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


  • Can the Leopold Center be Saved (Civil Eats)                                                                                                  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)                                                                                      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)                                                          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)
  • American-Grown Saffron Could Change the Spice Trade (Civil Eats)                                                                      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)
    • Genome re-sequencing reveals the history of apple and supports a two-stage model for fruit enlargement (Nature Communications)
  • Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East (Local Futures)                                                                                            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)                                                                          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)
    • A New Generation Of Small Farmers Is Emerging In Atlanta (Huffington Post)                                            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)
  • Peruvian Subsistence Farmer Asks Court to Continue Case Against US Company in Delaware (EarthRights International)
  • No-Till Farmers’ Push for Healthy Soils Ignites a Movement in the Plains (Civil Eats)                                                  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)
  • University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Egg Contaminant Testing by California county:
  • Farm fumes are harming our health. Here’s what we can do about it. (Food & Environment Reporting Network)                                                                                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)                                                                                      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!)                                                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)


Hunger, Food Access & Security, Obesity & Malnutrition

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


Healthy/Food Safety

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



  • There’s a Nationwide Cook Shortage. Culinary Training Programs to the Rescue (Civil Eats)                                      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)                                                                                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)



  • Jim Hightower: America’s farmworkers face poverty, neglect, and now deportation (Other Words)                        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)                                  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)                                                      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)                  Young workers bring new blood to the battered labor movement.



  • 50 years after the Memphis sanitation workers strike, the battle for higher wages rages on (Think Progress)  “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)                                                                                              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)                                                    The average full-time minimum wage worker can’t afford rent in ANY state.



  • The USDA Is Fine With a Horrifically Cruel Practice to Smother Chickens, Turkeys, and Ducks (AlterNet)      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)                                              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)
  • Leaving Stores Closed for Years Helps Grocery Chains and Hurts Communities (Civil Eats)                                    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)
  • A Gift Economy Could Change the Food System (Civil Eats)                                                                                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)
  • The Price-Fixing Scandal Rocking Big Chicken (Mother Jones)                                                                                    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)                                                                                          Local communities are starting to take back control.
  • Nestle Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For (Bloomberg)                                                      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)                                                                            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)
  • $40 Million Later, A Pioneering Plan To Boost Wild Fish Stocks Shows Little Success (NPR)
  • Big business, not taxpayers, should pay to clean up plastic waste (The Guardian)                                                      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)                                                                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)
    • Trump Administration Proposal to Let Bosses Keep Workers’ Tips Provokes Investigation (Truthout)
    • Trump’s ‘Tip-Pooling Plan’ Could Screw Your Bartender (Huffington Post)                                                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)                                                                                              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)
  • President’s Budget Proposal Threatens Food, Farming, and Nutrition Programs (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition)
  • Trump’s Budget Would Partly Replace Food Stamps Benefits With Canned Goods (Huffington Post)
  • “Let Them Eat Cake” Moment Couldn’t Get More Stupid (Mother Jones)                                                        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)
  • The right-wing roots of Trump’s “Blue Apron” SNAP attack (Media Matters)                                                    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)                          Blue Apron for SNAP recipients? A new proposal is as offensive as it sounds.
  • Trump Wants America’s Kids to Eat More Salt (AlterNet), “making school meals great again” means feeding children dangerously high levels of sodium.
  • Ag Secretary Perdue Moves to Make School Meals Great Again (USDA)                                                                        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)
  • Lowering Sodium In School Foods (Center For Science In The Public Interest)
  • International Action on Sodium (Center for Science In The Public Interest)
  • Here’s the Worst, Anti-Science Idea of the Week from the Republican Congress (Mother Jones)            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)                                                                    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)
  • No, big corporations shouldn’t get tax breaks to create jobs (Nation of Change)


GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology

  • These Citizen-Regulators In Arkansas Defied Monsanto. Now They’re Under Attack (NPR)
  • Gene edited crops should be exempted from GM food laws, says EU lawyer (The Guardian)



  • Assumed safety of pesticide use is false, says top government scientist (The Guardian)                              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)                                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)                          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)
  • Cotton growers facing complete crop loss after alleged herbicide drift (The Guardian)                                          5,000 hectares of cotton thought to e affected by off-target spray drift, says Bernie Bierhoff of Walgett Cotton Growers’ Association



  • 5th Annual Farmers Guild-Raising                                                                 March 10, 2018, 9am – 10pm                                                                       Extension Center Dr., Davis, CA 94616                                                            415-473-4204