Jenny’s Food & Ag Update July 21, 2017

 

  • You’ll Be Shocked to Lean We Have Good News About Food (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2sS5Lao                                                           On pesticides, farm animals, and Michelle Obama’s legacy, no less.
  • Eating Local – More than Ever – Is a Political Act (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2sZEuhd                                                                                              The Independence Day, a reflection on how eating might become a deeper, more powerful source of communal strength in a political moment when we most need it.
  • Bronx co-op building gets an elegant, High Line inspired green roof (Curbed New York) http://bit.ly/2tFK9y5                                      The 30,000 square food garden features winding paths, a gazebo, and more
  • Your Chocolate Might Have Survived This Fungus in Ecuador (Yes!) http://bit.ly/2tVQWCQ                                                                          Half of all cacao grown in Ecuador is ruined by disease called frosty pod rot. But farmers, exporters, and chocolate-makers are finding sustainable ways to combat it.
  • The chocolate milk survey revealed our ignorance of science, but not in the way you think (The Point) http://bit.ly/2tOi5IL

 

Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding & Production

  • Rise of mega farms: how the US model of intensive farming is invading the world (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2tniiCX        Demand for cheaper food and lower production costs is turning greed fields into industrial sheds to process vast amounts of meat an poultry
  • UK has nearly 800 livestock mega farms, investigation reveals (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2txKbn3                                                      US-style intensive factory farming of poultry, pigs and cattle is sweeping across the British countryside – raising concerns over animal cruelty
  • Nonprofit Helps California’s Asian-American Farmers Grow Their Businesses (NPR) http://n.pr/2tIVH29
  • The One Thing My Farm Training Never Covered: Racism (National Young Farmers Coalition) http://bit.ly/2tpGL7l
  • America’s Farmers Turn to Bank of John Deere (The Wall Street Journal) http://on.wsj.com/2ux6vBQ                                                          With banks more tentative, machinery maker raises financing to growers, keeping them as customers but feeding menacing debt
  • California Heat Wave Kills Thousands of Cattle and Overwhelms Dairy Industry (weather.com) http://wxch.nl/2sIGICl
  • Ward County (NR) Commissioners ask to halt cloud seeding following farmer criticism (KFYR TV) http://bit.ly/2vnm0tK
  • This shipping-container farm could someday solve the food desert problem (Washington Post) http://wapo.st/2tDdA0z
  • A former USDA inspector writes a thriller about the dark world of dairy cattle slaughter (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2tHg12x  It’s not always a pretty business.

 

Food and Culture

  • Decolonising Food Systems and Sowing Seeds of Resistance (African Center for Biodiversity) http://bit.ly/2tU3pHz
  • Can Taro Farming Heal Hawaii? (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2tZGnzE  A Maui farmer is reconnecting the health of the land to the health of his people.
  • A thriving food culture is making Viroqua (WI) the place to be (Le Crosse Tribune) http://bit.ly/2tzvqDi
  • Edible Doom And Gloom: LA’s Most Expensive New Restaurant Wants to Depress You for Dinner (The Hollywood Reporter) http://bit.ly/2tjaTjQ

 

Hunger, Food Access & Security, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Bride Throws Party For The Homeless After Canceling $30,000 Wedding (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2u79lwr
  • SNAP Works (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2uddAY7                    Access to food stamps in childhood has long-lasting education and health benefits.

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Urban Gleaning Grows Up (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2ujIaP8        From branch-sensing technology and drones to supporting refugees, the urban gleaning movement is ripe with innovation.
  • Wasted food could feed a healthy diet to two-thirds of Americans (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2qBT2nH
  • Is It Really So Offal? ‘Ugly Food’ Boot Camp Entices Chefs And Diners (NPR) http://n.pr/2sxG9hk
  • Good Lord, The World Is Using Almost 500 Billion Plastic Water Bottles A Year (Fast Company) http://bit.ly/2spQhu5                      We’ll hit 580 billion by 2021
  • Plastic pollution risks ‘near permanent contamination of natural environment’ (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2u8XWdQ                      First global analysis of all mass-produced plastics has found humans have produced 8.3bn tonnes since 1950s with the majority ending up on landfill or oceans

 

