Jenny’s Food & Ag Update for January 31, 2019


  • Is Organic Food Over? (Eater)                              As corporations rush in to make a buck, some farmers are pushing back – and fighting for the soul of organic food
  • The Dirty Truth About Oat Milk (Mother Jones)                                                                                                    It could help save or soil.
  • How to save shelf-life: cutting down on food waste across its supply chain (Green Biz)
  • Why Sustainable Agriculture Should Support a Green New Deal (Independent Science News)
  • Academics across the country say agribusiness has outsized influence on their research (The New Food Economy)


Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding, Fishing & Production

  • ‘No deal would be horrific’: Welsh farmers brace themselves for BREXIT (The Guardian)
  • How Racism Has Shaped the American Farming Landscape (Eater)                                                                          US agriculture is just as segregated as it was a century ago, with farmers of color at a significant disadvantage.
  • ‘It’s tough sleeping at night’: ranchers seek to protect herds as wolves move in (The Guardian)
  • A new way to curb nitrogen pollution: Regulate fertilizer producers, not just farmers (GreenBiz)
  • One of the Nation’s Oldest Food Banks Adds Culinary Education to its Offerings (Civil Eats)


Land and Soil

  • Quebec City’s Disappearing Agricultural Land (CityLab)                                                                                              As agricultural areas are snatched up and transformed into new housing developments, one farmer keeps fighting.
  • ‘We’re black sheep’: the people who are fascinated by soil in cities (The Guardian)



  • Global Commission Calls for a Food Revolution to Solve World’s Climate and Nutrition Problems (Inside Climate News)
    • Scientists Call for ‘Global Agricultural Revolution’ and ‘Planetary Health Diet’ to Save Lives – and Earth (Common Dreams)                                                                “The food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet, and we are currently getting this seriously wrong.”
  • Industrial Agriculture, an Extraction Industry Like Fossil Fuels, a Growing Driver of Climate Change (Inside Climate News)
  • Obesity, climate change and hunger must be fought as one, health experts declare (LA Times)
  • Animals dying of thirst in central Australia may be culled as 2,500 camels shot in Western Australia (The Guardian)
  • It’s ‘Going to End with Me’: The Fate of Gulf Fisheries in a Warming World (Inside Climate News)
  • Load up on Tabasco Sauce Now, Because the Island It Comes From Is Sinking (Food and Wine)


Plants, Seeds & Cultivars

  • The United Nations backs seed sovereignty in landmark small-scale farmers’ right declaration (GreenBiz)
    • United Nations Declaration the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas


Water & Our Oceans

  • Not a drop to drink (MacLeans)              Member of the Neskantaga (Canada) First Nation are set to take their first sips of safe tap water in 25 years. Many refer to it as ‘the moment,’ and it’s a matter of life and death…
  • Warning: A ‘Shrinking Window’ of Usable Groundwater (The Revelator, Center for Biological Diversity)
  • Coal Ash Is Contaminating Groundwater in at least 22 States, Utility Reports Show (Inside Climate News)                                                                                                So far, utilities have acknowledged the presence of enough health-harming contaminants like arsenic to trigger cleanup rules at 70 coal-fired power plant sites.
  • Report: Power Plants are Leaking Cancer Causing Toxins into groundwater Across Texas (Texas Observer)
  • Records Show 100 Percent of Texas Coal Power Plants Contaminating Groundwater (Earth Justice)
  • Trans Mountain pipeline work destroyed salmon habitat, scientists say (National Newswatch)
  • Flint schools receive water stations, filtration systems from billionaire Elon Musk (ABC12)                          We should maintaining our infrastructure, not relying on billionaires to supply what they see fit…


Food Culture & History

  • Cooking Against Capitalism: Oaxaca’s Traditional Kitchens (Roar)                                                                                        After an earthquake in late 2017 destroyed their outdoor kitchens, Tehuantepec locals opted to rebuild themselves rather than relying on state support.
  • Stinking rich? Rare durian fruit go on sale for $1,000 each (The Guardian)                                                            (Durian) Variety called ‘J-Queen’ goes on sale in Indonesia and comes from trees it creator claims fruit once every three years
  • The Great Boston Molasses Flood: why the strange disaster matters today (The Guardian)
  • California Archive Project Provides Access to Historic Ag & Community Records (UC Observer)


