Jenny’s Food & Ag Update for February 22, 2018

 

  • Your “grass-fed” milk may actually not be. But a new technology could change that (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2sCpj2K        Scientists can now tell us how much time diary cows spend outside. Why that may improve accountability and transparency in the organic industry.
  • Using Flourescence Spectroscopy To Identify Milk from Grass-Fed Dairy Cows and To Monitor Its Potodegradation (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry) http://bit.ly/2Fa4Chj
  • Big Data Suggests Big Potential for Urban Farming (City Lab) http://bit.ly/2Cnma6A                                                                                                A global analysis finds that urban agriculture could yield up to 10 percent of many food crops, plus a host of positive side benefits.
  • Like Lemons? Quinoa? Thank This Food Explorer For Brining Them To Your Plate (NPR) http://n.pr/2HvUZdH
  • This Man Uses Drones to Expose Factory Farms – and His Videos Are Going Viral (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2GptDnS                                High-tech drones are helping to expose the horrors of industrial farming.
  • Eureka! California-Grown Coffee Is Becoming The State’s Next Gold Mine (NPR) http://n.pr/2ExkXPP

 

Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding, Fishing & Production

  • Europe’s Dirty Little Secret: Moroccan Slaves and a ‘Sea of Plastic’ (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2EMSftP                                                      I seemed like a wonderful idea – driving the Spanish coast from Barcelona all the way down to the Straits of Gibralter…
  • The Spotted Lanternfly Is Invading Pennsylvania, Threatening Fruit Growers (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2FeYjJf

 

Food and Culture

  • A Mexican Village Where Aztec-Era Agriculture Remains (City Lab) http://bit.ly/2HvyKoa                                                                                  “We could solve the subsistence problem ourselves without asking anything of the government… “ says an owner of 12 chinampas. “If things continue like this the chinampa economy will have disappeared completely in 20 years.”
    • One of the last remaining communities still farming like the Aztecs (inhabitat) http://bit.ly/2Fk3mIg                                               With slideshow…
  • Arizona’s Tepary Beans Preserve A Native Past, Hold Promise For The Future (NPR) http://n.pr/2onYR7C
  • Community And Vegetables Grow Side-By-Side In Syrian Refugee Camp Gardens (NPR) http://n.pr/2EJ3WOJ

 

Cultivars

  • Hill Rice: A Lost Gem of African American Cooking Rediscovered in Trinidad (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2CBk03u                      There are hundreds of rice cultivars, many of which are dry land rice, not paddie rice.
  • We have bred “selfish” plant for thousands of years (ScienceNordic) http://bit.ly/2EGdfDd
    • Study: Evolutionary agroecology: individual fitness and population yield in wheat (Tricticum aestivum) (PubMed) http://bit.ly/2BFaIGM
  • Jim Hightower: Long live the Jersey tomato (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2sMAF49                                                                                      Instead of trying to squeeze nature into a high-tech, corporate model, our food system should cooperate with nature.

 

Hunger, Food Access & Security, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Climate Change, Conflict Leaves 224 Million Undernourished in Africa (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2ooe5JR                                                    An official with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns that climate change and conflict are leading to food insecurity for millions of people living in Africa.
  • From FDR’s food stamps to Trump’s harvest boxes: The history of helping the poor get enough to eat (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/2BCV3aN
  • Why Reform SNAP? Food Aid Is Working (City Lab) http://bit.ly/2C2IiHv                                                                                          There’s no better tool in the federal government’s antipoverty arsenal.
    • Yes, Replacing Food Stamps With a Blue Apron Style Delivery System Is As Bad As It Sounds (Talk Poverty) http://bit.ly/2HeaLte
    • Trump’s ‘Harvest Box’ delivers an empty promise (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2EMX42S                                                                  The administration and its GOP allies are threatening these Americans with ever greater hunger and privation.
  • One in every 12 seniors citizens is hungry (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2C30fWu                                                                                              The wisest among us are profoundly at risk.
  • I’s Not the Food Deserts: It’s the Inequality (City Lab) http://bit.ly/2rsWllx                                                                                                      A new study suggests that America’s great nutritional divide goes deeper than the problem of food access with cities.

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Why do supermarkets sell organic food wrapped in plastic? (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2mYj1oS                                                                        We find organic mushrooms in non-recyclable trays next to plain veg in compostable wrapping – This is also true in the US
  • We Are Drowning In Plastic, and Fracking Companies Are Profiting (Yes!) http://bit.ly/2o9rB4C                                                      Plastic production wreaks havoc on people and the planet – from fracking wells and pipelines in Pennsylvania, to air pollution from plastic plants in Scotland.
  • Supermarket Food Waste: What’s Most Likely to Get Tossed? (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2sGEckz                                                     More research confirms: the banana is the king of supermarket food waste.

