Jenny’s Food & Ag Update April 14, 2018


  • 20% of US Diets Responsible for Almost Half of Country’s Food_Related Emissions, Study Finds (EcoWatch)
    • Study: Greenhouse gas emissions and energy use associated with production of individual self-selected US diet (IOP Science)
  • ‘Dangerous’ Decline in Biodiversity Threatening Humanity’s Wellbeing Worldwide (Common Dreams)
  • Has #MeToo Changed Your Relationship With Restaurants? (Mother Jones)                                                        We want to hear from you.
  • Researchers Just Found a Hidden Cause of California’s Smog Problem (Climate Desk)                                Fertilized soils may be contributing up to 40 percent of the state’s nitrogen oxides emissions.
  • Residents Near Hog Farms Just Got Much, Much Worse (Mother Jones)                                                                                  It just became much easier for large livestock operations to pollute near people’s homes.
  • ‘Buy local’ food programs deceive consumers and are rarely enforced, a USA today Network investigation finds (az central)                                                                                            In just one example, peanuts are trucked into Oklahoma. But that doesn’t stop a manufacturer from getting a “Made In Oklahoma” brand…
  • Behind the Rise and Fall of Growing Power (Civil Eats)                                                                                            The urban farming powerhouse had global reputation. Then, it collapsed last year under mounting debt, prompting big questions about what happened and what comes next.
  • Scientists examine threat to food security if we meet the Paris climate targets (The Guardian)                        Even with aggressive climate policies to limit global warming, food security in some areas will be threatened
  • Half a Degree of Warming Makes a Big Difference to Global Food Security, Study Finds (EcoWatch)
  • Study: Changes in extremes, fresh water availability and vulnerability to food insecurity projected at 1.5°C and 2°C global warming with a higher-resolution global climate model (The Royal Society Publishing)
  • Climate Change Threatens US Culinary Traditions, From Maple Syrup to Hot Sauce (EcoWatch)
    • Study: Managing for delicious ecosystem service under climate change: can United States sugar maple (Acer saccharum) syrup production be maintained in a warming climate? (International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management)
  • Six “Organic” Dairies in Texas Outproduce 453 Organic Dairies in Wisconsin (The Cornucopia Institute)

Breathe easier under a plan to cut airborne dust and manure at cattle feedlot (Tri-City Herald)


Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding, Fishing & Production

  • Sorry, pretty much everyone: young farmers are the least diverse – and smallest – group of farmers in the country (New Food Economy)
  • Female Farmers in the (San Francisco) East Bay Cultivate a Sense of Community (East Bay Express)

Facing the most severe economic drought in recent history, New York’s dairy farmers are battling economic and emotional distress.


Food and Culture

  • After Years Of Violence, Chef Offers Colombian Farmers Pride And Profit (NPR)
  • Food Historian Reckons With the Black Roots of Southern Food (Smithsonian Magazine)                                        … Michael Twitty shares the contributions that enslaved African-Americans and their descendants have made to southern cuisine
  • The Long Run Home (Earth Island Journal)  A vanishing tribe, a critically-endangered fish, and the race to pull them back from the brink.


Seeds & Cultivars

  • The Red Delicious is an apple atrocity. Why are we growing billions of pounds of them each year? (New Food Economy)                                                                                            As tastier breeds like Honeycrisp and Gala edge the Red Delicious out of grocery stores, what happens to the forgotten fruit?


Hunger, Food Access & Security, Obesity, Malnutrition, and Nutrition

  • Republicans in Congress Are So Eager to Slash Food Stamps, They’re About to Make a Big Mistake (Mother Jones)                                                                                            A battle over SNAP work requirements
  • Spring Break Leaves Some College Students Looking For Their Next Meal (Wisconsin Public Radio)  Experts say hunger on campuses is all too common
  • Food, Housing Insecurity May Be Keeping College Students From Graduating (NPR)
  • Only 30 percent of American food aid pays for actual food (New Food Economy)                                                    The next farm bill may change that. If the Food for Peace Modernization Act passes, it would mark the most radical – and progressive – change to America’s food-aid commitments in sixty years.