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

  • Shutdown’s Toll: For the First Time, “People Are Having to Stand in Line to Get a Hot Plate of Food (Mother Jones)                                                                                              It’s like “something from the Great Depression, but the crisis inflicting this on them is entirely artificial.”
  • José Andrés Just Defended Furloughed Workers and Immigrants in One Swoop (Mother Jones)
  • Chef José Andrés To Give Free Meals To Federal Workers Affected By Shutdown (Huffington Post)                                                                                    The celebrity chef’s nonprofit World Central Kitchen usually brings free meals to disaster victims, as it did after the California wildfires and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
  • Jose Andres’s Nonprofit served 11,400 Meals to Furloughed Workers in One Day (Eater)                            World Central Kitchen’s #ChefsForFeds initiative has expanded beyond the nation’s capital to 133 locations
  • Food Banks Usually Replenish Their Resources in January. This year, they Got the Shutdown Instead. (Mother Jones)                                                                                                   “If this goes on into March, it’s going to be extraordinarily difficult.”
  • City College of San Francisco free food market for students in need (San Francisco Examiner)
  • Syrian refugee whose falafel shop was named the ‘Nicest Place in America’ feeds government workers during shutdown (ABC News)


Gleaning, Foraging, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • A coalition of giant brands is about to change how we shop forever, with a new zero-waste platform (Fast Company)


Healthy Food & Food Safety

  • Lettuce Recalls: The Truth About Why They Keep Happening (Huffington Post)                                                Here’s why your salad seems susceptible to E. coli outbreaks than other foods you buy.


Food Fraud, Scandals, Weird & Funny

  • The sugar Conspiracy (The Guardian)             In 1972, a British scientist sounded the alarm that sugar – and not fat – was the greatest danger to our health. But his findings were ridiculed and his reputation ruined. How did the world’s top nutrition scientists get is so wrong for so long?
  • Sugar’s sick secrets: How industry forces have manipulated science to downplay the harm (University of California San Francisco)
  • EU approval of glyphosate based on review that plagiarized Monsanto studies (Nation of Change)
    • Report: Detailed Expert Report on Plagiarism and superordinated Copy Paste in the Renewal Assessment Report (RAR) on Glyphosate (European Free Alliance)


Training & Education


Labor, Unions & Coops

  • The Rise Of the 4-Day Week (Huffington Post)                                                                                  Companies around the world are cutting people’s workweek but not their wages in an effort to avoid burnout and improve wellbeing.
  • Mar-a-Lago Pastry Chef Claims He Was Fired in Retaliation for Uncovering Sexual Harassment (Eater)        Graham Randall is bringing a lawsuit against the Trump-owned property for violating Florida’s Civil Rights Act
  • In California, Wonderful Citrus strike exposes a murky world of unequal pay for farmworkers (The New Food Economy)
  • Could California produce soon cost you more? Farms face labor shortages, immigration woes (USA Today)
  • These Burgerville employees organized the first official fast-food labor union in the country (Think Progress)                                                                                        Oregon fast-food workers did what many in the industry thought was impossible.
  • Our View: It’s time to think big in Maine agriculture (Press Herald)                                                                        State policy can encourage cooperative to small farmers get more food to market.



  • Protesters Flip Script On Trump At Farmers Convention: ‘Lock Him Up’ (Huffington Post)


Pollinators & Insects

  • Bees face yet another lethal threat in dicamba, a drift prone pesticide (Reveal News)


Animals, Fish & Seafood

  • Animals, Workers and Consumers Suffer Under USDA Slaughter Programs (Huffington Post)
  • “Wild-caught,” “organic,” “grass-fed”: what do all these animal welfare labels actually mean? (Vox)                   A shopper’s guide to the labels on meat, dairy, and eggs.
  • Animal rights group accused of encouraging ‘illegal behavior’ with map of farms and abattoirs (The Guardian)                                                                                    Aussie Farms says online map will allow consumers to make ‘informed choices’


  • The dying pig in the aisle: How McDonald’s came to transform animal welfare (Green Biz)
  • ‘It’s medieval’: why some cows are living most of their lives tied up (The Guardian)