 

Healthy/Food Safety

  • Clean labels’ dirty little secret (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2sH4JhV                                                                                            How the biggest trend in processed food exploits confused about what “natural” and “artificial” really mean.
  • ‘Ultra-processed’ products now half of all UK family food purchases (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2DUp9oz                                       … health experts warn increasing popularity of industrially made food will lead to negative effects such as obesity and poor health
  • The controversial law that allows salmonella into the human food chain (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2oj5KYP                              Campaigners want to change a loophole which allows producers to sell meat known to contain salmonella
  • Scientists calculate carbon emissions of your sandwich (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2GbLOOK                                                                   All-day breakfast filling identified as worst offender
    • Study: Understanding the impact on climate change of convenience food: Carbon footprint of sandwiches (Sustainable Production and Consumption) http://bit.ly/2nbduuy
  • ‘Dirty meat’: Shocking hygiene failings discovered in US pig and chicken plants (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2sFucIw                Previously unseen government records detail ‘deeply worrying’ incidents in pork and poultry plants, raising fears of ‘dirty meat’ enter the UK under a post-Brexit trade deal
    • Red tape in the meat industry? It’s the difference between life and death (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2sKFafx                        Without regulations that scrutinize food standards and trade deals, we cannot trust the safety of the food on our plates
  • Why blockchain won’t fix food safety – yet (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2FOCteI                                                                                              The new software being developed by Walmart and IBM depends on full and honest information, meaning the blockchain will only be as strong as its weakest link.
  • Prison food is making US inmates disproportionately sick (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2EnbCpc                                                    Lapses in food safety have made US prisoners six times more likely to get a foodborne illness than the general population.

 

Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird

  • Boneless chicken wings: It’s not a lie if you believe it (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2FaV85a                                                                  How a fried ball of breast meat became the “boneless wing.”

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • If farmers paid for childcare, would it bring workers back to the fields? (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2BV7rDZ                      Without it, parents face the difficult choice of either brining their kids to the fields or not working at all.
  • Agricultural workers have the highest rates of suicide in the country (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2n8zgPm                            But in Washington state, lawmakers have introduced a bill to make getting help a little easier.
  • Report: ‘Shady Bosses’ Stealing $15 Billion in Wages from Low-Income Workers (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2EEquQE        “Wages are far too low to begin with, so when money is stolen right out of workers’ paychecks, we have to have effective tools in place to get that money back.”
    • Minimum wage fight, a sweeping failure to enforce the law (Politico) http://politi.co/2CtLtDZ                                                              Raising hourly pays is a rallying cry for 2018, but states often fail to get workers the money that’s owed them.
  • No overtime, no workers’ comp for Grubhub drivers, says California judge (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2CfiCmW          What a first-of-its-kind court ruling means for the future of the gig economy.
  • Koch Brothers-backed group tries to stand in the way as states pass paid sick leave (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2sO74HG      The National Federation of Independent Business, a Koch Brothers-backed lobbying group, leads the way in campaigning against paid sick leave throughout the US
  • Slavery risk warning over UK’s scallop fisheries (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2nMMpyO                                                                                Register singles out industry with retailers told to check suppliers are clear of any link to bonded labour
  • A New York farmworkers was fired for organizing. State Supreme Court says that’s legal (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2o6I0qv  It would have been a shoo-in case for farmworkers’ rights. Then the Farm Bureau stepped in.

 

Protests

 

Animals

  • For how long can we treat the suffering of animals as an inconvenient truth? (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2GonxEo                  A revolution is coming in our relation ship with ‘lower’ creatures, provoked by a great knowledge of their cognition. Labour’s new plans for animal welfare are just a start
  • India’s farmed chickens dosed with world’s strongest antibiotics, study finds (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2GD92xj                          Warning over wider global health impacts after findings reveal hundreds of tonnes of colistin – the ‘antibiotic of last resort’ – are being shipped to Indian’s farms
  • Dutch cow poo overload causes an environmental stink (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2HosX3u                                                                  Diary farms in the Netherlands are producing so much dung they can’t get rid of it safely. Now the WWF is calling for a 40% cut in herd numbers to protect the environment

 

Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Few Big Ag companies have yet to follow through on data transparency pledge (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2nIoEHY
  • Organic food and drink sales rise to record levels in the UK (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2E8RpYT                                                                        In a sixth year o consecutive growth, organic sales rose by 6% to a record £2.2bn, driven largely by independent outlets and home deliveries
  • Even The Hamburglar Might Like McDonald’s New Vegan Burger (We Did) (NPR) http://n.pr/2FhPK0d                                                          When McDonald’s recently announced the introduction of a vegan burger in Sweden and Finland, Twitter responded with a mix of earnest enthusiasm, a little disgust, and a touch of guilty hand wringing…
  • KFC Closes More Than Half Of Its UK Restaurants, After Chicken Shortage (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2EGvOr5                                    As of Tuesday, 646 of the fast-food chain’s restaurants remain closed – and people aren’t taking it well.
  • Not so fresh: why Jamie Oliver’s restaurants lost their bite (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2F8zZIX                                                                      The chef’s chains are facing a crisis on the high street. Where did they go wrong?

 

Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird

  • (Spanish) Police Pull Over Suspicious Cars, Tons of Oranges Come Tumbling Out (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2CA4Jja

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • New study concludes some bottled water is actual tap water (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2HDtGOt                              Unknowingly, American’s are paying $16 billion a year to drink water from a bottler that otherwise be free, or cost a fraction of the price.
  • Nearly 2 Million Americans Exposed to Potentially Toxic Level of Lead in Tap Water (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2ogF5e9                      Children are particularly vulnerable.
    • Since the Lead Crisis, Reading Scores in Flint Drop Dramatically (Environmental Working Group) http://bit.ly/2o7Fnou
  • 3M pays up after Minnesota sued over poisoned drinking water (Grist) http://bit.ly/2sMxKZp
    • 3M to pay Minnesota $850M in surprise settlement over chemical disposal (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2Gy9XhR        “3M fought for almost a decade… spending hundreds of millions on lawyers to dodge their way around the law… but today became their day of reckoning!”
  • 73% of Deep-Sea Fish Have Ingested Plastic (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2GtLhXF                                                                                      Marine scientists from the National University of Ireland (NUI) in Galway found the plastic bits in 73 percent of 233 deep-sea fish collected from the Northwest Atlantic Ocean – one of the highest microplastic frequencies in fish ever recorded worldwide.
  • Ocean acidification threatens Bering Sea Crabs. But can they adapt? (KTOO Public Media) http://bit.ly/2yzru9R

