resources

  • $5 Million Available For Farmer Food Safety Training Projects (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition) http://bit.ly/1STYac6

 

Events

  • Feedback, Together With A Coalition Of Partners, Brings Popular Food Waste Awareness Festival To America To Take Food Waste #OffTheMenu (PR News) http://prn.to/1VhiURr                    Partnership of NGOs, Civic Institutions, and Chefs Offer Free Lunch for 5,000 in #FEEDING5000 Events in New York City (May 10) and Washington DC (May 18)
  • Defining Good Food: UVM Presents 5th Annual Food Systems Summit June 14-15, 2016 (UVM Food Feed) http://bit.ly/1T00cHY

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update April 20, 2016

 

  • Costco Is Selling So Much Organic Produce, Farmers Can’t Keep Up (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/23BN6LVNow the retailer is lending them cash directly to boost supply.
  • “Gold Standard” tarnished? As organic sees record growth internal battles plague industry (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1XCmrHN
  • In Search of the True Cost of Industrial Meat (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1VRB8rl                                                                                                  An important conference this week held by the Sustainable Food Trust brings together leaders to assess the true cost of food. Its director discusses on of the largest concerns: how to value the externalities of factory farmed meat.
  • Scientists Start to Look at Ground Beneath Their Feet for Solution to Climate Change (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1ShdvUC
    • Treating Soil A Little Differently Could Help It Store A Huge Amount Of Carbon (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/22jeV5M
  • Don’t Just Eat Your Greens – Cook Up Pinks, Purples, Red, and Yellows Too (takepart) http://bit.ly/1qvMR2V                            Vegetables of various hues are part of a healthy diet—and wild colors are now showing up everywhere.
  • This Goat Tree Is Just One of the Amazing Things You’ll Find on Atlas Obscura (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1WvFMfh
  • The bitter truth about butter’s environmental impact (grist) http://bit.ly/1Vr2Kor
    • Study: Comparative life cycle assessment for margarine and butter consumed in UK, Germany and France (ResearchGate) http://bit.ly/22B7TcI
    • Study: Potential for improving the carbon footprint of butter and blend products (Journal of Dairy Science) http://bit.ly/22B8Hy7                                                                                    And they do discuss packaging…
  • The Truth About Baby Carrots May or May Not Shock You – You’re Wasting Your Money (Yahoo!) http://yhoo.it/1r137de            These are the chubby little carrot like carrots, not the baby bunch carrots…
  • The world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant is coming to New York (Quartz) http://bit.ly/1YDslso

 

Hunger, Food Access & Insecurity, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Millions Face Starvation AS Haiti’s Drought Stretches Into Third Year (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1WaNACM
  • Concern Worldwide Calls for Urgent Response to Drought and Food Shortage Triggered By El Niño in Malawi and Mozambique (Concern Worldwide) http://bit.ly/1WaIhDv

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

 

Children & School Food

  • Lake in the Hills (IL) hopes to build children’s garden to help food pantry (Daily Herald) http://bit.ly/1Qckgot
  • Farm to School efforts growing in Lincoln (NE) Public Schools (Lincoln Journal Star) http://bit.ly/1SGX9Eb
  • Fight for the right to play: Parents seek more recess in Miami-Dade schools (Miami Herald) http://hrld.us/1qM0FXq
  • Feds to Fine Schools for Not Following Michelle Obama’s Lunch Rules (The Washington Free Beacon) http://bit.ly/1My2UYy

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • California, New York Launch 60 Million Americans Into A $15 Minimum Wage Economy (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/20Rz9nZ
    • Is $15 an Hour Enough for Workers to Support Their Families? (truthout) http://bit.ly/20RBfnX                                                                    In a word No
  • Homeless but employed: the Chicago restaurant workers living under a bridge (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1SVySdQ                  State’s attorney general is suing employment agencies, alleging that they target vulnerable workers and place them with restaurant employers who exploit them.
  • Empty Homes Outnumber The Homeless 6 to 1, So Why Not Give Them Homes? (Mint Press News) http://bit.ly/1SVAZ1i
  • Dangerous Work for “Crap Money”: The Dark Side of Recycling (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1T9kstk                                                            Some of America’s riskiest jobs involve processing our old stuff.
  • Recycling is a Feel Good Activity, But Not for Workers Hurt or Killed on the Job (Air Warning) http://bit.ly/1ShhCjt
  • Trucks Are Getting More Dangerous And Drivers Are Falling Asleep At The Wheel. Thank Congress. (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/23FI3dn                                                                                          The inside story of how the trucking industry and politicians have conspired to make our highways less safe.

 

Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • One of the World’s Largest Hospitality Chains to Grow Its Own Vegetables at 1,000 Hotels (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/23Hqr0C          In an attempt to eliminate 30% of its food waste by 2020, AccorHotels has announced plant to grow vegetables at 1,000 of its hotels.
  • Ortho to Drop Chemicals Linked to Bee Declines (abc News) http://abcn.ws/1Vka1WV                                                                                   The company plans to phase out neonicotinoids by 2021 in eight products used to control garden pests and diseases.
  • Soda Gone Flat: Soda is about to go under water (Quartz) http://bit.ly/1Njd7YZ                                                                                          After years of slurping down sugary soda, America is about to switch to bottled water.
  • Almond milk sales continue to surge, as dairy milk contracts, Nielsen data shows (Food Navigator) http://bit.ly/26d4K7o
  • “Wendy’s has lot my respect as well as my patronage…” (CIW) http://bit.ly/1VmeOaW                                                                                  Kenyon College student takes to op/ed pages of campus journal to slam Wendy’s for failing to “treat our fellow human being with dignity”…
  • McDonald’s plans major Asia push (warc) http://bit.ly/1qNbFUx    McDonald’s, the global fast-food chain, plans to add more than 1,000 restaurants in China over the next five years plus another 250 each in Hong Kong and South Korea over the same period.
  • New UN report finds almost no industry profitable if environmental costs were included (Peace, Earth & Justice News) http://bit.ly/1Wyqqqt

 

Protests

  • Meet The Workers Walking Off The Job In The Biggest Low-Wage Strike Yet (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1SUd81V
  • The Fight for $15 Protests Aren’t Just About Higher Pay (takepart) http://bit.ly/1VqU5Ch                                                                    Low wage workers were out in force at marches and rallies across the country on Thursday, calling for both increased wages and union rights.
  • Thousands Of Protesters March For $15 Hourly Wage Across US (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1YxAH4M                                        Protests were also held overseas, including at McDonald’s at Disneyland Paris and outside the headquarters for the South Korea division of the fast food giant.
  • Michigan Prisoners Protest Water Food (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1qRNYKK                                                                                                … the quality and amount of food given to prisoners is at the heart of it…
  • Food protests spreads to third Michigan prison (Detroit Free Press) http://on.freep.com/1qAl4OQ                                                             Mass prison food protests that began in the Upper Peninsula moved to Michigan’s Lower Peninsula…
  • Emails Reveals Extensive Failures In Michigan Prison Food Privatization Scheme (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1Vx89e6        This is what privatization of public services all about when profit is the top priority, not serving nutritious, safe food, and paying a living wage…