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Turning (EU) food waste into animal feed could take a chunk out of livestock emissions (Horizon Magazine)
  • Instead of reshaping domestic waste management, US asks China to lift its scrap waste ban (Nation of Change)
  • Trashed: Inside the Deadly World of Private Garbage Collection (ProPublica)                                                        Waste removal is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. On the darkened streets of New York City, it’s a race for survival.


Healthy/Food Safety

  • The Coca-Cola Invasion Is Causing Mexico’s Slow Death by Junk Food (AlterNet)                                          Mexico’s traditional diet of beans and corn has been replaced with pizza and hamburgers.
  • FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb want to define “healthy” and “natural” (New Food economy)                    And maybe take the dairy out of yogurt, too.
  • Here’s the Federal Government’s Big Chance to Improve Public Health and Reduce Animal Suffering – at the Same Time (AlterNet)                                                                   The USDA must make plant-based eating priority in the 2020-2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • The Science About Eating out That Will Scare You Into Cooking Your Own Dinner (Mother Jones)                A new study links restaurant meals with higher levels of plastic-based chemicals in the body.
  • Would You Like Some Phthalates With Your Sandwich? (EcoWatch)
  • Study: Dietary sources of cumulative phthalates exposure among the US general population NHANES 2005-2014 (Environmental International)
  • Study: Phage particles harboring antibiotic resistance genes in fresh-cut vegetables and agricultural soil (Environment International)


Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird

  • What turns some law-abiding Canadians into smugglers? The high price of imported cheese (PRI)


Children & School Food

  • What Children Understand About Food Insecurity (Civil Eats)                                                                          Researchers have begun asking children about their households’ lack of food – and making surprising discoveries.



  • Waiting Tables or Harvesting Food, Why Fair Labor Is Still About Civil Rights (Yes!)                                                   For too many women, deciding whether to stand up to harassment at work is a choice between earning a enough tips to put foo on their tables or not.
  • Tennessee ICE Raid Signals Return to Large-Scale Workplace Raids (Southern Poverty Law Center)
  • Five days in pictures: Farmworkers fast for freedom from sexual violence in the fields (New Food Economy)
  • Union Behind The ‘Fight For $15’ Cuts Funding For Fast Food Campaign (Huffington Post)                                In the Trump era, the Service Employees International Union is pumping less money into organizing McDonald’s workers, filings show.
  • A Heimlich Maneuver for Stopping Harassers (Mother Jones)                                                                                              And four more ideas on how to clean up restaurant culture.



  • Calling Out Trudeau ‘Betrayal, Water Defenders Mobilize Against Kinder Morgan Pipeline (Common Dreams)



  • Flying insects tell tales of long distance migrations (Science News)                                                                                Well timed travel ensures food and breeding opportunities
  • How honeybees’ royal jelly might be a baby glue, too (Science News)                                                                                A last minute pH shift turns goo sticky and keeps queen larvae from falling out of the cells.
  • Jeff Bezos and Amazon Can Help Save the Bees – So What Are They Waiting For? (AlterNet)                    Several major retailers have committed to stop selling harmful neonic pesticides to protect bees. Not Amazon.



  • Large-Scale Animal Agriculture Is Threatening Rural Communities. Congress Is About to Make It Worse. (Mother Jones)                                                                    Missouri communities fend off a rise in feedlots.


Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • The death of the “Big Food” era is imminent after the industry’s biggest lobbying group crumbles (Quartz)
  • Bills to Ban Local Soda Taxes Are Moving In the States, Coke and Pepsi Borrow from the Tobacco Playbook (The Center For Media And Democracy)
    • Foodwatch Germany slams Coca-Cola’s denial of health threat (Deutsche Welle)                                            The German consumer watchdog Foodwatch accused Coca-Cola of denying the obvious health damage caused by its soft drinks. But the government has no plans for a UK-style sugar tax.
  • Edibles Market Is Exploding. You Can Bet Big Corporations Are Watching. (Mother Jones)                                “They recognize the writing on the wall.”
  • A UK Grocery Chain Banned Palm Oil. Here’s Why That’s Not Enough. (Huffington Post)
  • How Three Black Women Use Food as Tools for Resistance (East Bay Express)                                                        Away from the confines of restaurants, Monifa Dayo, Hella Black Brunch, and Soul Oakland create meals to spark change.
  • Why Is China Treating North Carolina Like the Developing World? (Rolling Stone)                                    How lax regulations made it cheaper for China to outsource pork production – and all of its environmental and human costs – to the US.
  • With its purchase of Whole Foods, is Amazon’s goal to revolutionize food distribution? (The Conversation)
  • NECCO Wagers: Fans Stock Up As America’s Oldest Candy Company Faces Closure (Newsweek)
  • Popular B.C. chefs ask provincial government not to renew salmon farm licenses (National Observer)
  • Don’t Call It Pot: My Dinner With San Francisco’s Cannabis Gourmets (Mother Jones)                                    A new group of elite entrepreneurs are trading in marijuana-infused luxury foods.
  • In Oaxaca, Mexico, A Locally Made Soda Takes Aim At Coca-Cola’s Supremacy (NPR)
  • Why is farmers’ market bread so ridiculously expensive? (New Food Economy)                                                          Don’t blame growers and bakers for the $10 heirloom loaf. Blame American farm policy.
  • As Vermont’s Milk Industry Continues To Free-Fall, Canadian Dairies Are Thriving (NPR)


Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird


Water & Our Oceans

  • This is What a West Without Water Will Look Like (Mother Jones)                                                                                    A huge swath of the US is facing massive droughts. It’s only going to get worse.
  • Is Coal Waste Leaching Into America’s Drinking Water? (The New Republic)                                                                          Coal ash ponds are contaminating ground water across the country, but the consequences are unclear because the government doesn’t monitor them.
  • From ‘Sea to Shining Sea,’ Industrial Ag Fouls America’s Waterways (Common Dreams)                   Given agriculture’s role in destroying our most precious natural resource, you’d think the US Congress would do everything in its power to protect your water.
  • The Great Lakes Are Filling Up With Giant Green Blobs (Mother Jones)                                                                Industrial agriculture fuels them, and new science shows that they emit way more greenhouse gas than previously thought.
  • Oysters could clean up the New York harbor. But regulators worry people will eat them (New Food Economy)
  • The Trouble With Tuna Poke Bowls (Mother Jones)                                                                                        The Hawaiian dish is all the rage – but the oceans are paying the price.


Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • Alarm Sounds After EU Regulators Greenlight Bayer-Monsanto #MergerFromHell (Common Dreams)  Critics of the deal warn the decision will allow the companies, “together with BASF, to become data giants in agriculture – the ‘Facebooks of farming’ – with all the pitfalls that entails.”
  • Are White South African Farmers Facing “Genocide”? Why These Claims Illustrate Australia’s Discriminatory Refugee Policy (Truthout)
  • ICE arrests farmworkers, sparking fears in the Central Valley over immigrants and the economy (Los Angeles Times)
  • Strict Work Requirements to Get Food Stamps, But Not Farm Subsidies (Environmental Working Group)
    • New USDA Subsidy Program Will Send Hundreds of Millions of Dollars to Cotton Farmers (Environmental Working Group)
    • The Market’s Advice: Plan, Plant, Plant (Cotton Grower)
  • USDA secretary accused of siding with industry over science in new report (The Guardian)                                  A Union of Concerned Scientists report said Sonny Perdue was ‘sidelining science’ and called for congressional scrutiny of the agency
  • After Supreme Court ruling, Flint residents will finally see officials in court (grist)
  • The EPA edited out farmworker concerns about pesticides (grist)
    • EPA reportedly ‘distorted’ meeting notes and workers could be more vulnerable to pesticide exposure (Think Progress)
    • Trump saved a pesticide Obama wanted banned. Then, it poisoned several farmworkers. (grist)
  • FDA Issues Mandatory Recall For Kratom Products Over Salmonella Risks (Huffington Post)          The order targets products distributed y Triangle Pharmanaturals, which refused a voluntary recall request.
  • NLRB Just Dealt a Major Blow to the Fight for $15. Now’s the Time to Take Stock of the Campaign. (In These Times)
  • Trump signs bill that kills Obama-era rule targeting wag theft, unsafe working conditions (Chicago Tribune)
  • Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Fix EQIP, a Broken Farm Conservation Program (modern farmer)
  • Farmers Are Collateral Damage in Trump’s Trade War (Mother Jones)
    • China Joins the Fray, Reacts to US Tariffs With Huge Tariffs of Their Own (modern farmer)
    • “Farmers for Free Trade” Runs Ad During, “Fox and Friends” To Get Trump’s Attention (modern farmer)
    • What Chinese Tariffs Targeting American Crops Will Mean For Farmers (NPR)
    • US Farmers Likely To Be Among Hardest Hit By Chinese Tariffs (NPR)
    • The First American Casualties of Trump’s Trade War With China (Mother Jones)                                Tariffs on pork and soybeans reverberate through the Heartland.
  • Trump Want to Ban Health Warnings on His Favorite Food (Mother Jones)                                                        He’s using the NAFTA renegotiations as a tool in the effort.
  • No More Bottled Water For Flint, As Michigan Declares Taps ‘Restored’ (Huffington Post)                            The whistleblower who exposed elevated blood lead levels in Flint children says the decision is premature.
  • Flint Residents Chocked By State’s Decision To End Bottled Water Delivery (Huffington Post)
  • Kansas Governor Signs “Tyson Bill,” Despite Protests (modern farmer)                                                                  Kansas governor Jeff Colyer just signed a bill that, on the surface, looks like a minor change in poultry production legislation – that is until you talk to the people who have been protesting for the past six months.
  • How a Kansas Town Held off a Tyson Plant (Civil Eats)                                                                                    Tonganoxie residents are the latest in a wave of rural communities standing up to Big Ag.
  • Michigan OKs Nestlé Water Extraction, Despite 80K+ Public Comments Against It (NPR)
    • Despite Overwhelming Opposition From Residents, Michigan Permits Nestlé to Draw More Groundwater for Bottling (EcoWatch)                                                              Out of 81, 862 comments filed, only 75 were reportedly in favor of granting the permit.
  • LaPage (Maine Governor) looks to override local pesticide rules in 30 municipalities. But why? (Portland Press Herald)                                                                                      More communities are developing ordinances meant to protect residents from toxic chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects.