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wants to give dairy farmers their money back (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2C4qj3G
  • Trump’s EPA Just Made a “Highly Unusual” Concession to a Big Pesticide Company (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2obWftC            After demanding $4.8 million in penalties for a Hawaii pesticide-exposure case in 2016, the EPA let Syngenta off for $150,000.
  • Trump Budget Would Undo Conservation Gains on Farms and Ranches (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2CqNtwE                                        Funding for farm conservation programs would be slashed by $13 billion over 10 years, impacting the environment and farmers alike.
  • As Trump tries to tighten the definition of “hungry,” all 50 state have made it easier to sign up for food stamps (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2Crpe1A
  • New (California) state ballot measure would reward people who build rainwater collection systems (The Mercury News) http://bayareane.ws/2FdZJ6G
  • Washington salmon farm fined $330,000 for August’s eclipse escape (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2Faz4b4
    • Cooke Aquaculture fined for farmed salmon escape (The North Coast News) http://bit.ly/2o6AJXT                            Washington State Department of Ecology announced Tuesday that Cooke Aquaculture will be penalized for violating the terms of its water quality permit in relation to the company’s net pen failure last August.
  • After six years, environmental cleanup around 11 North Carolina hog farms will finally be mandatory (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2HnZqqD                                                                  Conservationists are calling the decision a win against “environmental racism”
  • To Protect Young Farmworkers, California Rejects EPA Rollback of Pesticide Policy (Environmental Working Group) http://bit.ly/2szr0OA
  • Austin becomes the first city in the South to Mandate paid sick leave (ThinkProgress) http://bit.ly/2EDqQv9
  • Trump budget would undo gains from conservation programs on farms and ranches (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/2C9z7Fp

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Court Rejects Trump Administration Secrecy in Genetically Engineered Salmon Case (Center For Food Safety) http://bit.ly/2E2OIHl

 

Poisons

  • The Precautionary Principle Asks “How Much Harm Is Avoidable?” Rather Than “How Much Harm Is Acceptable?” (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2Crgx7c
  • Cotton (New South Wales) growers facing complete crop loss after alleged herbicide drift (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2nYGKVB                                                                                    5,000 hectares of cotton thought to be affected by off-target spray drift, says Bernie Bierhoff of Walgett Cotton Growers’ Association

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update for February 16, 2017

 

  • Can the Leopold Center be Saved (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2F7pXbj                                                                                                  A year after the influential center for sustainable agriculture research was defunded, farmers and students are urging Iowa’s legislators to reinstate its budget.
  • Returning Stolen Land to Native Tribes, One Lot at a Time (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2nO4vRc                                                                                      A quarter-acre of land in Oakland, California is about to return to Native hands, bringing a sense of place and healing to the Ohlone people.
  • Huge levels of antibiotic use in US farming revealed (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2ENXhUo                                                          Concerns raised over weakened regulations on imports in potential post-Brexit trade deals
  • British supermarket chickens show record levels of antibiotic-resistant superbugs (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2DjDNZo
  • American-Grown Saffron Could Change the Spice Trade (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2BIecct                                                                      Researchers at University of Vermont have established a pilot program to see if Northeast farmers can grow the valuable spice.
  • Dropped seeds from Kazakhstan got us modern apples, Cornell University (futurity) http://bit.ly/2EsKau2
    • Genome re-sequencing reveals the history of apple and supports a two-stage model for fruit enlargement (Nature Communications) http://go.nature.com/2w8JjLw
  • Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East (Local Futures) http://bit.ly/2HdQ3dj                                                                                            How the Mesopotamian Ecology Movement promotes democracy in North Kurdistan.
  • Is Something Fishy Going on Between the University of Florida and the Agrichemical Industry? Consumers Have a Right to Know (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2BthXRT                                                                          A lawsuit could uncover the deepest, darkest secrets of the food and agrichemical industries.
  • Learning from Rashid Nuri: The History of Industrial Agriculture and its Impact (Justice Initiative International) http://bit.ly/2o63Z01
    • A New Generation Of Small Farmers Is Emerging In Atlanta (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2o0j1oK                                            Urban farmers are breaking ground on the city of the future.

