Jenny’s Food & Ag Update August 2, 2016


  • Welcome to Brazil, Where a Food Revolution Is Changing the Way People Eat (The Nation)                          How the country challenged the junk-food industry and became a global leader in the battle against obesity.
  • Little Pantry on Street Invites People To Leave Good For Those In Need (Huffington Post)
  • The ‘Bloody’ Battle to Make Veggie Burgers Great Again (takepart)                                                                      Will the next generation of vegetarian patties be able to disrupt their meat counterparts?
  • What Would It Take To Mainstream “Alternative” Agriculture? (ensia)                                                                    Innovative food systems such as agoecology can become the norm if we weave a web of legitimacy from science, politics, society and values.
  • Agroecology Can Help Fix Our Broken Food System. Here’s How. (ensia)                                                                              The various incarnations of the sustainable food movement need a science with which to approach a system as complex as food and farming.
  • Biological explanation for wheat sensitivity found (Science Daily)                                                                                  Weakened intestinal barrier, systemic immune activation may explain symptoms in people without celiac disease
  • Teasing out the microbiome of the Kansas prairie (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)                        One teaspoonful of soil holds DNA of tens of thousands of microbial species
  • Rice crops that can save farmers money and cut pollution (Science Daily)                                                         New study identifies rice crops that are more efficient at using nitrogen
  • Study: Biological nitrification inhibition by rice root exudates and its relationship with nitrogen-use efficiency (New Phytologist)
  • Every grain of rice: Ancient rice DNA data provides new view of domestication history (Science Daily)
  • Bill O’Reilly thins slaves were ‘well fed’. So will he eat like one for a week? (The Guardian)
  • Mysterious High Roller Donald Trump Wants to Put in Charge of Our Food (Mother Jones)                                      Like Trump, Charles Herbster is an unconventional business titan with political amitions.


Hunger, Food Access & Insecurity, Obesity & Malnutrition


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • The Reason This Farmer (MI) Left A Huge Pile Of Fresh Cherries To Rot (Huffington Post)                                        So much fresh fruit going to waste – while so many people go hungry – underscores on of the frustrating contradictions in our food system…. USDA limits the amount of cherries that can be sold each year to match demand…
  • Farms Are Wasting Billions Of Pounds Of Food, And We’re All To Blame (Huffington Post)                              Many US farmers are trying to find a solution every way they know how. It’s time for us to help them.
  • Olympic Chefs Pledge to Salvage Unused Food and Feed the Hungry With It (truthout)
  • ByFusion turns all types of ocean plastic into eco-friendly construction blocks (inhabitat)


Healthy/Safe Food

  • You Have Never Actually Eaten Mexican Food (Mother Jones)                                                                                                  But you can now.
  • Taco Bell’s Cheetos Burrito: ‘A Stoner’s Dream Date With Death’ (Huffington Post)                                                Really?
  • Reheating Food Is a No-Brainer, Right? Chances Are You’re Doing It Wrong: Here’s the Ultimate Guide to Getting It Right (AlterNet)                                                                  Getting it right when it comes to leftovers can be the difference between a quick meal and a sick day.
  • Don’t Eat that (Unbaked) Cake: General Mills Recalls Even More Flour Products (modern farmer)                            In one of the worst recalls of the year, General Mills has recalled, to day, about 25 million pounds of products under various brand names, including Betty Crocker cake and Gold Medal flour.


Children & School Food

  • Breastfeeding associated with better brain development, neurocognitive outcomes (Science Daily)
    • Study: Breast Milk Feeding, Brain Development, and Neurocognitive Outcomes: A 7-Year Longitudinal Study in Infants Born at Less Than 30 Weeks Gestation (The Journal of Pediatrics)
  • Olympians Are Selling Sugar Water to Kids (Mother Jones)                                                                                              No, world-class athletes, kids do not need sports drinks.
  • USDA Finalizes School Nutrition Rules: What You Need to Know (Civil Eats)                                                                  Hard boiled eggs are back, limits were placed on on-campus food and beverage marketing, and other new rules were finalized six years after the Child Nutrition Reauthorization passed.
  • New USDA Rules crack Down on Junk Food in Schools (modern farmer)                                                  The USDA recently announced its final changes to the Smart Snacks In School regulation, part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.



