Jenny’s Food & Ag Update November 20, 2018

 

  • Alexandria Oasio-Cortez Learned Her Most Important Lessons from Restaurants (Bon Appétit) https://bit.ly/2AWnxvn
  • ‘Farming saved my life.’ Veteran turns to the land for PTSD therapy and a new beginning. (The News and Observer) https://bit.ly/2zVYE1a
  • Taquero Drives Out To Wildfire Evacuation Camp, Feeds Hundreds Left Homeless By Blaze (Latin Live) https://bit.ly/2TnWnEQ
  • How A Ragtag Group Of Oregon Locals Took On The Biggest Chemical Companies In The World – And Won (The Intercept) https://bit.ly/2OelaM4
  • Catch me if you can: How the paiche plague in Bolivia’s Amazon is making its way onto menus (Independent) https://ind.pn/2RVwHhw
  • China Plows Ahead With Modern Farming as American Tariffs Drive Up crop Costs (Wall Street Journal) https://on.wsj.com/2qUnqdW                                                                         The trade fight gives Beijing fresh incentive to beef up a sector dominated by small farms with low crop yields

 

Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding, Fishing & Production

  • What’s Behind the Crippling Dairy Crisis? Family Farmers Speak Out. (Civil Eats) https://bit.ly/2Ddcfog                                                          In the Northeast, the dairy crisis is shuttering generations-old diaries. Can the crisis become a rallying political issue?
  • What’s the Big Problem With Paper Pots? (Modern Farmer) https://bit.ly/2FvHyx8                                                                                           An efficient Japanese potting system has come under minor fire in the past year. What’s the deal?

 

Land and Soil

  • Rare microbes lead scientists to discover new branch on the tree of life (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) https://bit.ly/2Pzzj7Q                                                                Hemimastigotes are more different from all other living things than animals are from fungi

 

Climate

  • Natural Climate Solutions Could Cancel Out a Fifth of US Emissions, Study Finds (Inside Climate News) https://bit.ly/2qQhfHY                                                                                      Low-tech, time-tested forest, farm and land management techniques are effective, cheap and carry benefits well beyond tackling climate change.
  • Crab Fishers Sue Fossil Fuel Industry Over Climate Change Damage (Inside Climate News) https://bit.ly/2PBnuy3                   The lawsuit by the largest West Coast commercial fishing association seeks to hold 30 companies accountable for harming shellfish and livelihoods as the ocean warms.

 

Plants, Seeds & Cultivars

  • The Last Tree Standing (Modern Farmer) https://bit.ly/2DMYI7L  For thousands of years, breadfruit grew in the Pacific Islands, where it was a staple in locals’ diets. It’s time to give it another look.

 

Food Culture & History

  • Decolonizing Cuisine with Mak-‘amham (KCET) https://bit.ly/2KblG93                                                                                              … two Ohlone chefs are revitalizing Ohlone language, food practices and adapting them for a modernist palate.
  • Young Women are Reviving Indigenous Food Traditions Online (Civil Eats) https://bit.ly/2PkBJXS                                                                     A new generation of Native Americans is celebrating its food culture and promoting food health – with the help of social media and YouTube-friendly videos.
  • Black Migrants: Photographs of California’s Forgotten agricultural Past (Civil Eats) https://bit.ly/2BcxDIS
  • A Bronze Age tomb in Israel reveals the earliest known use of vanilla (Science News) https://bit.ly/2Q7ODYW                               Jugs that date to about 3,600 years ago hold traces of the aromatic substance

 

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

  • This misinterpreted Bible verse is behind Republican efforts to deny food to poor people (Raw Story) https://bit.ly/2A2LKP8
  • This Community is Addressing Food Insecurity, One Grocery Store at a Time (Civil Eats) https://bit.ly/2SKEDmX
  • How Nutritious Is That Fish? To Find Out, Ask Its Relatives (EcoWatch) https://bit.ly/2Pw1wfR                                                            Eels and anchovies don’t look or act much alike. One is sinuous and shy, the other is a bright flash of silver in a school of thousands…

 

Gleaning, Foraging, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • France’s war on waste makes it the world’s most sustainable country (World Economic Forum) https://bit.ly/2ydEcc2
  • The Biggest Source of Plastic Trash You’ve Never Heard of (ensia) https://bit.ly/2PGxKoU                                                                                    From acres of sheeting to miles of twine, farms use billions of pounds of plastic each year. What can we do to reduce the impact?
  • The Problems With Bioplastics (Eastbay Express) https://bit.ly/2Qb1VUN                                                                               People mistakenly try to recycle them, thereby contaminating the waste stream. Plus, they’re not really compostable.