 

Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding, Fishing & Production

  • ‘I used to see them as a bunch of rioters’: Brazil’s radical farmers (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2nczc1V
  • Peruvian Subsistence Farmer Asks Court to Continue Case Against US Company in Delaware (EarthRights International) http://bit.ly/2G8CbQ1
  • No-Till Farmers’ Push for Healthy Soils Ignites a Movement in the Plains (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2BuNSRQ                                                  No-till farming started as a way to keep costs down for conventional farmers in danger of losing their land. Now it has become a subculture and a way of life for outsider farmers all over rural America.
  • New Wave of Lavender Farmers Hope to Revive Barren Stripmines into Fields of Purple (100 Days in Appalachia) http://bit.ly/2sy1zNg
  • University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Egg Contaminant Testing by California county: http://bit.ly/2F2wNyz
  • Farm fumes are harming our health. Here’s what we can do about it. (Food & Environment Reporting Network) http://bit.ly/2nW9LCg                                                                                Ammonia from animal waste and fertilizers play a surprising role in producing dangerous air pollution

 

Food and Culture

  • Are Black Walnuts Ready to Boom? (100 Days in Appalachia) http://bit.ly/2EMqOjX                                                                                      Black walnuts are native Appalachian product that might mean, for some diligent foragers, money does grow on trees.
  • Farming Bring Refugees Closer to Home Through Food and Community (Yes!) http://bit.ly/2mZ6zoW                                                They were forced out of their homes by Burmese military violence Now they’re rebuilding their lives in North Carolina.
  • We’re more will tor try ‘gross’ foods with foreign names, University of Chicago (futurity) http://bit.ly/2nWvjh1

 

Hunger, Food Access & Security, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • Fredrick Douglass On How Slave Owners Used Food As A Weapon Of Control (NPR) http://n.pr/2ELi5hQ
  • Food insecurity: a third of poorest (UK) households skip meals, survey finds 9THE Guardian) http://bit.ly/2ntkjYC
  • Why do poor Americans eat so unhealthfully Because junk food is the only indulgence they can afford (Los Angeles Times) http://lat.ms/2Bg0mgc

 

Healthy/Food Safety

  • No Elitist Farmers Market Here – Free Healthy Food and Profits for Farmers (100 Days in Appalachia) http://bit.ly/2HlaFjS
  • Philly airport offers ‘natural experiment’ on soda tax (futurity) http://bit.ly/2ET6BWX
    • Pass-Through of a Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages at the Philadelphia International Airport (JAMA) http://bit.ly/2EzmiVy
  • New Online Calculator Lets You See the Impact of Your Meat Intake – e and Your Hon Animals, the Climate and Your Health (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2Cklsai                                                                          One person’s meat-eating can make bigger difference than you think.

 

Education

  • There’s a Nationwide Cook Shortage. Culinary Training Programs to the Rescue (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2EIBMa2                                      Food leaders in Madison and around the country are helping underserved populations and short-handed restaurant kitchens.

 

Children & School Food

  • New Study Shows Free School Lunches Boost Earnings (Talk Poverty) http://bit.ly/2EsnQla                                                                                A new study from a trio of economists proves the old adage that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. According to their research, free lunch actually has payoffs – to the tune of $11, 700 more in lifetime earnings for future workers…
  • Study: Long-Term Effects of Childhood Nutrition: Evidence from a School Lunch Reform (IZA Institute of Labor Economics) http://bit.ly/2Ggh91N

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • Jim Hightower: America’s farmworkers face poverty, neglect, and now deportation (Other Words) http://bit.ly/2B2vaNV                        Up to 70 percent of the people who put food on America’s tables may be undocumented.
  • Lack of migrant workers left food rotting in UK fields last year, data reveals (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2Ekrr4I                                  Brexit fears and falling pound left fruit and vegetable farms short of more than 4,000 workers, with senior MPs warning of a crisis
  • Jersey Royal potato crop could be hit by shortage of EU workers (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2rfnBnm                                                      Farmers say they are struggling to recruit staff, meaning fewer seed potatoes are being planted
  • The Outlook for Millennials Is Bleak. Now They’re Unionizing in Record Numbers (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2EPFnAB                  Young workers bring new blood to the battered labor movement.

 

Protests

  • 50 years after the Memphis sanitation workers strike, the battle for higher wages rages on (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/2BqIoYl  “I fight this fight for my kids, so that they can have a better future.”
  • #FightFor15: Fast Food Workers Stage Rallies Across Country, Demanding Living Wage and Union Rights (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2HforUZ                                                                                              The average fast food workers earns too little to afford a two-bedroom rental apartment in every US state.
  • The Hourly Income You Need To Afford Rent Around The US (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2BwJi5W                                                    The average full-time minimum wage worker can’t afford rent in ANY state.

 

Animals

  • The USDA Is Fine With a Horrifically Cruel Practice to Smother Chickens, Turkeys, and Ducks (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2suEHhx      The poultry and egg industries are using lethal foam to kill birds.

 

Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Can Food Hubs Scale Nationally and Stay True to the Cause? (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2DZYM0B                                              Philadelphia’s Common Market is expanding to Atlanta, Houston, and beyond, connecting more farmers to eaters and scaling a model that has long remained local.
  • Best in glass – can the return of the milkround help squash our plastic problem? (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2nTDpr5
  • Leaving Stores Closed for Years Helps Grocery Chains and Hurts Communities (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2n8sFo2                                    Some supermarkets are using an arcane legal clause to prevent new stores from opening, creating a long-term lack o food access.
  • In Rural Tennessee, a Food Business Could Boost an Old Railroad Town (100 Days in Appalachia) http://bit.ly/2F8CTh2
  • A Gift Economy Could Change the Food System (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2o2zlWi                                                                                Alternative economics within our communities could feed us all and fight climate change.

 

Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird

  • French fraud officials investigate Nutella deal that sparked brawls (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2nncgx5
  • The Price-Fixing Scandal Rocking Big Chicken (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2BruuVS                                                                                    Multiple lawsuits allege that top poultry companies colluded to make broilers more expensive.