 

Food Fraud/Scandals

  • DC Police Searching for Man Who Broke Into Five Guys Location to Make Himself a Burger (The Daily Meal) http://bit.ly/22rHHRQ                                                                                          Last month, a mysterious man in a fedora broke into Five Guys to make himself a quick meal, and then left

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • As Dems Debate Fossil fuels, New Report Shows Fracking Worse Than Thought (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1SnM5BL                New data shows fracking’s effects on public health, wildlife, economies, and communities, adding context as Dems debate fracking on national stage
  • Report: Fracking by the Numbers: The Damage to Our Water, Land and Climate from a decade of Dirty Drilling (Environment America) http://bit.ly/1YBzKbw
  • As Fracking Chemicals Reach A Creek Companies Fight Against A Fracking Waste Ban (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1NwnymE
  • We’re running out of water, and the world’s powers are very worried (Reveal) http://bit.ly/1S6AdCg
    • Why World Leaders Are Terrified of Water Shortages (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1qCAO3Y                                                                  From Yemen to Syria to Arizona, droughts are a growing threat.
  • Our Drinking Water Systems Are A Disaster. What Can We Do? (Ensia) http://bit.ly/1SLJqvM                                                                                  In the wake of the Flint crisis, communities turn to innovative technology and financing to prevent the next crisis.
  • News Release: Survey Grocery shoppers want food grown in ways that don’t pollute our water. (Environment America) http://bit.ly/1STFUj7
    • Survey Report: shoppers want food grown in ways that don’t pollute the water (Environment America) http://bit.ly/1Nh1Jga
  • This New Report Will Tell You If You Live Near One Of America’s Most Threatened Rivers (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1YCbwOs
  • Chile fish deaths blamed on El Nino (Deutsche Welle) http://bit.ly/1XAgsTI                                                                                            Chile’s government has temporarily banned the consumption of sardines in the south of the country after tons of dead fish turned up floating along the shores of Queule River. Authorities still aren’t sure what is causing the deaths.
  • The Largest Coral Atoll In The World Lost 80 Percent Of Its Coral To Bleaching (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1paa5dZ
  • The Great Barrier Reef Is Losing Its Strength to Fight Climate Change (takepart) http://bit.ly/1qMVtTc                                                Greater levels of climate-related stress make it harder for corals to bounce back from bleaching events.
  • Coral crisis: Great Barrier Reef bleaching is “the worst we’ve ever seen” (Nature) http://bit.ly/23GaS9w
  • Loggerhead, Right Whale Breeding Grounds Are Entirely Covered By Atlantic Blasting Area (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1S22xFO
  • Global Fisheries Are Collapsing – What Happens When There Are No Fish Left? (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1r7JeRQ                      According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 85 percent of global fish stocks are “overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion.”

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • Playing With Your Food Could Help Save The World Climate Disaster (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1YC2HEs                                    The Food Chain Reaction present policymakers, agricultural and environmental experts, and business leaders from India, Europe, China, the United States, Brazil, and Africa, with a scenario in the near future where pressure mounted on the global food system…
  • The Game (Food Chain Reaction) http://bit.ly/22GcFFL                       The first less was the game was not a game…
  • Policy Brief: Food Security and Climate Change: New Frontiers in International Security (Center for American Progress) http://ampr.gs/1NwpgV6
  • Pissing contest over glyphosate in Europe (Deutsche Welle) http://bit.ly/1TWKvpG                                                                                Members of the European Parliament are often known for their bluster – but this week they engaged in a literal pissing contest over a controversial vote on the week killer glyphosate.
  • Meet the Shadow Lobbyists Protecting Fracking From regulation: The IOGCC (Greenpeace) http://bit.ly/23OPhs9                                The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) claims to be a government agency but acts like a shadow lobby for the fracking industry
  • The Farm Bill Drove Me Insane: A Professor’s Attempt to Understand 357 Pages of Really Bad Policy (In These Times) http://bit.ly/1WbhBT6
  • Small Farms Are Getting Regulated Out of Business (In These Times) http://bit.ly/22HZrZ5                                                                                … when fully implemented in 2018, the FSMA will require a farm to get each crop individually certified as foo safety compliant…
  • The Government’s Mission to Save a Fish – with Fake Floods and Helicopter Rides (OnEarth) http://on.nrdc.org/1SdEtSi                  Within the walls of the Little Colorado Gorge, biologists are going to extremes to save the endangered humpback chub.
  • Two Southern WV crayfish granted endangered species protection (Charleston Gazette Mail) http://bit.ly/1XFvozY
  • Nearly 6 Years After The BP Oil Spill, Government Issues New Rules To Prevent Major Spills (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1YC742f
  • Northern California Lawmakers Question Huge Westlands Water District Deal (California Institute for Rural Studies) http://bit.ly/1peiQnw
  • Scott Walker Asks Congress For Permission To Conduct ‘Common Sense Reforms’ Shown Useless 7 Times (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1U1dQ2p                                                                    Drug testing SNAP recipients is a solution in search of a problem.

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Gene-edited CRISPR mushroom escapes US regulation (nature) http://bit.ly/1WbqZpR                                                                                                 A fungus engineered with the cRISPR-Cas9 technique can be cultivated and sold without further oversight.
  • How should gene-edited crops be regulated? National Academies meeting seeks answers (Genetic Expert News Service) http://bit.ly/1NxCFMJ

 

Poisons

  • ‘Increasing number of deaths due to glyphosate’ (Deutsche Welle) http://bit.ly/1XAeRxj                                                                                The pesticide glyphosate is used worldwide, also on soybean and cotton plantations in Argentina. It’s causing more cases of cancer, miscarriage and deformation there, says pediatrician Ávila Vásquez.
  • Monsanto’s Evil Twin: Disturbing Facts About the Fertilizer Industry (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1SqzP3E
  • Disturbing New Evidence About What Common Pesticides Can Do to Brain (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1qCACBN
  • Monsanto’s Most Dangerous Product? (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1TfPAaw                                                                                                The case against Glyphosate.
  • Rules Limiting Mercury Pollution Could Be Back On Track After EPA Cost-Benefit Analysis (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1MC3pki

