Jenny’s Food & Ag Update January 13, 2017


  • Wendell Berry Speaks on Human Limits and Protecting Farmers and Farmland (Cooking Up A Story)
  • Scientists Loved and Loathed by an Agrochemical Giant (NYT)                                                                                        With corporate funding of research, “There’s no scientist who comes out of this unscathed.”
  • Seeding doubt (Food & Environment Reporting Network)                                                                                            How self-appointed guardians’ of ‘sound science’ tip the scales toward industry
  • How “Open Source” Seed Producers From the US to India are Changing Global Food Production (ensia)      Around the word, plant breeders are resisting what they see as corporate control of the food supply by making seeds available for other breeders to use.
  • From Growing Edible Forests to Banking Heirloom Seeds, Solutions to Keeping Your Food Local (Yes!)
  • Cupcake defender interviews for Ag secretary job (Politico)                                                                                            Sid Miller now says he’s a fan of fresh produce.
  • There Is a Global Fight Against Land Grabs by Oligarchs – Will You Stand Up in Solidarity? (AlterNet)        India’s land rights movements are preparing for sustained struggle in the year ahead.
  • This Kansas farmer fought a government program to keep his farm sustainable. (Food & Environment Reporting Network)
  • ‘Restoration economy’ strives to protect pollinators, create jobs (Food & Environment Reporting Network)    Conservationists hope to boost livelihoods along the poverty-stricken Arizona-Mexico borderlands by repairing habitat for more than 900 species of wild pollinators
  • The Food Movement Has People and Can Make the World a Better Place… But It will Need Land (In These Times)
  • When Urban Agriculture and Food Justice Are at Odds: Antonio Roman-Alcalá and Erin Havens on AB 551 (foodtank)
  • Colin Kaepernick Just Dropped $25,000 To Support Urban Farming In North Minneapolis (Watch The Yard)
  • Organic and small-sale: An alternative vision for the future of farming (The Guardian)                                        The Oxford Real Farming Conference has rapidly outgrown its decades-old establishment counterpart and is calling for radical reforms to the industrialized intensive model they represent.
  • Scientists have discovered a fourth state of water beyond solid, liquid, and gas (Quartz)
  • Soy, Almond, Coconut: If It’s Not From A Cow, Can You Legally Call It Milk? (NPR)
  • 52 Million-Year-Old Tomatillo Fossils Rewrite Veggie History (NPR)
    • Eocene lantern fruits from Gondwana Patagonia and the early origins of Solanacea (Science)
  • Modern agriculture cultivates climate change – we must nurture biodiversity (The Guardian)


Food and Culture

  • The History of Italian Espresso: How Well Do You Know Your Coffee History? (Perfect Daily Grind)


Hunger, Food Access & Security, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • To Truly Fight Poverty, Hunger and Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture Must Go Global (AlterNet)        How can we transform the way crops are grown on hundreds of millions of farms, from the largest plantations to the tiniest smallholder plots?
  • EBT Cards Must Be Accepted at All Certified Farmers Markets in LA: City Council (NBC Los Angeles)
  • In Tampa, Food Not Bomb activists arrested for feeding the homeless – again (CL Tampa)
  • The world’s worst crisis: Hunger and Displacement in Lake Chad (Nation of Change)
  • Food crisis looming in Haiti as aid slow to reach Hurricane Matthew’s victims (The Guardian)
  • US backed Saudi War in Yemen Fuels ‘Largest Food Security Emergency in the World’ (AlterNet)
  • 6 Lesser-Known Obamacare Provisions That Could Evaporate (NPR)                                                                                    … Calorie counts at restaurants and fast-food chains…


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • From Grease to Soap: How One Woman Is Repurposing Used Oil (Earth Island Journal)                                                In 4 years, Laura Kneib has recycled some 5 tons of vegetable oil, cardboard, and biodiesel glycerin


Healthy/Safe Food

  • Snack bars with a winning twist: Beans in the international spotlight (International Center for Tropical Agriculture)
  • McDonald’s Hops on Kale Fad With a Salad That’s Worse for You Than a Big Mac (takepart)                                  Salad featuring the trendy green are available at locations in Canada.
  • Taco Bell’s Latest Creation Is A Fried Chicken Monstrosity (Huffington Post)                                                    Holy 2017.