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Eastern Kentucky’s Struggle With Water Symbolizes America’s Crumbling Infrastructure (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2HbVZDr                                                                                          Local communities are starting to take back control.
  • Nestle Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For (Bloomberg) https://bloom.bg/2fDdbFG                                                      The company’s operation in Michigan reveals how it’s dominated the industry by going into economically depressed areas with lax water laws.
  • America Dumps Its Fracking Waste in My Ohio Town (Other Words) http://bit.ly/2Ee5Neg                                                                            My county is poor and remote. Fracking companies think they can abuse it.
  • Eating Seafood Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, But Some Fish Are Better Than Others (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2E9sVL7
  • $40 Million Later, A Pioneering Plan To Boost Wild Fish Stocks Shows Little Success (NPR) http://n.pr/2o91VEI
  • Big business, not taxpayers, should pay to clean up plastic waste (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2G7FNSy                                                      Plastic is destroying our oceans, yet big corporations are still being given money to produce cheap plastic. It’s time for polluters to pay for the damage they cause

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • UK launches nationwide review of meat processing plants (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2E9l2Zg                                                                Renewed focus on food safety comes after ‘serious incidents’ at 2 Sisters and Russell Hume
  • Democrats Rally Against Trump’s Plan To Let Restaurants Appropriate Workers’ Tips (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2nGTDV5
    • Trump Administration Proposal to Let Bosses Keep Workers’ Tips Provokes Investigation (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2G2AljA
    • Trump’s ‘Tip-Pooling Plan’ Could Screw Your Bartender (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2ChBuld                                                The restaurant owner-in-chief wants to give employers more control over workers’ gratuities. What could possibly go wrong?
  • Tips Are for Servers, Not CEOs (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2o04Yjg                                                                                              The Trump administration wants overs to hand over nearly $6 billion to their bosses.
  • Trump’s EPA Chief is Reshaping Food and Farming: What You Need to Know (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2nJjRoU
  • President’s Budget Proposal Threatens Food, Farming, and Nutrition Programs (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition) http://bit.ly/2C2EFkX
  • Trump’s Budget Would Partly Replace Food Stamps Benefits With Canned Goods (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2sqFZtV
  • “Let Them Eat Cake” Moment Couldn’t Get More Stupid (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2GbYAfi                                                        He proposes to cut funding for food stamps in the most embarrassing way.
  • Trump Administration Seems To Be Winging It On Food Stamp Replacement Boxes (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2Ep045r
  • The right-wing roots of Trump’s “Blue Apron” SNAP attack (Media Matters) http://bit.ly/2o9XiKC                                                    The outrageous SNAP proposal in President Trump’s new budget is build upon decades of conservative lies about welfare
  • The Trump Administration Isn’t Even Masking Its Contempt for the Poor Anymore (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2sursNR                          Blue Apron for SNAP recipients? A new proposal is as offensive as it sounds.
  • Trump Wants America’s Kids to Eat More Salt (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2sn8kkYApparently, “making school meals great again” means feeding children dangerously high levels of sodium.
  • Ag Secretary Perdue Moves to Make School Meals Great Again (USDA) http://bit.ly/2p16HT4                                                                        Local Control of Whole Grains, Sodium, Milk to Make Meals Healthful, Appealing
  • Three Interventions That Reduce Childhood Obesity Are Projected To Save More Than They Cost To Implement (Health Affairs) http://bit.ly/2nTSg4B
  • Lowering Sodium In School Foods (Center For Science In The Public Interest) http://bit.ly/2jMnRpp
  • International Action on Sodium (Center for Science In The Public Interest) http://bit.ly/2BgNpTr
  • Here’s the Worst, Anti-Science Idea of the Week from the Republican Congress (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2EoQsrc            The head of the House science committee is pissed about research into Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
  • GOP sides with Monsanto, threatens to cut off WHO funding for agency that labeled glyphosate as a carcinogen (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2En1tgN                                                                    Several Republicans once again side with Monsanto and put American’s health on the line.
  • 50+ Groups Back Landmark Effort to Halt ‘Out of Control’ Factory Farming in Iowa (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2EfU0Mv
  • No, big corporations shouldn’t get tax breaks to create jobs (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2C16Yf0

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • These Citizen-Regulators In Arkansas Defied Monsanto. Now They’re Under Attack (NPR) http://n.pr/2C0oO6w
  • Gene edited crops should be exempted from GM food laws, says EU lawyer (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2DszPdP

 

Poisons

  • Assumed safety of pesticide use is false, says top government scientist (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2hkP7ev                              Damning assessment by on of the UK’s chief scientific advisers says global regulations have ignored the impacts of ‘dosing whole landscapes’ and must change
  • Farms could slash pesticide use without losses, research reveals (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2o1Me1p                                Study shows almost all farms could significantly cut chemical use while producing as much food, in a major challenge to the billion dollar pesticide industry
  • UN experts denounce ‘myth’ pesticides are necessary to feed the world (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2mdHDII                          Report warns of catastrophic consequences and blames manufacturers for ‘systemic denial of harms’ and ‘unethical marketing tactics’
  • This vigilante scientist trekked over 10,000 kilometers to reveal BC’s leaking gas wells (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2GVX2aD
  • Cotton growers facing complete crop loss after alleged herbicide drift (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2nYGKVB                                          5,000 hectares of cotton thought to e affected by off-target spray drift, says Bernie Bierhoff of Walgett Cotton Growers’ Association