 

Pollinators

  • 37 Million Bees Found Dead After Planting Large GMO Corn Field Treated with Neonicotinoid Class of Pesticides (Green Food Magazine) http://bit.ly/1WaAbdT

 

Animals

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • Buyers Beware: The 12 Most Pesticide Contaminated Fruits and Veggies (takepart) http://bit.ly/1ScvTxR
    • Dirty Dozen 2016 (Environmental Working Group) http://bit.ly/1YyIIX8                                                                                  EWG’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce
  • Clean Fifteen (Environmental Working Group) http://bit.ly/1Scw5gt                                                                                      EWG’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce
  • All 48 Fruits and Vegetables with Pesticide Residue Data (Environmental Working Group) http://bit.ly/1ScweR5

 

Resources

  • NIH Grant: School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies, Obesogenic Behaviors and Weight Outcomes (NIH) http://1.usa.gov/1pbi76N                                                                                        Due May 8, 2016

 

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update April 15, 2016

 

  • America’s Appetite For Organic Food Triggers A Natural Farming Boom (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1SOipKX                              There’s been a 300 percent increase in certified organic operations since 2002.
  • Treating Soil A Little Differently Could Help It Store A Huge Amount Of Carbon (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/22jeV5M
  • Burgeoning Effort to Restore Native Food in an Unlikely Food Desert (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1S2agT5                                              Salmon and berries that once nourished a network of tribes in California’s Klamath Basin are now scarce. This effort hopes to reverse the trend.
  • Kids Plant Michelle Obama’s White House Kitchen Garden for the Last Time (takepart) http://bit.ly/1MXnPnG                                Eight years of growing vegetables on the South Lawn has helped to change conversations about food and diet in the US
  • Researchers Say Fairtrade Chocolate Isn’t So Sweet for Women Farmers (takepart) http://bit.ly/1VcuCN1                                          Female growers in Ghana may have a more difficult time joining certified coops than their male counterparts
  • 10 Inspiring Films on Food + Farming: Who Do You Think Should Win the People’s Choice Award? (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1SatWkI
  • Funding the Next Green Revolution (The Progressive Farmer) http://bit.ly/1ShhmzZ                                                                                                AS Government Resources for Ag Research Have Shrunk, New Strategies Have Emerged to Raise Money
  • Resort to heritage (Down To Earth) http://bit.ly/1RTldUH          Bangladesh is betting big on its traditional form of farming: floating gardens. Can it help climate-proof the country?
  • Farm Confessional: How to Tell People You’ve Decided to Become a Farmer (modern farmer) http://bit.ly/1WgmkmC
  • Here’s a Great Way to Make Juice Even More Wasteful and Expensive (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1UM5bSn
  • I spirulina the new kale? A Thai startup is bring back the tiny green algae (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1Sn4Yi3
  • Your Quinoa Habit Really Did Help Peru’s Poor. But There’s Trouble Ahead (NPR) http://n.pr/1SWDwe1
  • From Cows to Concrete: New Book Provides History of Ag in Los Angeles County (UC Food Observer) http://bit.ly/1WkAhjt

 

Hunger, Food Access & Insecurity, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Farmer Is Shocked To Hear His Son’s Classmate Is Hungry. His Solution Is Stupefying (Shareably) http://bit.ly/1qAGDPE
  • Food gap widens in South Sudan, say UN agencies (Down To Earth) http://bit.ly/1ShzfPh                                                                          2016 cereal deficit about 53% higher than last year; food prices rise as markets collapse
  • Study: Worldwide trends in diabetes since 1980: a pooled analysis of 751 population-based studies with 4.4 million participants (The Lancet) http://bit.ly/20qo7Wt
  • Study: Trends in adult body-mass index in 200 countries from 1975 to 2014: a pooled analysis of 1698 population-based measurement studies with 19.2 million participants (The Lancet) http://bit.ly/1RXUhmT
  • Is Samoa’s Obesity Epidemic A Harbinger For Other Developing Nations (NPR) http://n.pr/1N1noZH
  • Poverty Creates a Vicious Cycle of Food Insecurity and Poor Health (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/20wxcgF

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • 800-Pound, Cattle-Munching Gator Shot Dead (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1RTnvmE                                                                                              A monster alligator, said to weigh 800 lbs., was recently hauled out of Florida’s marshes after being blamed for snacking on a landowner’s cattle, and now this ravenous reptile, given to charity, will be a meal for some hungry humans.
  • Can a Bottle Made From Algae End the World’s Plastic Addiction? (takepart) http://bit.ly/1Yi3xG7                                                                          The all-natural container is biodegradable.

School Food

  • Let them eat kale: How a school lunch lady cracked the picky eater code (Syracuse.com) http://bit.ly/22moeBZ

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • From ‘Extreme’ to Enacted (The Nation) http://bit.ly/1UToeuk           Across the country, activists and low-wage workers are showing that the changes we need will come if people organize and force them.
  • In US, a bold economic experiment begins on the minimum wage (The Globe and Mail) http://bit.ly/1SWSOPX
  • Millions Of Workers Just Won The Right To Paid Time To Care For Loved Ones (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1PZIJgF
  • (India’s) Farmers demand law for guaranteed income (Down To Earth) http://bit.ly/1RHxcrN                                                              Participants voice concern on drought, farmers’ suicide and water conservation, among other issues
  • These Jimmy John’s Workers Were Fired Illegally. Five Years Later, they Might Get Their Jobs Back. (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/25Ri3dH                                                                                          The long wait shows just how weak our labor laws are.

