Jenny’s Food & Ag Update July 14, 2019

 

  • We Have the Money to Fix Our Food System (Other Words) http://bit.ly/2YAczFu                                                                                      Imagine supporting farmer markets, child nutrition, and local agriculture with money we spend on factory farms.
  • Poor Peoples Moral Budget: Everybody Has the Right to Live (Institute for Policy Studies) http://bit.ly/2FYCy27
  • US agriculture needs a 21st century New Deal (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2FZTaGC                                                                                                  If policymakers can envision a contemporary version of ideas in the original New Deal, a climate-friendly and socially just American agriculture is within reach.
  • Organics detective (Star Tribune) http://strib.mn/2Jqoj88                 US farmers stalk fraudulent imports to save their markets
  • The Truth About “Sustainable” Palm Oil (Sapiens.org) http://bit.ly/2KlzMrf                                                                                                    In West Papua, Indonesia, both conventional and “green” palm oil projects dispossess and exclude Indigenous people from their lands.
  • The Scary New Math of Factory Farm Waste (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2WZih6P                                                                                    Factory farms are exempt from reporting requirements under the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Now a new tool can provide solid evidence of the environmental harm they can cause.
  • Revealed; rampant deforestation of Amazon driven by global greed for meat (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2FZXFAT

 

Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding, Fishing & Production

  • Mid-Sized Farms Are Disappearing. This Program Could Reverse the Trend. (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2XSRgP4
  • Farmed salmon is now a staple in diets – but what they eat matters too (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/31DRkof
  • Ranchers Group Sues Packers for Conspiracy to Decrease Cattle Prices (Food and Power) http://bit.ly/31BnCAc
  • The Shoreline Still Provides Dinner, Despite Climate Change and Private Property (Yes!) http://bit.ly/2JdvAqE                                            The mighty geoduck clam is a local food source, native to my island home. But digging for it demands a license, fortitude, and fast shoveling.

 

Land and Soil

  • In Just One Decade, Corporations Destroyed 50 Million Hectares of Forest – An Area the size of Spain (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2Igy3Bn                                                                                        “These companies are destroying our children’s future by driving us towards climate and ecological collapse.”

 

Climate

  • Farmers Have a Secret Weapon to Save Your Food From Climate Chaos (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2LsAa7k                                      There’s a smart way to adapt to increasing storm surges.
  • USDA Scientists Are Quitting In Droves. That’s Really Bad News For Climate Research (Vice) http://bit.ly/2Yyi6fA
  • Mississippi farmers forced to leave thousands of acres unplanted this season (Marketplace) http://bit.ly/2wH2tGm
  • Climate Change-Fueled Valley Fever is Hitting Farmworkers Hard (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2xnliig                                                            The potentially deadly disease is caused by a soil-borne fungus made worse by rising rates of dust storms. In California’s Central Valley, farmworkers are bearing the brunt of the problem.
  • Bananas Are Facing Extinction – And It’s Our Fault (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/31ELOBu                                                                                The world’s favorite fruit, known for its health benefits, is under attack by two dangerous diseases.

 

Plants, Seeds & Cultivars

  • The Potato Guardians (Earth Island Journal) http://bit.ly/2Kmwxji                                                                                                    In the Peruvian Andes, Indigenous potato farmers are working with researchers to develop climate-smart spuds.

