Jenny’s Food & Ag Update August 30, 2016


  • Farmer Returns 700 Acres of California Coast to Native American Tribe (Good News Network)
  • Jam: Chemistry and Cool in a Jar (National Geographic)                                                                        Jam is nothing more than a balance of pectin, sugar, and acid. No wonder Marie Curie love making it so much.
  • What Makes A Jam A Jam? Surge In Savory Spreads Presents Riddles For Purists (NPR)
  • In Northern New Mexico, a piñon-nut culture is vanishing (High Country News)                                                              A warming climate hits piñon pines – and the community that harvests them.
  • Could Carolina Gold Be the answer to West Africa’s rice woes? (The Post and Courier)
  • Little Dumplings chef serves up ‘nomadic cooking’ in new dinner series (The Toronto Star)
  • Discomfort food: Using dinners to talk about race, violence and America (The Washington Post)
  • Imagining the Banana of the Future (National Geographic)
    • Why Are Bananas So Cheap? (National Geographic)                                                                    The United States overthrew the government of a sovereign country in the 1950s. That’s one reason.
  • Incredible Milk-Based Packaging is Better than Plastic – and You Can Eat It, Too (modern farmer)
    • Milk-Based Edible Packaging Could Help Save The Earth – And Your Cereal (Huffington Post)
  • Rush Limbaugh warns that federally paid ‘lesbian farmers’ could invade your town (The Daily Dot)
  • Cooking Other People’s Food: How Chefs Appropriate Bay Area ‘Ethnic’ Cuisine (East Bay Express)                     It’s time to talk about pedigreed restaurateurs that co-opt traditional eats – and how the food-media hype machine enables cultural erasure.
  • Why Corporate Agriculture is “Recipe for Famine and Extinction” (In These Times)
  • An Abandoned Quarry Above Rio’s Olympic Village Finds New Life as an Organic Farm (modern farmer)


Hunger, Food Access & Insecurity, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Move Over Cigarettes: Ramen Is the New Major Currency in US Prisons (AlterNet)                                                      Cost cutting measures and privatization of food services has reduced portion sizes and the quality of food. I have friends who have seen boxes of food product in jail/prison kitchens marked “not for human consumption.” This is what privatization is…
  • In Austin, A New Mobile Farmers Market Will Travel to Food Desserts (modern farmer)


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Waste Not, Save More (Other Words)          Here’s an idea for the climate, and your wallet: If you waste less, you should pay less.


Healthy/Safe Food

  • Better Burgers, More Healthful Hot Dogs: Could A Pinch Of Seaweed Be The Answer? (NPR)
  • College Student Drops Out After School Denies Request to Opt Out of ‘Unhealthy’ Meal Plan (EcoWatch)
  • After a Decade of Decline, Americans Are Eating More Meat Again (takepart)                                                    But there are some signs of hope in the new ways people go about consuming protein.


Children & School Food

  • A Community Garden Became an Alternative to Juvenile Detention (Citylab)                                                      A small green space in Queens helps court-involved youths turn their lives around.
  • Should Agriculture Be a Required School Subject? (modern farmer)                                                                            Yes!
  • The American Heart Association has Bad News for Your Children (Mother Jones)                                                        New guidelines say kids should eat no more than six teaspoons of added sugar a day. Here’s what that looks like.



  • Working ‘The Chain,’ Slaughterhouse Workers Face Lifelong Injuries (NPR)
    • Fines For Meat Industry’s Safety Problems Are ‘Embarrassingly Low’ (NPR)
  • Farmers Risk Losing Everything Because Of Absurd Immigration Rule (Huffington Post)                                        Crops are rotting in the field while farmers wait and wait – and wait – for help to arrive.


Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • He Used To Live On The Streets Of Mumbai. Now, His Café Welcomes Everyone (NPR)
  • Digested: Can Small Food Brands Scale Up Without Selling Out? (Civil Eats)                                                                  Small is big business for food giants, but is that always a bad thing?
  • Soda Companies Have a New, Evil Language Trick to Keep You Hooked on Sugar (Mother Jones)                        A “grocery tax” sounds way worse than a “soda tax,” right? Yeah, Big Soda thought so…
  • How a Proposed $10 Billion Dairy Industry Merger Will Impact Your Glass of Milk (AlterNet)                    France’s Groupe Danone stands to dominate the organic dairy market. More industry consolidation, this time it’s big, really big…
  • Poultry Executive Channels the Madness of the Corporate Food Industry With Bizarre Olympics Metaphor (AlterNet)
  • One Of The Nation’s Last Howard Johnson Restaurants Is Closing In Bangor, Maine (Huffington Post)
  • The Hidden Poverty in Marijuana’s Black Market (Huffington Post)                                                                                  As the timber industry collapse, one Northern California town turned to marijuana..
  • The Democratized Economy: Big Boxes, Urban Centers and Placemaking (Strong Towns)


Water & Our Oceans

  • Contamination Threatens One of the World’s Biggest Freshwater Supplies (takepart)
  • Here’s Another Reason To Be Worried About Bottled Water (Huffington Post)                                                  Sales are up, our spirits are down.
  • Scale of Threat Seismic Blasting Poses to Whales, Dolphins Laid Bare (CommonDreams)


Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • MPs call for ban on plastic microbeads (BBC News)
  • Quebec bill calls animals ‘sentient beings’ and includes jail time for cruelty (CBC News)                                          The legislation applies to domestic and farm animals
  • Obama to create world’s largest protected marine area off Hawaii (The Guardian)
  • Plan bee: Minnesota sets broad limits on chemicals blamed for bee decline (The Guardian)
  • A Greener Weed: Certified Pesticide-Free Cannabis Comes to Colorado (modern farmer)
  • Michigan’s drug-testing welfare program has yielded zero positive results so far (The Guardian)          Program and other like it may face renewed scrutiny over discriminatory nature of policies as non of the 303 applicants in Michigan test positive for banned drugs.
  • (Berkeley) Soda tax might be working better than expected (grist)
    • Study: Impact of the Berkeley Excise Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption (American Public Health Association)


GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Victory In Mexico: Indigenous Activists Win Major Court Rulings Against Monsanto (Nation of Change)
  • Synthetic prawns: a bid to make ‘seafood’ that’s sustainable and slavery-free (The Guardian)



  • Scientists are linking chemicals produced in the 1970s to increased autism today – not vaccines (Daily Kos)
    • Drexel University: Chemicals banned decades ago linked to increased autism risk today (EurekAlert)
  • The Root of the Rootworm Problem: What a Tiny Beetle Can Tell Us About Our Broken Agricultural System (Civil Eats)                                                                                                The re-emergence of the corn rootworm due to pesticide resistance reflects a broken cycle of pests and pesticides, and broke agricultural system.



  • North Carolina State University: Nutrition matters: Stress from migratory beekeeping may be eased by access to food (EurekAlert)
  • The Curious Case of the Bumblebee, the Virus and the Tomato (National Geographic)                          The virus-pollinator-plant relationship is not all bad. Bees prefer virus-infected tomatoes plants, and those plants put out more seeds.



  • Orangutans face complete extinction within 10 years, animal rescue charity warns (Independent)          Burning forests to make way for plantations to support the world’s insatiable demand for palm oil is one of the main causes of the astonishing decline in numbers of the species
  • The Disturbing Secret Behind the World’s Most Expensive Coffee (National Geographic)                                               Kopi luwak is made from coffee beans plucked from civets’ feces. This is bad news for civets.