  • The Workers Who Feed Members of Congress Will Share $1 Million In Back Pay After Years of Abuse (Think Progress)
  • This Woman Is Being Sued for $67,000 Because She Found a New Job (AlterNet)                                                            Kelley Rieves is being sued by Buc-ee’s, a convenience store chain in Texas.
  • Trump To Pay Thousands For Retaliating Against Workers (Think Progress)                                                                            … Trump agreed to pay $11,200 federal settlement for retaliating against workers who voted to unionize at his eponymous Las Vegas hotel.


Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • 100% of McDonald’s chicken is raised without antibiotics after activist push (Friends of the Earth)
  • New Healthy Restaurant Chain Plans to Base Prices on Zip Code (takepart)                                                                            In the ritzy part of town, Everytable customers can expect ot pay more for a meal.
  • Applegate Commits to Remove GMOs From Entire Meat Supply Chain (Sustainable Pulse)
  • Another Reason To Buy Directly From Farmers: You Could Help the Local Economy More (modern farmer)
    • Study: Economic Impact of Local Food Producers in the Sacramento Region (UC Davis)                There are many reasons to buy directly from farmers (at farmers markets or through CSAs) – higher quality produce, faster delivery times, supporting small farmers – but on that isn’t too well-understood is this exchange’s impact on the local economy.
  • US Failing Dismally on Sustainable Development, Despite Vast Wealth (Common Dreams)                                First of its kind report rates 83 countries on UN’s sustainable development goals and found US “seriously far from achievement”


Food Fraud/Scandals

  • Most ‘Organic’ Eggs You Buy Are Far From Organic (AlterNet)                                                                                            With Big Ag dominating the organic egg industry, consumers and chickens all lose out.
  • “Organic” Factory Farm Investigation (The Cornucopia Institute)
  • Report: Scrambled Eggs: Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture (The Cornucopia Institute)


Water & Our Oceans

  • Israel Proves the Desalination Era is Here (Scientific American)                                                                                              One of the driest countries on earth now makes more freshwater than it needs
  • 6 Human Activities That Pose The Biggest Threat To The World’s Drinking Water (Think Progress)
  • New Wetlands Are Being Created in Weird Ways – and That’s Good for Birds (takepart)                              Scientists discover the symbiotic relationship between agriculture, development, and some avian species.


Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • Landmark Human Rights Complaint Lodged Against World’s Worst Polluters (Common Dreams)                    In unprecedented case, Filipino governmental body accuses carbon polluting corporations of violating people’s right to “life, food, water, sanitation, adequate housing, and to self determination”
  • “Less Meat, Less Heat”: China’s Plan to drop Meat Consumption Gets Praise (Common Dreams)                        New dietary guidelines would reduce the country’s livestock-related carbon emissions by 1 billion tons by 2030
  • Court Stops Massive Land Grab in Brazil, rules Against TIAA-CREF and Foreign Investors (Grassroots International)
  • President Obama Signs GMO ‘Non-labeling’ Bill, Leaves Millions of Americans in the Dark (Center for Food Safety)
  • If Your Veggies Weren’t Grown In Soil, Can They Be Organic? (Civil Eats)                                                                            A new report by a government task force on hydroponic farming has left this raging debate wide open.
  • This Lawsuit Has Put Big Ag On The Defensive In A Major Way (Huffington Post)                                                          A pending Iowa case could set a new national precedent for water pollution stemming from farms.
  • Controversial Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit Calls For Farmers to Clean Up Drinking Water (Civil Eats)                                                                                                    A 2015 federal lawsuit over nitrate contamination in the Raccoon River pits farmers against water users and pushes Iowa to action on water quality.
  • State health department fines Blue Bell $850,000 following Listeria outbreak (Dallas Morning News)


GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Illegal GMO Wheat Discovery in Washington State Causes Global Export Panic (Sustainable Pulse)        USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced Friday that Twenty tow unapproved GMO wheat plants have been discovered in Washington State, sending export markets in to a panic.
  • Scientific Correspondence: Promiscuity in transgenic plants (Nature)                                                     This is the argument many have been making since the 1990’s
  • The GMO Debate: One Student’s experience of Pro-GMO Propaganda at Cornell University (Independent Science News)



  • EPA on the Verge of Banning a Dangerous Herbicide (If It Can Stand up to Lobbyists) (AlterNet)                  “How many animals have to die before we do what Europe did 12 years ago and ban atrazine?”
  • Two neonicotinoid insecticides may have inadvertent contraceptive effects on male honey bees (Science Daily)