Jenny’s Food & Ag Update for January 13, 2019


  • You Can Now Be Fined and Jailed for Calling This “Meat” (Mother Jones)                                                                       “No none who gets a veggie burger and bites into it is surprised when it’s not slaughtered animal meat.”
  • Build a $300 Underground Greenhouse for Year-round Fresh Food (Building Homes and Living)
  • For-Profit Chain (Le Cordon Bleu culinary schools) Cancels $494 Million in Student Debt to End State Investigations (NYT)
  • Seth Holmes Discusses Migrant Workers, the US agricultural system, and Structural Inequality Exacerbated “through metaphors of ethnic difference” (Haas Institute for Fair and Inclusive Society)
  • Working Paper: Power, Food and Agriculture: Implications for Farmers, Consumers and Communities (University of Missouri)
  • 4 Killed And Dozens Injured After Gas Explosion Rocks Bakery In Paris (Huffington Post)


Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding, Fishing & Production

  • Farmers at Gaza’s Edge Try to Make Ends Meet Between Economic Squeeze and Israeli Sniper Fire (The Intercept)
  • Iowa soybean farmers on shutdown: “it’s not worth putting up the wall to put us in this situation” (CBS News)
  • Millet anyone? Facing soil crisis, US farmers look beyond corn and soybeans (The Christian Science Monitor)
  • Navajo Beef Brings Traditional Practices and Modern Business to Ranching (Civil Eats)


Land and Soil



  • Black truffles are in trouble (Popular Science)                                                                                              Climate change is threatening to muffle the truffle shuffle.
  • Oceans Heating Up 40 Percent Faster Than Thought, 2018 Expected To See Record Temperatures, Scientists Warn (Newsweek)


Plants, Seeds & Cultivars

  • Stuffed or Starved? Evolutionary Plant Breeding Might Have the Answer (Independent Science News)
  • Plants Can Hear Animals Using Their Flowers (The Atlantic)                                                                                                  And they react to the buzzing of pollinators by sweetening their nectar.
  • The race to re-learn hemp farming (Salon)                                                                             Researchers have a lot to learn about the previously-banned crop before it flourishes on American farms


Water & Our Oceans

  • The Costly, Complicated Process of Cleaning Up a Toxic River (Mother Jones)                                                                In eastern Washington, a push to clean PCBs from the Spokane River faces a dirty legacy and global pollution problem.
  • Like Fruit, Vegetables, and Almonds? Scientists Have Bad News (Mother Jones)                                                              A new study finds that the main source of water for our fresh produce could dry up within our lifetimes.
  • Study: The Change Character of the California Sierra Nevada as a Natural Reservoir (AGU100)
  • Survey Finds Almost Half Of Private wells Tested In Southwest Wisconsin Are Contaminated (Wisconsin Public Radio)                                                                                     Local official say more data is needed to understand source of harmful bacteria, nitrates


Food Culture & History

  • The Life-Giving Properties of One of the World’s Oldest Cheeses (Gastro Obscura)                                                          In Xinjiang, the living process dairy the way 4,000 year old mummies did.
  • Why an English Museum Has a Collection of Magic Potatoes (Gastro Obscura)                                                       Touch of the rheumatiz? Try carrying around a purloined spud.
  • A Living Fossil From the Deep Sea Was Discovered With Trash Crammed in its Stomach (The Inertia)


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

  • Millions of College Students Are Going Hungry (The Atlantic)                                                                                                   A new government report highlights just how pervasive the problem is.
  • Food Pantries Help Federal Workers, Coast Guard Amid Shutdown (Huffington Post)                Furloughed and unpaid government employees are struggling to buy necessities amid the weeks long government shutdown.
  • Chicago: Food pantry offering free groceries to furloughed government workers (Chicago Sun Times)
  • Canada’s New 2019 Food Guide Cuts Out Milk And Cheese Almost Entirely (Narcity)                             Canada’s national food guide indicates that dairy is cut out almost entirely.
  • Blow to low carb diet as landmark study finds high fiber cuts heart disease risk (The Guardian)               Review commissioned by WHO says fiber in ‘good’ carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread and oats has protective effect


Gleaning, Foraging, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Does Your Box of “Ugly” Produce Really Help the Planet? Or Hurt it? (The New Republic)
  • Dumping Rejected Food Shipments into Landfills, Truckers Are Donating Them to Local Charities (Good News Network)
  • 300,000+ Plastic Bottles Recycled in ‘Reverse Vending Machines’ Test Run in UK (EcoWatch)
  • 5 everyday products contaminated with plastic (Nation of Change)                                                                                It’s high time that corporations and governments step up to stem the tide of plastic, taking action to eliminate all but the most essential single-use plastic items.


