Jenny’s Food & Ag Update October 12, 2019

 

  • This area in Detroit is now America’s first 100% organic, self-sustainable neighborhood (The Hearty Soul) http://bit.ly/2mPIiok
  • Former USDA Scientist Says He’ll Make A Bigger Impact On Climate Change Research Outside Of The Government (WBUR) https://wbur.fm/2kyhA2y
  • $1m a minute: the farming subsidies destroying the world – report (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2lRb0o2
  • How Maine plans to study the debated practice of aerial herbicide on forests (Bangor Daily News) http://bit.ly/2kDqP1z
    • Aerial Herbicide Spraying Under Scrutiny in Maine’s North Woods (Maine Public Radio) http://bit.ly/2mEzhP4
  • Buildings should be made out of hemp and wool to cut carbon emissions, National Farmers’ Union says (The Telegraph) http://bit.ly/2kXiGoG
  • Mushrooms Clean Up Toxic Mess, Including Plastic. So Why Aren’t They Used More? (yes!) http://bit.ly/2krJAVm
    • Mushrooms Used for Bioremediation to Clean Pesticides From Oregon Waterways (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2oFxgCG

 

Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding, Fishing & Production

  • 10,000 Farmers And Ranchers Endorse Green New Deal In Letter To Congress (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2mrLzK4
  • French farmers forced to destroy rapeseed after GM seed found (The Western Producer) http://bit.ly/2lWH2PD
  • 1,000 Farm-Raised Salmon Escape From Canadian Pen, Some Captured At New Brunswick Dam (Main Public Radio) http://bit.ly/2lSGM42                                                                                          This is the same company that released 305,000 farmed salmon into Peugeot Sound in 2017.

 

Land and Soil

  • ‘The Future of Earth Is at Risk’: New Drone Footage of Deforestation in Amazon Shows Cost of Meat Industry (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2mtWdju
  • The Amount of US Farmland Held By Foreign Investors Nearly Doubled in A Decade (Newsweek) http://bit.ly/2mPKJY0

 

Climate

  • Vandana Shiva: We Need Biodiversity-Based Agriculture to Solve Climate Crisis (Truthout) http://bit.ly/332svlB
  • Some Indigenous Communities Have a New Way to Fight Climate Change: Give Personhood Rights to Nature (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/33qPVRF    A Yurok Tribe resolution allows cases to be brought on behalf of the Klamath Ricer as a person in tribal court.
  • Farmers and Ranchers Know What Climate Change Feels Like. They Just Wrote Congress Demanding Action (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2muYk6z
  • In a Race Against the Sun, Growers Try to Outsmart Climate Change (NYT) https://nyti.ms/2mnYEE1                                                    From California to Costa Rica and beyond, farmers are experimenting with new crops and growing tactics.
  • New Report Details 10 ‘Critical Transitions’ to Tackle the Climate crisis and Feed the World (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2ksqb6U
    • Report: Growing Better: Ten Critical Transitions to Transform Food and Land Use (Food and Land Use Coalition) http://bit.ly/2mfu3se
  • Bite Podcast’s New Series Explores How Climate Change Is Transforming Dinner (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/352o10d
  • Study: Country-specific dietary shifts to mitigate climate and water crises (Global Environmental Change) http://bit.ly/2lRgY8z
  • New initiative aims to mobilize the restaurant industry to fight climate change (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/326SnNd     Restore California will fund farmers to switch to regenerative agriculture practices.
  • Ravaged by Drought, a Honduran Village Faces a Choice: Pray for Rain or Migrate (Inside Climate News) http://bit.ly/2mfzvvd      People in El Resario live on the edge of hunger, not knowing if the next harvest will come. Climate change is a driving force of food insecurity.