 

Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • This Organic Strawberry Farm Is Giving Its Workers The Benefits They Deserve (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1V0b8vl                    Like full dental and health care coverage, stock options, and low-cost housing.
  • Food processing in a time of drought (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/1S1CN94                                                                                          How mindful manufacturers manage water restrictions
  • Monsanto Reports Lower Earnings, Profits Amid Pressure From Consumers, Vermont GMO Label Law (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1RWnnTu
  • Big Seed: How The Industry Turned From Small-Town Firms To Global Giants (NPR) http://n.pr/1MmIZeU                                                    A new round of industry consolidation is now underway. Multibillion-dollar mergers are in progress, or under discussion, that could put more than half of global seed sales in the hands of three companies…
  • PR Firm Attacks Organic Food, Then Pitches Itself to Organic Companies (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1XktBQQ
  • Sugar Crash: US Soda Consumption Hits 30-Year Low (takepart) http://bit.ly/1RsvMkP                                                                                            The industry-wide slump in 2015 was even worse for the leading cola brands.
  • When Is Big Food Not Big Food? When It’s Funding Your Favorite New Snacks (takepart) http://bit.ly/1qaON0F
  • The Impossible bet (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/1RPGAcS       Impossible Foods has $183 million in venture funding and a vision of plant-based meat, but still no product. Are we worried yet?
  • Why It’s Time to Crowd-Source Our Neighborhoods and Build Up America’s Local Economies (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1MRwKqE
  • CoBank Surprises Wall Street: Investor Backlash Hits Farm Credit (The Progressive Farmer) http://bit.ly/1MWT2Hw

 

Protests

  • Food Not Bullets: Hunger Pans of Starving Farmers Met by a Barrage of Bullets (350.org) http://bit.ly/1q5mwbX

 

Food Fraud/Scandals

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Keystone Pipeline Shut Down After Oil Spill in South Dakota (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1Xmj3AD
    • Oil Leak From Keystone Pipeline 89 Times Worse Than Originally Thought (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1qzhrsY
    • Keystone leaks and reminds us why we’re glad there isn’t an XL pipeline out there (grist) http://bit.ly/1RMZFJu
  • High Levels of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Found Near Fracking Wastewater Site (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1qz9fZC
  • How Global Water Standards Save Lives and Create Better Jobs (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/23aaP5y                                                                  Every hour, 38 workers die from water-related diseases.
  • For Millions of People El Niño Brings Drought Instead of Rain (takepart) http://bit.ly/1oKMfWk                                                                  The dry weather in sub-Saharan Africa is drastically reducing harvests and raising staple-crop prices.
  • Reservoirs Are Filling Up, but California’s Drought Isn’t Over (takepart) http://bit.ly/1RTuU5E                                                              Federal irrigation allocations grant just 5 percent of requested water in some of the state’s key agriculture regions.
  • California’s Snow is Finally Back – But the Drought Is Far From Over (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1qxa84R
  • Your Child Could Be Drinking Lead-Tainted Water in School—and You’d Never Know It (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/22gHsc2
  • Toxic Teflon Chemical, C8, Found In Tap Water in Several States (Earth Island Journal) http://bit.ly/23mpvLC
  • Twin Tunnels Threaten San Francisco Bay (Earth Island Journal) http://bit.ly/1S0luHO                                                                                      Should local salmon be pushed to extinction?
  • Fighting to Bring Back a Once Abundant – and Delicious – American Fish (takepart) http://bit.ly/1Wgsljk                        Overfishing has made enjoying shad a dining experience full of conflicts.
  • Removal of 4 Dams to Reopen 420 Miles of Historic Salmon Habitat on Klamath River (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1NflDCQ
  • A Tiny Island Territory Has An Ambitious Plan For Ocean Protection (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/25Qcoo5

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • France Approves Plan To Completely Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides (neonicotinoids) (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/23jgoib
  • ‘Anti-Farmer’ Billboards: Senators Ask EPA’s Inspector General to Investigate Ties to Environmental Groups (The Progressive Farmer) http://bit.ly/1ULLcTR
  • USDA Secrecy and Corporate Angribusiness: Why Should Organics be Different? (In These Times) http://bit.ly/25T8j2H
  • Animals Raised for Organic Meat Will Soon Have a Better Quality of Life (takepart) http://bit.ly/1MliVko                                                          The USDA is finally adding new animal welfare standards to its certification program for livestock.
  • ‘Action Plan’ to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs Doesn’t Take the Right Action (takepart) http://bit.ly/1Y2W1Po
  • Tiny Forage Fish At Bottom Of Marine Food Web Get New Protections (NPR) http://n.pr/1qAs26T
    • National Marin Fisheries Rule: Fisheries Off West Coast States; Comprehensive Ecosystem-Based Amendment 1, Final Rule (Federal Register) http://1.usa.gov/1oMcOKm        Amendments to the Fishery Management Plans for Coastal Pelager Species, Pacific Coast Groundfish, US West Coast Highly Migratory Species, and Pacific Coast Salmon
  • For The First Time, A State Just Banned Neonicotinoids, A Pesticide Threatening Pollinators (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1oKq4iC
  • Jerry Brown to sign paid family leave expansion in California (Sacramento Bee) http://bit.ly/1Nfgivh                                                      Bill will increase benefits for people who take time off to care for family member
  • Texas Companies Save Millions by Opting Out of Workers’ Comp, Study Finds (Houston Press) http://bit.ly/1Ym5cKQ                                 … as the expense of the injured workers…
  • Don’t Fall Down on the Job in Texas: Employers Don’t Have to Provide Injury Coverage (Houston Press) http://bit.ly/1SWYbyx
  • Florida: All-Natural But Still ‘Imitation’? The Strange Case Of The Skim Milk Label (NPR) http://n.pr/1SWHCD8                                            A Florida diary farmer has had to dump hundreds of gallons of skim milk from her creamery because she doesn’t add vitamins back in. Legally, that makes it an “imitation milk product.”
  • Flint water crisis prompts schools nationwide to test water for lead (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1qDVold                                                EPA data shows 278 schools and daycare centers across the country violated federal lead level requirements with the past three years

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Africa’s Traditional Crops Under Threat as Big Ag, Gates Foundation ‘Donate’ GMO Technology (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/20o6I0L
  • Monsanto’s Willing Executioners (truthout) http://bit.ly/1VBKAPE                                                                                  Monsanto keeps pushing genetically modified food through the approval process in spite of widespread public revulsion…
  • These Charts Show Every Genetically Modified Food People Already Eat in the US (Time) http://ti.me/1qwISn3
  • In a Surprise Win for Democracy Over Corporate Power, GMO Labeling Has Arrived (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1S3XVOj
  • What Will Happen When Genetically Engineered Salmon Escape Into the Wild? (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1SWr2TG                                    The FDA has failed to fully examine the risks this new species of salmon.

 

Poisons

  • A New Study Suggests That Even The Toughest Pesticide Regulations Aren’t Nearly Tough Enough (FERN) http://bit.ly/1SgSrwr
    • 97% of Endangered Species Threatened by 3 Common Pesticides (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1MmpByQ              Chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion
  • EPA Releases Draft Biological Evaluations of Three Chemicals’ Impacts on Endangered Species (EPA) http://1.usa.gov/1MmpK5b
  • Conservation Groups and Municipalities Urge Ban on Rat Poisons in California (Earth Island Journal) http://bit.ly/1S65KpO

 

Pollinators

  • These Photos Capture The Startling Effect Of Shrinking Bee Populations (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1qxgpho                          In rural China, humans pollinate flowers by hand.
  • More Evidence that Monarch Butterflies Should be Listed as Threatened (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1qBLvEE                                        New research shows that the butterflies may be more vulnerable to extinction than we previously thought.

