Jenny’s Food & Ag Update August 21, 2019

 

  • Activist blacksmith teaches gun violence survivors to melt down guns and turn them into farm implements (boingboing) http://bit.ly/2YHbsXX
  • Is The Movement To Eat Less Meat Actually Making A Difference? (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/333jjhO                  Americans are eating less meat and more plant-based foods these days. Here’s how it’s affecting the environment.
  • Can Chefs Learn to Love Cooking Without Fire? (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/316IT3o                                                                                                  A push to electrify buildings suggests the end is nigh for gas ranges.
  • The secret History of Why Soda Companies Switched From Sugar to Hight-Fructose Corn Syrup (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2YmBiRG                                                                                        Nixon, Reagan, and a Midwestern Machiavelli all figure.
  • Being Born on a Farm Could Be Key for a Strong Immune System (modern farm) http://bit.ly/31gMxrP                                                            The scoop is in the poop, according to a recent study.
  • Iraq’s burning problem: the strange fires destroying crops an livelihoods (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2OZP0p8                              Fires in northern Iraq have reduced a potentially bumper harvest to ashes. The government blames mischance – but is something more sinister afoot?

 

Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding, Fishing & Production

  • The Bright Side of the Current Farm Crisis: An Opportunity For Change (In These Times) http://bit.ly/2Ywd6Mz
  • Indiana Farmers Union Joins Fight Against Noxious 8,000-Hog Agribusiness Operation (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2HbY0RA  The state’s Right to Farm laws protect massive agribusiness at the expense of the community and family farms, the lawsuit argues.
  • This US heartland has been flooded for five months. Does anyone care? (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/31pNQVh                                    About half a million acres of land in the rural Yazoo backwater area in Mississippi is underwater, a devastating blow for a poor region where agriculture is the economy’s lifeblood
  • American farmer: Trump ‘took away all of our markets’ (Yahoo Finance) https://yhoo.it/2GFSR4i
    • China is sourcing more of its farm goods from other countries, ant that’s a bad sign for the US (Business Insider) http://bit.ly/2T4vKVG
  • Putting pigs in the shade: the radical farming system banking on trees (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2JY5c5J
  • Imperfect science of intensive farming (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2yiLU4h                                                                                                    … It was science that gave us DDT, thalidomide and lead in petrol; and science told us it would be find to give antibiotics prophylactically to intensively reared livestock…
  • Inside The Tiny Country Where Robots Grow The Food (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2YkZHC1                                                   The wave of machines taking over farms in the Netherlands has helped propel its rise to the world’s second-biggest good exporter after the U.S.

 

Land and Soil

 

Climate

  • Climate change’s deadliest effects are unfolding under the sea (grist) http://bit.ly/2Kfy4Wa
    • Global Warming is Pushing Pacific Salmon to the Brink, Federal Scientists Warn (Inside Climate News) http://bit.ly/2H3w6Y0
    • Record high temperatures in Alaska have sent salmon into cardiac arrest (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2z29cfa
  • World Must Protect Land To Avoid Climate Disaster, New UN Report Warns (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2MRuuEr            Averting catastrophic warming requires rapid, global change to land use and food production, the assessment says.
  • Drastic Changes to Food Production and Consumption Needed to Save Planet From Catastrophic Warming, IPCC Reveals (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2yGxfQA
  • We must change food production to save the world, says leaked report (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2YJZzfw
  • Report: Climate Change and Land (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) http://bit.ly/31o9Dg7                                          An IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems
  • Tree-damaging pests pose ‘devastating’ threat to 40% of US forests (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/33EaCdR                                  About 450 overseas pests have been introduced to US forests, a climate crisis resource, due to international trade and travel
  • A Time of Reckoning in the Central Valley (Bay Nature) http://bit.ly/31jPE26                                                                                    Climate change is upending agriculture and land use in California’s Central Valley

 

Plants, Seeds & Cultivars

  • Gorgeous Portraits of America’s Wild (and Surprisingly Delicious) Edible Plants (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2z6cSMR        Photographer Jimmy Fike spent 12 years chronicling and feasting upon 140 varieties.
  • We Ignore Thousands of Threatened Plant Species at Our Own Peril (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2YPc5iF                                                      More than 20 percent of the world’s known plant species are threatened with extinction.
  • Devastating Banana Fungus Arrives in Colombia, Threatening The Fruit’s Future (NPR) https://n.pr/2TDaAOU
  • The world faces a dwindling supply of this crucial resource need to grow food (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2YNQfw0                  Phosphate…

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • ‘Biggest Crisis No One Is Talking About’: Quarter of Humanity Faces ‘Extremely High Water Stress’ Intensified by Climate Emergency (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/33ken8n
    • 17 Countries, Home to One-Quarter of the World’s Population, Face Extremely High Water Stress (World Resource Institute) http://bit.ly/30gOtQE
  • Bottled water distributions begin as lead water poisoning crisis erupts in Newark, New Jersey (World Socialist Web Site) http://bit.ly/2Kz7Xuv
  • 9 Foods That Are Making the Drought Even Worse (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2yLJVWB                                                                                 It takes more than 1,500 gallons of water to make a chocolate bar…
  • Pennsylvania is Discharging Radioactive Fracking Waste Into Rivers As Landfill Leachate, Impacting the Chesapeake Bay & Ohio River Watersheds (Public Herald) http://bit.ly/31mCEZB
  • ‘It’s Raining Plastic’: Researchers Find Microscopic Fiber in Colorado Rain Samples (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2T5zS81
  • Beavers on the coast are helping salmon bounce back. Here’s How. (National Geographic) http://bit.ly/2OYhAaj                            The arrival of beaver dams in the Pacific Northwest’s Elwha River delta may surprising benefits.

 

Food Culture & History

  • 100 Years Ago, Farmers and Socialists Established the Country’s First Modern Public Bank (In These Times) http://bit.ly/2ZttAld
  • Don’t trash the best part of the melon (Salon) http://bit.ly/31FVquZ                                                                                        When you throw out your honeydew and cantaloupe seeds, you’re missing the best part

 

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

  • Huge New Survey Finds That Sugary Soda Taxes Work (modern farmer) http://bit.ly/2Ozsx1O
    • Study: Impact of sugar-sweetened beverage taxes on purchases and dietary intake: Systematic review and meta-analysis (World Obesity) http://bit.ly/31dpwWn

 

Gleaning, Foraging, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • 7 Ways to Stop Wasting Food, Save Money and Save the Planet (Global Citizen) http://bit.ly/2GIuBOI                                                 Around a third of food is wasted globally.
  • We’re leaving so much food on farms to just in the fields (Fast Company) http://bit.ly/2ypU8aX                                                                 Most of the reports you hear about food waste don’t even include the amount that’s left behind on farms, but new research shows it’s a lot.
  • Research: On-farm food loss in northern and central California: Results of field survey measurements (Resources, Conservation and Recycling) http://bit.ly/2YAuFpO
  • What Grocery Stores Won’t Tell You About Plastic (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2OUwcrn                                                                          Huge companies like Walmart could slash single-use plastics – if they really wanted to.
  • The bowls at Chipotle and Sweetgreen are supposed to be compostable. They contain cancer-linked “forever chemicals.” (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/31GRt9j                             Testing by The New Food Economy reveals an industry secret: All fiber bowls contain PFAS,  a troubling class of chemicals with no known half-life, even when they’re certified compostable. It gets worse from there.

 

Healthy Food & Food Safety

  • New York City Is Giving Out Prescriptions For Free Fruits And Vegetables (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2N37vGH                         For people with low access to healthy food and high blood pressure, it’s free money for groceries.
  • The Best Probiotics (The Atlantic) http://bit.ly/31pqHCj                   An apple contains about 100 million bacteria – a more diverse range than any  dietary supplement.
  • An Apple a Day: Which Bacteria Do We Eat With Organic and Conventional Apples? (Frontiers In Microbiology) http://bit.ly/33o7x1m
  • Leafy Greens With Listeria Sold at Major Supermarkets (Consumer Reports) http://bit.ly/2LVarp7                                  Consumer Reports found the bacteria in prewashed and unbagged products. Here’s how to stay safe when eating greens.
  • Scientists say many UTIs are caused by E. coli in food – when will the government believe them? (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/31GW5MQ                                                                                      And why are we allowing contaminated foods into consumer food system?