Healthy/Safe Food

  • The Kings of ‘Rotten Eggs’ Are Going to Jail (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2tMSqz5                                                                                          Jack and Peter DeCoster, the former heads of Quality Egg Co., were finally punished for their role in a Salmonella outbreak.
  • Egg mogul Jack DeCoster sickened 56,000 people. He’ll serve just three months in prison (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2u6KzNd
  • ‘We’re Losing More People to the Sweets than to the Streets’: Why Two Black Pastors are Suing Coca-Cola (The Washington Post) http://wapo.st/2tkC6D1
  • (Un)Happy Macaroni and Cheese Day: Toxic Chemicals Discovered in 10 Varieties of Macaroni and Cheese Powders (Environmental Health Strategy Center) http://bit.ly/2uxYnl4

 

Children & School Food

  • Check Out These Apps That Help Kids Find Free Meals in the Summer (modern farmer) http://bit.ly/2t5MfTU

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • Monsanto’s Foes Are Branching Out (Bloomberg BNA) http://bit.ly/2t9VYcI
    • Monsanto Just Got Hit With a Lawsuit It Didn’t See Coming (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2tr5Ct8                                              Migrant workers say they weren’t paid minimum wage for their work in the company’s fields.
  • Work sick or lose pay? (Economic Policy Institute) http://bit.ly/2sCDvne                                                                                            The high cost of being sick when you don’t get paid sick days
  • Chinese Laborers Built Sonoma’s Wineries. Racist Neighbors Drove Them Out (NPR) http://n.pr/2tjJAVX
  • San Francisco chefs leaving for rural areas in search of work-life balance (SF Chronicle) http://bit.ly/2t5UMGp

 

Protests

  • The global struggle of the local peasant (AlJazeera) http://bit.ly/2vl0Rzr                                                                                              Free trade agreements scripted by powerful governments and corporations destroy rural areas. Peasants will resist them!
  • Poverty Wages, Deportations, Wage Theft, Cockroaches: Farmworkers Demand Dignity From Ben & Jerry’s (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2tOw0eT

 

Pollinators

  • field tested: Neonics are really, truly bad for bees (Pesticide Action Network) http://bit.ly/2uuChje
    • Pesticides Are Harming Bees – But Not Everywhere, Major New Study Shows (NPR) http://n.pr/2tpE4oU
    • Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees and wild bees (Science) http://bit.ly/2sXQOC7

 

Animals

  • An unlikely alternative to antibiotics: cayenne, sage, and cinnamon (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2v5mbJ5
    • The Meat Industry Refuses to Track Drugs on America’s Farms – and It’s making Superbugs Worse (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2vsgPaZ                                                                          Alternatives to antibiotics exist, but farmers have no way to know when to use them.
  • This Beef Farmer Had a Change o Heart and Sent His Cows to a Sanctuary (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2vlycua                                                More than 60 cows will now get to live out their natural lives in peace.

 

Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • (Australian) Wholesalers on notice as grower group demands more transparency and fair pricing for farmers (ABC News AU) http://ab.co/2shzYv8
  • ‘The Restaurant Of Order Mistakes’ Hires People With Dementia So Every Order Is A Surprise (Diply) http://bit.ly/2vfdKeY
  • Big Food Snaps Up More Independents (Good Food World) http://bit.ly/2sQi3jn                                                                                            Today it was announced the Campbell’s will buy Pacific Foods, producer of organic and natural soups and broths, plant-based milks, and more. Last week, Hain Celestial snapped up Better Bean Company…
  • If Ben & Jerry’s Is Progressive, Why Won’t It Protect Its Farmworkers? (In These Times) http://bit.ly/2sDlULT        Remember, Ben & Jerry’s has been owned by Unilever since 2000
  • 1984 at the Grocery Store (Other Words) http://bit.ly/2vsp9HY    Amazon is buying Whole Foods, and that’s bad news for humans
  • Why Whole Foods’ Small Suppliers Think Amazon Will Be Good For Them (NPR) http://n.pr/2uiM4Vs                                                            The small companies that gave Whole Foods its local-food image are relieved to see Amazon taking over. But their hope may collide with the online retailer’s cost-cutting tactics.
  • Shoppers benefit from fierce Albany/North Berkeley grocery competition (East Bay Times) http://bayareane.ws/2uATFCF      New Albany (CA) Sprouts triggers ‘food fight,’ lower prices
  • Egg prices are at a record low, and nobody’s buying cage-free (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2u0GWsu
  • Impossible Foods CEO: we want to eliminate all meat from human diets (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2t6uL93                                We can produce the food that people crave without using livestock, pledges Pat Brown founder of the ‘veggie burger that bleeds’
  • Detroit’s Underground Economy: Where Capitalism Fails, Alternatives Take Root (In These Times) http://bit.ly/2tzJaiC    Over decades of poverty, Detroiters have fostered a resilient informal economy based on trust.
  • Monopoly Capitalism in Action: How Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods Could Affect Us All (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2szrP5p
    • Amazon’s Brave New Future: A Whole Foods where cheaper groceries come at a cost (Salon) http://bit.ly/2uG9xju
  • What happened when Walmart left (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2twTuGV                                                                                              In West Virginia, the people of McDowell County can’t get jobs, and recently lost their biggest employer – the local Walmart store. They describe the devastating loss of jobs, community and access to fresh food