 

Plants, Seeds & Cultivars

  • Benheim Apricot (Gastro Obscura) http://bit.ly/2lUUcwn          Snap judgments may spell trouble for what was once the king of California apricots.
  • Strawberries: The tasty fruit with a tainted environmental legacy and an uncertain future (UC Santa Cruz News Center) http://bit.ly/2kywypg
  • This Ancient Fruit Holds Secrets for How to Farm in Climate Change (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2oiNqlz

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Give Rivers Legal Rights (New Republic) http://bit.ly/2oFdDdZ        An ancient approach to protecting nature is being revived in hopes of getting natural resources – and the people who depend on them – the protection they’ve always deserved.
  • California farmers face ‘catastrophic’ water restrictions. Can they adapt to survive? (Sacramento Bee) http://bit.ly/2Ofpydj
  • ‘Perfectly Legal’ Levels of Contaminants in US Tap Water Could Result in 100,000 Cancer Cases: New Study (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2kyD13y
    • Study: Cumulative risk analysis of carcinogenic contaminants in United States drinking water (Heliyon) http://bit.ly/2kMojWQ
    • Study: California Drinking Water: How the Combination of Multiple Contaminants Raises Cancer Risks (Environmental Working Group) http://bit.ly/2msNez4
  • Fracking Has No Place in a Livable Future (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2m0JAfs
    • Ohio Firefighters Kept in the Dark on Drilling and Fracking Chemicals (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2mLo9jn                                     The secrecy prevents first responders from preparing for incidents involving chemical fires, spills or releases.
  • This Wisconsin Town Is Desperately Fighting For Its Drinking Water (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/35qAL0S
  • ‘What they put on the fields contaminates our water’: Iowa’s pollution problem (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2otUbRg
  • Water Is Unaffordable For Nearly Half Of Kentucky County’s Residents, Report Finds (West Virginia Public Radio) http://bit.ly/2pbyTZa
  • Alaska Villages Run Dry And Residents Worry About A ‘Future No Water’ (NPR) https://n.pr/2keObKq
  • ‘Critical’: parts of regional NSW (New South Wales) set to run out of water by November (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2kOSdJK
  • In a sign of cleanup success, dolphins are living and giving birth in the Potomac (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2OO2JOj
  • Algae Blooms Fed by Farm Flooding Add to Midwest’s Climate Woes (Inside Climate News) http://bit.ly/2lZqWo8                             All that water has flushed vast amounts of fertilizer and manure into waterways, triggering a potentially unprecedented season of algae blooms.
  • Saving California’s Kelp Forest May Depend On Eating Purple Sea Urchins (NPR) https://n.pr/2lQv5Li
  • As Bering Sea ice melts, Alaskans, scientists, and Seattle’s fishing fleet witness changes ‘on a massive scale (Seattle Times) http://bit.ly/2kM3sCI
  • The Battle Over Fish Farming In The Open Ocean Heats Up, As EPA Permit Looms (NPR) https://n.pr/2nSzgHl
  • Ships fitted with ‘cheat devices’ to divert poisonous pollution into sea (The Independent) http://bit.ly/2oFpVD8
  • ‘Everywhere we looked’: trillions of microplastics found in San Francisco bay (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2LQKbej                       Most comprehensive study to date finds plastic in sediment collected from bay and tributaries and digestive tracts of fish

 

Food Culture & History

  • New Oakland soul food spot reminds us vegan food is part of black culture (San Francisco Chronicle) http://bit.ly/33tc9ml
  • Mexican Grandmother creates a YouTube channel to teach homemade recipes. It already has 265 thousand subscribers (The Mazatlán Post) http://bit.ly/2m2EkIA
  • The Ethics of Eating (The Nation) http://bit.ly/2LNBAc5              How our food culture is killing us.
  • The Black Panther Party’s Free Breakfast Program: A 50-Year-Old Blueprint (KQED) http://bit.ly/2oVkMHq

 

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

  • Woman Was Buying Dinner For Homeless People When Taco Bell Kicked Them Out (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2lXkIW8  Shannon Gridley said the treatment she and her dinner guests faced at a Louisville Taco Bell was “dehumanizing.”