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • Americans Are Gorging Themselves on Cheap Meat (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/25OqlTt                                                                          Other countries advise eating less meat. Why is US meat consumption spiking?

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update April 10, 2016

 

  • A Flower Farming Renaissance: Slow Flower Movement (modern farmer) http://bit.ly/1VS6yhG                                                                        This country’s flower farmers didn’t always occupy such a tough spot. In 1991, domestic blossoms accounted for 64 percent of the nation’s flower sales. That was also the year that the US entered into the ATPA, which eliminated tariffs on a number of products…
  • A fatter, healthier but more unequal world (The Lancet) http://bit.ly/1SLV1hb
    • Study: Trends in adult body-mass index in 200 countries from 1975 to 2014: a pooled analysis of 1698 population-based measurement studies with 19.2 million participants (The Lancet) http://bit.ly/1MMU8pg
  • 2016 Global Food Policy Report, downloadable (International Food Policy Research Institute) http://bit.ly/234VwaR
  • This Program Will Make Cutting Carbon Emissions Lucrative For Farmers (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1X7EW6C
  • Women Farmers Band Together To Vent, Seek Support And Exchange Ideas (NPR) http://n.pr/1N3TO0e
  • Cookbook Collector Who’s Been Saving American History For 50 Years (Saveur) http://bit.ly/1WVSRN0                                                      When you’re one of America’s leading food authorities and need to consult an expert, call Jan Longone
  • We Can Feed Our Meat Addition in More Eco-Friendly Ways Than Factory Farming – But Is It Too Late? (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1Thk2CY                                                                                          Stem cells are possible go-to for carnivores. But it cost $325,000 to make the first synthetic meat burger.
  • Growing Connections to our Food (Earth Island Journal) http://bit.ly/1RpVHcT                                                                                          How gardening brings us closer to our food, homes and communities
  • Is Growing Your Own Food the Only Way to Truly Be Vegetarian or Vegan? (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1RTsOIf
  • Italians want their kids to learn about wine in school – and it’s actually a really good idea (Quartz) http://bit.ly/1W19UyX

 

Hunger, Food Access & Insecurity, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Global Development Report: We Need to Fix Hunger and Malnutrition First (takepart) http://bit.ly/1Sqm9PY                      Policy researchers put food ahead of other global development issues.
  • Can Banning Fast Food From a Neighborhood Help Curb Obesity? (takepart) http://bit.ly/1Tlkm3J                                                  The ‘Healthy New Towns’ being

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • A woman saw hungry people digging in her restaurant’s trash, so she put a fridge outside. (Upworthy) http://u.pw/1UsVt7g

 

School Food

  • Poll Reveals Ohio Parents’ Concerns About Short School Lunch Periods (The PEW Charitable Trusts) http://bit.ly/1M7yJaf  Results also show widespread support for healthier school meals

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • The $15 minimum wage sweeping the nation might kill jobs – and that’s okay (The Washington Post) http://wapo.st/1PNrUFt        What’s better, a higher minimum wage or continuing to subsidize low wage employers with the social safety net that we all pay for? The ‘job killing’ is all propaganda against workers.
  • The great $15/hour lie: workers don’t have to wait to earn a living wage (Salon) http://bit.ly/22ZM63Q                              Accepted wisdom says pay increases must be phased in over several year. Seattle airport workers prove otherwise… The SeaTac worker pay boosts amount to less than 2% of those profits…
  • Tracking the Low Wage Recovery: Industry Employment & Wages (National Employment Law Project) http://bit.ly/1RS47sC
  • Fight for $15 Victories Will Benefit More Than Just Fast-Food Workers (truthout) http://bit.ly/1M9OJIT
  • Demand Your Right to the Minimum Wage at SeaTac (SeaTac Minimum Wage Law Suit) http://bit.ly/237ZorM                              Class action law suits to enforce the SeaTac minimum wage for all workers who were not paid $15 minimum wage in SeaTac, which went into effect January 2014…
  • Who wins with a $15 minimum wage? (LA Times) http://lat.ms/1Y28i6D
    • Helping the Poor Is the Right Thing to Do, But Maybe Not Much of a Political Winner (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/1RS75gO
    • Out of Reach to Afford a Modest Apartment (National Low Income Housing Coalition) http://bit.ly/1MJKfJ0                              In California you need to make over $20 per hour…
  • Did You Know That Recycling Can Be a Dangerous Job? (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1SCORzR                                                                    We need to raise pay and improve working conditions for recycling workers.

Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • French baker gives bakery to homeless man who saved his life for €1 (The Telegraph) http://bit.ly/1N3LXjp
  • Highlights of Luntz Poll of American CEOs Show Broad Support for Progressive Policies (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1Xdn7mB
    • Leaked documents show strong business support for raising the minimum wage (The Washington Post) http://wapo.st/1RXuYqq                                                                              And what of ALEC?
  • Chipotle aims for a Better Burger (without making anyone sick) (grist) http://bit.ly/1MKXg58
    • Chipotle Developing Burger Chain (The Wall St. Journal) http://on.wsj.com/1N3Vsz5                                                                  Burrito maker has filed trademark application for ‘Better Burger’
  • Fine French Restaurant Hires Exclusively Ex-Convicts Who Want Culinary Training (Good News Network) http://bit.ly/1Vcxg3T
  • UK Supermarket Waitrose Stops RoundUp Herbicide Sales after Consumer Pressure (Organic Consumers Association) http://bit.ly/236XdVj

 

Protests

  • Amid Climate-Fueled Food Crisis, Filipino forces Open Fire on Starving Farms (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/1TxldOK          Police and army forces in the Philippines unleashed bullets on a starving crowd, killing 10, for demonstrating for drought relief
  • Berry Farmworkers Toil 12 Hours A Day For $6. Now They’re Demanding A Raise (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1RFioqe              $6 a day?
  • Fast Food Workers Join Forces With Teachers To Fight For Better Pay (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1qoedID

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • World Water Day 2016: A water justice toolkit towards public water for all (IATP) http://bit.ly/22NkSgT
  • Brain wave: the surfers who made a trashcan for the ocean (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1TqW5JC                                                          Despite regular coastal cleanups around the world, the problem of ocean garbage continues. Now, two Australians say they’ve found the solution – the Seabin
  • We’ve Changed a Life-Giving Nutrient Into a Deadly Pollutant – How Can We Change It Back? (ensia) http://bit.ly/1RvIoI3                In the process of producing food, we’ve inadvertently filled our planet with toxic forms of nitrogen. But scientists say we can improve this picture.
  • ‘Disastrous’ Coho Returns Threaten Western Washington Tribes (Society of Environmental Journalists) http://bit.ly/1UTOuUJ
  • These Light-Up Fishing Nets Could Save Sea Turtles (Smithsonian) http://bit.ly/1ovf60g                                                              And what about other bycatch?
  • The Seas Will Save Us: How an Army of Ocean Farmers Is Starting an Economic Revolution (Yes!) http://bit.ly/1RUXaH7      Ocean farming isn’t just about food, it’s about transforming a workforce and restoring the sea.

