Jenny’s Food & Ag Update June 15, 2018


  • Blacksmiths Turn Unwanted Guns Into Garden Tools (Yes!)                                                                            Shotguns often become hand spades, and a weapon like the AR-15 that was used in recent mass shootings has a thicker barrel that suits an afterlife as a mattock.
  • Wisconsin’s agriculture agent shortage heralds the end of an era for rural America (New Food Economy)
  • To Upend Failed Paradigm, Hundreds of Experts Converge in EU to Forge Blueprint for Sustainable Food System (Common Dreams)                                                                      “We need a fundamental transition to sustainable food and farming systems,” says Oliver De Schutter
  • Puerto Rico’s Push For Food Independence Intertwined With Statehood Debate (NPR)
  • Inside the Push to Bring Racial Equity to Land Grant Universities (Civil Eats)                                                    Academics and food systems advocates are working from within public universities to acknowledge and address 150 years of structural racism.
  • ‘No Such Thing as Cheap Meat’: New Global Index Shows Industry’s Failure to Combat Climate Crisis, Antibiotic Resistance (Common Dreams)                                            Index gauges how 60 suppliers, worth a combined $300 billion, are managing sustainability risks based on nine criteria
  • The Organic Coating that Gives Produce a New Life – and Opens New Markets for Farmers (Civil Eats)      Avocados, mangoes, and cassava are the first corps that Apeel is targeting with their edible coating, approved for use on organic foods, that can prevent food waste and grow farm ecibinues.
  • What Fossil Fuels and Factory Farms Have in Common (Yes!)                                                                                      Hint: They’re both issues of environmental injustice.
  • The Beef Of The Future Is Here, And It’s Not Mad Of Meat (Huffington Post)                                    Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat could give our planet the break it needs from meat. Even White Castle agrees.
  • Cow’s Milk Or Almond Milk? Ethical Food Choices Are Not As Simple As You Think (Huffington Post)        It’s not just about cutting out certain foods.
  • A Vet Turns to Farming to Heal His Wounds (Mother Jones)                                                                                    Alex carries the weight of chronic PTSD. Raising animals helps him keep the demons at bay.
  • In Less Than One Generation, We’ve Lost More Than 10 Million Acres of the Best US Farmland (In These Times)
  • An Agricultural Movement for People-to-People Reparations Puts Itself on the Map (In These Times)
  • Jillian Hishaw wants to help black farmers stay on their land (Salon)                                                                        This farmers’ rights advocate is fighting for today’s farmers as well as the next generation
  • For these pro bono lawyers, “Know you farmer” takes on new meaning (New Food Economy)
  • Before “Silent Spring” Debuted in 1962, Ag Pilots on the Great Plains Questioned Pesticide Safety (In These Times)


Farming, Farmers, Ranching, Herding, Fishing & Production

  •  Farming as Resistance (Yes!)           Threatened by a mining company, indigenous women in the remote highlands of Guatemala are marching, increasing productivity, and planting trees.
  • Guatemalan farmers occupy plantation formerly owned by drug traffickers (Waging Nonviolence)
  • Farmers Switched to Organic After Pesticides Made Them or their Families Sick (EcoWatch)
  • In Historic First, Nebraska Farmer Returns Land to Ponca Tribe Along “Trail of Tears” (Bold Nebraska)
    • on Nebraska Farmer Repatriating Land to Ponca Tribe in Keystone XL’s Path (Common Dreams)
  • On East Coast Oyster Farms, ‘Women Are Rising Up From The Bay In A Big Way’ (NPR)


Seeds & Cultivars


Food and Culture

  • From Collards To Maple Syrup, How Your Identity Impacts The Food You Like (NPR)
  • Don’t Eat Before Reading This (The New Yorker)                                                                                              I rarely speak of my over 35 years in professional kitchens, but the passing of Anthony Bourdain, and his reality check of living and working in restaurant kitchens has always rung true with my experience.

When Kitchen Confidential was published in 2000 I gave a copy            to my mother, she said she didn’t want to read it, she had heard it         all from me… the times I have been told “We do not speak                         women,” or “Get down on you knees,” in this context it does not             mean to beg for work, but suck the appendage of the speaker,                 when I was looking for work. I have asked male chefs why they               have no women in their kitchens “I can’t find any women who can         cut it.” You mean they won’t cut the harassment and degradation         of our work kitchens, are for the most part, a male world.

Thank you Anthony for the support, and acknowledgement that           women in professional kitchens have a tough row to hoe.

  • Tongue and cheeks: Eating the once discarded parts of Newfoundland’s number one fish (Salon)      Newfoundland’s cod are finally coming back – just in time for foreigners to develop a taste for their tongues.


