Jenny’s Food & Ag Update January 27, 2019

 

  • The Streets of Copenhagen Will Soon Have Communal Fruit Trees (Intelligent Living) http://bit.ly/3apMz5W
  • Meals On Wheels Serves Up Breakfast, Lunch And Community At Local Diner (NPR) https://n.pr/2RDeyqj
  • Supreme Court allows Flint residents to sue city and state over water contamination (CBS News) https://cbsn.ws/36jjAgU
    • The number of Flint’s student
  • Veganuary is huge. But is it really as simple as animal foods bad, plant foods good? (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/36jlazd                      We seem to have forgotten that , just like meat, vegan food can damage the planet
  • The dark side of plant based food – it’s more about money than you may think (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/2QLgrRe
  • How Brazilian Chefs Are Using the Fruit That Can Turn Anything Blue (Atlas Obscura) http://bit.ly/2QQ80UF
  • Food labels too complicated for most shoppers to understand – new research (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/2QPmdBn
  • Liederkranz Cheese (Atlas Obscura) http://bit.ly/2SY33Mn          This long-extinct pungent delight has made a comeback in Wisconsin.
  • Sacrebleu! Michelin strips third star legendary Bocuse restaurant after 55 years (CNN) https://cnn.it/2R7S2H1

 

Farmers, Farming, Ranching, Herding, Fishing & Production

  • Farmers Are Buying 40-Year-Old Tractors Because They’re Actually Repairable (Vice) http://bit.ly/35L3I6G                                  John Deere makes it difficult to repair its new tractors without specialized software, so an increasing number of farmers are buying older models. Yes!
  • Open source technology could be a boon to farmers (Salon) http://bit.ly/2QRlCjX                                                                                          Open source technologies will help small farmers compete against the large operations
  • The Latest Green New Deal for Farmers Would Restructure Everything About How They Make Money (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/36qzplL                                                                                              “The current system is killing our soil, and farmers have hardly any incentives to do anything different.”
  • Farming’s Growing Problem (The Center for Public Integrity) http://bit.ly/3aCYSf7                                                                                  Fertilizers are contaminating and warming the planet. Regulators haven’t acted on decades-old warnings.
  • The Last Floating Farms of Mexico City (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2ZT3qZU                                                                                                A collective of farmers is trying to revive chinampas, a 1,300-year-old method of farming.
  • Women Farmers Are on the Rise in the Last Frontier (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2T3RZNT                                                              Alaskan women are almost as likely to start farming as their male counterparts
  • Life at the End of the National Food Chain (Earth Island Journal) http://bit.ly/36rG13p                                                                                          Sitka, Alaska, offsets food insecurity through farming, fishing, and foraging – and an uncommon sense of community.
  • Midwestern Farm Network Is Leading the Way to Chemical – Free, Sustainable Farming (Truthout) http://bit.ly/2GmhxxR
  • New report confirms challenges for young and beginning farmers (Salon) http://bit.ly/36NXKmT                                                                            It’s a tough time for farmers across the nation.
  • New study: changes in climate since 2000 have cut Australian farm profits 22% (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/2rVLWQ2
    • Concern over ‘viability’ of dairy farms and milk supplies as Australian bushfires spread (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2Fm7Fnp
    • The milk, the whole milk and nothing but the milk: The story behind our (AU) dairy woes (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/2N0s1H7
  • Wisconsin lost almost 800 dairy farms in 2019. Is the 2020 outlook better? (WSAW) http://bit.ly/35E2xpk

 

Land and Soil

  • Soil is our best ally in the fight against climate change – but we’re fast running out of it (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/35pFfUh

 

Climate

  • Waiter, There’s a Climate Surcharge in My Soup (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2TT0Q5o                                                                                                                                                          A new initiative will use haute cuisine to fund carbon sequestration.
  • For a Sustainable Food System, Look to Seeds (Yes!) http://bit.ly/2Rn9nL2                                                                                            The resilience of food production in the face of a changing climate will depend on the both traditional ecological knowledge and Western science.
  • Climate change is hurting farmers -n even seeds are under threat (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/2QtdTZ7

 

Plants, Seeds & Cultivars

  • The Cosmic Crips apple is not the future (Salon) http://bit.ly/380mmZy                                                                                        Focus groups, consultants and fungicides brought us the Cosmic Crisp. Is its taste worth the cost?