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • The Feds Are Finally Bringing Traditional Foods to Indian Reservations (takepart) http://bit.ly/1UQmG4c                                  The US food distribution program for Native Americans is picking up ingredients such as blue corn – but not all tribes are familiar with them. Blue corn is alien outside of the south west, as buffalo is not traditional in Alaska. And what of Hawai’i natives?
  • Final 2015-20 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Health Affairs) http://bit.ly/1VcBPLH                                                                                          The federal government published its latest recommendations intended to shape people’s diets based on the latest research.
  • ‘Action Plan’ to Fight Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs Doesn’t Take the Right Action (takepart) http://bit.ly/1Y2W1Po        President Obama’s advisory council essentially ignores antibiotic abuse on factory farms.
  • New Study Confirms Fracking Contamination That The EPA Walked Back On In 2011 (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1SvzPJH
    • Impact to Underground Sources of Drinking Water and Domestic Wells from Production Well Stimulation and Completion Practices in the Pavillion, Wyoming, Field (Environmental Science & Technology) http://bit.ly/1N3RLZX
  • USDA Deregulates Two Lines of Genetically Engineered Corn From Monsanto, Syngenta (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1MROiO3
  • Largest Pay Raise for US Workers in History? New York and California Approve $15 Minimum Wage Hike (Democracy Now!) http://bit.ly/1VZphb4
    • New York To Raise Minimum Wage Towards $15 An Hour (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1St8JTk                                            The deal was reached the same day California lawmakers approved raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2022.
  • The Fight for $15 Is Poised to Claim Its First Statewide Victory (takepart) http://bit.ly/1TmlaVW                                                        California lawmakers are considering a bill that will bump its minimum wage up to the movement’s gold standard by 2022.
  • Maryland First State To Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides for Consumer Use (Popular Resistance) http://bit.ly/1Rq0uem
  • Farmers leery of state’s (CA) water sustainability regs (Daily Democrat) http://bit.ly/1RXvX9X                                                      California has been fighting over water since 1913, and it seems it will continue. Also, remember, much of Southern CA is desert. Why are we growing cotton in Kern County?
  • Many Central Valley farmers face severe water shortages despite easing drought (Sacramento Bee) http://bit.ly/1pUhO0m
  • No April Fool’s Day Joke: Westside Gets (central valley) 5% (water) Allocation (Devin Nunes, US Congressman) http://bit.ly/1ZTLjfH                                                                            Remember, California has known for over 30 years that drought was coming, and we never planned for it, well yes we did, and this is it, keep pumping ground water & the rest of the state be damned…
  • Making a Soda Tax More Politically Palatable (NY Times) http://nyti.ms/1W5OkJI                                                                    Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney proposes $0.03 per ounce soda tax to fund universal preK, renovate libraries, parks and rec centers…

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • 5 Million Nigerians Oppose Monsanto’s Plans to Introduce GMO Cotton and Corn (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1WVUNoK
  • Monsanto CEO Says ‘Roundup Is Not a Carcinogen’ But 94 Scientists From Around the World Disagree (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/1URikKj
    • Why Didn’t An Illinois Professor Have To Disclose GMO Funding? (Chicago Public Media) http://bit.ly/2009Wr9        Monsanto funding not disclosed, the funding shuffled through University of Illinois Foundation accounts, where the funds were not public…
  • Inside the Big Pushback Against Big Ag’s Agenda to Sell GMO Seeds and Pesticides (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1LYgfco                    When communities come together to build back soil and replace harsh chemicals with biology, they are very successful and create lasting solutions.
  • Food Companies Plan to Label GMOs – but Is There More to the Story? (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1Y06k6G                                    Companies’ change of heart may mask a large strategy to pass a rival bill.
  • GMO products to be labeled at Bloomington farmers’ market (Indiana Economic Digest) http://bit.ly/1SvQVqG

 

Poisons

  • Monsanto’s Media Machine Comes to Washington (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1RsrslM                                                                              The esteemed magazine Scientific American is partnering with an industry backed PR effort.
  • Group Seeks To ‘Train The Media,’ Sell Public On Chemicals (Society of Environmental Journalists) http://bit.ly/1ROqwu3    … Center for Accountability in Science – part of a larger tax-exempt group run by the Berman and Co…
  • Toxic BPA Found in Majority of Canned Food Packaging (takepart) http://bit.ly/1qlmltu                                                              Exposure to the chemical has been lined to endocrine disruption, cancer, diabetes, infertility, and obesity.

 

Animals

  • Kidding Season at Connecticut’s Beltane Farm (modern farmer) http://bit.ly/1V2a3Bp                                                                                              Paul Trubey of Beltane Farm in Lebanon, Connecticut, raises about 100 Oberhasli, La Mancha, and Saanan goats to make a variety of artisanal, farmstead goat milk cheese.
  • US Poultry May Be Going Antibiotic-Free but the Rest of the World’s Is Not (takepart) http://bit.ly/1pOoGfO                              Rising chicken consumption in India is leading to troubling drug use on poultry farms.
  • The Origin of the Araucana Chicken is a Murky, Fascinating Mystery (modern farmer) http://bit.ly/1MzDKbL
    • Study: Radiocarbon and DNA evidence for a pre-Columbian introduction of Polynesian chickens to Chile (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) http://bit.ly/22Zhegl

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • Better Eating Habits and Food Have Saved a Million Lives (Good News Network) http://bit.ly/1q78XcE
    • Study: Improvements In US Diet Helped Reduce Disease Burden And Lower Premature Deaths, 1999-2012; Overall Diet Remains Poor (Health Affairs) http://bit.ly/1RAFhuS
  • Nutritional value of fish might be reduced by farming, study finds (The Baltimore Sun) http://bsun.md/1osFkRj
  • New Milk Featuring an Old Protein Promises Big Health Benefits (truthout) http://bit.ly/21Vl2gj                                                                   Dairy products containing only one of two milk proteins might be easier to digest than conventional milk.

