Jenny’s Food & Ag Update August 23, 2016

  • Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) farm wins 2016 Farm Family of the Year (Hastings Star Gazette) http://bit.ly/2bbZH1L                                                                                        HAFA Farm, a 155-acre research and incubator farm in Vermillion township, is being honored as a 2016 Farm Family of the Year by the University of Minnesota.
  • Here’s What the World’s Top Chefs Are Making at the Olympics (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2aSW6Zp                                    Mouthwatering food makes its way to a lively neighborhood in Rio.
  • Here’s One Big Reason to Avoid Avocado Toast (Grub Street) http://grb.st/2blgttE
    • How Your Guacamole May be Killing Butterflies in Mexico (AlterNet)                                                                                                                   In the mountains of Michoacan, farmers have illegally destroyed swathes of forest to make room for lucrative avocado farms.
  • Why the African American museum’s food focus will go beyond soul (The Washington Post) http://wapo.st/2bA2Zyv
  • Naomi Starkman Doesn’t Think We Can Disrupt the Human Nature of Food (Edible Manhattan) http://bit.ly/2aYKG3g              … we need to be more thoughtful about the food – and ag-tech we actually need.
  • Trump announces farm and rural advisory team (AgriPulse) http://bit.ly/2aYseed                                                                                                It’s all about big ag…
  • Farmer Olympics in Petaluma: From compost shoveling to watermelon tossing (The Press Democrat) http://bit.ly/2bEZPoX
  • Mexico’s Zapatista Movement May Offer Solutions to Neoliberal Threat to Global Food Security (truthdig) http://bit.ly/2bIrTJ6

 

Hunger, Food Access & Insecurity, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Welfare Reform is 20 Years Old and It’s Worse Than You Can Imagine (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2bHSbtM
  • Why This Food Bank is Turning Away Junk Food (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2bxyGHO                                                                                            D.C.’s Capital Area Food Bank will no longer accept candy, soda, or sheet cake beginning September 1st.
  • Some Online Grocery Companies Are About to Start Taking ‘Food Stamps’ (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2ba56t8                                                      This spring, the USDA is expected to launch a pilot that will allow a limited number of internet food delivery services to start accepting SNAP payments.
  • US Soldiers Are Relying on Millions of Dollars in Food Stamps to Survive (truthout) http://bit.ly/2biZZ4C

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • Americans Are Gorging on Meat in Amounts Not Seen in Decades (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2bxA8KQ
    • Americans Are Eating More Meat, But Not For The Reasons You Might Think (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/2b8q06u          Experts say an oversupply of chicken, not increased demand, is to blame.

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • Why You Should Treat Your Employees Like Your Most Loyal Customers (Fast Company) http://bit.ly/2b6vOlo
  • Famous Restaurant Chain (Darden) Busted in Elaborate Scam to Rip Off Workers (US Uncut) http://bit.ly/2bdPWPw
    • Why Your Employer Really Wants To Pay You With A Prepaid Debit Card (Business Insider) http://read.bi/2bHCkg4
  • Convention For The 64 Million Americans Paid Less Than $15/Hour (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/2bkyJav
    • Minimum Wage Activists Turn Their Focus To The South (Buzz Feed) http://bzfd.it/2btTRIA                        The Fight for 15 movement says it will push to raise the minimum wage in the states and cities of the “former Confederacy.”
  • McDonalds Could Be Held Liable For Franchise Wage Theft, Federal Judge Rules (The District Sentinel New Co-op) http://bit.ly/2b6hkDh
  • Fruits of labor: sunny California is no paradise for farm workers (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2bzLNth                                                                The bucolic fields of southern California entice many families for a ‘pick your own’ day out, but it’s a very different reality for those working under the sun
  • A Business Owner’s Legal Guide To Cooperative Conversion (SELC, Co-Op Law) http://bit.ly/2bvr9Jc                                             Including conversion models, case studies, and sample documents

 

Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • US Importers Bought About 44,900 Tons organic Corn From Romania (Successful Farming) http://bit.ly/1sn8BPM
  • How the Corporate Food Industry Is Taking Desperate Steps to Fight Animal Reforms (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2bhfWK1                      The worst offenders claim factory farming is “green.”
  • Syngenta shares jump after US clears ChemChina deal (BBC News) http://bbc.in/2bAJF2y                                                                        Shares in Swiss agribusiness group Syngenta have risen 12% after its takeover by ChemChina was given the go-ahead by the US regulator.
  • Disputed Coca-Cola Plant Shut Down in India: Deteriorating Groundwater Conditions Lead to Closure (India Resource Center) http://bit.ly/2bvfSto                                                                            Over exploited ground water, denying the community and farmers their right to water, ground water contamination…
  • Healthy Snack Invented on Indian Reservation Now Faces Stiff Corporate Competition (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2bd3gSH
  • High-tech quinoa bowl restaurant Eatsa opens near campus (The Daily Californian, University of California) http://bit.ly/2b8zUVc
  • Companies Could Make Money By Helping Consumers Go Green (University of Washington Conservation Magazine) http://bit.ly/2bHjlB9
    • Study: Online purchasing creates opportunities to lower the life cycle carbon footprints of consumer products (Proceedings of the nation Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) http://bit.ly/2bxptxr
  • Food Advertising Can Change Brain Activity in Kids (takepart) http://bit.ly/2bFwbjA                                                                                  Businesses spend $2 billion a year marketing unhealthy foods directly to children.