 

Water & Our Oceans

  • Lake Erie turns toxic every summer. Officials aren’t cracking down on the source. (The Center for Public Integrity) http://bit.ly/38DZkIy
  • America’s Radioactive Secret (Rolling Stone) http://bit.ly/2GaVDh7                                                                                            Oil-and-gas wells produce nearly a trillion gallons of toxic waste a year. An investigation shows how it could be making workers sick and contaminating communities across America
  • US Drinking Water Widely Contaminated With ‘Forever Chemicals,’ Watchdog Says (Reuters) https://reut.rs/30T5DFq
    • People In 43 US Cities Are Drinking Toxic “Forever Chemicals” In Their Tap Water, Tests Show (BuzzFeed) http://bit.ly/2TVouy5
    • PFAS Contamination of Drinking Water Far More Prevalent Than Previously Reported (Environmental Working Group) http://bit.ly/2NNHHxK
  • Bottled Water: Unhealthy, Dirty and Costly (Medium) http://bit.ly/2tTeQBa                                                                                            What Companies Do Not Disclose But Consumers Must Know
  • Three Companies, Including “Crystal Geyser,” Charged with Illegally Transporting Hazardous Waste Containing Arsenic (US Department of Justice) http://bit.ly/38kyncy
    • Crystal Geyser Pleads Guilty to Illegally Storing Arsenic-Laden Wastewater (NBC Los Angeles) http://bit.ly/37m64Kw          The case focuses on the bottling plant’s wastewater, not the safety or quality of Crystal Geyser’s water, prosecutors said.
  • Pain, cancer, death: Michigan families devastated by toxic chemicals in their water (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2QJ8JIC  Residents had for years been drinking water contaminated by dangerous PFAS chemicals – and the impact has been brutal
  • The plan to protect the Chesapeake is failing, and it’s Pennsylvania’s fault (Salon) http://bit.ly/36r4qGt                                                      The Chesapeake is the largest estuary in the US and a nationally significant economic resource
  • ‘Scale of This Failure Has No precedent’: Scientists Say Hot Ocean ‘Blob’ Killed One Million Seabirds (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/30rYIme
    • A New Study About the Death of 1 Million Seabird Should Scare the Crap Out of You (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/3aNuqPM
    • Study: Extreme mortality and reproductive failure of common murres resulting from the northeast Pacific heatwave of 2014-2016 (PLOS ONE) http://bit.ly/2viunv0

 

Food Culture & History

  • How the Government Came to Decide the Color of Your Food (Smithsonian) http://bit.ly/30VX7VV                                                              A business historian explains America’s commitment to regulating the appearance of everything from margarine to canned peas
  • These Lost Crops Were a Likely Staple Food in Indigenous North America (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2uoZrc9

 

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

  • When Disaster Hit California, Sikh Temples Provide Meals and Refuge (Atlas Obscura) http://bit.ly/36H7f6Y                                   Sikhs statewide have organized to feed their fellow Californians in crisis.
  • Red meat plays vital role in diets, claims expert in fightback against veganism (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2MZfsvw                    As millions cut out animal products, farming conference hears that fruit and vegetables have been drained of nutrients

 

Gleaning, Foraging, Reuse, Recycling, Composting & Waste

  • Mealworms Can Eat Toxic Styrofoam Safely (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2SXe5Bm                                                                                          Not as good a solution as not using Styrofoam, but it’s something.

 

Healthy Food & Food Safety

  • More foreign ownership of US beef processors raises food safety concerns (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2GkLkXK    Brazilian meat company Marfrig – currently under investigation for making bribes – is now majority owner of one of the biggest beef processors in the United States.

 

Food Fraud, Scandals, Weird & Funny

  • Meal Delivery Service Accused of Repackaging Other Companies’ Frozen Foods (Vice) http://bit.ly/36DvbIr
  • People Are Fighting to Change an Anti-MSG Term in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (Vice) http://bit.ly/30CeOtv                     Chef Eddie Huang and TV hos Jeannie Mai are calling out the dictionary’s outdated definition for “Chinese restaurant syndrome.”
  • Texas Police Learn That Yes, You Can Dust Cheese Slices for Fingerprints (Vice) http://bit.ly/2NnMV3c                                                        After the Carrollton PD discovered a number of cars covered in cheese, they realized the “cheese slices produce GREAT fingerprints.”