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update April 3, 2016

  • Seed Banks Are Supposed To Ensure Food Security, But They’re Missing Crucial Pieces (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1XN6LkJ         … over 70 percent of the crop wild relatives are not sufficiently preserved in global gene banks…
  • Climate change threatens staple crops in Africa, study says (CarbonBrief) http://bit.ly/1LRW3Zx
    • Study: Timescales of transformational climate change adaptation in sub-Saharan African agriculture (Nature) http://bit.ly/1UQBm2K
  • Setting New Standards for Grassfed Dairy (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1pxdhAU                                                                                    Grassfed dairy is popular, but is it all that it’s cracked up to be? A new standard hopes to legitimize (and protect) the label.
  • 80% of New England Forests, Once Cleared for Farmland, Have Come Back (Good News Network) http://bit.ly/1XKfpAD
  • So What Exactly Is Kosher Salt, Since Salt Is Already Kosher To Begin With? (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1SghHpp
  • For Tokyo’s Famed Fish Market, A Dreaded Death And A Hopeful Rebirth (NPR) http://n.pr/1RiwM7J
  • The Presidential Candidates Seriously Don’t Care About Our Food Supply (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/21J2EHA
  • Agricultural Aftershocks: How Japan is Combatting a Decline in Farming (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/1Zy8Ylz                                    The earthquake, tsunami, and resulting nuclear disaster that rocked Japan’s Tohoku region in March of 2011 dealt a series of sharp blows to the 70,000 farmers living in Fukushima prefecture…
  • Fear of Chickens Is Surprisingly Common, and It’s Called Alektorophobia (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1SkKy9L

 

Hunger, Food Access & Insecurity, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Researchers Discover a Crazy Simple Way for Kids to Fight Obesity, and It’s Not About Eating Less (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/25oK3oO                                                                                                A new study shows that making water fountains more available in schools can help children keep the pounds off.
  • Water Dispensers a Low-Cost Tool in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity, Finds IESP Study (NYU) http://bit.ly/1XTinma

 

School Food

  • Public-Private Partnerships Offer School Kitchen Grants to More Districts (Pew Charitable Trusts) http://bit.ly/22D66Wk
    • USDA Press Release No. 00034.16: USDA, NFL, Fuel Up to Play 60 Partner to Award $35 Million to Help Schools Serve Healthier Meals, Strengthen Childhood Nutrition (USDA) http://1.usa.gov/1MAl2eM
  • Who Decides What Your Kids Have for Lunch? (Worcester Food & Active Living Policy Council) http://bit.ly/1pxw0MM

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • ‘Food Chains’ Documentary Reveals the Human Cost in Our Food Supply (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1T9WBeT                                        Featured in Bernie Sanders ad, the film tells the remarkable story of a group (CIW) of farm workers who took on the powerful supermarket industry – and won.
  • Undocumented Immigrants Contribute Over $11 Billion to Our Economy Each Year (The Nation) http://bit.ly/1XKD6sv                The notion that they do nothing but drain pubic coffers is a myth.
  • Riveting Photos Of Migrant Workers Remind Us Who Really Harvests Our Food (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/22uFAC1

 

Business & Economy

  • Coca-Cola says it spent more on health research and partnerships than it previously disclosed (US News & World Report) http://bit.ly/1PvpfA9                                                                          The world’s biggest beverage company first disclosed its spending on health related efforts after coming under fire for its funding of Global Energy Balance Network, a group that said its mission was to fight obesity. That group has since disbanded.
  • Removing Artificial Ingredients Helped Turn Around Cereal Sales (takepart) http://bit.ly/1pSHlYu                                                                General Mills is selling more Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and other products, reversing losses suffered last year.
  • Starbucks and Domino’s Close All Locations in Belgium Following Terrorist Attacks (The Daily Meal) http://bit.ly/1o6IolK
  • The CEO of Starbucks won’t keep promises to his workers, but wants an end to “cynicism” (Quartz) http://bit.ly/22yMtlJ
  • Second Eatsa (modern automat) leads to crowds, delays in the (SF) Financial District (SF Chronicle) http://bit.ly/1q64ZRc
  • Not So Family Friendly: If Olive Garden gives millions of meals to the needy, a waitress asks, why am I on food stamps? (Quartz) http://bit.ly/1q4EhbD
  • Tesco’s fictional farms: a marketing strategy past its sell-by date? (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1Ppdvz4                                                        Boswell Farms and Woodside Farm might sound like the perfect pace to source your sausages from. The problem is, they don’t exist. Shouldn’t the supermarket chain be concentrating on giving consumers accurate information instead?
  • Another Major Food Company (Mars) Announces Nationwide GMO Labeling (takepart) http://bit.ly/1WGEwE7                                  Not only will Mars label products made with genetically engineered ingredients, but it said it could support a federal mandatory labeling law.

 

Protests

  • Gulf Coast Residents Crash Oil lease Auction, Chanting ‘Shut It Down’ (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1UmWCgJ
  • Animal Rights: “A Very Noble Cause” or Terrorism? The State Just Can’t Decide (truthout) http://bit.ly/1LNtaxv                                          The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) was crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council…
  • ‘Gasland’ Director Josh Fox Arrested at ‘Pancakes Not Pipelines’ Protest (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1ocw83b

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Starbucks Will Now Be Delivering Unsold Food to Hungry Americans (The Daily Meal) http://bit.ly/1VAmViS
  • Elevating Food Waste from the Dumpster to the art Gallery (takepart) http://bit.ly/1UQPBor                                                                  Artist Aliza Eliazarov’s tableaux of rescued food highlight just how much Americans waste.

 

Food Fraud/Scandals

  • This Non-Profit Wants To Increase Transparency In The Seafood Market (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1UgtmbG                        Oceana want us to know exactly how fish gets from the sea to our plates.

