Jenny’s Food & Ag Update April 10, 2016


  • A Flower Farming Renaissance: Slow Flower Movement (modern farmer)                                                                        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)
    • 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)
  • 2016 Global Food Policy Report, downloadable (International Food Policy Research Institute)
  • This Program Will Make Cutting Carbon Emissions Lucrative For Farmers (Think Progress)
  • Women Farmers Band Together To Vent, Seek Support And Exchange Ideas (NPR)
  • Cookbook Collector Who’s Been Saving American History For 50 Years (Saveur)                                                      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)                                                                                          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)                                                                                          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)
  • Italians want their kids to learn about wine in school – and it’s actually a really good idea (Quartz)


Hunger, Food Access & Insecurity, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Global Development Report: We Need to Fix Hunger and Malnutrition First (takepart)                      Policy researchers put food ahead of other global development issues.
  • Can Banning Fast Food From a Neighborhood Help Curb Obesity? (takepart)                                                  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)


School Food

  • Poll Reveals Ohio Parents’ Concerns About Short School Lunch Periods (The PEW Charitable Trusts)  Results also show widespread support for healthier school meals



  • The $15 minimum wage sweeping the nation might kill jobs – and that’s okay (The Washington Post)        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)                              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)
  • Fight for $15 Victories Will Benefit More Than Just Fast-Food Workers (truthout)
  • Demand Your Right to the Minimum Wage at SeaTac (SeaTac Minimum Wage Law Suit)                              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)
    • Helping the Poor Is the Right Thing to Do, But Maybe Not Much of a Political Winner (Mother Jones)
    • Out of Reach to Afford a Modest Apartment (National Low Income Housing Coalition)                              In California you need to make over $20 per hour…
  • Did You Know That Recycling Can Be a Dangerous Job? (AlterNet)                                                                    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)
  • Highlights of Luntz Poll of American CEOs Show Broad Support for Progressive Policies (Common Dreams)
    • Leaked documents show strong business support for raising the minimum wage (The Washington Post)                                                                              And what of ALEC?
  • Chipotle aims for a Better Burger (without making anyone sick) (grist)
    • Chipotle Developing Burger Chain (The Wall St. Journal)                                                                  Burrito maker has filed trademark application for ‘Better Burger’
  • Fine French Restaurant Hires Exclusively Ex-Convicts Who Want Culinary Training (Good News Network)
  • UK Supermarket Waitrose Stops RoundUp Herbicide Sales after Consumer Pressure (Organic Consumers Association)



  • Amid Climate-Fueled Food Crisis, Filipino forces Open Fire on Starving Farms (Common Dreams)          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)              $6 a day?
  • Fast Food Workers Join Forces With Teachers To Fight For Better Pay (Think Progress)


Water & Our Oceans

  • World Water Day 2016: A water justice toolkit towards public water for all (IATP)
  • Brain wave: the surfers who made a trashcan for the ocean (The Guardian)                                                          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)                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)
  • These Light-Up Fishing Nets Could Save Sea Turtles (Smithsonian)                                                              And what about other bycatch?
  • The Seas Will Save Us: How an Army of Ocean Farmers Is Starting an Economic Revolution (Yes!)      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)                                  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)                                                                                          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)        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)
    • 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)
  • USDA Deregulates Two Lines of Genetically Engineered Corn From Monsanto, Syngenta (EcoWatch)
  • Largest Pay Raise for US Workers in History? New York and California Approve $15 Minimum Wage Hike (Democracy Now!)
    • New York To Raise Minimum Wage Towards $15 An Hour (Huffington Post)                                            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)                                                        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)
  • Farmers leery of state’s (CA) water sustainability regs (Daily Democrat)                                                      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)
  • No April Fool’s Day Joke: Westside Gets (central valley) 5% (water) Allocation (Devin Nunes, US Congressman)                                                                            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)                                                                    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)
  • Monsanto CEO Says ‘Roundup Is Not a Carcinogen’ But 94 Scientists From Around the World Disagree (EcoWatch)
    • Why Didn’t An Illinois Professor Have To Disclose GMO Funding? (Chicago Public Media)        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)                    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)                                    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)



  • Monsanto’s Media Machine Comes to Washington (Huffington Post)                                                                              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)    … 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)                                                              Exposure to the chemical has been lined to endocrine disruption, cancer, diabetes, infertility, and obesity.



  • Kidding Season at Connecticut’s Beltane Farm (modern farmer)                                                                                              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)                              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)
    • Study: Radiocarbon and DNA evidence for a pre-Columbian introduction of Polynesian chickens to Chile (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)


Healthy/Safe Food

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