Jenny’s Food & Ag Update December 30, 2016


  • 25 Rockstar Farmers, Artisans and Storytellers We Celebrate from 2016 (Barnraiser)
  • First map of smallholder farms in the developing world: They produce more than half the planet’s food calories (ILRI Clippings)
  • Beans Could Be the Low-Tech Solution to Food’s Biggest Problems (takepart)                                                As the world gets hotter and drier, pulses may be key to feeding us.
  • They Lost Their Jungles to Plantations, But These Indigenous Women Grew Them Back (Yes!)                When a governmental effort to encourage cash crops threatened their food security and native land, India’s indigenous families came together to revive their traditional foo systems.
  • The Reddest State Goes Green (Just Don’t Mention Climate Change) (takepart)                                                  As drought and heat waves wallop Texas, ranchers, farmers, and cities are quietly embracing renewable energy and adapting to an undeniable truth.
  • First Urban ‘Agrihood’ In America Feeds 2,000 Households For Free (True Activist)
  • Where Have All the Apples Gone and Can These Farmers Bring Them Back? (Civil Eats)
  • At Standing Rock, No One Goes Hungry: The Kitchen That Sere Traditional Lakota Food and Values (Yes!)
  • Phat Beets, New Gardens: A Community Response to Food Gentrification (Food First)
  • Retired UC Santa Cruz botanist helps name succulent after Jimi Hendrix (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
  • Tom Philpott: The Rise of Pesticide Giants and Other Food Stories to Watch Next Year (Mother Jones)


Food and Culture

  • University of Toronto Students Spend Four Days Munching on 200 Year Old Diet From Southeast Asia (UT News)
  • The Reason Jews Eat Chinese Food On Christmas Is Rooted in Solidarity (Huffington Post)


Hunger, Food Access & Security, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • In the Battle against Malnutrition, UN Expert Says Junk Food is the Real Culprit (Civil Eats)                                    Hilal Elver, UN Special Raporteur on the Right to Food, says Big Food’s impact on public health should alarm us.


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Burundi: Farmer finds new techniques for preserving tomatoes (Farm Radio International)


Healthy/Safe Food

  • In One of the Nation’s Unhealthiest Places, This Hospital Prescribes Fresh Food From Its Own Farm (Yes!)
  • 6 Reasons We Need to Be Even More Mindful Consumers as Trump comes to the White House (AlterNet)                                                                                  President-elect Trump has surrounded himself with pro-corporate advisers who would endanger public health, animals and the environment.
  • A Terrifying Superbug Just Showed Up on a US Farm for the First Time (Mother Jones)                                               The bacteria found in a hog operation is resistant even to some of our most powerful antibiotics.



  • Donald Trump’s Fight With Hotel Workers in Las Vegas Comes To An End (Huffington Post)                                  His workers in Vegas won a four-year-contract, and his workers in Washington, DC, may follow suit.
  • Trump vineyard seeks Labor Department approval to hire foreign workers (Washington Post)


  • Thousands of Fight for 15 protesters rise up in 340 cities across the US (The Guardian)                                  Workers took part in protests in New York, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles and other places Tuesday to call for fairer minimum wages nationwide.
  • Backlash. Breitbart: US companies confront a volatile political climate (Washington Post)


Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • 9 Women of Color Who are Changing the Food Industry (AlterNet)                                                                            In a male-dominated field, women of color are making strides as chefs and food business owners across the country.
  • A vegan chain you’ve never hear of is expanding nationwide – and that should scar McDonald’s (Business Insider)
  • How Mike Callicrate built an alternative cattle empire from ranch to retail (The New Food Economy)
  • Report: Growing disaster: the Fortune 500 goes farming (GRAIN)                                                                                                The world’s largest agribusiness corporations are rolling out public-private partnership programme to take control of foo and farming in the Global South.
  • The ‘chickenization’ of beef (High Country News)                                                                                    Obama failed to protect small-scale ranchers competing against Big Ag.
  • Nestlé and Coca-Cola Attempt to Block National Parks From Banning Bottled Water Sales (truthout)
  • McDonald’s Could Be Forced to Issue Refunds If Lawsuit Proves ‘Value Meals’ Lack Value (AlterNet)                     “A value meal is supposed to be a cheaper price. That’s the whole point of a ‘value’ meal.”
  • Quitting Season: Why Farmers Walk Away From Their Farms (Civil Eats)                                                                  Failure of farms, or failure of the system?


Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird


Water & Our Oceans

  • That thing the Standing Rock protesters were afraid of just happened (Science Alert)                          176,000 gallons of oil spilling into a nearby creek.
  • North Dakota Oil Pipeline Spills An Estimated 176,000 Gallons (Huffington Post)                                                      The leak is about 150 miles from the Standing Rock protests against the Dakota Access pipeline.
  • The Great Lakes Have Become A Dumping Ground For Millions of Pounds of Plastic (Huffington Post)


Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • The White House Just Made It Easier To Know The Fish You’re Eating Is actually Fish (Huffington Post)
    • Department Of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: New Rule: Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Seafood Import Monitoring Program
  • While we weren’t looking, Congress passed an amazing bipartisan bill. (Upworthy)                                    “We can’t ask a child to feed her mind when she can barely feed her stomach.”
  • House of Representatives Target Healthy School Lunch Standards (Huffington Post)            Lawmakers seem to want “brining junk food back into schools.”
  • Obama’s USDA Just Played Chicken With the Trump Transition Team (Mother Jones)                                            Brand new rules protect poultry farmers from corporate power. But will the Trump team enforce them?
  • USDA Announces Farmer Fair Practices Rules – Clarification for Industry & Protections for Farmers – Release No. 0263.16 (USDA)
  • Final EPA Study Confirms Fracking Contaminates Drinking Water (EcoWatch)
    • EPA Report: Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas Impacts from the Hydraulic Fracturing Water Cycle on Drinking Water Resources in the United States (Final Report)
  • Flint water crisis: Senate passes bill funding removal of lead-tainted pipes (The Guardian)
    • Senate Finally Approves Flint Aid – At California’s Expense (Common Dreams)                                    Michigan action shouldn’t come at expense of ‘endangered species protection in California, but that is the result of the partisan games at play,’ said NRDC
  • Big Ag Just Got A Big, Wet Kiss From Paul Ryan (Mother Jones)                                                                                      Watch the House Speaker talk some real nonsense about what’s “crushing” farms.
  • Paul Ryan Says Free School Lunches Give Kids ‘An Empty Soul’ (Time)                                                                            This from 2014, but…
  • Quinoa Apocalypse (National Review)                The food movement is cooked under the Trump administration
  • Trump’s Labor Pick, Fast-Food CEO Andrew Puzder, Opposes Minimum Wage Increase & Paid Sick Leave (Democracy Now!)
  • Trump Just Wrapped Up a Nice Double Gift to the Meat Industry (Mother Jones)                                                          One major advocate just took over the EPA; another will handle relations with China.
  • John Kasich Quietly Signs Measure Blocking Local Governments From Raising Minimum Wage (Huffington Post)                                                                                              The law will also stop municipalities from passing additional protections for workers.
  • Ohio Lawmakers Sneak Measure Restricting Minimum Wage Into Bill About Puppies (Huffington Post)      Ohio lawmakers passed a measure this week that blocks local governments from raising the minimum wage and passing laws to benefit workers.
  • Michigan’s Effort To Drug Test Welfare Recipients Catches Zero Bad Actors (Huffington Post)                    Once again, a state’s suspicion that poor people are addicts is unconfirmed.
  • Washington State Launches Suit Against Monsanto for Toxic PCB Pollution (Common Dreams)
  • Governor LePage orders Department of Labor not to enforce minimum wage law (Maine Becon)
    • Press Release: New Minimum Wage and Overtime-Exempt Minimum Salary Take Effect in Maine Jan. 7 (                                                                                        The press release indicates that the Maine Dpt. of Labor will not enforce the minimum wage law…
  • Washington (State) wins record-setting judgment (My Columbia Basin)                                                                            County Superior Court Judge orders the Grocery Manufacturers Association to pay $18 million in penalties and punitive damages…
  • Gullah Geechee: Descendants of Slaves fight for their land (BBC News)
  • Portland to vote on taxing companies if CEO earns 100 times more than staff (The Guardian)                        City official proposing the tax, considered the first of its kind, says income inequality is among society’s greatest challenges: ‘It’s absolutely frightening’
  • A Last Resort That Might Work: Small Town Votes In Community Bill of Rights to Ban Fracking (Yes!)


GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • New Study Show Major Molecular Differences between GMO and Non-GMO Corn (Sustainable Pulse)



  • Bader Farms v. Monsanto, An Epic Duel Over Illegal Spraying of Herbicide Dicamba (Beyond Pesticides)
  • Missouri’s largest peach farmer sues Monsanto over alleged damage from illegal herbicide use (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)



  • Pig Farms Can Control When You Get the Flu (Mother Jones)                                                                                              North Carolina’s hog farms are a “crucible for human influenza epidemics.”
  • Study: Are People Living Near Modern Swine Production Facilities at Increased Risk of Influenza Virus Infection? (Clinical Infectious Diseases)
  • A Guy Who Exists Purely to Troll the Humane Society Was Just Hired by Donald Trump (Mother Jones)        USDA transition leader Brian Klippenstein heads a group that literally defends puppy mills.