 

Healthy Food & Food Safety

  • India is awash in palm oil, and health takes a hit (Food & Environmental Reporting Network) https://bit.ly/2B0pIyl        From traditional snacks to fast food, the cheap oil is everywhere. Rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease – already high – are rising.
  • Watch The Iceland Christmas Ad Which Will Never Be Shown After Authorities Banned It (LBC UK) https://bit.ly/2Pq8KlD
  • Food Stamps For Soda: Time To End Billion-Dollar Subsidy For Sugary Drinks? (NPR) https://n.pr/2OEDTg3

 

Food Fraud, Scandals, Weird & Funny

  • Australian Police Arrest 50 Year Old Woman After Needles Found In Strawberries (Huffington Post) https://bit.ly/2PPzzz6   Police have said that the accused worked as a supervisor at a strawberry farm in Queensland.

 

Children & School Food

  • France’s Crisis Epidemic of Limbless Babies (Daily Beast) https://thebea.st/2QJWOru                                                                    Doctors are confounded on why kids from two rural French towns were born without parts of their arms and hands between 2012 and 2013.
  • What School Lunches Have to Do With Fixing Wealth Inequality (Yes!) https://bit.ly/2QE3TKg                                                        Dismantling a capitalist food system could begin with schools, which nationwide spend about $3 billion on food contracts.

 

Labor, Unions & Coops

  • Your Halloween Candy’s Hidden Ingredient: Child Slave Labor (Mother Jones) https://bit.ly/2DdIjYS                                          Chocolate makers say they’re tackling the problem, but progress is scant.
  • Arkansas and Missouri Approve Minimum Wage Increases (Truthout) https://bit.ly/2SX5vA7
    • The Fairness Project https://bit.ly/2RJ3QwB                              Also: Massachusetts Passed $15 minimum wage            Michigan passed Paid Sick Leave                                                            San Antonio, TX passed Paid Sick Leave
  • Dozens of Farmers Continue to Harvest Despite Proximity of (California) Fires (NBC Los Angeles) https://bit.ly/2Q0xkZH
  • New Department of Labor Numbers Show Farmers Are Increasingly Turning to this Controversial Visa Program (Mother Jones) https://bit.ly/2zChOJm                                                             Positions certified for the H-2A visa are up 21 percent over last year.

 

Pollinators

  • Hemp fields offer a late-season pollen source for stressed bees (Science News) https://bit.ly/2A8iuGA                                                   Low-THC cannabis attracts a wide range of bee species collecting for larvae

 

Animals

  • Meet Winston: America’s First Certified Therapeutic Rooster (Modern Farmer) https://bit.ly/2FtHRsg                                               From the moment he dons his red bandana, he’s ready to comfort people in pain. Just how good is Winston? Good Enough to have earned a testimonial letter from the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic.
  • Three month after jury awarded millions in hog-waste lawsuit, trial begins in another case (The News and Observer) https://bit.ly/2PuDS3m
    • Odor, flies and noise. Hog farming goes on trial again with high-stakes federal lawsuit. (The News and Observer) https://bit.ly/2PWwe1a                                                                                    A high-stakes, month-long trail against the world’s largest pork producer () began in Raleigh…
  • As cruel industrial pig farming persists in the EU, one million citizens demand change (Euractiv) https://bit.ly/2zQygH8

 

Business, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • From field to city: Are direct deliveries a viable business model for farmers? (Euractiv) https://bit.ly/2QDD3C3
  • The Beverage Industry Has Figured Out a Legal End Run Around Soda Taxes (Mother Jones) https://bit.ly/2qAaz0B                                 It worked in the state o Washington on Tuesday.
  • Chocolate giant Cadbury ‘still pushing orangutans towards extinction by wrecking habitat for palm oil’ (Independent) https://ind.pn/2zRhAOI
    • These everyday household products all contain unsustainable palm oil (Hastings & St. Leonards Observer) https://bit.ly/2qRJmq6
  • Why Co-ops and Community Farms Can’t Close the Racial Wealth Gap (Yes!) https://bit.ly/2DeV31w                              Circulating local dollars can’t create wealth when there’s not enough to begin with.
  • Trump’s tax cuts will help the Walton family more than Walmart workers (Market Watch) https://on.mktw.net/2PtdHdq                     A study suggests there’s a world of difference between the tax benefits enjoy by these workers and their employers
  • Walton Wealth: An Analysis of the Last 16 Years of Corporate Dividend Tax Breaks for the Riches Family in the US (Making Change At Walmart, UFCW) https://bit.ly/2PqrjGl
  • 1,100 economists warn that Trump is repeating one of the biggest mistakes of the Great Depression (Business Insider) https://read.bi/2Kgk79W

