Jenny’s Food & Ag Update February 22, 2017


  • Farmer’s voices are essential to figuring out sustainability. Let’s listen up. (Environmental Defense Fund)
  • University of California Global Food Initiative                                                                                             UC is harnessing its resources to address one of the critical issues of our time: How to sustainably and nutritiously feed a world population expected to reach 8 billion by 2025.
  • Heirloom African Peanut Rediscovered and Marketed to Chefs (The Cornucopia Institute)

Jim Hightower: We Need a Revolution on Our Plates (AlterNet)                                                                                                  “Farm policy hasn’t come up even once a presidential debate for the past 16 years.”

  • Organic farm leader Jim Riddle seeking common ground with Donald Trump, conservation (
  • Make food systems climate resilient now – UN (Eco-Business)                                                                                  Agriculture holds the key to soling two of the greatest problems now facing humanity: eradicating poverty and hunger, according to the UN food and agriculture chief as he called on funding and technology partners to support farmers.
  • British Media Urge People To ‘Romaine Calm’ As Lettuce Crisis Grips UK (Huffington Post)
  • A step toward environmental justice in North Carolina’s hog country (Facing South)
  • Quinoa genome unveiled in search for hardy crop to feed world (The Guardian)                                                        Some strains can tolerate 38-degree days, salty soils, and high altitudes, say researchers
  • “Dark Forces” Are Coming for Your Organic Food (Mother Jones)                                                                                             So says the former Obama USDA appointee who helped create national organic standards.
  • Frederick Douglass On How Slave Owners Used Food As A Weapon Of Control (NPR)
  • 400 Million Acres Of Farmland Could Disappear – Unless This Woman Gets Her Way (Rodale’s Organic Life)
  • Metro Buses Converted Into Mobile Food Markets For Low Income Neighborhoods (Back Business)
  • Farming Behind Barbed Wire: Japanese-Americans Remember WWII Incarceration (NPR)
  • Chef Stew of Food Network Fame Aims to Create Jobs in Baltimore with Culinary Program (Atlanta Black Star)


Food and Culture

  • The Simple, Soulful Dish These Somali Refugees Brought to America (Mother Jones)                                          A recipe sustained one family through civil war, 20 years of refugee camp living, and immigration to Oakland, California.


Hunger, Food Access & Security, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Building on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s Success: Conquering Hunger, Improving Health (American Journal of Preventive Medicine)
    • The Challenge in Improving the Diets of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Recipients: A Historical Commentary (American Journal of Preventive Medicine)
    • Federal anti-Poverty Programs Primarily Help the GOP’s Base (The Atlantic)
  • Why giving surplus food to charities is not a solution to food poverty (Eco-Business)                                          The laudable kindness in helping a hungry stranger should not obscure the fact that solving food insecurity requires government action, writes University of London’s Martin Caraher.


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • We think fresh is best. But to fight food waste, we need to think again (Washington Post)
  • India Banned Literally All Disposable Plastic in Delhi, a Major Win for Planet Earth (Global Citizen)


Healthy/Safe Food


Children & School Food

  • The Radical Origins of Free Breakfast for Children (Eater)                                                                                              How the Black Panther Party and women’s organizations fueled American food policy.
  • Poor kids eating free breakfast? Not if congressional Republicans have their way (Daily Kos)
    • A record number of poor kids are eating breakfast – thanks to a program many conservatives hate (Washington Post)
  • Rep. Jack Kingston Proposes That Poor Students Sweep Floor In Exchange For Lunch (Huffington Post)



  • ‘Our agricultural system would collapse’ if Trump starts mass deportations, says farm worker advocate (Business Insider)
    • How Trump’s Immigration Policies Could Nearly Double the Price of Milk (AlterNet)                                      If Trump’s wall goes up, so will food prices.
  • North Carolina needed 6,500 farm workers. Only 7 Americans stuck it out. (Washington Post)                  Here we go. Alabama, Georgia, Arizona, and California have all been there, now the rest of the country will see…
  • Latino laborers fear deportation, but officials tell California farmers not to fret (The Guardian)
  • Michigan farmers say they can handle one day, but a week without immigrants would “cripple us” (Michigan Radio)
  • Can going green help pick the slavery out of cotton? (Eco-Business)                                                                        With the global cotton industry under scrutiny for using forced and child labor and polluting the environment, Western companies are starting to work with farmers to clean up fashion’s leading natural fiber – and its complex supply chain.
  • California Farmers Backed Trump, but Now Fear Losing Field Workers (NYT)                                                    We have seen this before…
  • Immigrant workers plan strike Thursday as part of ‘Day Without Immigrants’ protest (Washington Post)    José Andrés and Andy Shallal, both immigrants themselves, will be among those closing restaurants in the region on Thursday.
  • Restaurants Will Test If The US Can Stomach ‘A Day Without Immigrants’ (Huffington Post)
  • ‘You and your family are fired – Love you’: Oklahoma restaurant fires 12 workers after ‘Day Without Immigrants’ (Raw Story)
  • ‘Day Without Immigrants’ Shuts Down Pentagon Food Court Restaurants (Fox News)
  • Cheap Eats, Cheap Labor: The Hidden Human Costs Of Those Lists (NPR)
    • Income share for the bottom 50% of Americans is ‘collapsing,’ new Picketty research finds (Market Watch)
  • The Mystery of the Disappearing Cooks (Mother Jones)                                                                                    America’s foodie meccas are short on kitchen talent. And have been for years…
  • The People Prepping Produce for Your Fast Food Aren’t Too Happy With Their Working Conditions (Mother Jones)                                                                                  Processor Taylor Farms has come under fire for safety and labor violations.
  • Andrew Puzder Withdraws From Consideration as Labor Secretary (NYT)
    • Andy Puzder Withdraws As Nominee For Labor Secretary (Huffington Post)
    • How The Fast-Food Chain Led By Trump’s Labor Nominee Stiffed Workers Again and Again (Huffington Post)                                                                                  While Andy Puzder ran Hardee’s, its franchisees altered timecards, deducted pay for uniforms and even broke child labor law.