 

Events

  • 5th Annual Farmers Guild-Raising                                                                 March 10, 2018, 9am – 10pm                                                                       Extension Center Dr., Davis, CA 94616                                                            415-473-4204                                                                                  http://bit.ly/2nJl7Jy

 

Jenny’s Food & Ag Update for February 6, 2018

 

  • How “Open Source” Seed Producers From the US to India are Changing Global Food Production (Ensia) http://bit.ly/2hghiJG      Around the world, plant breeders are resisting what they see as corporate control of the food supply by making seeds available for other breeders to use.
  • Collapse of Aztec society linked to catastrophic salmonella outbreak (nature) http://go.nature.com/2nmP0zp                            DNA of 500-year-old bacteria is first direct evidence of an epidemic – on of humanity’s deadliest – that occurred after Spanish conquest.
  • Ancient Turkey Bones In Mexico Reveal A Strange Relationship With Humans (NPR) http://n.pr/2nBhox2
  • Hunting for the ancient lost farms of North America (ars Techica) http://bit.ly/2GmAsrq                                                                                    20,000 years ago, people domesticated these plants. Now they’re wild weeds. What happened?
  • Why Veganism Isn’t As Environmentally Friendly As You Might Think (Independent UK) https://ind.pn/2BEKZdS                        Western demand is forcing countries to consider importing their native fruit and vegetables to keep up with local consumption
  • With Rice & Bones, Charles Phan Opens a Better School Cafeteria at UC Berkeley (East Bay Express) http://bit.ly/2Gzx4cz
  • Industrial Agriculture and the Agrochemical Industry (Counter Punch) http://bit.ly/2DXSKlf
    • Et Tu, Newsweek? Another Media Outlet Caves to Monsanto’s Minions (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2DXMJRj                              Newsweek is going to bat for Monsanto shill.
  • Monsanto’s Fingerprints All Over Newsweek’s Opinion Piece, a Hit on Organic Food (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2E79hCs
  • ‘The Hardest Bakery Possible” Reinventing The Meaning Of ‘Whole Grain’ (NPR) http://n.pr/2DXEh8E
  • How the Hydroponics Industry s Undermining Everything the Organic Farming Movement Stands For (In These Times) http://bit.ly/2s3g6QG

 

Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding, Fishing & Production

  • Black Beekeepers Are Transforming Vacant Lots Into Bee Farms (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2DQHoPY                                                “Work hard, stay bumble” is their nonprofit motto.
  • The cost of irrigation water and urban farming (UC Berkeley Blog) http://bit.ly/2nOe2qv                                                                                  And what of the costs for pumping the water for rooftop gardens?
  • This Kansas Farmer Fought a Government Program to Keep His Farm Sustainable (Ensia) http://bit.ly/2nEqWXW                            When federal crops insurance rules stymied Gail Fuller’s attempts to innovate, he know something had to change.
  • America’s Farmers Are in Crisis, and They’re Looking to Trump For Relief (The New Yorker) http://bit.ly/2Boj3KZ
  • Why are America’s farmers killing themselves in record numbers? (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2AdJuaC                                                         The suicide rate for farmers is more than double that of veterans. Former farmer Debbie Weingarten gives an insider’s perspective on farm life – and how to help
  • California Crops Rot as Immigration Crackdown Creates Farmworker Shortage (Fortune) http://for.tn/2uK8DCf                        If there was a shortage in 2017, 2018 is going to be even worse, and not just in California…

 

Education

  • The Current State of Agricultural Education (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2E843UM                                                                                     Once wellsprings of chemical innovations, our nation’s colleges and universities are finally rising to meet student demand for a more sustainable future.

 

Food and Culture

  • ‘It Looks Dangerous and Scary That People Can Be Lynched for What They eat’ (The Wire) http://bit.ly/2BFI2JP                                    In conversation with food and nutrition scholar Krishnendu Roy on the state’s ability to limit diets, what people eat in India and more.
  • In London, The American Food Aisle Is Filled With Nostalgia And Preservatives (NPR) http://n.pr/2Fk563i

 

Hunger, Food Access & Security, Obesity & Malnutrition

  • More Than Half Of American Babies Are At Risk For Malnourishment (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2s1c9Mg

 

Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Wisconsin is Trying to Reduce “Walk-By” Food Waste (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2GM0LXU                                                                          A bill making its way through the legislative process in Wisconsin would make it easier for farmers to donate excess crops to help feed those in need – a task that’s surprisingly complicated.
  • From Scraps To Snacks: Pulp Left Over From Juice Bars is Reborn In New Foods (NPR) http://n.pr/2DZiXzW
  • Starbucks’ Dirty Secret (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2ECyzGg                Four billion cups a year end up in landfills, despite the company’s promise of a 100 percent recyclable cup.