GMOs/CRISPR/Cloning/Synthetic Biology/Nanotechnology



  • Robots Are Trying To Pick Strawberries. So Far, They’re Not Very Good At It (NPR)



  • Researchers Link Glyphosate to Shorter Pregnancies (EcoWatch)
    • Study: Glyphosate exposure in pregnancy and shortened gestation length: a prospective Indiana birth cohort study (Environmental Health)
  • Popular Beer and Wine Brands Contaminated With Monsanto’s Weedkiller, Test Reveal (AlterNet)          Some brewers and vintners are taking steps to avoid contamination from glyphosate.
  • Thanks to Scott Pruitt, 30 Million Pounds of Brain Damaging Pesticide Will Be Sprayed on Corps in Next 5 Years (Environmental Working Group)                  The EPA’s own calculations suggest that babies, children and pregant women all eat much more chlorpyrifos than is safe.


Sponsorship: West Coast Seeds

Grow Calgary is a non-profit organization run completely by volunteers and we help with team building activities for groups, organizations, schools, and business. For the past 5 season we have helps give fresh produce to over 30 local social agencies with feeding programs like the Drop in Centre, The Women Emergency Shelter and Inn from the Cold.

Grow Calgary has an 11 acre farm located west of Canada Olympic Park on the South side of the TransCanada Highway. Grow Calgary will be currently entering our 6th season in 2018 and also are very excited to be celebrating our 5th birthday on May, 13th.

Now a definition of non-profit is that we are not established for the purpose of making any money we are purely in it for making a changes in our community.

Now none of this would be possible if it weren’t for our many sponsors.

West Coast Seeds

West Coast Seeds donations help Grow Calgary with our early Germination events, Aggie days, and Earth Science Society event,

West Coast Seeds are non-treated and  Non-GMO  and are used for organic growing. Non-GMO  means they are not genetically motivated and come naturally from the plant.

West Coast seeds are Non-treated and are naturally dried they are not applied with a polymer spray which would have contain  seed coating that would have growth promoters, fertilizer, or chemicals to protect the seed from pathogens which would usually be fungicides.

West Coast Seeds 2

West Coast Seeds has over 850 different kinds of open-pollinated and hybrid vegetable seeds.  West Coast Seeds are featured certified organic seeds for growing food like beets, carrots, onions, tomatoes and so much more.

For more information check out their website West Coast Seeds.