 

Children & School Food

  • Why Do We Have School Lunch Debt at All? (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2FVZT3O                                                                                          We live in a nation where food is plentiful but millions of children experience hung and food insecurity.
  • Countless American families are saddled with student lunch debt. Many won’t be able to pay it off. (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/38fpTDD

 

Labor, Unions & Coops

  • An SOS Call for America’s Workers (The American Prospect) http://bit.ly/2Rr5oyf                                                                                              The new Clean Slate report alerts the public and policy members about the dismal state of workers power and worker voice.
  • Jail Inmates Worked for a $16 Billion Company Without Pay. Now Thy Want Their Wages. (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/37H7cIw                                                                                                                                     “They’re making money off of using us prisoners and we’re not getting anything in exchange.
  • Raising the Minimum Wage by Just $1 Could Literally Save Lives (Vice) http://bit.ly/2Nlz7WP                                                                                        A new study found that states with higher minimum wages have lower suicide rates among people without college degrees.
  • The grooming gap: What “looking the part” costs women (Salon) http://bit.ly/37XjZGY                                                                                                If women don’t conform to beauty expectations, they’re paid less.      As a chef in a male dominated field, I can’t tell you how many times I have been told how to dress when coming in to work, before my uniform is on. Recently, a boss was shocked how “well I cleaned up,” and staff members think I am gay because I keep my very curly hair short. The list goes on…
  • Thousands of Google’s cafeteria workers have unionized (Vox) http://bit.ly/2ZYU7ru                                                                                    Around 2,300 contracted workers who serve meals to Google employees in the San Francisco Bay Area have unionized, saying they’re overworked and underpaid.
  • Fast Food Chain (Tim Hortons) Locks Out And Replaces Workers Over 10 Cent Raise Demand (Labor 411) http://bit.ly/2NmvaRA
  • New Report: Employers Are Charged with Labor Law Violations in Over 40% Of All Union Election Campaigns (Labor 411) http://bit.ly/30ccCZI
    • Report: Unlawful (Economic Policy Institute) http://bit.ly/2FIeznl                                                                                            US employers are charged with violating federal law in 41.5% of all union election campaigns

 

Business, Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise & Our Economy

  • Factory Farm Industry Quietly Lobbies California Officials to Criminalize Animal Rescue Activism (The Intercept) http://bit.ly/38lWrf8

 

  • Corporate “Cage-Free” Commitments Are Only Meaningful With Accountability (Truthout) http://bit.ly/30ggJDY                                 Reducing the suffering of chickens can only happen if companies follow through on their promises.

 

  • (UK) Fast food giants still ‘failing’ on chicken welfare, says report (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2Rq9kix                                                          Pizza Hut, Burger King and Domino’s are among UK outlets rated ‘very poor’ in report from leading animal charity
  • Almost one in four food products launched in UK in 2019 labeled vegan (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2RJXwGS
  • After massive funding round, Memphis Meats plans to open a production plant for cell-cultured meat (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/37oDCrt
  • Impossible Foods’ new pork is 0% pig. That’s a big deal. (Vox) http://bit.ly/2N6gIgu                                                                                            The plant-based Impossible Pork is here to replace the most eaten meat in the world.
  • The world’s biggest food company is now making vegan sausage (CNN) https://cnn.it/2TBCjBy                                                                           Nestle is adding vegan sausages to its lineup of imitation meat products, as the world’s largest food company moves to secure its position in the market for booming plant-based foods.
  • Why McDonald’s has been slow to adopt meatless meat (Vox) http://bit.ly/37ZPuQD                                                                                          The next big challenge for the plant-based meat industry is scale.
  • A surge of new plastic production is on the way (GreenBiz) http://bit.ly/38p6nV7
    • Louisiana green light huge pollution causing plastics facility in ‘Cancer Alley’ (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/36fIgGW                  The $9.4bn facility, owned by Formosa Plastics, would consist of 14 separate plastic plants in St. James parish, known as Cancer Alley
  • One of America’s oldest and largest milk producers files for bankruptcy (CNN) https://cnn.it/2T8i7ar                                                            Borden Dairy Co., one of America’s oldest and largest dairy companies, on Monday became the second major milk producer to file for bankruptcy in the last two months.
  • The company says it’s making food from ‘thin air’… plus a dash of water and clean energy (CNN) https://cnn.it/2Gg9vXf
  • McDonald’s Pays CEO $41 Million For Firing Him While Paying Workers A Poverty Wage (Labor 411) http://bit.ly/307s6OE
  • Grubhub sale rumors highlight the state of struggling food-delivery industry (Vox) http://bit.ly/39ZQYwl                                                      Tough competition makes consolidation a really attractive idea.
  • How ‘All You Can Eat’ Restaurants Turn a Profit (Medium) http://bit.ly/36QAXqd                                                                                                 Demystifying the business model that doesn’t seem to make sense
  • This French Startup Wants to be the future of Foie Gras (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2FsUaSM                                                                          Aviwell’s innovative method fattens ducks’ livers without force feeding them.
  • Transforming a Hawaiian Community Through Farming (Modern Farmer) http://bit.ly/2Qsix9B                                                                      Crops aren’t the only things growing at MA’O Organic Farms.
  • Can Mission-Driven Food Companies Scale Up Without Selling Out? (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2t2QqFk                                                           A ground breaking new stewardship business model creates standards that prioritize purpose over profit.
  • RSF-Purpose Initiative Responds to Demand for Mission-First Business Models (RSF Social Finance) http://bit.ly/30fem4d
  • Report: State of Alternative Ownership in the US (RFS Social Finance) http://bit.ly/36NeKJR                                                                         Emerging Trends in Steward-ownership and Alternative Financing