 

Healthy/Food Safety

  • Can Cooking Classes Keep Chronic Heart Failure Patients out Of The Hospital? (NPR) http://n.pr/2DSnYpN
  • 3 Reasons Why a Meat Tax Is a Good Idea (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2E0Evfq                                                                                              Like cigarettes, alcohol and gasoline, meat should be federally taxed to help pay for its health and environmental costs.
  • That Panera Cream Cheese in Your Fridge Was Just Recalled Over Listeria Fears (Time) http://ti.me/2DMJb4r

 

Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird

  • What’s Inside Your Coffee Is Likely a Bit Grosser Than You Want to Know (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2DWJsGc                                            After a year of daily coffee drinking, you’ve probably consumed more than 130,000 insect fragments.
  • Goose Hunter Knocked Unconscious By Bird Falling From Sky (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2nIq5p6                                                      The hunter is in stable condition.

 

Children & School Food

  • Texas Just Passed a Major Law to Combat Child Hunger and Food Waste (Yahoo News) https://yhoo.it/2rQMGW5                                        … Texas politicians recently passed a bill that allows schools to distribute unused, non-perishable food any way they see fit, and students are already benefiting bit time…
  • Sing Says Students Get Only ‘One Pass Per Week To Get A Drink Of Water’ At Elementary School (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2FLIfh1

 

Labor/Unions/Coops

  • In-N-Out employees can work their way up to $160,000 a year with no degree or previous experience (Business Insider) http://read.bi/2ryG7Y0
  • If We Want Things To Change For Women In he Kitchen, We Have To Change Our Culture (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2nIUBiE
  • These Foreign Workers Say They Were Told to Pick Blueberries Unless They Were on Their “Death Bed” (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2GHeMGm                                                                                              A lawsuit alleges that a Washington berry giant used “a pattern of threats and intimidation” to manage its guest workers.
  • Whole Foods Workers Revolt After Amazon Imposes Dystopian Grading System (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2E8bn4U
    • ‘Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal’” Employees say Whole Foods is using ‘scorecards’ to push them (Business Insider) http://read.bi/2nz2w25
  • Was Your Seafood Caught With Slave Labor? New Database Helps Retailers Combat Abuse (NPR) http://n.pr/2GDbx2S
    • Report: Hidden Chains (Human Rights Watch) http://bit.ly/2F6tvZQ                                                                                  Rights Abuses and Forced Labor in Thailand’s Fishing Industry
  • Worker cooperatives offer real alternatives to Trump’s retrograde economic vision (Waging Nonviolence) http://bit.ly/2E0fiRq

 

Protests

  • Flour power: why every revolution begins with a piece of bread (Prospect Magazine) http://bit.ly/2mdCi4m
  • Fight for $!% and Rev. Barber Announce Fast-Food Worker Strike for Racial Justice and Voting Rights (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2DWVY4n                                                                                            On the 50th anniversary of the sanitation workers’ march in Memphis, labor advocates and new Poor People’s Campaign will come together across the South
  • A renewed Poor People’s Campaign revives King’s dream of challenging class divide (Waging Nonviolence) http://bit.ly/2FnQAYW

 

Pollinators

  • Court Holds Bee-killing Pesticide Approvals Violate the Law (Center For Food Safety) http://bit.ly/2nsQ8R2                                      EPA must analyze risks to endangered species
  • Honeybees Help Farmers, But They Don’t Help The Environment (NPR) http://n.pr/2DUCb8I                                                                          There are thousands of bee species. Almost all of them live in the wild, hiding away in the ground or in odd cavities, like hollow plant stems. They play a vital role in the ecosystem, pollinating flowering plants. Many are in peril; some species have disappeared.

 

Animals

  • Donkey leads sheep, goats on midnight stroll through California town (KCRA3) http://bit.ly/2DPnVyY                                                              A herd of sheep and goats was recaptured after it was led on a midnight stroll through West Covina (Los Angeles County) by a donkey…
  • Invasive Parakeets Are Threatening Every Crop On The Hawaiian Island O Kauai – And Multiplying Fast (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2DZEUL7

 

Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Don’t Look, But a Couple of Mega-Companies Are about To Take Over Your Food Supply (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2nIbv18            A rumored marriage between two ag behemoths could make life tough for farmers in a whole new way.
  • Tyson Foods Invests in ‘Clean Meat’ (EcoWatch)                                Tyson Foods, which supplies about one in five pounds of chicken, beef and pork produced in the US, announced Monday that their venture capital arm has purchased a minority stake in Memphis Meats…
  • 5 Ways This Company Misinforms Consumers About Oil Wastewater Use (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2ntbChE                            This is not the first time the Wonderful Company, owned by the Resnicks, has been involved with water issues…
  • The Uncomfortable Truth About Whole Foods and Amazon’s Grocery Monopoly (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2DVavAD                      Late capitalism resembles Soviet logic, especially when it comes to consumer options.
  • Circuit court denies all Peanut Corp. of America criminal appeals (Food Safety News) http://bit.ly/2EnF3J6
  • Costco Wants to Build the Largest Chicken Factory Farm in America – and Local Residents Are Fighting Back (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2GuaGRN                                                                                                A band of citizen activists are taking on a corporate giant.
  • Feeling the Squeeze (East Bay Express) http://bit.ly/2FAh5JV
    • The Year of Fast-Casual Restaurants (East Bay Express) http://bit.ly/2FywJ91                                                                                            In the East Bay, restaurant owners embraced the counter-service model in response to rising costs and staffing woes.
  • America’s Food stamps Program Proves Trickle Up Economics Works (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2nCV32O

