Jenny’s Food & Ag Update July 6, 2017


  • Agroecology in the Context of Urban Agriculture and Food Justice Movements (The Cooperative New School for Urban Studies and Environmental Justice)
  • Lebanese Grocery Store In Brooklyn Was Just Ranked The Best In The United States! (The961)
  • Too Many Americans Apparently Think Chocolate Milk Comes From Brown Cows (Huffington Post)
  • We Will Son Be Using More Than The Earth Can Provide (Yes!)                                                                                        Forget the GP, it’s time for our leaders to pay attention to metrics that matter.
  • Bakery Takes Pan-Maker to Court After $120,00 Worth of Cakes Get Ruined in Dessert Disaster (Time)          US Foods sued for faulty cake pans…
  • Growing Community and Feeding the Revolution on an Atlanta Urban Farm (Civil Eats)
  • Farming Pathogens: An Evolutionary Biologist on the Links Between Big Ag and Disease (In These Times)
  • Scientists Scramble To Understand The Invisible Creatures Around Us Before It’s Too Late (Ensia)          Researchers are uncovering the importance of the trillion-plus kinds of microbes on the planet – even as they worry the richness could be disappearing.


Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding & Production

  • Australian farmer’s weed-destroying invention draws world interest (ABC News AU)
  • The end of the family farm (Daily Kos)
    • Wisconsin Dairy Farmers Have Been Duped into Producing Too Much Milk (In These Times)
    • USDA Food Prices and Spending 2017
    • America Spends Less on Food than Any Other Country (Mother Jones)                                                  Keep in mind that US households spent 33% of income on food in 1963 and now spend 7% of income on food…

Food and Culture

  • The “Woke” Chef Behind the 1st Dominican Vegetarian Food Business in New York City (Medium)


Hunger, Food Access & Security, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Can Congolese Agriculture Fight Future Famines (National Geographic)                                               The Democratic Republic of the Congo is about the size of Western Europe, and only a fraction of its arable land is being used.
  • Call for mandatory screening to cut the risk of malnutrition in older people (The Conversation)
    • Study: Malnutrition risk of older people across district health board community, hospital and residential care setting in New Zealand (Australasain Journal on Ageing)
  • The Nazis Used It, We Use It (London Review of Books)                                                                                            Alex de Waal on the return of famine as a weapon of war


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • All That Online Shopping Has Cardboard Consequences (NBC News)                                                              And with Amazon buying Whole Foods…
  • A campaign to eliminate plastic straws I sucking in thousands of converts (The Washington Post)


Healthy/Safe Food

  • Brining Healing Meals to the Chronically Ill in California (Civil Eats)                                                                  California nonprofits are advocating for a medically tailored meal pilot program for low-income residents.
  • Extra virgin olive oil staves off Alzheimer’s, preserves memory, new study shows (USA Today)
    • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Preserves Memory and Protects Brain Against Alzheimer’s Disease, New Research at Temple Shows (Temple Health Newsroom)
  • Association Between Indulgent Descriptions and Vegetable Consumption: Twisted Carrots and Dynamite Beets (JAMA)
  • Doctors Want Sugar and ‘Cancer-Causing’ Foods Out of Hospitals (Live Science)
    • Healthy Food in Health Care (Health Care Without Harm)
    • Study: A growing opportunity: Community gardens affiliated with US hospitals and academic health centers (Science Direct)
  • More peas or less Pepsi? Researchers compare how food policies could save lives (grist)
    • Study: Reducing US cardiovascular disease burden and disparities through national and targeted dietary policies: A modeling study (PLOS)
    • Fruit and vegetable subsidies may work five times better than soda taxes (New Food Economy)          What about using soda tax revenue to subsidize the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables?
  • Data reveals farmed salmon to be one of the most toxic foods in the world (Nation of Change)
  • Doctors Are Warning Patients to Eat Less Meat (Mother Jones)                                                                                             And more major medical groups are endorsing a diet heavier in plants.
  • You May Be Eating Chicken Contaminated With a Hallucinogenic Drug (AlterNet)                                                          The nation’s third biggest poultry produce is falsely advertising chicken that tested positive for a slew of drugs as “100% Natural.”     We all should know by now that there is no federal regulations on the use of the word ‘natural.’ It is meaningless…
  • Do poor people eat more junk food than wealthier Americans? (The Conversation)                                                  No, they don’t, it is the middle class that eats the most…
  • Study: The association between socioeconomic status and adult fast food consumption in the US (Economics & Human Biology)
  • Is Lean in the US Food Supply Decreasing Our IQ? (The Conversation)                                                               A study has found that nearly 9 out of 10 baby food grape juice samples had detectable levels of lead in them.
  • Baby Food More Likely To Contain Lead Than Normal Food, Study Finds (Huffington Post)                                  “There is no safe lead level.”
  • Why mounds of chicken tenders, pork bangers and canned pasta are on a recall (Miami Herald)