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

  • For the Homeless, There’s More to Eating than Food (Civil Eats)                                                                                        Food safety, security, and storage are three problems that influence the meal choices of people living without the other conveniences of shelter.
  • The Food Stamp Work Requirement Is a Scheme to Punish Hungry Americans (In These Times)
  • The SNAP Challenge: Communicating food security capabilities through anti-hunger advocacy (Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development)


Gleaning, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Salvaging food losses from Vermont farms (Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development)
  • Zero-waste stores ask shoppers to bring their own everything (Salon)                                                                              As record amounts of plastic waste pollutes the planet, some grocers are helping shoppers do without
  • Last Straw For Plastic Straws? Cities, Restaurants Move To Toss These Sippers (NPR)


Healthy/Food Safety

  • To Rinse Or Not To Rinse: How Washing Some Foods Can Help You Avoid Illness (NPR)
    • Study: Cross-contamination of fresh-cut lettuce after a short-term exposure during subsequent washing with chlorine dioxide or sodium hpochlorite (Science Direct)
    • Why Are Salad Greens Always Labeled “Triple-Washed”? (Slate)
    • Recommendations for Handling Fresh-cut Leafy Green Salads by Consumers and Retail Food service Operators (UC Davis)
  • We still don’t know the cause of 32 state E. coli outbreak – the only solution is more science (The Hill)


Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird

  • Organic Food Fraud Is a Big Problem – Here’s What the Government Plans to Do About It (Food & Wine)                                                                                                    Is your organic produce really organic? The USDA has a plat to make sure it is.
  • The labels said ‘organic.’ But these massive imports of corn and soybeans weren’t (Washington Post)
  • How 36 Million Pounds of Fake Organic Food Ended Up in the US (Food & Wine)
  • AP Investigation: Fish billed as local isn’t always local (Associated Press)
    • Supposedly Sustainable Seafood Company Accused of Fraud (modern farmer)                                            Sea to Table, a company that delivers seafood billed as sustainable and domestic, is the subject of an Associated Press report that indicates its products not always be either.
  • Mario Batali under criminal investigation, NYPD confirms (Salon)                                                                                        The celebrity chef has been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and assault



  • Despite A Revamped Focus On Real-Life Skills, ‘Home Ec’ Classes Fade Away (NPR)


Children & School Food



  • For Big Corporations Like Walmart, Wage Theft Penalties Are Just the Price of Doing Business (In These Times)
    • Report: Wage Theft is Pervasive in Corporate America; Big Banks, Insurers are Among Most-Penalized Firms (Good Jobs First)
    • Report: Grand Theft Paycheck: The Large Corporations Shortchanging Their Workers’ Wages (Good Jobs First)
  • California cites seven Bay Area restaurants for $10 million wage theft (SF Chronicle)
    • Wage theft costs low-paid California workers $2 billion per year (SF Chronicle)
    • An Epidemic of Wage Theft Is Costing Workers Hundreds of Millions of Dollars a Year (2014) (Economic Policy Institute)
  • Why Gabrielle Hamilton Broke My Heart This Week (Huffington Post)                                                                            This week, the chef partnered up with a restaurateur who has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.
  • Want Better Working Conditions in Restaurants? Build a Co-op (Civil Eats)                                                              When employees make decisions and advocate for themselves, good things happen.



  • UK: Young people are leading a growing movement against low pay and precarious work (The Conversation)
  • Native American water protector becomes first to be sentenced to time in federal prison for DAPL protests (Nation of Change)                                                                                      Seven Native Americans face felony charges, while hundreds of others still face lesser charges for their role in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline.



  • Honeybees Are Very Smart (modern farmer)
      • Honeybees zero in on nothing (EurekAlert!)                                                          Scientists discover bees understand the concept of zero, a surprise finding that opens possibilities for new, simpler approaches to developing AI


  • Humanity Has Killed 83% of All Wild Mammals and Half of All Plants: Study (Global Citizen)              Of all the birds left in the world, 70% are poultry chickens and other farmed birds.


Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Major companies announce their commitment to eliminate single-use plastic (Nation of Change)        SeaWorld Parks, American Express, Royal Caribbean, IKEA A&@ Canada, and Burger King UK have all announced their effort to eliminate items like plastic drinking straws, stirrers, lids and bags.
  • Starbucks Urged to Cut Ties With Hong Kong Chain that Still Serves Shark Fin (EcoWatch)
  • How A Tiny Coffee Company Is Taking on The Homelessness Crisis (Huffington Post)                                    The London based startup has its sights on the US And is going to help.