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Victory in Illinois: Coal plant found guilty of polluting groundwater with coal ash (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2LtTCjS                                                                                        “Today is a huge victory for Waukegan residents who have fought for years to see corporations like NRG Energy held accountable for the toxic waste that has been illegally dumped on our Lake Michigan lakefront.”
  • Nestle’s Ice Mountain Bottled Water Leaves Nothing for Michigan’s Trout (Natural Resources Defense Counsel) https://on.nrdc.org/2EZDC5g
  • Massive review of fracking science confirms the industry poses a serious threat to both environment and human health (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/31XcVIe
  • Court to Big Fracking Company: Trespassing Still Exists – Even For You (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2I596J9
    • “No Evidence” That Fracking Can Be Done Without Threat To Human Health (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2YeHvus
    • Total Ban on Fracking Urged by Health Experts: 1,500 Studies Show ‘Damning’ Evidence of Threats to Public Health, Climate (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2RyMdAP
  • Court Nixes Federal Approval For Cadiz Pipeline To Suck Water Out Of the Mojave To Sell (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2Y8MkFE                                                                                          The 43-mile pipeline was approved by the Trump administration after former Cadiz lobbyist David Bernhardt became deputy secretary of the interior.
  • ADEM (Alabama Department of Environmental Management) says Black Warrior River safe one week after huge (Tyson) waste spill, Riverkeepers disagree (abc3340) http://bit.ly/2XRd7pR
  • Feds declare emergency as gray whale deaths reach highest level in nearly 20 years (San Jose Mercury News) https://bayareane.ws/2R2hM62                                                                NOAA declares “unusual mortality event” after at least 70 West Coast strandings this spring
  • Monterey Bay has more microplastics than Great Garbage Patch, researchers say (San Francisco Chronicle) http://bit.ly/2XFU6qE
    • ‘Incredibly sobering’: New study finds Monterey Bay littered with tiny pieces of plastic. (Santa Cruz Sentinel) http://bit.ly/2My3U4B
    • Microplastics Have Invaded the Deep Ocean – And The Food Chain (NPR) https://n.pr/2ZvcqDb
  • The US wants to dump 1.5 tons of rat poison pellets on the Farallon Islands. Biologists say it’s for the best. (LA Times) https://lat.ms/2FX4l2Y
  • Heatwave cooks mussels in their shells on California shore (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2YkT57B                                              Temperatures lead to what appears to appears to be largest local die-off in 15 years, raising fears for broader ecosystem.
  • The Largest Algae Bloom in World History Is Now Off the Florida Coast (Vice) http://bit.ly/2FX6R99                                                  Researchers are tracking the algae Sargassum, which has created record blooms nearly every year since 2011.
  • Red Tide is Back in Florida. Is Big Sugar to Blame? (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2XGs0i0                                                                                                  The rise of toxic algae blooms in the Gulf of Mexico is pitting tourism against agriculture as the state looks for solutions.
  • Carnival slapped with a $20 million fine after was caught dumping trash into the ocean again (Business Insider) http://bit.ly/2WsT8MS

 

Food Culture & History

  • The Surprising Links Between Family Dinner and Good Health (Yes!) http://bit.ly/31n1Bok                                                                            Adults who prepare quality meals for children are offering something more important than a nutrition lesson.
  • Everyone Knows the Benefits of Meal-Sharing. Here’s How to Actually Do It (Yes!) http://bit.ly/2I4Kdx0
  • Anthony Bourdain Knew There Was Nothing More Political Than Food (The Nation) http://bit.ly/2WUpvbp                                                      The chef and author demanded that we consider the humanity of so many who were wrongly portrayed by the rest of the media.
  • Inside Pasta Factories: Amazing Photographs Show How Pasta Production Really Looked Like From the Early 20th Century (Vintage Everyday) http://bit.ly/2WppyYr
  • The archaeology of Neolithic cooking traditions: archaeobotanical approaches to baking, boiling and fermenting (archaeology international) http://bit.ly/2Xi6eAY

 

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

  • 1 in 12 senior citizens didn’t have enough food in 2017 – and the Trump administration is threatening to make is worse (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2Wh7HaY
  • West Oakland neighborhoods welcome first full-service grocery store in decades (East Bay Times) https://bayareane.ws/2I77i2q  Community Foods Market will open Saturday, filling a void left in the mid 1970s
  • It’s Great That We Talk About ‘Food Deserts’ – But It Might Be Time To Stop (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2LGwwH5                  Food access is s systemic issue with racial, cultural and socioeconomic roots, so let’s not assume that a grocery store will solve the problem.

 

Gleaning, Foraging, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Wasted! The Story of Food Waste (Wastedfilm) http://bit.ly/2wM7q0O
  • Almost every country in the world agrees deal to cut plastic pollution – except US (Independent) https://ind.pn/2wJgfsf

 

Healthy Food & Food Safety

  • Doctors May Soon Be Prescribing Vegetables Instead of Drugs To Prevent Disease (Tech Times) http://bit.ly/31oFPRt
  • Do Processed Foods Make You Fat? A New Study Has Stunning Results (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2I5JJa4                              Government scientists wanted to know.
  • It’s Not Just Salt, Sugar, Fat: Study Finds Ultra-Processed Foods Drive Weight Gain (NPR) https://n.pr/2Fe75bJ
  • Study: Ultra-Processed Diets Cause Excess Calorie Intake and Weight Gain: An Inpatient Randomized Controlled Trial of Ad Libitum Food Intake (Cell Metabolism) http://bit.ly/2MQezIc
  • Cholesterol Redux: As Eggs Make A Comeback, New Questions About Health Risks (NPR) https://n.pr/2Kk4a5t
  • People eat at least 50,000 plastic particles a year, study finds (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2MBFW8S                                                              Health effects of ingestion of microplastics via food, water and breathing still unknown
  • 3M Knew About PFAS Food Contamination In 2001 (The Intercept) http://bit.ly/2XPg5LK
    • Toxic PFAS Chemicals Found In Maine Farms Fertilized With Sewage Sludge (The Intercept) http://bit.ly/2WIQ6nF
    • There Is Something Called “Forever Chemicals” Coursing Through the US Food Supply (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2FbPUHC                                                                                    The FDA found that chocolate cake had levels over 250 the federal guidelines.
  • That chocolate cake won’t last forever, but the chemicals in it might (grist) http://bit.ly/2FdrIEK
  • Here’s Everything We Know About The ‘Forever’ Chemicals in Food (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2Frde4D
  • Several Ragú Sauces Recalled For Possible Plastic Fragment Contamination (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2ZqImIX

