Jenny’s Food & Ag Update April 20, 2016


  • Costco Is Selling So Much Organic Produce, Farmers Can’t Keep Up (Huffington Post) the retailer is lending them cash directly to boost supply.
  • “Gold Standard” tarnished? As organic sees record growth internal battles plague industry (Huffington Post)
  • In Search of the True Cost of Industrial Meat (Civil Eats)                                                                                                  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)
    • Treating Soil A Little Differently Could Help It Store A Huge Amount Of Carbon (Think Progress)
  • Don’t Just Eat Your Greens – Cook Up Pinks, Purples, Red, and Yellows Too (takepart)                            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)
  • The bitter truth about butter’s environmental impact (grist)
    • Study: Comparative life cycle assessment for margarine and butter consumed in UK, Germany and France (ResearchGate)
    • Study: Potential for improving the carbon footprint of butter and blend products (Journal of Dairy Science)                                                                                    And they do discuss packaging…
  • The Truth About Baby Carrots May or May Not Shock You – You’re Wasting Your Money (Yahoo!)            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)


Hunger, Food Access & Insecurity, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Millions Face Starvation AS Haiti’s Drought Stretches Into Third Year (Think Progress)
  • Concern Worldwide Calls for Urgent Response to Drought and Food Shortage Triggered By El Niño in Malawi and Mozambique (Concern Worldwide)


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)
  • Farm to School efforts growing in Lincoln (NE) Public Schools (Lincoln Journal Star)
  • Fight for the right to play: Parents seek more recess in Miami-Dade schools (Miami Herald)
  • Feds to Fine Schools for Not Following Michelle Obama’s Lunch Rules (The Washington Free Beacon)



  • California, New York Launch 60 Million Americans Into A $15 Minimum Wage Economy (Nation of Change)
    • Is $15 an Hour Enough for Workers to Support Their Families? (truthout)                                                                    In a word No
  • Homeless but employed: the Chicago restaurant workers living under a bridge (The Guardian)                  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)
  • Dangerous Work for “Crap Money”: The Dark Side of Recycling (Mother Jones)                                                            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)
  • Trucks Are Getting More Dangerous And Drivers Are Falling Asleep At The Wheel. Thank Congress. (Huffington Post)                                                                                          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)          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)                                                                                   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)                                                                                          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)
  • “Wendy’s has lot my respect as well as my patronage…” (CIW)                                                                                  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)    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)



  • Meet The Workers Walking Off The Job In The Biggest Low-Wage Strike Yet (Think Progress)
  • The Fight for $15 Protests Aren’t Just About Higher Pay (takepart)                                                                    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)                                        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)                                                                                                … 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)                                                             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)        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)                                                                                          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)                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)
  • As Fracking Chemicals Reach A Creek Companies Fight Against A Fracking Waste Ban (Think Progress)
  • We’re running out of water, and the world’s powers are very worried (Reveal)
    • Why World Leaders Are Terrified of Water Shortages (Mother Jones)                                                                  From Yemen to Syria to Arizona, droughts are a growing threat.
  • Our Drinking Water Systems Are A Disaster. What Can We Do? (Ensia)                                                                                  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)
    • Survey Report: shoppers want food grown in ways that don’t pollute the water (Environment America)
  • This New Report Will Tell You If You Live Near One Of America’s Most Threatened Rivers (Think Progress)
  • Chile fish deaths blamed on El Nino (Deutsche Welle)                                                                                            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)
  • The Great Barrier Reef Is Losing Its Strength to Fight Climate Change (takepart)                                                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)
  • Loggerhead, Right Whale Breeding Grounds Are Entirely Covered By Atlantic Blasting Area (Think Progress)
  • Global Fisheries Are Collapsing – What Happens When There Are No Fish Left? (AlterNet)                      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)                                    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)                       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)
  • Pissing contest over glyphosate in Europe (Deutsche Welle)                                                                                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)                                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)
  • Small Farms Are Getting Regulated Out of Business (In These Times)                                                                                … 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)                  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)
  • Nearly 6 Years After The BP Oil Spill, Government Issues New Rules To Prevent Major Spills (Think Progress)
  • Northern California Lawmakers Question Huge Westlands Water District Deal (California Institute for Rural Studies)
  • Scott Walker Asks Congress For Permission To Conduct ‘Common Sense Reforms’ Shown Useless 7 Times (Think Progress)                                                                    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)                                                                                                 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)



  • ‘Increasing number of deaths due to glyphosate’ (Deutsche Welle)                                                                                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)
  • Disturbing New Evidence About What Common Pesticides Can Do to Brain (Mother Jones)
  • Monsanto’s Most Dangerous Product? (AlterNet)                                                                                                The case against Glyphosate.
  • Rules Limiting Mercury Pollution Could Be Back On Track After EPA Cost-Benefit Analysis (Think Progress)



  • 37 Million Bees Found Dead After Planting Large GMO Corn Field Treated with Neonicotinoid Class of Pesticides (Green Food Magazine)




Healthy/Safe Food

  • Buyers Beware: The 12 Most Pesticide Contaminated Fruits and Veggies (takepart)
    • Dirty Dozen 2016 (Environmental Working Group)                                                                                  EWG’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce
  • Clean Fifteen (Environmental Working Group)                                                                                      EWG’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce
  • All 48 Fruits and Vegetables with Pesticide Residue Data (Environmental Working Group)



  • NIH Grant: School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies, Obesogenic Behaviors and Weight Outcomes (NIH)                                                                                        Due May 8, 2016