 

Food Fraud, Scandals, Weird & Funny

  • Seafood company president pleads guilty to mislabeling millions of dollars worth of crab meat (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2Mjn39H
  • People Keep Stealing Industrial Hemp, Which Will Not Get Them High (modern farmer) http://bit.ly/31cEKLg                                  They’re in for a major disappointment if they try to smoke it.
  • Racoon Caught Inside High School Vending Machine, Lurking Among Snacks (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2YPlh6R                  The little guy was freed from the machine after the snack caper gone wrong.

 

Children & School Food

  • Exploring Farm to Head Start Across Minnesota: Lessons from IATP’s Farm to Head Start (Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy) http://bit.ly/2PgdGdl
  • Why does participation in the federal summer meal program keep dropping? (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2Ywx4G0      Only one in seven kids eligible for free summer lunch actually gets one, a new report finds.
  • Report: Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report 2019 (Food Research & Action Center) http://bit.ly/2K799E1
  • 500,000 Children Could Loose Free School Lunch Under Trump Administration’s SNAP Plan (Eater) http://bit.ly/33jbyV4              The Department of Agriculture conveniently left out its own estimated impact on schoolchildren in its formal proposal to overhaul food stamps

 

Labor, Unions & Coops

  • Nestle admits slavery in Thailand while fighting child labor lawsuit in Ivory Coast (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/31HJc58          The company has won plaudits for its admission of forced labor in the Thai seafood industry but much of the supply chain remains hidden.
  • The restaurant industry is turning to prisons to find workers (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2OiRnTA                                                  A new $4.5 million grant to the National Restaurant Association will go toward training inmates on front-of-house and kitchen skills.
  • Why It’s Immigrants Who Pack Your Meat (The Atlantic) http://bit.ly/2KRA3Ag                                                                                      What Trump has called an “invasion” was actually a recruitment drive.
  • ‘On the Clock’ is a horrifying look at low-wage work in America (Houston Chronicle) http://bit.ly/2T4wxGw
  • The restaurant industry has a mental health crisis (The Outline) http://bit.ly/2KZTFCr                                                                                  Servers, line cooks, and dishwashers all over America are struggling to find help in an industry that often exacerbates the problem.
  • Mass ICE Raids in Mississippi After Workers Fought For Better Conditions Leave Kids Without Parents (Democracy Now) http://bit.ly/2Z6JqkH
    • ICE raids seven Mississippi chicken plants, in the largest single state action in agency history (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2z2zLkv
    •  “We Had a Future We Built Here” (Slate) http://bit.ly/2TBrNYQ                                                                                      The ICE raids devastated the immigrant community in Morton, Mississippi. Then came a mass firing.
  • Mississippi ICE raids hit food processing plants; 680 workers arrested (MSN) http://bit.ly/2YuEdYg
  • Here’s why the aftermath of ICE raid is devastating – and not just for immigrants (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/30bW1V0

 

Protests

  • 58 arrested and fined outside American Airlines HQ in catering workers protest (Dallas News) http://bit.ly/2Mjpb1k

 