 

Government, Regulation, Policy & Farm Bill

  • China moves to phase out single use plastics (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2v3TVvL                                                                                                    Plastic bags to be banned in all major cities by the end of 2020, says state planner
  • Stealing Small Amounts Of Food When In Desperate Need Is Not A Crime, Rules Italy’s Highest Court (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2TIza2V                                                                                                                           “A small theft because of hunter is in no way comparable to an act of delinquency, because the need to feed justifies the fact.”
  • (European) Commission takes Denmark to court over fake feta cheese (Politico) https://politi.co/2RMwte8                                      When it comes to sheep’s cheese, Brussels want Copenhagen to stop pulling the wool over consumers’ eyes.
  • Thailand wants to ban these three pesticides. The US government says no (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/38x933c                                        The Trump administration is putting profits before people by pressuring the country not to ban harmful chemicals
  • ‘This Will Be the Biggest Loss of Clean Water Protection the Country Has Ever Seen’: Trump Finalizes Clean Water Rule Replacement (EcoWatch) http://bit.ly/2Rk3iQC
    • New Trump Rule Rolls Back Decades Of Clean Water Protections (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2RLr8nh                                   The new water rule, finalized Thursday, will be “among this administration’s dirtiest, most dangerous deeds,” an environmental lawyer warned.
  • Trump administration removes federal protections from streams, wetlands (ABC News) https://abcn.ws/2Gu3lTv                                    The new rule will only protect areas connected to larger bodies of water.
  • EPA’s New Water Rule a Mockery of Science and the Clean Water Act (Union of Concerned Scientists) http://bit.ly/36w0Iew
  • USDA scientists are rethinking calorie counts. Good news: They’re lower than we thought (The New Food economy) http://bit.ly/2ufPygw
  • A New Bill Aims to Fix Food Waste in Schools (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/3aEGMtg                                                                                          Rep. Chellie Pingree today introduced a new bill with bipartisan support that seeks to improve student nutrition and increase environmental education about food waste.
  • The Trump Administration Is Getting Sued Over Its New Food Stamps Rule (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2FTQg5U                          The Legal Aid Society of DC describes it as “arbitrary and capricious.”
  • California, 13 other states sue to stop Trump’s food stamp cuts (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2tw74NH
  • Trump’s USDA weakens school nutrition – again (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2tOCNcW
    • The Trump Administration’s Defense of Its School Lunch Overhaul Is a Big Nothingburger (Mother Jones) http://bit.ly/2Gfk7WF                                                                                      Sonny Perdue claims Obama-era reforms are causing food waste. His own agency’s research tells a different story.
  • Trump Rolls Back Michelle Obama’s School Lunch Nutrition Rules (Bloomberg) https://bloom.bg/37emqoE
  • Trump administration weakens Michelle Obama’s signature school lunch reforms on her birthday (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/2GhCRoj
  • Trump Administration Takes Steps to Fatten Up School Meals With Burgers and Fries (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/375Tjnz  The Trump administration took steps Friday to cut down on healthful fruits and vegetables in school meals and allow more pizza, burgers and fries.
  • Pasta is now a vegetable in American schools under Trump guidelines (Independent) http://bit.ly/2tF8Wnv
  • The Trump administration chose meatpacking giants over farmers in USDA proposal, critics say (Politico) https://politi.co/2RsIxSF                                                                                                                                  The latest proposal omits an Obama-era effort that would have made it easier for livestock farmers to win lawsuits against meat processors.
  • New Meatpacker Rules Won’t Support or Protect Farmers (Civil Eats) http://bit.ly/2RgHKo8                                                                                As the meat industry continues to consolidate, groups representing ranchers and farmers ask when policymakers will stand up and level the playing field.
  • New Report Details How EPA Is Promoting ‘Worst of the Worst Pesticides’ (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2Nidwyu                    From 2017 – 2018, the agency approved 69 new pesticide products containing an ingredient the EPA recognizes as a “known” or “likely” carcinogen.
  • ‘A Recipe for Disaster’: Consumer Safety Groups Sue USDA Over Trump’s Effort to Privatize Inspections for Pork Industry (Common Dreams) http://bit.ly/2Rp5Hs7                                                          “We’re suing the crap out of the USDA for… feeding us crap.”
  • Trump’s loosening of pork inspection regulations fails to protect consumers from illness and death ne lawsuit claims (Nation of Change) http://bit.ly/38jLNpe                                                                        “Food safety is one of the most important protections in our country and gifting the slaughter industry self-regulation powers will mean pork eaters in this country will be facing higher threats of disease.”
  • Naomi Earp, contentious had of civil rights at USDA, will step down after a year in office (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/30C9B4R
  • Trump administration gives crooked Brazilian meatpacker (JBS SA) another taxpayer-funded bailout despite bipartisan outrage (NY Daily News) http://bit.ly/35Mtoj5
  • Trump Serves Up Another Happy Meal For The Fast-Food Industry (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2Tolr10                                        A new regulation will make it harder for workers to sue big brands over wage claims.
  • Farmers Got Billions From Taxpayers In 2019, And Hardly Anyone Objected (NPR) https://n.pr/35MmXMZ