Children & School Food



  • Rigged (USA Today)                                    Forced into debt. Worked past exhaustion. Left with nothing.               This is why port truck drivers at the West Coast Ports of Seattle, Tacoma, Oakland, Los Angeles and Long Beach have all gone on strike in recent years. Many of these are the same issues that FedEx lost a court case on in 2014
  • Labor Shortage Leaves $13 Million in Crops to Rot in Fields (Santa Barbara Independent)                          More Mexican Immigrants are Leaving the US Than Arriving
  • California’s Wine Industry was Built on Slave Labor (The Daily Beast)                                                                  During the 1850s gold rush, vineyard owners used an army of enslaved Native American workers.
  • Prison Labor Is The New American Slavery and Most of Us Unknowingly Support It By Spending Money With These Companies (Counter Current News)
    • Prison Labor: Three Strikes and You’re Hired (Ella Baker Center for Human Rights)
    • ‘Modern-Day Slavery’” Many Southern States Have Prison Inmates Working in Governor’s Mansions and Capitol Buildings (AlterNet)                              Another old tradition that belongs in the dustbin of history.
  • A New Farm Worker Union Is Born (American Prospect)                                                                              Indigenous Oaxacan farm workers win themselves a union in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Farmworkers at Sakuma ratify historic first union contract (NW Labor Press)
  • Farmworker union reaches tentative contract deal with Sakuma berry farms (Seattle Times)



  • Veteran Organizer Gives Inside Look at the First $15 Minimum Wage Campaign (In These Times)






Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Organic Sector Posts Record US Sale: Survey (Progressive Grocer)                                                            Category growth outstrips conventional counterparts
  • Will Factory Farm Industry Evolve and Embrace Change – or Continue Practice of Torturing Chickens to Death? (AlterNet)                                                                                                  Big retail customers lie Burger King and Subway are finally demanding change.
  • JBS to sell assets of Colorado-based Five Rivers, world’s largest cattle feeder (Denver Business Journal)
  • Soda and Fast Food Lobbyists Push State Preemption Laws to Prevent Local Regulation (Forbes)                      Big food has a lots of power, it willing to use it, and cares about profit, not America’s health.
  • Amazon To Buy Whole Foods For $13.7 Billion (Huffington Post)
    • Why Amazon Bought Whole Foods (The Atlantic)                                                                            The retailer’s $14 billion bet isn’t just about the future of food. It’s about the future of commerce – especially for rich urban consumers.
  • Amazon’s Move On Whole food Is Primal More Than ‘Disruption’ (Medium)
    • Amazon Deal for Whole Foods Starts a Supermarket War (NYT)
    • Amazon Buying Whole Foods Will Stoke A Price War In The Grocery Business (Forbes)
    • Amazon has a patent to keep you from comparison shopping while you’re in its stores (The Washington Post)                                                                        Amazon was awardee a patent May 30 that could help it choke of a common issue faced by many physical stores: Customers’ use of smartphones to compare prices…
  • Can food hubs boost rural farming economies? (High Country News)                                                                           The Department of Agriculture is funding new initiatives to streamline local food systems.
  • Can food hubs make small farms economically feasible? (High Country News)                                                                A new effort near Lake Tahoe, California, brings farms and food buyers together to buck the system.
  • Migrant Workers Pour Trillions Into World Economy (IPS)
    • Report: Sending Money Home: Contributing to the SDGs, one family at a time (International Fund for Agricultural Development)


Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird


Water & Our Oceans

  • A judge’s ruling on Standing Rock reinforces treaty rights (High Country News)                                                        The first in a series of lawsuits sides with tribal sovereignty
  • Judge’s DAPL Ruling, Reckless Spill Record Pushes pipeline Company’s Shares Below $20 for First Time (EcoWatch)
  • The Colorado River is shrinking because of climate change (High Country News)                                                              A long-term drought threatens Western cities’ water supplies.
  • 5 Michigan officials charged with manslaughter in Flint water crisis (Nation of Change)
  • Cancer-causing compound in (SF) East Bay Drinking water reaches near critical level (KRON4)
  • Scotch Whisky’s Future May Rest on Restoration (National Geographic)                                         The Glenmorangie Distillery is embarking on an ambitious plan to restore oysters to the Dornoch Firth.
  • If you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em: Pasties may help cram woes (                                                                                                                       The unwanted crabs that have plagued Maine’s clam beds for years might soon play a new role – as appetizer.
  • Bummer: Report Card says some Southern California beaches hazardous to your health (LA Times)


Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • The EPA Quietly Approve Monsanto’s New Genetic-Engineered Technology The Atlantic)                          It’s the first time RNA interference will be used to kill insect pests.
  • EPA chief met with Dow Chemical CEO before deciding not to ban toxic pesticide (LA Times)
    • Environmentalists sue EPA for reversing Obama-era move to ban pesticide (The Guardian)                  The EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, has ignored the scientific recommendation of his own agency to allow continued use of chlorpyrifos, despite its links to brain damage
  • Trump give pen to dow chemical CEO after signing executive order to eliminate regulations (Nation of Change)
  • Crackdown on Immigration Is Terrible News for Anyone Who Eats Food (Mother Jones)                                    And it’s particularly bad news for farmers.
  • Brace for food price hikes thanks to Donald Trump’s deportation force (Daily Kos)
  • EPA chief met with Dow CEO before deciding on pesticide ban (AP News)
    • EPA Chief’s Refusal To Ba Pesticide ‘Puts All Children At Risk,’ Pediatricians Warn (Huffington Post)    The American Academy of Pediatrics says the agency “has no basis” to continue allowing brain-damaging chlorpyrifos on crops.
  • PRIME At Would Help Put the ‘Local’ Back in Local Meat Production (                                States could set their own rules for meat that’s processed and sold within their own borders.
  • LePage (Maine) signs food sovereignty law, the first of its kind in the nation (Bangor Daily News)                        … LePage signed LD 725, An Act to Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems, Friday legitimizing th authority of towns and communities to enact ordinances regulating local food distribution free from stat regulatory control.
  • California to Monsanto: Glyphosate is going on the cancer list (The New Food Economy)
    • California Gives a Giant Middle Finger to Monsanto (Fusion)
    • California Is Risking Public Health by Improperly Assessing Safety of Monsanto Herbicide (AlterNet)                                                                            California’s proposed “safe Level” of glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp, does nothing to protect citizens from harm.
  • Louis $10 minimum wage will revert back to $7.70 in August, (Gov) Greitens announces (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  • San Jose to Crack Down on ‘Unpermitted’ Food Handouts to Homeless (NBC Bay Area)                                  Here we go again, vilifying those who have fallen pray to our economic policies…

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Braking: Kansas jury rules in favor of 7,000 farmers against Syngenta (The New Food Economy)
  • Monsanto Spin Doctors Target Scientists in Flawed Reuters Story (Huffington Post)
    • Here is the disputed Reuters Story: Cancer agency left in the dark over glyphosate evidence (Reuters)
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson Narrates New Doc ‘Food Evolution’ – a Blatant Case of Monsanto Corporate Propaganda (AlterNet)                                                                                          With its skewed presentation of science and data, the documentary is a flagrant example of propaganda for the agrichemical industry.
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson Owes a More Honest Conversation About GMOs than ‘Food Evolution’ (AlterNet)            By promoting Monsanto’s corporate propaganda, Tyson risks losing many of his devoted fans.
  • Top US Intelligence Official Calls Gene Editing a WMD Threat (MIT Technology Review)                                  Easy to use. Hard to control. The intelligence community now sees CRISPR as a threat to national safety.
  • Researchers Have Traced The Genes For Antibiotic Resistance Back to Their Source (Science Alert)