Business, Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Australia’s First Rescued-Food Supermarket Opens (Broadsheet) http://bit.ly/30dyxyZ                                                                                          Base on OzHarvest’s “take what you need, give if you can” model.
  • Is the US chicken industry cheating its farmers? (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/31QL3EM                                                                                  Leaked documents reveal remarkable power US poultry industry holds over farmers struggling to stay afloat on thin margins
  • Following weeks of controversy, GrubHub announces restaurant friendly reforms (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2Z7A2RD                                                                                          The company says it will set up a system to transfer web domains to restaurant owners, and will also improve the policy for its controversial phone charges.
  • Meatpacking giant Tyson wants fewer government inspectors. The USDA is listening (MSN) http://bit.ly/2KM7K69                  Tyson, one of the country’s largest meatpakers, is petitioning the Trump administration to reduce the number of government inspectors at a Kansas beef plant – a proposal that has raised alarms among some consumer and food safety advocates, who fear the changes could jeopardize public health.
  • Tyson want fewer government inspectors in one of its beef plants. Food safety advocates are raising alarms. (NBC News) https://nbcnews.to/2YKYedk                                                              Consumer advocates warn that the changes could threaten food safety by keeping red flags out of the sight of expert inspectors.
  • Impossible Foods, Impossible Claims (Medium) http://bit.ly/2Ykwyf2                                                                                            The company has courted ethical foodies, but how sustainable is this meat alternative?
  • An Inside Look At How Monsanto, PR Firm And A Reporter Giver Readers A Warped View Of Science (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/303kgo7                                                                                      Dogged for years by bad press, Monsanto hit reboot with Ketchum.
  • Revealed: how Monsanto “intelligence center’ targeted journalists and activists (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2KRQjRU  Internal documents show how the company worked to discredit critics and investigated singer Neil Young
  • Now Earning 278 Times More Than Average Worker, New Study Shows CEO Pay Has Grown More Than 1,000% Since 1978 (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2KM4V53                               “Corporate greed is eviscerating the working class.”
  • Report: CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978 (Economic Policy Institute) http://bit.ly/2YLIKpz                    Typical worker compensation has risen only 12% during that time

 

Government, Regulation, Policy & Farm Bill

  • European Regulators Praised for Declaring There Is ‘No Safe Exposure Level’ for Pesticide Tied to Brain Damage in Children (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2YoKy7w                                    Advocates celebrating the announcement noted that, by contrast, “the Trump administration is kowtowing to chemical agribusiness.”
  • Trump’s Policies Are Putting Our Food Supply at Risk (Truthout) http://bit.ly/31ASyjh
    • The Climate Crisis Is ‘a Perfect Storm’ Headed for the World’s Food Supply (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/31ogXs0
    • America’s Farmers, Reeling From Floods, Face a New Problem: No Water (NYT) https://nyti.ms/2MKNXXr                                      The breach of an irrigation canal left more than 100,000 acres of farmland in Nebraska and Wyoming without water at a critical point in the growing cycle.
  • Bipartisan bill on food expiration labels could cut many tons of food waste (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/33B6MSX
  • Midwest farmers going broke at record rates thanks to Trump’s trade war (Salon) http://bit.ly/31G82T4                                    Bankruptcies have doubled in the biggest farm states, with falling prices and the trade war largely to blame
  • Farmers Reel After Sonny Perdue Mocks Them As ‘Whiners’ Amid Trade War Bankruptcies (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2KIA2hW
  • Minnesota farmer tears up while telling CNN how Trump’s ‘very scary’ trade war has harmed her family (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2KzwtLY
  • Nearly 100 percent of Trump funds designed to help farmers went to white farmers (grist) http://bit.ly/2LVLEkN
    • Majority of Trump’s Trade Aide Went to Biggest Farms, Study Finds (Bloomberg) https://bloom.bg/32X5rFL
    • Trump’s big farmer grift: He’s giving millions to the rich wile starving the poor (AlterNet) http://bit.ly/2H6sDIo
  • The Golfer In Chief Is Also the Goatherd In Chief, Saving Him Tens of Thousands (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2ZaJpMl    Trump owns eight goats and farms 113 acres of hay at his New Jersey golf resort, slashing his property tax bill by some $88,000 a year.
  • Top Scientist Quits USDA, Says Trump Admin Tried to Bury Study Linking Climate and Nutrition (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2GUqkbe
  • Visa Program Leave Cultural Exchange Workers Vulnerable to Exploitation (Capital and Main) http://bit.ly/2YPuBYh  Participants in the US Summer Work Travel program have been victims of wage theft, harassment and even human trafficking.
  • With Ridiculous Timing, USDA Suspends Its Honey Bee Monitoring Program (modern farmer) http://bit.ly/2LTUkbp
  • EPA Wants to triple level of rocket fuel chemical allowed in drinking water (Think Progress) http://bit.ly/2YCFQT5
    • Vintage EPA photos reveal what US water ways looked like before pollution was regulated (Business Insider) http://bit.ly/2YPZlbF
  • Biotechnology Oversight Gest and Early Make-Over by Trump’s White House and USDA: Part 1 – The Executive Order (NC State University) http://bit.ly/2yYKhsT
    • Biotechnology Oversight an Early Make Over by Trump’s White House and USDA: Part 2 – The USDA-APHIS  Rule (NC State University) http://bit.ly/2N6sdpc
  • USDA to biotech: Call your own compliance (Institute For Agriculture and Trade Policy) http://bit.ly/2OWcPhC
  • Rep. Ilham Omar Introduces Zero Waste Act as Part of Green New Deal (Democracy Now) http://bit.ly/2ZzgsLd
  • Impossible Foods Nabs FDA Approval to Sell in Grocery stores in September (Eater) http://bit.ly/2GXyL5J
  • Tony Evers order new farm rules to limit nitrate pollution in drinking water (Kenosha News) http://bit.ly/2OD3meM
  • Trump defends a pesticide linked to developmental disorders. California will ban it (LA Times) https://lat.ms/2H8nwqR
  • Minneapolis becomes the first major American city to ban new drive-through windows (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2YX1bb2                                                                                        Citing the climate benefits of taking cars off the road, the city council says no new facilities can be built.
  • New York City Is Giving Out Prescriptions For Free Fruits And Vegetables (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2N37vGH                        For people with lower access to healthy food and high blood pressure, it’s free money for groceries.