 

Children & School Food

  • Virginia school district buys food truck to provide students with free meals during summer (ABC News) https://abcn.ws/2IipMga

 

Labor, Unions & Coops

  • CBO Analysis Shows $15 Federal Minimum Wage Would Raise Pay for 27 Million Workers and Lift 1.3 Million Out of Poverty (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2G9jcHm                                                      “It has been more than 10 years since congress raised the minimum wage – the longest stretch in history. This is a shameful benchmark. Congress should immediately pass the Raise the Wage Act.”
  • There Are More Women Farmers Than Ever, But They Make Less Than Men. Why? (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2Jii9pm                  The number of female farmers is up by 27 percent in the last five years.
  • USDA’s independent researchers vote overwhelmingly to form union (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2Zlrx25
    • “Everyone here is just so depressed”: USDA’s research employees have two weeks to decide whether to move to Kansas (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2XhLB44
  • Thousands Of Grocery Store Workers To Vote Today (6-24-19) On Strike Authorization (Labor 411) http://bit.ly/2ZYmViE
  • Grocery Workers Stand Up (Jacobin) http://bit.ly/2XJFYAv
    • Report: How Wages and Working Conditions for California’s Food Retail Workers Have Declined as The Industry Has Thrived (Food Labor Research Center, UCB) http://bit.ly/2Sb54lM

 

Protests

  • ‘Seeds of Resistance’: Ponca corn planted in path of Keystone XL Pipeline (indianz) http://bit.ly/2WHQ702
  • McDonald’s Can’t Fool Its Shareholders: Big Chicken Is Bad Business (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2ZZ9oHs

 

Business, Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Major UK supermarket chain gets rid of plastic bags in produce and baker sections (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2IZIrOf          “We are absolutely committed to reducing unnecessary plastic packaging in Sainsbury’s stores.”
  • How America’s food giants swallowed the family farms (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2ZiYn3z
    • How a Top Chicken Company Cut Off Black Farmers, One by One (Propublica) http://bit.ly/2NkkuW1                                              The Trump administration has weakened legal protections for farmers and eased off enforcing rules on powerful meat companies.
  • DowDupont Lavishes Campaign Cash On Politicians Who Voted Against a Ban on its Blockbuster Pesticide (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2XG6eIc                                                                                Chlorpyrifos has been linked to brain damage in kids.
  • Monsanto, Bayer struggle to keep up with growing Roundup cancer litigation (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/31Dkl36          More than 13,000 plaintiffs have filed suit against Monsanto in the United States.
  • Big Chicken wants in on the plant-based meat options and that’s a good thing (Salon) http://bit.ly/2XNzGiF
  • GrubHub is buying up thousands of restaurant web addresses. That means Mom and Pop can’t own their slice of the internet (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2ZRX7om
  • Foreign-Owned Meatpacker Receives Trade War Bailout, Critics Say it Won’t Help Farmers (Food and Power) http://bit.ly/2ILSDc1
  • People of color are creating new kinds of cooperative cafes and restaurants in Oakland (SF Chronicle) http://bit.ly/2LFLoW7
  • This Refugee-Run Catering Company Cures Homesickness With Hummus (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2XQ2ML9                                  Eat Offbeat serves meals created and prepared by refugee chefs.
  • The Food Business Incubator That Helps Immigrant Women Pursue The American Dream (NPR) https://n.pr/2KlzUXQ
  • Why Some Wineries Are Becoming ‘Certified B Corp’ – And What That Means (NPR) https://n.pr/2WPENKM
  • Paying Farmers Fairly Could Curb Climate Change and Hunger (Yes!) http://bit.ly/2YmMo4N                                                                        Parity is the core of agriculture’s potential to address overpopulation.
  • Taking Farmers For A Ride (Other Words) http://bit.ly/2FZVNs5    Trump’s trade disruptions are inflicting real pain, but they’re also exposing the frailty of an agricultur economy built for big business

 