 

Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird

  • Impostor Imports (The Cornucopia Institute) http://bit.ly/2uqeOwl                                                                                                To understand how the surge of organic imports is affecting organic farmers in the United States, one only has to talk to farmers…
  • Preference Or Prejudice? Central Europeans Ask Why They Get Cheaper Ingredients (NPR) http://n.pr/2t3yJUR

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • A New Zealand River Has Human Rights. Now Will Modern Law Come to Its Senses? (Yes!) http://bit.ly/2sCxp74
    • Ganges and Yamuna rivers granted same legal rights as human beings (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2nwOYGe                          Indian court cites the Whanganui in New Zealand as example for according status to two rivers considered sacred
  • Native Americans sue frackers over manmade earthquakes in Oklahoma (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2tYdIul                                  “If an earthquake comes through here and destroys the buildings, we can rebuild,. But if you pollute our water, we’re done.”
  • As Pruitt Guts Water Rules, EPA Will Allow Fracking Waste Dumping in the Gulf of Mexico (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2ubC7vU
  • Global use of wastewater to irrigate agriculture at least 50 percent greater than thought (Science Daily) http://bit.ly/2tIIc3o
  • ‘People Power Defeating Corporate Power’”: Atlantic City Says People Have Say Over Their Water (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2ugm9Rj                                                                                                “A ringing endorsement of the work done by community members to save their water system from a corporate takeover.”
  • Why Coastal Tribes Are Growing Clam Gardens That Look Like Asian Rice Fields (Yes!) http://bit.ly/2tUeNmZ
  • The First Offshore Shellfish Ranch Opens in the US, on the LA County Coastline (LA Weekly) http://bit.ly/2swOUtE
    • Catalina Sea Ranch http://bit.ly/2sxjaVc                                                First offshore shellfish ranch in US Federal Waters
  • Restaurants Are Returning Their Empty Oyster Shells To The Ocean To Rebuild Decimated Reefs (Fast Company) http://bit.ly/2sOuWps                                                                                               A partnership between a nonprofit and waste-management company in Mobile, Alabama has already diverted 2.8 million oyster shells from landfill.
  • Seven right whales found dead in ‘devastating’ blow to endangered animal (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2tTuk6l
  • Fish Farming Is So Filthy That Salmon Are Getting Lice (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2tQajeA                                                                                                    A study published in 2015 noted that factory-farmed salmon become “so depressed they give up on life.”
  • Salmon (farmed) retail prices set to leap owing to infestation of sea lice (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2vgICef                                  Wholesale cost rose 50% in 2016 as fish farmers from Scotland to Norway and Chile tried to tackle parasite problem
  • Study: Fish on Factory Farms So Stressed and Depressed They “Give Up On Life” (Mercy For Animals) http://bit.ly/2t7v3kK