Food Fraud/Scandals/Weird

  • Capilano Revives Allowerie Brand to Sell Cheap Imported Chinese Hone in Coles Supermarkets (Tasty Honey)
    • Australia’s Capilano Honey Admit Selling Toxic and Poisonous Hone to Consumers (Kangaroo Court of Australia)
    • Study: Development of a fast isocratic LC-MS/MS method for the high-throughput analysis of pyrrolized alkaloids in Australian honey (Food Additive & Contaminants)


Water & Our Oceans

  • Bottled Water, Brought to You by Fracking (AlterNet)                                                                                        The link between fracking and bottled water industry is one more reason to take back the tap.
  • Beyond Flint: Contaminated Drinking Water is Everywhere in America (AlterNet)                          Agricultural runoff is poorly regulated and turning many waterways across the country into dangerous cesspools
  • Citizen-scientists in Minnesota and Wisconsin demand action after finding E. coli in their water (New Food Economy)                                                                                              But don’t blame farmers. Pressured to expand, they’re in an unenviable bind: Scale and risk polluting local waterways – or resist and risk their livelihoods.
  • Plastic killed most sperm whales found dead in Greek waters since 2001 (Nation of Change)                      “The evidence is starting to mount rapidly that we just cannot throw away plastic as we have been.”
  • Reef Madness: The Trump Administration’s Plan To Hand a Coral Ecosystem to the Fishing Industry (In These Times)


Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

  • India’s decision to eliminate single-use plastic bags by 2022 is ‘game-changing’ (Nation of Change)              “It is the duty of each one of us, to ensure that the quest for material prosperity does not compromise our environment.”
  • AGs sue EPA over delay of requirement to protect farmworkers (The Hill)                                                                  The attorney general (AG) from three states are suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to enforce a requirement meant in part to protect farm workers from pesticides.
  • The CDC Is Investigating Salmonella Outbreaks From Backyard Chickens (modern farmer)                                  It makes sense to think that chickens you raise yourself, with room to move around, a good diet and minimal stress, would be safer than dreaded industrial birds.
  • Sweet Talk: FDA’s ‘Added Sugar’ Label Hits Sour Note With Maple Syrup Makers (NPR)                                          Maple syrup producers take pride in their pure, natural product. So when the US Food and Drug Administration proposed new labels to say maple syrup contains “added sugar,” producers fought back.
  • Trump Administration’s New Orwellian GMO Labels Won’t Actually Say ‘GMO’ (AlterNet)                      The proposed labels are a loss for consumer transparency.
  • Trump’s Trade Ware Is Already Affecting Farmers (modern farmer)
    • My crops gained $45K in value since Trump delayed China trade war – but it’s not a done deal (The Hill)
    • The Trade Ware Continues: Mexico Imposes $3 Billion Tariff on US Goods (modern farmer)
  • What the Failure of the House Farm Bill Means for Good Food Advocates (Civil Eats)                                            Last week’s collapse of the bill surprised many, but it’s too soon to declare it a win.
  • Hawaii Becomes First State To Ban Widely-Used Pesticide Found To Be Harmful To Kids (Huffington Post)        “Hawaii is showing the Trump administration that the states will stand up for our kids, even when Washington will not.”
  • After Flint Crisis, Michigan Sets a New Standard for Lead in Drinking Water (Truthout)
    • Michigan Not Waiting Around For EPA To Fix Weak Rules On Lead In Drinking Water (Huffington Post)                                                                                The Flint water crisis exposed glaring problems with federal regulations and the EPA is dragging feet on a fix.
  • EPA Moves To Replace Obama-Era Rule Protecting Drinking Water For 117 Million (Huffington Post)    Scott Pruitt revoked the Clean Water Rule, which clarified what bodies of water could be federally protected, last year.
  • Vancouver becomes first city in world to approve zero waste strategic plan (Nation of Change)                “It’s a coastal city, with the plastic items having a significant impact on the environment, we feel it’s important to take action.”
  • The Senate Is About to Vote on Its Farm Bill. What the Hell Is the Farm Bill, Anyway? (Mother Jones)            And why should I care?



  • Common Antimicrobial in Toothpaste Linked to Inflammation and Cancer in the Gut (Truthout)
  • As Trump EPA Attacks Workers and Environment, Trio of Lawsuits Takes Aim at “outrageous” Pro-Pesticide Agenda (Common Dreams)                                                 The suits, filed Wednesday, target the Trump administration’s efforts to block federal rules on poisonous chemicals
  • Glyphosate detected in granola and crackers, FDA emails show (Nation of Change)
    • Children May Be Eating Cereal Laced With Monsanto’s Toxic Weed Killer (AlterNet)                              The probable carcinogen glyphosate has been detected in popular cereals, but the EPA is ready to approve its use for 15 more years.


Education & Training

  • University of California Cooperative Extension                      Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program  Pastured/Free-Range Poultry Training      
  • July 12, 2018, UC Davis
  • August 15 – 16, 2018, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR