Jenny’s Food & Ag Update August 15, 2016


  • Indigenous Foods Foraging in North Dakota Hosted by ‘The Sioux Chef’ (Grubhub)
  • 100 years ago, people were eating things that most of us will never taste. So what happened? (Upworthy)                                                                                        Where did all the seeds go?
  • So, what is Sustainable Agriculture? (Sustainable Food & Farming at UMass Amherst)
  • Special Report: US Organic Farming Hotspots – An Opportunity for Rural communities? (Food First)
  • Marijuana Plants Vie for the Blue Ribbon at the Oregon State Fair (modern farmer)
  • This Is Where Chocolate Comes From (Huffington Post)                                                                                              The bean to bar experience actually starts with a pod.
  • The Countertop “Nanofarm” Automatically Grows Vegetables In your Kitchen (Fast Co.)                                      Don’t have the time or space to garden? Plantable can give you fresh greens on your countertop.
  • Early warning – early action analysis for potential La Niña in 2016 – 2017 (FAO)
  • Donald Trump’s Newest (Ag) Adviser Once Compared Syrian Refugees to Rattlesnakes (Mother Jones)    Texas ag commissioner Sid Miller, the latest addition to Trump’s food and farms team, is a real character.
  • Building Soil From Scratch, Two Brothers Embark on Urban Farming Odyssey (seestock)
  • What Is a Personal Food Computer? (The Smithsonian)                                                                                                  A farm the size of a desktop could change the way we grow food in cities
  • Did Deforestation Contribute to Zika’s Spread? (The Smithsonian)                                                    Evidence is growing that deforestation causes disease outbreaks by changing animal carriers’ behavior.
  • Meet The Michelin Starred Chef Who Only Charges $.50 Per Meal (Good Food)                                                            The significance of cheap Cantonese street food earning a Michelin star goes beyond just the price tag
  • A street vendor in Singapore is being recognized as one of the best chefs in the world. (Upworthy)
  • World’s largest vertical farm grows without soil, sunlight or water in Newark (The Guardian)                        AeroFarms has put $30 million into a green revolution that seeks to produce more crops in less space, but whether it’s economically viable is an open question
  • This Guy’s Going to Paddle an 800 Pound Pumpkin – For a World Record & a Good Cause (modern farmer)


Hunger, Food Access & Insecurity, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • India: Chronic Hunger Lingers in the Midst of Plenty (Inter Press Service)                                                                  Despite being one of the biggest grain producers of the world, India lags behind on food security with nearly 25% of its population going to bed hungry.
  • Rio 2016: International chefs cooking surplus Olympic food for city’s poorest residents (The Independent)
    • What the World’s Top Chefs Are Making at the Olympics (Mother Jones)                            Mouthwatering food makes its way to a lively neighborhood in Rio.
  • A Tale of Two Pigeon Peas: Bill Gates’ failing Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Food First)                      For a decade, Bill Gates – the quintessential technocrat – has been trying to end hunger in Africa by re-launching (yet again) the Green Revolution…
  • Twenty Years After Welfare Reform: Reflections and Recommendations from Those Who Were There (Shriver Center)                                                                                            Since welfare reform, extreme childhood poverty has skyrocketed
  • Arkansas Farmers Are Fighting Hunger With Sustainable Meat and Dairy (takepart)                                              Heifer International, known for fighting food insecurity around the globe, is doing work here in the US too.


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Instead of Getting Trashed, Uneaten Airline Food Is Feeding the Hungry (takepart)                                                        An Australian organization collects uneaten meals and donates them to local charities.
  • App Lets You Buy Leftover Food From Restaurants Ad It’s Rally Cheap (Huffington Post)                                    It’s keeping perfectly edible food out of landfills.
  • This Beer Is Made From Old Bread (Huffington Post)                                                                                      And it’s coming to the US soon.