 

Gleaning, Foraging, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • New Report Finds That More Food Is Lost in Fields Than Previously Believed (Food Tank) http://bit.ly/2kT8wFu
    • Study: On-farm food loss in northern and central California: Results of field survey measurements (Resources, Conservation and Recycling) http://bit.ly/2YAuFpO
  • Coca-Cola will no longer use plastic shrink-wrap on can multipacks sold in the UK (enviro30) http://bit.ly/2mYJZ2s
    • Coca Cola – 3m metric tonnes plastic packaging annually, does their action plan really stack up? (enviro30) http://bit.ly/2n4oVb7
  • Nestlé, Tim Hortons named Canada’s top plastic polluters again (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) http://bit.ly/35w5TMy
  • Shocking photo shows Caribbean Sea being ‘choked to death by human waste’ (The Telegraph) http://bit.ly/2m0VMgo

 

Healthy Food & Food Safety

  • KFC is serving fried chicken sandwiches between 2 glazed doughnuts at dozens of locations, and people are freaking out (Business Insider) http://bit.ly/2knuy33
  • General Mills Recalls 600,000 Pounds of Flour Due to E. Coli Contamination Risk (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2mLpYwi

 

Food Fraud, Scandals, Weird & Funny

  • A 5.6 – Pound Avocado in Hawaii Set a New World Record, and It Made Enough Guacamole for 20 People (KTLA5) http://bit.ly/2VBAofl

 

Children & School Food

  • Why school cafeterias should he the frontlines of policy change (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2moXBE1                                           Healthier children, better wages, stronger local economies, sustainable food – the fight for of them start with school lunches

 

Labor, Unions & Coops

  • ‘Such brutality’: tricked into slaver in the Thai fishing industry (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2lYBwff
  • Company shorted H-2A visa workers in pay, violated safety and health housing standards (Miami Herald) https://hrld.us/2lZpNgk
    • Fainting And Freezing In The Fields: Alleged Labor Trafficking Victim Tells Of Mistreatment in Wisconsin, Georgia (Wisconsin Public Radio) http://bit.ly/2ALvpix
  • ‘It’s Not Shameful to Work in the Fields. But It’s Hard.’ (The Nation) http://bit.ly/2oVoXTC Americans don’t want these jobs, or can’t do them – so nearly a quarter of a million guest workers do them instead.
  • 4,200 truck drivers lost their jobs in September as a recession slams America’s $800 billion trucking industry (Business Insider) http://bit.ly/31XHLAg
  • World’s richest man cuts health benefits for 1,900 Whole Foods workers (Front Page Live) http://bit.ly/2kq33WD
  • Philly airport workers are being forced to sign away their rights to take their employer to court (The Philadelphia Inquirer) http://bit.ly/2m1wFtM
  • ‘We’re organizing to improve lives’: New York fast-food workers push to unionize (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/358vnPL   Manhattan-based local union that works with Fight for $15 has launched effort to unionize Chipotle and McDonald’s workers
  • Poultry Workers and Allies Organize In The Wake of Anti-Immigrant Raids (Labor Notes) http://bit.ly/2ou9ERl
  • Grocery Workers’ Union Cancels all Kroger Contracts due to Unfair Labor Practices by Fred Meyer; further details to follow on September 22nd. (UFCW 5550 http://bit.ly/2kSNzur

 

Protests

  • The Library of Congress’ cafeteria is serving up a punny impeachment themed dessert (The Week) http://bit.ly/35a2Jhe

 

Business, Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Big Meat Files Suit to Stop California Measure Improving Animal Welfare (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/32Yyisq               California’s Proposition 12, passed in November, won praise from animal rights groups.
  • Nestlé violates law in India, conducts clinical trials on premature infants for baby food (National Herald India) http://bit.ly/335Vhlu
  • Farm bankruptcies rise as trade war drags on (UPI) http://bit.ly/2oCwtCH
    • Farmers rip Trump trade: We’ve lost everything since he took over (MSNBC) https://on.msnbc.com/331ujeH Bob Kuylen, vice president of the North Dakota Farmer’s Union, says he lost $400,000 because of President Trump’s trade ware with China. He says farmers have “pretty much lost all of our markets since Trump took over.”
    • Trump Trade War: Farmers Are Going To ‘Lose Farms That They’ve Had In Their Families For Generations,’ Says Land O’Lakes CEO (Newsweek) http://bit.ly/3241kH0
    • US Farms Face Long-Term Losses From Trump Trade War, BCG Warns (Bloomberg) https://bloom.bg/35syRg3
  • Why community-owned grocery stores like co-ops are the best recipe for revitalizing food deserts (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/35bCoPS

 