Children & School Food



  • Black restaurant worker beaten, enslaved for years, Charleston lawyers say (The Post and Courier)
  • Restaurants run by labor secretary nominee report ‘disturbing’ rates of sexual harassment (The Guardian)      Survey finds two-thirds of female workers reported harassment at brands owned by CKE Restaurants, run by Andrew Puzder, Trump’s labor pick
  • Trump’s pick for labor secretary runs a fast-food chain where 2 in 3 women report being sexually harassed on the job (Business Insider)
  • Certification of Agriculture Fair Labor Practices (California Institute For Rural Studies)
    • Washington State Dairy Workers Challenge Their Exemption From Overtime Pay (NPR)
  • Organic Farming Doesn’t Mean Fairer Labor (National Geographic)                                            The first organic unionized farm in American Swanton (Berry Farm) is among the increasing number of growers adopting a new label: Food Justice Certified
  • These Workers Are Celebrating 20 Years of Shared Bread and Shared Ownership (truthout)




Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • There’s a Massive Restaurant Industry Bubble, and It’s About to Burst (Thrillist)
  • ConAgra dealt blow by ninth circuit in ‘100% natural’ case, but its wider significance is less clear, say experts (Food Navigator)
  • A Major American Meat Company Is Betting on Plant-Based Protein (takepart)                                                Tyson Foods now owns 5 percent of the star-up Beyond Meat.
  • After 8 Decades And Countless Pastrami Sandwiches, New York’s Carnegie Deli fold (NPR)
  • Higher Seattle Minimum Wage Hasn’t Hurt Restaurant Jobs Growth After A Year (Forbes)


Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird

  • Are You Eating Smuggled Avocados? (AlterNet)                                                                                                  As climate change makes it harder for growers, the criminal underworld has seized on the fruit’s ever-growing popularity.


Water & Our Oceans

  • Farmers Score in Battle Over Diverting Klamath River Water For Endangered Species (California Institute For Rural Studies)
  • Would You Eat This Fish? A Shark Called Dogfish Makes A Tasty Taco (NPR)
    • Conservation and Management Status of Spiny dogfish Sharks (Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species)
  • Fishing rule Aims To Do For All Marine Mammals What It Did For The Dolphin (NPR)


Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • Obama Protects Waterways From Coal Mining Before Trump Crashes the White House (AlterNet)
  • Obama Regulators Reject Fracked Gas Pipeline Across Oregon (AlterNet)                                                                    FERC refuses to approve a liquefied natural gas export project – for the first time ever.
  • Labor Department to bar company that stiffed its employees from working with the government (Think Progress)
  • EPA Bans 72 Toxic Ingredients in Pesticides, but Hundreds of Other Remain – and Aren’t Even Listed on Labels (AlterNet)                                                                                              The failure of EPA to require the disclosure of inert ingredients poses many problems for those trying to protect human health.
  • The FDA’s report on antibiotic use in farm animas: still increasing (Food Politics)
    • FDA: 2015 Summary Report on Antimicrobials Sold or Distributed for Use in Food-Producing Animals
  • Pacific Fisheries Management Council Nominated for ‘Shark Enemy’ Award (AlterNet)                                        For over a decade, the council has failed miserably to protect sharks from deadly drift gillnets.
  • Court OKs California Raisin Growers’ Suits to Force Federal Payment for Seized Crops (California Institute For Rural Studies)
  • Two Unelected Emergency Managers Are Charged Over Flint Water Poisoning – Will Gov. Snyder Be Next? (AlterNet)                                                                                      “Nobody’s off the table,” said Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.


GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • German GMO – Free industry body says gene-edited foods are GMOs (Food Democracy Now!)
  • Why You Should Really Think Twice about Eating GMO Corn (AlterNet)
    • An integrated multi-omics analysis of the NK603 Roundup-tolerant GM maize reveal metabolism disturbances caused by the transformation process (Nature)
  • Meet Monsanto’s Dangerous Bioengineered Plant That Never Dies (AlterNet)                                                          Creeping bentgrass can-cross pollinate with related wild species and spread uncontrollably.



  • Monsanto Supporters Admit Massive Fail over Glyphosate Report Criticism (Sustainable Pulse)
    • Alarming Levels of Glyphosate Contamination Found in Popular American Foods (Sustainable Pulse)
  • Texas Wineries Worry EPA Approval of Monsanto, Dow Herbicides Will ‘Kill’ Industry (EcoWatch)



  • US Wildlife Is Increasingly Being Managed as Private Livestock – and It’s Creating a Disease Epidemic (AlterNet)                                                                                                The rapid and dangerous rise of wildlife privatization has occurred largely out of sight of the American Public.
  • Despite Pledges To Cut Back, Farms Are Still Using Antibiotics (NPR)
    • Resistance to the Antibiotic of Last Resort Silently Spreading (The Atlantic)                                            Just over a year after they were discovered in China, bacteria that can fend off colistin are being found all across the world.



  • The Next Generation Of Farmers Is Being Trained in New York City High Schools (NPR)