  • Today’s ‘Day Without Immigrants’ Is giving Trump What He Wants (The Nation)                                    Immigrants across the country are showing that America can’t run without immigrants.
  • Dozens of businesses across Chicago close to support immigrants on Day Without Immigrants (Chicago Tribune)
  • Triangle Restaurants to Close on “A Day Without Immigrants” (Indy Week)
  • A Day Without Immigrants: Bay Area Participants (Eater San Francisco)
  • The Capitol’s Hottest Restaurants Will Shut Down To Protest Trump (Mother Jones)
  • Hundreds Join Sanctuary Restaurants Movement to Create Safe and Inclusive Spaces (AlterNet)                      The nationwide Sanctuary Restaurants Movement provides safe spaces free from hate and discrimination.
  • More Than 1,000 Bodegas in New York Are Striking to Protest Trump’s “Muslim Ban” (Mother Jones)            It’s an unprecedented protests against a ban that would hit the local Yemeni community hard.
  • Jam the courts, blow the whistles, shut down the kitchen: Here are The Resistance’s latest strategies (grist)
  • Defiant French farmer Cédric Herrou given suspended fine for helping migrants cross border from Italy (The Telegraph)
  • Samba drums up opposition to factory farming (Eco-Business)                                                                                                 A musical protest at the Rio carnival will stress the damaging impacts of factory farming on indigenous people and on global warming.


Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Bay Area refugees find a home, and work, at new Berkeley café (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Hardee’s And Carl’s Jr. Got Caught In An Immigration Audit Under Trump’s Labor Nominee (Huffington Post)                                                                                    Before Andy Puzder adopted Trump’s hard line on immigration, his chain’s restaurants had to cut loose more than 1,000 undocumented workers.
  • Dole and Del Monte also facing crimes against humanity charged for financing death squads in Colombia: report (Colombia Report)
  • For Food Manufacturers, ‘Sell By’ Labels May Have Reached Their Expiration Date (NPR)
  • All the brands that would feature in the largest food conglomerate merger in history (Quartz)
  • The trade war comes to the prairie (Politico)                                                                                  What’s food for manufacturers could be a big problem for farmers.
  • The first casualties of Trump’s Trade Wars are Texas Cattle Ranchers (Dallas Morning News)


Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird


Water & Our Oceans

  • Dakota Access Pipeline Approved a Week After Co-Owner’s Pipeline Spilled 600,000 Gallons of Oil in Texas (Desmog)
    • “We taka all this risk for very little reward:” Bell’s Brewery takes stand on Enbridge’s Line5 (Michigan Radio)
  • Microfibers are a source of ingestible plastic worse than already-banned microbeads (Dallas Morning News)
  • We’re Trashing the Arctic. Literally. (Mother Jones)                                                                                              Check out h world’s coldest garage pile.


Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • South Pacific islands ban western junk food and go organic (The Guardian)                                                                Leaders of Vanuatu province want to turn local people and tourists away from unhealthy imports in favor of locally grown crops and seafood
  • USDA’s Historic Role Doing Research and Educating the Farm Community on Hold? (The Cornucopia Institute)
  • Imported Foods Sicken Lots of People. Trump Is Unlikely to Fix That. (Mother Jones)                                                Food poisoning outbreaks from imported foods have spiked six fold since the ‘90s – and it’ll take a strong FDA to reverse the trend.
  • Trump Administration Sued For Delaying Protections For Endangered Bee (Huffington Post)
    • Now Trump’s Going After the Bumblebees (Mother Jones)                                                                                       The administration just delayed endangered status for a bumblebee species that’s on the brink of extinction.
  • Farmers Supported Trump. His Proposals Have Them Thinking Again (Huffington Post)                  Farmworkers, employers and trade groups are all concerned with Trump’s plans on immigration and trade.
  • Crops Rot While Trump-Led Immigration Backlash Idles Farm Work (Bloomberg)
    • California Farmers Backed Trump, but Now Fear Losing Field Workers (NYT)                                                We have seen this before…
  • Absent Federal Policy, States Take Lead on Animal Welfare (Civil Eats)                                                                                With hard-won federal gains in the balance, states might be the next battleground for animal welfare reform.
  • Judge blocks Monsanto’s bid to stop California from listing glyphosate as carcinogenic (Nation of Change)
  • California Regulators Allow Oil Companies to Continue Injecting Wastewater Into More Than 1,600 Wells in Protected Aquifers (truthout)
  • Colorado court rejects appeal; rancher who waged war on mosquitos to protect spouse faces jail (The Denver Post)


GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology



  • Fast food with a side of fluorinated chemicals (Nation of Change)                                                                                                Fast food packaging from popular spots like McDonald’s and Starbucks contains a potentially harmful chemical that leaches into the food.



  • A small city in Iowa is devoting 1,000 acres of land to America’s vanishing bees (Popular Science)                  Little habitats on the prairie to save our nation’s pollinators



  • Male chick culling in egg industry could end, thanks to Canadian technology (CBC News)                                            US egg producers group commits to end practice of killing male chicks, Canada could follow
  • There’s More to the Bacon Shortage Than What’s Been Reported (AlterNet)                                                                        By 2014, a virus had killed 7 million piglets in their first days of life.
  • Palm Oil Workers Investigated For Killing, Eating Endangered Orangutan (Huffington Post)