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Fifty Towns in Connecticut Have Now Banned Fracking Waste (Food and Water Watch) https://bit.ly/2JZORvM                           More wins for an inspiring grassroots movement to protect community health
  • US shale firms offer $100 million to aid Texas, New Mexico (Reuters) https://reut.rs/2Dvviub                                                               And what of the environmental damage?
  • Hormone-Disrupting Weed Killer Taints Tap Water for Millions in Corn Belt (Environmental Working Group) https://bit.ly/2KhRVn0
    • A Valuable Reputation (The New Yorker) https://bit.ly/2QWq7aj                                                                              After Tyrone Hayes said that a chemical was harmful, its marker pursued him.
  • Breathing Toxins For My Birthday (Food and Water Watch) https://bit.ly/2DABgKZ                                                                                       Red tide has been impacting the Western coast of Florida or months in horrifying ways

 

 

 

 

Government, Regulation, Policy & Farm Bill

  • Trump has only distributed a fraction of promised bailout funds for farmers hurt by tariffs (Think Progress) https://bit.ly/2Bk8bBm                                                                                      Less than $900 million of $12 billion bailout program has actually been given to US producers.
  • Chinese – owned pork producer to get money from (US tariff) bailout program spurred by China’s tariffs (The Washington Post) https://wapo.st/2AVhCGT
  • Scientists warned this weed killer (Dicamba) would destroy crops. EPA approved it anyway (Reveal News) https://bit.ly/2Q1Vq6q
  • EPA Plans to Allow Unlimited Dumping of Fracking Wastewater in the Gulf of Mexico (Truthout) https://bit.ly/2QQCd4j
  • USDA won’t name turkey plants, despite 164 illnesses and 1 death (Food Safety News) https://bit.ly/2DCV00J                                 It appears that the USDA has finally released the source organizations…
  • Almost 46 tons of raw ground turkey recalled for link to Salmonella Reading outbreak (Food Safety News) https://bit.ly/2DJBX4H
  • Report: EPA Unable to Assess the Impact of Hundreds of Unregulated Pollutants in Land Applied Biosolids on Human Health and the Environment (EPA) https://bit.ly/2QdwMA4
    • EPA Watchdog Questions Safety of Sewage Used as Fertilizer (Bloomberg) https://bit.ly/2zjko7Q                                                     This issue is still not settled after the San Francisco Organic Biosolids fiasco in 2010?
  • USDA sued for not requiring verification for ‘humane’ labeling (Food Safety News) https://bit.ly/2DoKMjn
  • California is banning the sale of eggs from caged hens (World economic Forum) https://bit.ly/2qCmqLl
    • California Votes To Ban Cages For Hens, Give Farm Animals More Room (Huffington Post) https://bit.ly/2PIaia0   Proposition 12 may change the way farms nationwide treat their chickens, pigs and calves.
  • California pesticide regulators recommend new chlorpyrifos restrictions (The Californian) https://bit.ly/2Dxpv76
  • Republicans Are Making A Deal On Food Stamps And Farm Subsidies (Huffington Post) https://bit.ly/2DJ4QhB                      With Democrats taking over the House, Republicans are eager to pass the farm bill.

 

GMOs, CRISPR, Cloning & Synthetic Biology

  • Genetically Engineered American Chestnut Tree Called ‘Trojan Horse’ at Opening Door to Commercialize GE Trees (Stop GE Trees) https://bit.ly/2KbPWAw
  • Is The Pentagon Modifying Viruses To Save Crops – Or To Wage Biological Warfare? (NPR) https://n.pr/2zC2610

 

Food Science, Technology & Nanotechnology

 

Poisons

  • Industry studies show evidence of bias and misleading conclusions on widely used insecticide: Scientists (Environmental Health News) https://bit.ly/2zlfSWl                                                          Data just doesn’t add up behind industry conclusions on chlorpyfrifos – a controversial insecticide linked to brain impacts for children.