Healthy Food & Food Safety

  • How a 3.5 mile long irrigation canal used by 23 farms caused the E. coli outbreak linked to romaine (New Food Economy)                                                                                           FDA offers its first assessment of what happened in Yuma, Arizona.
  • The biggest food recall of 2018 is one you still haven’t heard about (New Food Economy)
  • E. coli outbreak tied to Santa Barbara County; Monterey, San Benito counties not ruled out (The Californian)


Food Fraud, Scandals, Weird & Funny

  • Alabama sheriff personally kept $1.5 million that was supposed to feed ICE detainees (The Week)
  • After A Run Of Tainted Food Scandals, Women In Japan Took Control Of The System (Huffington Post)
  • Woman Catches A ‘River Monster’ And Has The Footage To Prove It (Huffington Post)


Children & School Food

  • Federally funded school lunches are about to get a lot less healthy (Vox)                                                                                  By relaxing rules for school lunches, the Trump administration is doing the dairy industry a big favor at the expense of children’s health.
  • What the USDA’s New Nutrition Rules Mean for the 30 Million Children Eating School Lunches (Mother Jones)                                                                                              We talked to school lunch expert Bettina Elias Siegel about what’s at stake.


Labor, Unions & Coops

  • The government shutdown spotlights a bigger issue: 78% of US workers live paycheck to paycheck (cnbc)




Pollinators & Insects

  • Puerto Rico May Hold the Answer to Saving the Bees (Mother Jones)                                                                           The island’s special breed may help solve colony collapse disorder.


Animals, Fish & Seafood

  • Billions Of Male Chicks Are Slaughtered Every Year – This New Technology Could Prevent That (IFL Science)
  • Someone Bought This Dead Fish For $3 Million (Huffington Post)                                                                                          The auctioned off Bluefin tuna weights 612 pounds.
  • Florida’s Answer to Invasive Lionfish? If You Can’t beat ‘Em, Eat ‘Em (Civil Eats)


Business, Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Supermarket Chains Ignored This Black Community, So Residents Opened a Co-Op (Munchies)                               The Renaissance Community Co-op is the first of its kind in the nation, opened after 20 years of failed attempts to woo chains to the neighborhood.
  • New Archive Reveals How the Food Industry Mimics Big Tobacco to Suppress Science, Shape Public Opinion (Civil Eats)
  • McDonald’s Is Officially Banning Preservatives In Their Burgers At All Restaurants in Canada (narcity)
  • Palm Oil Sourcing Should Be Disclosed to Consumers, Sustainability Study Recommends (EcoWatch)
  • Shop Here, Not There: Science Says Reducing Inequality Is Almost That Simple (Yes!)                                  New research shows that shuttling even 5 percent of consumer transactions t poorer neighborhoods can reduce income inequality by up to 80 percent.
  • What Minimum-Wage Foes Got Wrong About Seattle (Bloomberg)                                                           An initial study said the increase to $15 would cost workers jobs and hours. That didn’t happen.
  • Minimum wage hikes in six cities: big impact on pay, none on jobs (UC Berkeley News)
  • Study: The New Wave of Local Minimum Wage Policies: Evidence from Six Cities (UC Berkeley)
  • IKEA Just Released Free Plans For A Sustainable Garden That Can Feed A Neighborhood (True Activist)


Government, Regulation, Policy & Farm Bill

  • Hard-Pressed American Farmers Left Out In The Cold By New 11-Nation Trade Treaty (Huffington Post)    Aussie, Canadian farmers celebrate treaty Trump nixed, while US wheat producers fear Japan market collapse.
  • Trump farm bailout money will go to Brazilian-owned meatpacking firm, USDA says (msn)
  • How Trump’s Shutdown Forks Over Everyone Who Eats Food (Mother Jones)                                               Farmers, poor families, and inspectors are caught in the crosshairs.
  • Judge Strikes Down Iowa ‘Ag Gag’ Law That Choked Undercover Animal Abuse Reporting (Talking Points Memo)
    • “Ag-gag laws” hide the cruelty of factory farms from the public. Courts are striking them down. (Vox)
  • Farm workers in California now eligible for overtime after 9.5 hours (KSBY6 Central Coast)
  • Denver’s New Sales Tax is the Frist in the Nation to Benefit Kids’ Health (Civil Eats)


  • Street vending is legal in Los Angeles after a decade of organizing (Waging Nonviolence)


GMOs, CRISPR, Cloning & Synthetic Biology