 

Protests

  • 350,000 People Call on Gov. Brown to Stop Irrigating Crops With Oil Wastewater (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2bcbU6d
  • Strategize, organize… Take Action! Wendy’s Boycott Summit to set the stage for huge 2016-17 season ahead (CIW) http://bit.ly/2bFpYUI

 

Food Fraud/Scandals

  • Is that food fake or real? One man wants to help us learn how to tell the difference. (Boston Globe) http://bit.ly/2baxBEg

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Yellowstone fish deaths: 183 miles of river closed to halt spread of parasite (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2b742VR
  • Tap Water Is Clearly Better Than Bottled Water – Here’s Why (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2byKyJt                                                              Americans spend $12 billion on bottled water each year when they could be drinking from the tap for free.
  • Indiana Lawmaker: East Chicago Lead Problem Mirrors Flint Crisis (CBS Chicago) http://cbsloc.al/2btDz1x                                          Ban on all fishing, rafting and other river activities in the US river will remain until fish stop dying, say officials
  • This Region Is Twice Flint’s Size – And Its Water Is Also Poisoned (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2bBoDS1                                              California’s agriculture boom means nitrate-tainted water for a least 212,000 people.
  • Economic Analysis of the 2016 California Drought for Agriculture (UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences) http://bit.ly/2aVklzZ
    • Why the heck isn’t drought-stricken California measuring water? (grist) http://bit.ly/2bL0oRn
    • How Nestlé Gets Away With Pumping California’s Water for Next to Nothing (Los Angeles Magazine) http://bit.ly/2bljyh5      The company pulls millions of gallons from a nearby creek – while paying an annual fee that’s lower than some gym memberships
  • When in drought: the California farmers who don’t water their crops (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2bo5u2u
  • Vote of a lifetime: Alaskan town decides whether to stay or go in face of climate change (Reveal) http://bit.ly/2bA1PDc
  • Your Favorite Fish Could Be In Danger Of Being Overeaten (Huffington Post) http://huff.to/2bDRN41                                                     “If you want to see tuna around for your children, you should probably stop eating so much of it.”
  • All Caviar Is Expensive – but It’s Not All Sustainable (takepart) http://bit.ly/2b8TSlP                                                                                                  The wild beluga sturgeon is endangered, but US aquaculture provides delicious alternatives.

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • The world is getting better at paid maternity leave. The US is not. (SunSentinel) http://bit.ly/2aPdw7R
  • Subsidizing Waste: How Inefficient US Farming Policy Costs Taxpayers, Businesses, and Farmers Billions (Union of Concerned Scientists) http://bit.ly/2b805uY
  • EPA scolded for failing to turn in its very important ethanol homework (grist) http://bit.ly/2bcqE4w
    • Cashing in on Cellulosic Ethanol: Subsidy Loophole Set to Rescue Corn Biofuel Profits (Independent Science News) http://bit.ly/2bAnCJh
  • The Nightmare Continues: California’s Broken Child Care Subsidies System (truthout) http://bit.ly/2bqxQeN
  • When a City Passes a Soda Tax, Who Pays? (takepart) http://bit.ly/2b6MCK0                                                                                            Taxes are levied against beverage distributors – but if the costs aren’t passed along to consumers, the policies don’t work.

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • UC Davis Sued for Failing to Release Public Records on GMOs and Pesticides (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2bCU4be
  • How the GE Food Venture Has Been Chronically Dependent on Deception (Independent Science News) http://bit.ly/2bxblo1
  • Millions Spent, No One Served: Who Is To Blame for the Failure of GMO Golden Rice? (Independent Science News) http://bit.ly/2aXLlPQ

 

Poisons

  • Monsanto Just Made a Massive Mistake (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2by6yme                                                                                                One of its weed killers (dicamba) seems to be wiping out valuable crops, too. Ooops.
  • Souped-Up Weedkilling Robot Could Make Monsanto’s Toxic Herbicides Obsolete (March Against Monsanto) http://bit.ly/2bpb0C8
  • Methyl Bromide Is Out. What’s Next For California’s Strawberry Industry? (UC Food Observer) http://bit.ly/2bzdxNr
  • Holding Monsanto Accountable for Growing Public Outcry Over the Danger of Glyphosate (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2b8XLVa

 

Pollinators

  • Cottoning On To The Importance Of Pollinators (University of Washington Conservation Magazine) http://bit.ly/2bJ2ka4
  • Controversial Pesticides Threaten Not Just Bees, But Butterflies, Too (University of Washington Conservation Magazine) http://bit.ly/2bZiccL
    • Study: Increasing neonicotinoid use and declining butterfly fauna of lowland California (The Royal Society Publishing) http://bit.ly/2b9TQND

 

Animals

  • Britain’s wildlife ‘crisis’ with more than 120 species at risk of extinction due to intensive farming (The Telegraph) http://bit.ly/2bIVrpk
  • Animal intelligence has been widely underestimated, says primatologist Frans de Waal (The Washington Post) http://wapo.st/2bvwQrJ
  • Here’s Proof That the Humane Treatment of Farm Animals Is Now a Mainstream Issue (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2bxS4VO              Less than a decade ago, not one of the nation’s major newspapers opposed the cruel confinement of animals on factory farms. Today, virtually all of them do.
  • Save the Chicken (Slate) http://slate.me/2bEpXA4                                    A few decades ago, no one cared abut chicken welfare. Now all our eggs are about to be cage-free. Why?