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • New Rules Against Animal Cruelty Raise The Stake For India’s Beef Wars (NPR) http://n.pr/2tSmgmN
  • EPA – Approved Dicamba Is an Airborne Menace and Some States Are Banning It (modern farmer) http://bit.ly/2u9EYpI
  • Trump Administration Gives Industry More Time to Adopt New Nutrition Fact Label (NPR) http://n.pr/2tYNZj1
  • “Why the hell am I paying more for this?” Major egg operations houses “USDA Organic” hens at three per square foot (The Washington Post) http://wapo.st/2urHrwh
  • The USDA is Helping Industrial Hydroponics Water Down the Definition of Organic Farming (In These Times) http://bit.ly/2tZLe0Z
  • (California) Farmers seek help from Sen. Kamala Harris. What did they want most? Hint: Starts with ‘w’ (Fresno Bee) http://bit.ly/2szhrdR                                                                                  Agricultural leaders and farmers pressed their case for a reliable water supply, immigration reform and their fair share of the Farm Bill during a roundtable discussion with Sen. Kamala Harris…
  • (California) State Seizes Farina’s Liquor License To Recover $274K In Unpaid Taxes (hoodline) http://bit.ly/2txQmHL
  • Republicans in several states are lowering the minimum wage – yes, you read that right (Salon) http://bit.ly/2tvIwli                              With the political world focused on the health care battle, Republicans in at least four (Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine) seek to cut wages
  • Missouri Republicans Lower St. Louis Minimum Wage From $10 to $7.70 (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2sjRUW7 and St. Louise minimum wage will drop from $10 to $7.70 (CNN) http://cnn.it/2sUEOhn
    • Missouri’s governor says raising the minimum wage will take money out of peoples pockets’ – so he’s lowering it (Business Insider) http://read.bi/2sLGuyw
    • Why the Minim Wage in St. Louise Is Going… Down (Governing the State and Localities) http://bit.ly/2tzqJrL
  • Maine’s new food sovereignty law put local control over local foods (Bangor Daily News) http://bit.ly/2sD6o2p
    • Maine’s new food sovereignty law means neighbors can sell each other raw milk (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2u1fYAY
  • Monsanto’s Glyphosate to Be Listed on California’s Cancer-Causing Substances List (Care2) http://bit.ly/2tWVxFh                      It is a victory for environmental and health activists everywhere: glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup and other pesticide products, will officially be on California’s list of cancer-causing substances beginning July 7…
  • Minneapolis Just Adopted a $15 Minimum Wage in a Landslide Vote (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2tV0SwL                                                        City council members credit the hard work of grassroots labor organizations.

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Flacking for GMOs: How the Biotech Industry Cultivates Positive Media – and Discourages Criticism (The Progressive) http://bit.ly/2tJ5Ius
  • This Documentary Wants to Teach People About GMOs, But Experts Call It Propaganda (Munchies) http://bit.ly/2ui1Lgh        Marion Nestle’s response? “At this point, I think the less said about this film, the better.”
  • “Food Evolution”: Propaganda for Public Support of GMOs (Food First) http://bit.ly/2uJ2J5D
  • Food Politics: This Blog No Longer Accepts Comments, Thanks to GMO Trolls (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2tC5FTk
  • Have the ‘Food Evolution’ Fimmakers Mistreated Moms? (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2uUt5AQ                                                                    The documentary negatively portrays the entire organic food movement.

 

Poisons

  • Organic food backed by landmark report warning pesticides far more dangerous than was thought (Telegraph UK) http://bit.ly/2uiz59C                                                                                            Who ever thought that eating neurotoxins was safe, or petrochemicals?
  • Arkansas just banned the weedkiller that damaged hundreds of farmers’ crops this year (grist) http://bit.ly/2tqkiIR
    • Worry over dicamba grips Arkansas farmers (Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette) http://bit.ly/2uHUPZb
    • Farmers Say This Weedkiller Is Also Killing Their Soybean Plants (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2tynP6l                            Hundreds of complaints led to the Arkansas Plant Board to vote for a temporary ban on dicamba.
  • How hard is it to find products with these toxic chemicals? Shockingly easy. (Environmental Defense Fund) http://bit.ly/2sS6sAC

 

Events

  • NOFA Summer Conference                                                                       August 11 – 13, 2017                                                                               Hampshire College                                                                                       Amherst, MA                                                 http://nofasummerconference.org/

 

  • Using Gardens to Build Community: Summer Institute For Educators                                                                                                             August 15, 2017                                                                                 Poughkeepsie Farm Project 51                                                     Pughkeepsie, NY                                             http://nesawg.org/events/using-gardens-build-community-summer-institute-educators
  • Yale Food Systems Symposium                                                           September 29 – 30, 2017                                                                                   Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies                               New Haven, CT                                             https://yalefoodsymposium.org/
  • Undoing Racism In The Food System                                                   October 9 – 12, 2017                                                                                           Soul Fire Farm                                                                                             Petersburg, NY                                         http://www.soulfirefarm.org/food-sovereignty-education/undoing-racism-farmers-immersion/

 

  • NESAWG It Takes A Region Conference                                       November 9 – 11, 2017                                                                                     Lord Baltimore Hotel                                                                                   Baltimore, MD                                                 http://nesawg.org/conference
  • Community Food Systems Conference                                       December 5 – 7, 2017                                                                                     Boston Park Plaza Hotel                                                                                 Boston, MA                                                             https://nesfp.org/community-food-systems-conference-2017