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Cape Town Slashes Daily Water Allowance, but Pushes Back ‘Day Zero’ (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2FC907V                              Officials said the South African city now has until April 16 when its water taps will run dry.
  • When There Are No More Fish (Eater) http://bit.ly/2AizDve        Climate change, drought, and development have devastated Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake, which feeds millions across Southeast Asia
  • 11 billion pieces of plastic bring disease threat to coral reefs (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/2BSViLg

 

Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • FEMA Contract Called for 30 Million Meals for Puerto Ricans. 50,000 Were Delivered. (NYT) http://nyti.ms/2nDlgOU                    “It appears that the Trump Administration’s response to the hurricanes in Puerto Rico in 2017 suffered from the same flaws as the Bush Administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005,” 
  • The FDA Has a Rule Against Defining “The Food Commonly Know As Eggs” (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2s409tL
  • The Trump Administration Doesn’t Want Servers to Know How Much It’s Screwing Them (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2E64QYv                A new report reveals the secretary of labor tried to hide crucial data from the public.
  • Internal Analysis Revealed Trump plan Would Cost Workers Billions, So Labor Dpt. Buried Study (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2nxuPyF                                                                                       Worker advocates say it “shows the lengths to which the Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta will go to hide the fact that they are taking steps to actively make workers’ lives worse.”
  • Labor Dept. Ditches Data Showing Bosses Could Skim Waiters’ Tips (Bloomberg Law) http://bit.ly/2rWnnSd                                          DOL says it couldn’t estimate tip pool rule’s full economic effects. Sources reveal the agency did conduct an analysis showing up to billions in wages transferred. Public has until Feb. 5 to comment on proposal
  • Employers would pocket $5.8 billion of workers’ tips under Trump administration’s proposed ‘tip stealing’ rule (Economic Policy Institute) http://bit.ly/2G27bBU
  • USDA proposes changes to ‘National List’ for organic producers (Food Safety News) http://bit.ly/2DOPSHb                              Government accepting public comments now (until 3/19) on changes to list of banned, approved substances
  • Why Is the Biodiversity Rule for USDA Organic Certification Not Being Enforced? (In These Times) http://bit.ly/2BQkxOj
  • USDA Denies Poultry Industry’s Request To Speed Up The Slaughter Line (NPR) http://n.pr/2nosG8q
    • The Trump Administration’s Surprising Decision About Ultra High-Speed Chicken Slaughter (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2nFyhq3                                                                                Poultry workers can breathe easier.
  • The USDA Wants to “Modernize Swine Inspection.” What Does That Mean? (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2EdCH1S                          Food safety concerns have been ratcheting up lately: major outbreaks of salmonella, listeria, and other food-borne bacteria seem to be on the rise. Given that, you might expect any changes in federal oversight to work toward fixing that. Not so fast!
  • Congress and State Agriculture Commissioners Call for Increased Cuba Trade
    A key topic at the winter policy gathering of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture was HR 525, Cuba Agricultural Export Act. Berkeley’s Congresswoman Barbara Lee serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Cuba Working Group, and is one of 60 cosponsors of this proposed legislation, introduced by Congressman Rick Crawford, Republican of Arkansas. For more information, see the Cuba-US Agroecology Network, a binational group of farmers, researchers and advocates dedicated to sustainable agriculture in both countries. (Berkeley Food Institute News Letter) http://bit.ly/2GSIwQM

  • Banning The Bans: State And Local Officials Clash Over Plastic Bags (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2EmNnJ4                                  Despite plastic bag bans in places like California showing signs of success, a growing number of states are enacting prohibitions on banning plastic bags
  • Do the crime, pay the fine (Pesticide Action Network) http://bit.ly/2BRg3aa                                                                                                  … California lawmakers took steps to add stricter penalties for pesticide drift violations in the state…
  • A city goes ‘organic’ (Pesticide Action Network) http://bit.ly/2FEhPho                                                                                                In early January, the City Council of Portland, Maine unanimously passed a tough ban on synthetic pesticide use in the city, leading many Portland residents to applaud the city’s “organic” status…
  • Portland’s tough new ban on synthetic pesticides allows few exceptions (Portland Press Harold) http://bit.ly/2GHfrrq
  • USDA Chief Signals New SNAP Restrictions in Early Farm Bill Discussions (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2EDOgNs
    • Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture Weighs in on the 2018 Farm Bill (In These Times) http://bit.ly/2E0nUbA

 

GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • Court Rejects Trump Administration Secrecy in Genetically Engineered Salmon Case (Center For Food Safety) http://bit.ly/2E2OIHl

 

Poisons

  • Trump Administration Is Allowing Poison in Our Food Supply so Chemical Companies Like Dow Can Profit (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2s50hJr                                                                                                      A toxic chemical lurking on US grown fruits and vegetables is linked to learning disabilities in kids.
  • Monsanto New Offering (Legally Required) Free Training for Dicamba (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2nyYgR2

 

Events

  • Vegetable Garden Planning (Dog Island Farm) http://bit.ly/2Ek29TBFebruary 10, 2018, 11am                                                                                  Vallejo, California
  • The Farmers Guild Entrepreneurial Intensive                                   February 10th & 11th, 9am – 5pm                                                                     Wild & Radish, 836 Marin Road, El Sobranto, CA        http://bit.ly/2DLVVIA
  • Second annual “Black Hands in the Soil: A Film Celebration of Black Farming”                                                                                                  February 23, 2018, 7pm                                                                            Pollinate Farm & Garden, Farms To Grow, Oakland, California http://bit.ly/2nNvefS