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Report: Water: At What Cost? The State of the World’s Water 2016 (WaterAid) http://bit.ly/1WGH0Cv                                                    … the poorest people in the world are paying the highest price for safe water – and calls on governments to act now for universal access.
  • Coal Plants Risk Global Water Shortage (truthout) http://bit.ly/1pKi5DD                                                                                            The world’s 8,359 coal power plant units consume enough water each year to meet the basic needs of one billion people…
  • Power Plant Is Using A Fake Farm To Avoid The Clean Water Act, Groups Allege (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/25r0Asp
  • Recycled water is good for your health, UCLA researchers say (University of California) http://bit.ly/1MjFVzU
  • The madness of drinking bottled water shipped halfway round the world (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/1UL5fjO                                       We can’t get enough of it, but the long-term environmental impacts of bottling and transporting water across countries are doing more damage than we realize.
  • Un-bottling Water (Earth Island Journal) http://bit.ly/1pxgyAf          Bottled water and our national parks…
  • New Research Offers Much-Needed Hope For Our Oceans (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1MO0Hml
    • Study: Global fishery prospects under contrasting management regimes (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) http://huff.to/1MO0Hml
  • Not a Fish Tale: Humans Are Ingesting Plastic Thanks to Ocean Pollution (truthout) http://bit.ly/1S1SOLN
  • The World’s Largest Fish Are Missing (truthout) http://bit.ly/1ZFMCPa                                                                              Researchers say the biggest whale sharks have disappeared over the past two decades, raising concerns about the long-lived giant fish.
  • Study: Error and bias in size estimates of whale sharks: implications for understanding demography (Royal Society) http://bit.ly/1WSpdYW
  • Japan Killed Hundreds Of Whales For ‘Research’ And The International Community Is Enraged (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/22F3j2n

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • Food-based dietary guidelines – Sweden (FAO) http://bit.ly/22RvjMQ                                                                                          The Swedes were the first to take the environment into consideration in nutrition policy…
  • Saudi Arabia phasing out of wheat production completed (FAO) http://bit.ly/1PtIA4G                                                                                              The measure reflects strong concern over the depletion of local water reserves…
  • United Kingdom Proposes Soda Tax in Ongoing Fight Against Obesity (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/21G8NUE
  • Think the DARK Act Was Defeated? Not So Fast (TriplePundit) http://bit.ly/1MqqsOH                                                                                        This has gotten quite strange and is indicative of our current political landscape; Senate Bill 764 now includes Marine Conservation, Defunding Planned Parenthood Act (http://1.usa.gov/1URp88O) and now the DARK Act (SA 3450)
  • Feds Study More Bees for Protection as Endangered Species (truthout) http://bit.ly/1U8XrcY                                                                       For the second time within a year, the federal government has decided to study whether it needs to step in to try to save bees…
  • White House Responds To Western Governors’ Call For Action On Drought (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/22Q5EUX
  • Iowa’s 60 Million Laying Hens Aren’t Being Monitored by Food-Safety Inspectors (takepart) http://bit.ly/1S4o50A                  Inspections were halted last year in order to avoid the spread of bird flu… both state and federal food-safety inspections were halted…
  • Deal reached to boost California’s minimum wage to $15, avoiding ballot box battle (LA Times) http://lat.ms/1pDrRa5
  • Alabama Governor Blocks Minimum Wage Increase After Raising Staffers’ Salaries 80% (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/1q0UVZG    Alabama currently has the 48th highest poverty rate in the country, yet their Governor refuses to give them anything above the ridiculously low federal minimum wage.
  • Workers’ Rights On The Chopping Block in North Carolina Anti-LGBT Backlash (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1UkKXzg                    This law did pass and was signed into law by Gov. Pat McCrory, all on the same day…
  • In win for beekeepers, Minnesota links insecticide to damaged hives (Star Tribune) http://strib.mn/25okxQq                                            In the first test of a landmark environmental law, Minnesota has compensated two beekpeers whose hives were severely damaged last spring…
  • West Virginia Will Drug Test Poor People Who Need Welfare (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/1ZFxdhU                                                    West Virginia is joining ten other states in drug testing those utilizing the safety net http://bit.ly/21dY4CL, it has been suggested that if states are going to test those collecting state payments, why aren’t others collecting state payments, such as legislators? http://bit.ly/1RuqOAN
  • A Lexington County (Indiana) farming operation has paid a $1 million fine for hiring as many as 350 workers in the US illegally (Daily Journal) http://bit.ly/1Uhp2Zy
  • Flint Water Crisis Could Spur Changes to Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law (PEW Charitable Trusts) http://bit.ly/1MES9hv
  • Vacant Walmart Sites create Giant Big-Box Stumbling Blocks for Local Governments (Route Fifty) http://bit.ly/1PpuAJg              Public Libraries, Senior Centers, Museums? And the opportunity local governments to support local businesses that support the local economy…

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Tiny Vermont Brings Food Industry to Its Knees on GMO Labels (Organic Consumers Association) http://bit.ly/1UvOv1D
    • General Mills Will Start Labeling Its GMO Products This Summer (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/1LGPxow            Vermont’s new law forced General Mills to change its labeling standards for everyone.
  • Still Life with Mass Hysteria: Are GMOs Really That Bad? (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/1RAaQnC                                                  This article does bring up some issues usually not discussed, there is still an issue rarely talked about; ‘nutritionally equivalent’, a GMO product may have the same amount of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrient, but are they comprised of the same amino acid, fatty acids, and carbohydrate, fiber, mineral, vitamin, and phytonutrient composition?

 

Poisons

  • Are Your Easter Lilies Poisoning This California Town? (truthout) http://bit.ly/25ruYTs                                                                                    Evidence mounts that the intense pesticide use required to cultivate the delicate bulbs is causing health problems for residents and harming populations of endangered species.

 

Pollinators

  • What Do the Birds and the Bees Have to Do With Global Food Supply? (Audubon) http://bit.ly/1PttqMU                                                      A new report from the United Nations suggests that the loss of certain pollinating species could threaten the plant’s food supply.
  • Report: Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Service: Pollination http://bit.ly/1q4diNp

 

Animals

  • If You Truly Care About Social Justice, Then You Might Want to Think About Who It Is Exactly You’re Eating (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/1MjTYp7
  • The swift rise of cage-free eggs reveals Americans’ changing view of the moral universe (Quartz) http://bit.ly/1T8kQtO
  • Meet Anya Fernald, the First Lady of Livestock (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/25nRoVJ                                                                                             Leave it to a woman to revolutionize cattle ranching. Anya Fernald has a major beef with the meat industry, so she founded Belcamp, America’s premier eco-conscious source for carnivores.

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • Stop Freaking Out About How Much Protein You’re Getting (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/25ova5I                                                     You’re probably eating too much, and it’s ruining the planet.
  • Study: Analysis and valuation of the health and climate change cobenefits of dietary change (National Academy of Sciences) http://bit.ly/1o4xGwe
  • Eating Less Meat Could Save up to $31 Trillion (and Many Lives) (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/1Re4NJN                                                          Switching to a plant-based diet, says a new study, can not only reduce premature death and significantly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, it could also radically cut healthcare and environmental costs.

 

Events

  • The True Cost of American Food Conference                                       April 14 – 17, 2016                                                                                                     San Francisco                                                                                                             http://bit.ly/1RVp9cN