 

Pollinators & Insects

  • Morgan Freeman Converted His 124-Acre Ranch Into A Giant Honeybee Sanctuary To Save The Bees (Forbes) http://bit.ly/2Zwom80

 

Animals, Fish & Sea Animals

 

GMOs, CRISPR, Cloning & Synthetic Biology

  • FDA finds a surprise in gene-edited cattle: antibiotic resistant, non-bovine DNA (New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2KNDI23
  • Dairy Ice Cream, No Cow Needed: Egg And Milk Proteins Are Made Without Animals (NPR) https://n.pr/31GbE7i

 

Poisons

  • Insect ‘apocalypse’ in US driven by 50x increase in toxic pesticides (National Geographic) https://on.natgeo.com/2KyT3n1                                                                Bees, butterflies, and other insects are under attack by the very plants they feed on as US agriculture continues to use chemicals known to kill.
  • A New Study Reveals Just How a Bee’s World Has Become (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2TBU2ac                                            Here’s what happened when farmers started using a new class of insecticides.
  •  ‘Alarming’ Explosion of Toxic Pesticide Use Causing Insect Apocalypse in United States: Study (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2YvKdjt                                                                                  “Insect abundance has declined 45 percent. This is a global crisis – we must ban neonics to save the bees!
  • Toxic Pesticides Are Driving Insect ‘Apocalypse’ in the US, Study Warns (Smithsonian) http://bit.ly/2yJDLWS
  • An assessment of acute insecticide toxicity loading (AITL) of chemical pesticides used on agricultural land in the United States (PLOS One) http://bit.ly/2OKKpXU
  • ‘Catastrophe’ as France’s bird population collapses due to pesticides (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2KlsYZw
  • Glyphosate Should Be Phased Out Worldwide. Devastating Health Impacts (Global Research) http://bit.ly/2OMc7n7
  • Corporations can legally put carcinogens in our food without warning labels. Here’s why (Salon) http://bit.ly/2Tjn2Dh
  • After Poisoning Downs 24 Students In Port Dickson, Malaysia: PANAP Calls For Pesticide-Free Buffer Zones Around Schools (Pesticide Action Network Asia Pacific) http://bit.ly/2K5k6pH
  • US Annually Uses 388 Million Pounds of Potentially Fatal Pesticides Banned in the EU, China and Brazil (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2ysdEDO

 

Education & Training

  • UK Charity’s Prison Restaurant Programme Does Reduce Reoffending (Eater) http://bit.ly/333P22l                                                The Clink operates restaurants in four UK prisons