Government, Regulation, Policy & Farm Bill

  • Pesticide formulations as sold and used must be tested for toxicity and carcinogenicity (GMWatch) http://bit.ly/2nYXOic
  • EU approves ground breaking New ‘Right to Repair’ Laws Requiring Appliances to Be Easier to Fix (Good News Network) http://bit.ly/2pxebDg
  • France Is the First Country to Ban Plastic Cups, Plates, and Cutlery (Global Citizen) http://bit.ly/2m8qQdV
  • France bans fracking and oil extraction in all of its territories (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2nF5R3z                                                              French parliamentarians have passed a law banning fossil fuel extraction. President Macron says he wants France to lead the world with switch to renewables
  • House Approves “Sweeping” Provisions That Target Toxic “Forever Chemicals” (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2mJVKdc
    • Trump Threatens to Veto First Ever Congressional Action on “Forever Chemicals” (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2mLibi0
  • Trump Administration Moves To End 20% Cap On Non-Tipped Work For Servers (Labor 411) http://bit.ly/33lojxv
    • The Trump Administration Wants Restaurant Servers To Do More Work For Less Pay (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2Otubk5
  • Universal Free School Lunch Can End Cafeteria Shaming. But Now It’s Under Threat. (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2nDoK6R
  • Trump Administration Proposes Yet Another Food Benefit Cut (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2paVRPZ
    • Restricting SNAP benefits could hurt millions of Americans – and local communities (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/2npRksE
    • Warnings That Millions More Could Go Hungry as Trump Pushes $4.5 Billion in Food Benefit Cuts (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2o80bQ7                                                                                  “The Trump administration’s latest proposal to cut SNAP would leave millions of people, including struggling families, seniors and people with disabilities, with less help putting food on the table.”
  • Trump Has Gutted an Agency That’s Vital to American Farmers (Bloomberg) https://bloom.bg/2Oph5EC                                             Move to Kansas City leads to mass departures of DC researchers             Some growers worry they will lack essential data for decisions
  • The USDA Gives Fewer Loans to Women and Minority Farmers, a Government Watchdog Finds (Pacific Standard) http://bit.ly/2Mcw4Pm
  • USDA Inaction Leaves Organic Dairy Farmers in a Very Vulnerable Position, Congress is Forced to Take Action (Organic Insider) http://bit.ly/31M7awD
  • Why President Trump gutting USDA’s research service is so dangerous (The Washington Post) https://wapo.st/2kpcHbQ   Since the 19th century, Americans have benefited from access to rigorous, unbiased statistics about our foodways.
  • Trump’s NLRB, Trying to Cut Protections for Millions of Temps and Fast-Food Workers, Trips Up Again (ProPublica) http://bit.ly/2lwgyV1                                                                                            The labor-relations board’s attempt to kill an Obama rule protecting third-party employees fizzed once because of a conflict of interest. Now, two representatives charge, there’s a new conflict and it involves the agency’s own temps.

 

  • Trump Labor Department Slammed for ‘Wholly Inadequate’ Overtime Pay Rule That ‘Leaves Behind Millions of Workers’ (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2l01Oh8                                           “Once again, President Trump has sided with the interests of corporate executives over those of working people.”
  • Perdue to small farmers: Stop whining, your demise is inevitable (Wisconsin Examiner) http://bit.ly/2M5XhnV                              Trump’s ag secretary conveys the administration’s contempt for rural people
    • Wisconsin Governor Rips Sonny Perdue For Warning Small Dairy Farms Won’t Make It (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/35awqyL                                                                                 Make no mistake about it, Trump’s administration is nor friend to America’s Dairyland.”
    • ‘Unacceptable’: Family Farms, Ag Advocates Hit Back After Sec Perdue Says Small Dairy Farms Destined to Die (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2oDGfo4                                                              “Five years of plunging farm prices, increasing bankruptcies, and climbing suicide rates were not discussed by Perdue. His message to them was basically, stop whining, your demise is inevitable.”
    • Ag secretary: No guarantee small dairy farms will survive (The Washington Post) https://wapo.st/2p03BnR President Donald Trump’s agriculture secretary said Tuesday during a stop in Wisconsin that He doesn’t know if the family dairy farm can survive as the industry moves toward a factory farm model.
  • Trump Administration threatens jail time for California officials over river project (Sacramento Bee) http://bit.ly/2muvenZ
  • Trump’s USDA Is Letting Factories Troubling Safety Records Slaughter Chickens Even Faster (ProPublica) http://bit.ly/31RAJNd                                                                                Workers are getting injured, but the Department of Agriculture says their safety is not its responsibility.
  • Amid National Drinking Water Crises, EPA Moves to Weaken Lead Protections (National Resources Defense Council) https://on.nrdc.org/2MtCIRo
  • California bans controversial pesticide (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/2B8mwzD                                                                                      Sales of chlorpyrifols will stop in early 2020 and complete ban on usage of the pesticide will stop in late 2020.
  • Hollywood and Silicon Valley can no longer silence women with this contract clause (Vox) http://bit.ly/31cm9i1                       California finally bans forced arbitration at work.                                          This covers all workers, including those in food services and agriculture.