Government, Regulation, Policy & Farm Bill

  • Canada Unveils Plan To Ban Single-Use Plastics As Early AS 2021 (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2RkWIaW
  • The Mexican ambassador to the US explains Trump’s claim of a new agricultural deal (Vox) http://bit.ly/2X6hHnn                          Trump said Mexico will soon increase its spending on US agricultural products. The ambassador said that isn’t exactly the case.
  • Bavaria to pass ‘save the bees’ petition into law in landmark move (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2XqV1yd                                                      Weight of 1.75m signatures persuades German state to bypass referendum and order action to protect pollinators
  • How USDA distorted data to conceal decades of discrimination against black farmers (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/322aFzu
  • Supreme Court sides with retailers in SNAP data case (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2xmauB6                                                      New we’ll never know how much money the Walmarts of the world make from taxpayer-funded benefits. Because it’s “confidential.”
  • USDA indefinitely suspends bee tracking survey as states get apprpoval to use bee-killing pesticide (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2LcYlHB
  • Trump EPA Oks ‘Emergency’ Use of Bee-Killing Pesticide on 13.9 Million Acres (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2IZ5Qzz
  • Agriculture Department buries studies showing dangers of climate change (Politico) https://politi.co/2RKVaXL                            The Trump administration has stopped promoting government funded research into how higher temperatures can damage crops and pose health risks.
  • Trump’s Agriculture Department Is Downplaying Its Own Climate Research When Farmers Need It Most (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2FFnqGE                                                                                            As growers strain under the effects of global warming, “the federal government should be doing everything it can.”
  • ‘Dangerous Proposal’: USDA Seeking to Replace Government Inspectors at Beef Slaughter Plant With Private Employees (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2XwCKPZ
    • As Tyson continues its push to privatize plant inspections, five workers were just hospitalized after a chemical spill (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2KNEwq4
  • Trump’s EPA Transferred Financial Liability For Mining Pollution To Taxpayers (The Intellectualist) http://bit.ly/2I5FkUE
  • Chicken Farmers Thought Trump Was Going to Help Them. Then His Administration Did the Opposite. (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2QYsNVF                                                                                            The Agriculture Department is barley enforcing regulations on big meat companies
  • More and more workplace discrimination cases are being closed before they are investigated (Vox) http://bit.ly/2XMxXa8                  It’s a problem that starts with Congress.
  • Senate hearing on agriculture and climate change featured industry speakers, no climate scientists (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/2wyIDwV                                                                                            Big Beef has some thoughts a out the Green New Deal and government regulation.
  • Did Senate Republicans Just Get Serious About Agriculture and Climate Change? (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2WYZurB                   Not quite. “But you have to crawl before you can walk.”
  • Maine’s New Ag Commissioner Seeks to Develop a Robust Regional Food Economy (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2I4Lvbk
  • Michigan Prosecutors Drop Flint Lead Poisoning Charges, Pledging Expanded Case (Democracy Now!) http://bit.ly/2ImKsE9
  • New California bill could revolutionize how the US tackles plastic pollution (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2WKqt6e                              A sweeping “circular economy” bill in the California legislature aims to drastically reduce plastic waste and boost domestic recycling.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sides with growing fruits and vegetables over aesthetics (Food Safety News) http://bit.ly/2RzLCz1
  • Boston Brings Sustainability, Equity to Its Food Purchasing (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2IjUQMT                                                                                  The first Northeast city to adopt environmentally responsible purchasing guidelines city-wide, Boston also makes a explicit push for racial equity in its food procurement program, which will benefit schools and many more.

 

Pollinators & Insects

  • US beekeepers lost 40% of honeybee colonies over past year, survey finds (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2Iy1qiI                              Study marks worst winter on record for beekeepers, despite intensive push to stem losses.
  • More Bad Buzz For Bees: Record Number Of Honeybee Colonies Died Last Winter (NPR) https://n.pr/2xbS8T2
  • Those honeybees you’re so worried about? They’re killing off wild bee species (grist) http://bit.ly/2FHNl0j

 

Animals, Fish & Sea Animals

  • The Philippines Is Rallying Behind Its Disappearing Dwarf Buffalo (Earth Island Journal) http://bit.ly/2IQ5CcH                                        From Indigenous groups to international conservation organizations, everyone is getting in line to save the critically endangered tamaraw.
  • On a tiny, isolated island, USDA scientists race to prep for the pork-pocalypse (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2Ls5Tpa
    • A Nasty Swine Virus in China Means Big Trouble for US Farmers (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2XSp3Yu                                    Not for the reason you think.
  • Why billions of baby chickens are killed every year (Vox) http://bit.ly/2FbF4l0                                                                                                It’s not for food! It’s much darker than that.

 

GMOs, CRISPR, Cloning & Synthetic Biology

  • As a GMO Stunt, Professor Tasted Pesticide and Gave it To Students (Earth Island Journal) http://bit.ly/2KQk7zK                People who offer to taste pesticides are not doing science. They are promoting corporate products, in this case Bt Brinjal.

 

Poisons

  • Roundup’s Risks Could Go Well Beyond Cancer (Bloomberg) https://bloom.bg/31nP6ZK                                                                      Evidence of the cheap herbicide’s danger to biological function continues to mount. Why are US regulators not listening?