Healthy/Safe Food

  • Calling Out the Gut Busters: The Unhealthiest Restaurant Meals of 2016 (takepart)
  • A Single “Food Product” That Encapsulates the Entirety of the Problem (Weighty Matters)
  • Science and Public Health on Trial (JAMA)  Warning Notices on Advertisements for Sugary Drinks


Children & School Food

  • It’s More Important to Teach Your Kids to Cook Than to Play Soccer (Weighty Matters)
  • It’s Time to Modernize School Kitchens (Chef Ann Foundation)                                                                                          With more cooking from scratch in many schools, it’s time to build and remodel school kitchens to produce foods from scratch, not ‘sheet and heat’ foods…



  • There’s a Lingering Farm Labor Dispute Behind Your Summer Berries (takepart)                                        Workers and management at a Washington state grower that supplies Driscoll are still at odds over pay and working conditions.
  • In South Texas, Fair Wages Elude Farmworkers, 50 Years After Historic Strike (NPR)
  • Chili’s Restaurants Honcho Allegedly Paid Under the Minimum Wage, Workers Allege in Suit (AlterNet)      The class action lawsuit was filed July 22 in the Western District of Pennsylvania.


Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Dairy groups blast methane reductions: ‘Cows expel gas so they don’t explode’ (The Guardian)                  California wants to limit the amount of greenhouse gas emitted by belching and farting 5.5 million cows, but the industry is hitting back with a dose of reality
  • UK Supermarkets Moving to Cage-Free Eggs—But What Does That Mean? (modern farmer)
  • Target’s Grocery Business Is Struggling – Here’s One Way It Could Change (Huffington Post)
  • Report: Walmart Works Cost Taxpayers $6.2 Billion (in 2014) In Public Assistance (Forbes)                      Walrmart’s low-wage workers cost US taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing, according to a report…
  • Shipping Giant COSCO Bans Transport of Whale and Dolphin Products (Whale and Dolphin Conservation)
  • This Infographic Shows How Only 10 Companies Own All The World’s Food Brands (Good Food)
  • Your Turkey Sandwich: Now Without a Side of Antibiotics (Mother Jones)                                                      Cargill’s ditching antibiotics in its two main turkey brands. But is it too little, too late?
  • Cargill turkey slices antibiotic use, creates Hones Turkey antibiotic-free product line (Cargill)



  • With Berries in Demand, Local Co-ops Won’t Budge to Support Driscoll’s Boycott (Indy Week)


Food Fraud/Scandals

  • Your Olive Oil Is Almost Certainly Fake (Mother Jones)                                                                                            Here are some tips on finding the real stuff.
  • Report: Food Fraud and “Economically Motivated Adulteration” of Food and Food Ingredients (Congressional Research Service)
  • Report: Tests indicate that imported “extra virgin” olive oil often fails international and USDA standards (UC Davis Olive Center)
  • Hampton Creek Serves Up Another Vegan Mayo Scandal (takepart)                                                                      The eggless company is being criticized for buying back its own products.


Water & Our Oceans

  • Back to Basics: Saving Water the Old-Fashioned Way (The Smithsonian)                                                          Across the world, communities are reviving old ways of saving or storing water – with promising results
  • Peru’s Oil Spills Deserve the World’s Attention (Global Health Now)                                                                                    In Peru’s third major oil spill this year, an estimated 600 barrels of crude oil gushed out near the Marañon river…
  • Colorado Readies for ‘All Out War’ as Anti-Fracking Measures Advance to Ballot (Common Dreams)      Citizen-led efforts to override the government and fossil fuel industry could be devastating for Big Oil in the state
  • Meet The California Couple Who Uses More Water Than Every Hoe in Los Angeles Combined (Mother Jones)                                                                                            How megafarmers Lynda and Stewart Resnick built their billion-dollar empire.
  • The lake that left town: why is this California community drying up? (The Guardian)                                                  Eagle Lake is one of the largest in the state, but receding waters have caused the town around it, and its industries, to dwindle. Is climate change to blame?
  • Millions Of Americans May Be Drinking Toxic Water, Harvard Study Finds (ThinkProgress)
  • The Ocean’s Great Garbage Patches Might Have Exit Doors (The Smithsonian)                                                          Garbage isn’t destined to swirl in the ocean forever; new models show it eventually washes up on shore.                                                                           But how much of it breaks up, sinks and is eaten by sea life?
  • Rising Ocean Temperature Are Making Us Sick (Huffington Post)                                                                                        Deadly marine bacteria are proliferating in warmer waters, prompting “unprecedented” outbreaks in the US and Europe, study finds.
  • There’s Something in the Water (Global Health Now)                                                                                          Rising global temperatures are clearly linked to an increase in illnesses from waterborne vibrio bacteria…
  • Pollution Threatens Little-Known but Unique Seal (takepart)                                                                                                  A first-of-its-kind study tracks the migration of the rare Caspian seal to show how oil drilling and overfishing are taking a toll on the marine mammal



Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • Canada: What’s Fishy About the Feds’ Salmon Promises? (Desmog Canada)                                                        Fish farming, First Nations and sustainability…
  • FDA Issues Flawed Rule on Substances Recognized as “Safe” in Food (Center for Science in the Public Interest)                                                                                                  Here we go again… Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) rule change: chemical and food companies now get to decide which chemicals are ‘safe’ in our food…
  • It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a USDA Aerial Cover Crop Seeding Helicopter (modern farmer)
  • FDA Approves Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Combat Zika in Florida (Nation of Change)
  • Are You Sure You Want to Eat That? (Food and Water Watch)                                                                                                The alarming volume of food imports turned away at US border is raising some disturbing implications for the safety of our food under the TPP.
  • DEA sends warning shot to hemp growers (Bend Bulletin)                                                                                        Oregon regulators, farmers look for answers on hemp “principles”
  • EPA’s Own Advisory Board Demands Revision of Deeply Flawed Fracking Report (CommonDreams)        Panel of independent scientists tells EPA to revise report that said fracking did not have “widespread, systemic impacts” on drinking water
  • EPA Science Advisory Board: Agency’s Fracking Study Ignored Significant Water Contamination Cases (EcoWatch)
  • Failure of Hawai’i to Enforce Pesticide Law Sparks Request that EPA Revoke State’s Authority (Beyond Pesticides)
  • California Regulators Sued Over Plan To Turn Aquifer Into Permanent Oil Waste Dump (Desmog)
  • Welcome to Sunny Barcelona, Where the Government I Embracing Coops, Citizen Activism, and Solar Energy (The Nation)                                                                                The city that resisted Franco is looking to its radical past to build a progressive future.


GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Nigeria’s Latest Food sovereignty Struggle: The World is Watching (Food First)                                                  The biotechnology brigade has underestimated the power of the people.
  • Vandana Shiva: False Promises: Avoid ‘Miracle’ Rice and Just Eat a Carrot (Inter Press Service)
  • Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered Roundup Ready Alfalfa Has Gone Wild (EcoWatch)
  • There’s a Difference Between Buying Organic and Not Buying GMOs (truthout)                                                        Even with the new GMO labeling law, shoppers still need to be savvy to know what they are buying
  • If GMO ‘Labels’ Are Buried in QR Codes, Few Consumers Will See Them (takeapart)                                                              A new survey found that just 15 percent of Americans have used their smartphone to scan a grocery item in the last year.



  • Dicamba, Monsanto, and the Dangers of Pesticide Drift: A Modern Farmer Explainer (modern farmer)



  • Undercover Footage Reveals ‘Culture Of Animal Cruelty’ On Tyson Farms (Huffington Post)
  • Should Livestock Eat Garbage Instead of Grain? (takepart)                                                                                        Feeding food waste to farm animals could help solve major environmental and social problems – all while saving money.
  • How Factory Farming Is Giving Rise to Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs (AlterNet)                                                 In addition to causing immense animal suffering, factory farms are spawning dangerous superbugs that current antibiotics are powerless against.
  • KFC Urged To Stop Routine Use Of Antibiotics On Poultry (Huffington Post)                                            More than 70 percent of medically important antibiotics in the United States are sold for use on livestock and poultry.
  • A Disease That Is Wiping Out Bats Spreads Across the US ( takepart)                                                                      Growing industry of genetically engineering animals requires unnecessary torture and deaths of tens of thousands of animals, Germany’s Green Party argues
  • Chinese Activists Stop Truck Transporting 300 Dogs to be Slaughtered (Nation of Change)
  • We’ve figured out how to solve human-elephant conflict. It takes bees. Lost of bees. (Upworthy)