 

Pollinators & Insects

  • Bee population recovering due to regenerative farming, producers say (Global News Canada) http://bit.ly/2IHG1mU

 

Animals, Fish & Sea Animals

  • A Chinese hog farmer is breeding giant, polar bear size pigs that weigh over 1,100 pounds, while the country contends with pork shortages (Business Insider) http://bit.ly/325n9WD
  • Rare California trout species returns to native habitat (San Francisco Chronicle) http://bit.ly/2mhfox8
  • Salmon return to Oregon river by the hundreds to spawn after $2M restoration project (KATU2) http://bit.ly/33quqki
  • Global Warming Pushing Pacific Salmon to the Brink, Federal Scientists Warn (Inside Climate Change) http://bit.ly/2kQgQ94
    • Okanagan Sockeye Salmon (Gastro Obscura) http://bit.ly/2mgw8nO                                                                          Around British Columbia’s Osoyoos Lake, community efforts have revived the population of a fluorescent fish.
  • The Strange, Uncertain Fate of the World’s Most Valuable Salmon Habitats (The Nation) http://bit.ly/2oUvPjO               Alaska’s Bristol Bay is a rare pristine salmon fishery. Can it survive a rapidly changing climate – and massive, Trump – backed mine?
  • Scientific and Traditional Knowledge Is Helping Save the World’s Largest Freshwater Fish (Food Tank) http://bit.ly/2n2epkz
  • How To Teach a Frog to Love (The Atlantic) http://bit.ly/2B73mKw                                                                       Amphibians are dying off faster than any other vertebrate group in the world. Can hormones and IVF save them?
  • Scientists: Yes, That Lobster You’re Boiling Alive Is Probably In Real Pain (Business Insider) http://bit.ly/2n1Yv9P

 

GMOs, CRISPR, Cloning & Synthetic Biology

  • Gene-edited animals will intensify factory farming and the climate crisis, could harm human health (Friends of the Earth) http://bit.ly/2lZGIiO                                                                                            New report highlights urgent need for safety assessments, oversight
    • Report: Genetically Engineered Animals: From Lab to Factory Farm (Friends of the Earth) http://bit.ly/2lWDmNF
  • A Trail That Gene-Hack Mosquitoes to Stop Breeding Has Backfired Spectacularly (Science Alert) http://bit.ly/2kFItlj

 

Poisons

  • New Study: US agriculture 48 times more toxic to insects than 25 years ago (Friends of the Earth) http://bit.ly/2ozYCKv
    • Study: 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
  • Billions Of Birds Have Disappeared From North America in Recent Decades: Study (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2krlkmg
    • Vanishing: More Than 1 in 4 Birds Has Disappeared in the Last 50 years (Cornell Lab of Ornithology) http://bit.ly/2kYh5Pg
    • Huge decline in songbirds linked to common insecticide (National Geographic) https://on.natgeo.com/2mh5PxP  Neonics – pesticides introduced to plant at the seed stage – act like an appetite suppressant for birds, making them lose weight within hours.
    • Dead Bird Nests Contain 36 Different Pesticides, Including DDT (ach news) http://bit.ly/2kNcr6L
  • Biosolids: mix human waste with toxic chemicals, then spread on crops (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2MAbUyX