Business, Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • A serial entrepreneur is opening the only black-owned grocery store in Detroit (The Renewal Project)
  • ‘It’s surreal’: Seattle’s Pike Place Fish market sold to fish-throwing employees (Seattle Times)
    • People over profit: Famed Seattle fish market sold to longtime employees – instead of highest bidder (Daily Kos)
  • Who owns a pizza recipe? (The New Food Economy)                                                                                              This is a legal argument I have seen play out over decades as a chef. Time after time the courts have said that you can’t stop anyone from imitating what you are doing. If the recipe is published and under copyright, then you need to change the ingredients…
  • One of America’s biggest hospitals invests in the meal-delivery space (New Food Economy)
    • Munchery: How a venture – backed startup swindled a group of women and minority owned companies out of over $50,000 and is getting away with it (Medium)
  • McCain Foods closes the California facility responsible for 2018’s largest food safety recall (The New Food Economy)
  • How Driscoll’s Reinvented the Strawberry (The New Yorker)                                                                                              The berry behemoth turned produce into a beauty contest, and won.
  • From field to fork; Tyson harnesses ag tech for sustainable food production (Green Biz)                                Really?
  • With the end of 365 stores, Whole Foods cements its future as Amazon’s house brand (The New Food Economy)
  • No Sweethearts candy this Valentine’s Day after company goes out of business (
    • New Report Traces Hidden Connections Between Food Loss, Hunger, Consumer Demand and Climate Change (World Economic Forum)
    • Report: Innovation with a Purpose: Improving Traceability in Food Value Chains through Technology Innovations (World Economic Forum)
  • Labor Market Is Doing Fine With Higher Minimum Wages (Bloomberg)                                        Predictions of job losses and slower economic growth haven’t panned out.


Government, Regulation, Policy & Farm Bill

  • The End of Plastic Cutlery, Plates and Straws: EU Market Says Goodbye To Single-Use Plastic Products (Forbes)
  • Food in the nude – NZ ditching plastic packaging of fruit and vegetables in supermarkets (Mpumadlanga News)
  • The White House quietly rolled back workplace safety rules during the shutdown (Vox)                            Public health groups are suing the Trump administration for blocking a rule requiring employers to report details of workplace injuries.
  • ‘Absolutely Unconscionable’: Trump EPA Refuses to Limit Toxic Chemicals That Contaminate Drinking Water of Millions (Common Dreams)
  • Farmers and ranchers lose vital support during shutdown (High Country News)                                     The funding stalemate has halted Department of Agriculture programs that the rural West relies on.
  • Postcard from Iowa: How three farmers are coping with the government shutdown (The New Food Economy)
  • Meat packing giant JBS USA getting millions in subsidies meant for farmers impacted by trade war (The Tribune)
    • The EPA’s latest bad idea: Spraying streptomycin on our citrus fruits (Orland Sentinel)
    • Trump’s war on science: how the US is putting politics above evidence (The Guardian)                                Experts say the administration is blatantly dismantling proven programs, and the consequences could be dire
    • Craft Beer Taps Squeezed As Government Shutdown Delays New Releases (Huffington Post)                                The government shutdown has prevented new breweries from opening.
    • Florida LOCALES Vote To Stop Using Prison Labor – And Others May Follow (The Appeal)                                One commissioner wants the state Department of Corrections to show proof that his county isn’t just using prisoners as ‘slaves.’
    • Following Missouri’s lead, other states take on cell-cultured meat (The New Food Economy)
      • Beef-friendly Nebraska eyes regulations on the word ‘meat’ (Associated Press)                                               … Nebraska lawmakers will consider a bill this year to prevent companies that package and sell food from advertising plant-based, insect-based and lab-grown products as meat…
    • Coastal Maine tourist destination looks to ban fast food restaurants from its downtown (Bangor Daily News)


    GMOs, CRISPR, Cloning & Synthetic Biology



    Food Science, Technology & Nanotechnology

    • In the Future, Your Food Will Be Sweetened With Protein (Medium)                                                                  How a network of startups and scientists are moving to use cutting-edge tech to fight the obesity epidemic