Jenny’s Food & Ag Update March 10, 2017


  • Special Report – Voice of Justice: Women for Agricultural Transformation (Food First)
  • Acta Non Verba: The Youth Urban Farm Program Educating and Uplifting East Oakland Kids (Bay Area Bites)
  • As California’s Organic Farming Pioneers Age, A Younger Generation Steps In (NPR)
  • This area in Detroit is now America’s first 100% organic, self-sustainable neighborhood (The Food Revolution Network)
  • Farming Gives Hope to Some Veterans with PTSD: ‘I Found a New Normal in My life’ (WV Public Broadcasting)
  • At Alaska’s only seed-cleaning facility, things are really shakin’ (Alaska Dispatch News)
  • Modern agriculture cultivates climate change – we must nurture biodiversity (The Guardian)                              Crop-breeding innovations are merely a short-term solution for falling yields. Only agricultural diversity can ensure food security and resilience
  • Here’s Why the USDA Is Wrong to Certify Hydroponics as ‘Organic’ (AlterNet)
  • Solar-powered floating farm could produce 20 tons of vegetables daily (Nation of Change)
  • He tore off his chef’s coat and told a black-tie crowd, ‘I am an immigrant’ (Miami Herald)
  • Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious? (Scientific American)                                  Because of soil depletion, crops gown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today. It is not only soil depletion but cultivars developed to grow quickly with uniform size and color, picked green to be shipped across the country or across the world…
  • WHO’s ‘priority pathogens’ list highlights urgent need for new drugs (Canadian Broadcasting Corp)
  • The rise of biodynamic farming: a return to ‘the way farmers farmed for millennia’ (The Guardian)
  • Reverse Advertising: Graphic Warning Labels Show the Sinister Side of Products (Truthout)
  • Copper is great at killing superbugs – so why don’t hospitals use it? (Down To Earth)
  • Farm-To-Table Amenities Yield Profits (Builder)                                                                                      They are also players to gentrification on urban areas of the San Francisco Bay Area…
  • Farmers sue World Bank lending arm over alleged violence in Honduras (The Guardian)


Food and Culture

  • How the Chili Dog Transcended America’s Divisions (The Atlantic)                                                                The national dish is really a fusion of immigrant fare.


Hunger, Food Access & Security, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • In Famine-Hit South Sudan, Women And Children Eat Water Lilies To Survive (Huffington Post)


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • A Whole New Kind Of Grocery Store Is Coming To The US (Huffington Post)                                                 Zero-waste retailers imagine a world with much less garbage.
  • How the Plastic Bag Became So Popular (The Atlantic)                                                                                        It took years of industry advocacy before the cellophane sack, invented in the 1960s, caught on.


Healthy/Safe Food


Children & School Food

  • DeVos Questions If Schools Should Provide Free Lunch (Yahoo News)
    • Actually, Betsy DeVos, There Is Such A Thing As A Free Lunch (Huffington Post)                                                  For many children, that free lunch at school is the only meal they will eat that day.
  • Poor kids eating free breakfast? Not if congressional Republicans have their way (Daily Kos)
  • Low-Carbon meals; A Triple Win for One of California’s Largest School Districts (EcoWatch)
    • Report: Shrinking the Carbon and Water Footprint of School Food: A Recipe for Combatting Climate Change (Friends of the Earth)



  • More than 50 detained in immigration raids at Asian restaurants in Mississippi (LA Times)
  • Experts Warn Trump’s Immigration Crackdown Could Destroy the US Agriculture Industry (Vanity Fair)
    • After Trump’s immigration order, anxiety grows in Florida’s farm fields (Washington Post)
  • Big Meat’s Dirty Little Secret: Few Jobs for Americans (AlterNet)                                                                                          With few exceptions, American citizens simply won’t work in slaughterhouses.
  • Berkley CA: Student Workers at University Walk Off Job and Form Union (Its Going Down)



  • Pittsburgh Restaurant Gives Female Staff Paid Day Off For ‘A Day Without A Woman’ (Huffington Post)        Male bartenders, including the mayor, will take over their shifts while raising money for Planned Parenthood.
  • Strawberries and Solidarity: Farmworkers Build Unity Around Driscoll’s Berries Boycott (In These Times)
  • Protests begin in DC after motion to halt Dakota Access in denied (Nation of Change)


Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Can Agroecology Bring Jobs To America’s Hearland? (Huffington Post)                                                                Rebuilding our local economies through local food production…
  • Some diners are furious about a pricing strategy tat is becoming the ‘new normal’ at restaurants in states that raised the minimum wage (Business Insider)
  • A Black-Owned, Woman-Owned Craft Bottle Shop Is Coming to Uptown Oakland (East Bay Express)
  • Jim Hightower: The Speculating Farmers of Wall Street – Making Quick Money Has Seized American Farmland (AlterNet)                                                                                Financial trusts snatch up valuable US acreage, then convert into fast-buck investments for global speculators.
  • Billionaire behind Rainforest Café, Bubba Gump’s: ‘We can’t afford’ to gie SF workers healthcare (SF Gate)
  • Police say they were ‘authorized by McDonald’s’ to arrest protesters, suit claims (The Guardian)        Fight for $15 chapter in Memphis alleges that officers engaged in surveillance and intimidation of fast-food worker organization


Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird


Water & Our Oceans

  • In Flint, Mich., there’s so much lead in children’s blood that a state of emergency is declared (The Washington Post)
  • Study finds 6,600 spills from fracking in just 4 states (Science Magazine)
  • These Programs Keep Toxic Algae out of Drinking Water – And Trump Wants to Gut Them (Mother Jones)
  • Sand mining: The global environmental crisis you’ve probably never heard of (The Guardian)                    From Cambodia to California, industrial-scale sand mining is causing wildlife to die, local trade to wither and bridges to collapse…
  • Striking photos taken from space show dramatic impact of 2017 storms (SF Chronicle)
  • ‘Extraordinary’ levels of pollutants found in 10km deep Mariana trench (The Guardian)


Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • UN experts denounce ‘myth’ pesticides are necessary to feed the world (The Guardian)
  • France passes controversial bill making cameras mandatory in all slaughterhouses (Nation of Change)              The French national assembly voted on Friday to monitor slaughterhouse practices and worker behavior to prevent animal cruelty as well as hygiene and safety violations.
  • Germany bans meat at all official functions to combat climate change (Nation of Change)                            Because animal agriculture is responsible for a large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions, Germany’s Federal Minister for the Environment recently banned meat from being services at official functions.
  • Republicans Just Made It Easier For Companies To Exploit Workers (Huffington Post)                        They vacated an Obama executive order that would have punished federal contractors that rip off or endanger employees.
  • Senate votes to repeal labor protection laws that safeguarded poultry workers (The Guardian)                Trump has vowed to sign bill to eliminate Obama-era mandate to disclose on-site injuries and fatalities, which occur at a high rate in chicken-processing industry.
  • EPA environmental justice leader resigns, amid White House plans to dismantle program (Washington Post)
    • Trump slashes Great Lakes funding by 98 percent in early budget plan (Michigan Live)
  • Monsanto Cancer Lawsuit Take Dramatic Turn Over EPA Official’s “Highly Suspicious” Role (BuzzFlash)
  • Trump’s Removal of Bumblebee From Endangered List Is Illegal, Advocates Say (Truthout)
  • Why the people who grow your food are worried about Scott Pruitt (Nation of Change)                            Pruitt’s approach to the EPA is likely to threaten farmworkers, who are highly exposed to the effects of climate change, including heat stress and increased pesticide use.
  • Farmers are Cheering Trump’s Repeal of an Environmental Rule That Doesn’t Affect Them (Mother Jones)    Agriculture is actually the only industry exempted from the Waters of the United Sates rule.
  • Who Could Benefit From Water Rule Change? Trump And His Golf Courses (Huffington Post)
  • Bill advances to exempt seasonal (Montana) workers from minimum wage (SF Chronicle)
  • Appeal Filed in Lawsuit Over Alabama Minimum Wage Law (US News & World Report)                                              Fast food workers and civil rights groups are appealing the dismissal of a lawsuit that challenged an Alabama law that blocked Birmingham’s plans to raise the minimum wage.
  • Major victory for California cities vs. Monsanto over PCB contamination (Nation of Change)
  • Chevron, Aera Energy sue to block Monterey County, California’s voter approved ban on fracking (Nation of Change)


GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Brazil becomes the newest country to refuse GMO imports from the United States (Nation of Change)                 As of 2015 there were 38 countries that had banned GM crops.
  • Monsanto loses millions of dollars after Indian farmers switch to indigenous seeds (Nation of Change)        Monsanto claims that the genetically modified cotton seeds they sell are superior. So why are so many people trying to switch?
  • Vegetable technology gap (Politico)         Washington spends millions on crop research. Why doesn’t more go toward the foods we’re actually supposed to eat?
  • Why Trendy Nanosilver Products Are Hazardous to Your Health and the Environment (AlterNet)                    Over 400 products on the market use nanosilver technology, and most aren’t reviewed by the EPA.



  • Monsanto and Bayer’s Chemical Romance: Heroin, Nerve Gas and Agent Orange (AlterNet)
  • The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains (The Atlantic)                                                                              Leading scientists recently identified a dozen chemicals as being responsible for widespread behavioral and cognitive problems. But the scope of the chemical dangers in our environment is likely even greater…
  • US Agriculture Still Using Antibiotics That Cause Bacterial Resistance to Life-Saving Medicines (AlterNet)
  • Bald Eagles Keep Dying And No One’s Talking About It (The Dodo)                                                                  “They cannot even open their beaks.”