 

Non-Governmental Organizations

  • Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen cooks up thousands of meals in Puerto Rico (wtop) http://bit.ly/2TjdVV5

 

Pollinators & Insects

  • Bees Absolutely Love Cannabis & It Could Help Restore Their Populations (Educate Inspire Change) http://bit.ly/2G9tGX8
    • Study: The Bee Community of Cannabis sativa and Corresponding Effects of Landscape Composition (Environmental Entomology) http://bit.ly/38nFtgj
  • US agriculture employs nearly 3 million honeybee colonies every year. What do those pollinators cost our ecosystems? (The New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/30CaJW9                                                        As we rely more heavily on managed native bees – largely for California’s $5.6 – billion almond crop – wild bees are increasing under threat.
  • Monarch butterfly population critically low on California coast- again (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2RHMG4f                                    Study finds 29,000 butterflies, compared with 4.5 million during the 1980s, as experts point to habitat destruction

 

Animals, Fish, Fresh Water & Marine Animals

  • Ornithologists, Birdwatchers Uncover Staggering Magnitude of Bird Population Decline (The Cornell Daily Sun) http://bit.ly/2RTtGjg
  • Cows Have Unique Moos That They Use To Express Their Feelings, Study Finds (Huffington Post) http://bit.ly/2twvW80
  • Another Disease Outbreak Threatens US Pigs, But Big Ag Would Rather Talk About Bacon Prices (In These Times) http://bit.ly/2Tupc5a
  • ‘Live animals are the largest source of infection’: dangers of the export trade (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2RfqoaR            Transporting more livestock will increase transmission of diseases, including some that could also threaten humans
  • The Chinese paddlefish, on of world’s largest fish, has gone extinct (National Geographic) https://on.natgeo.com/30HjRcl    Native to China’s Yangtze River, these fish grew 23 feet in length, but haven’t been spotted since 2003.
  • Trawler return to Pacific fishing area in rare environmental success story (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/2RM1q1X                      With stocks rebounding, regulators have reopened a groundfish habitat off the west coast – with environmentalists’ support
  • Okanagan Sockeye Salmon (Atlas Obscura) http://bit.ly/2mgw8nO                                                                                    Around British Columbia’s Osoyoos Lake, community efforts have revived the population of a fluorescent fish.

 

Poisons

  • Urgent new ‘roadmap to recover’ could reverse insect apocalypse (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/35HWekz                                                Phasing out synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and aggressive emission reductions among series of solutions outlined by scientists
  • Monsanto Guilty of Spraying Banned Pesticide on Maui Fields (Earth Island Journal) http://bit.ly/30UYswd                                  Company to pay up $10.2 million in fines for the spraying and for illegally storing hazardous waste.
  • Report: The Introduction of Thousands of Tonnes of Glyphosate in the food chain – An Evaluation of Glyphosate Tolerant Soybeans (PubMed) http://bit.ly/3a6Npo8
  • Formulations of glyphosate – based weedkillers are toxic, tests show (The Guardian) http://bit.ly/38Guhfb                                         Government scientists say danger lies with added ingredients in the products not glyphosate

 

GMOs, CRISPR, Cloning & Synthetic Biology

  • GM salmon leaps another legal hurdle. Next up: Another legal hurdle (The an New Food Economy) http://bit.ly/365q8Qc
  • Gene-Editing Unintentionally Adds Bovine DNA, Goat DNA, and Bacteria DNA, Mouse Researchers Find (Independent Science News) http://bit.ly/3aqVSm7

 

Food Science, Technology & Nanotechnology

  • A 6,000-year-old fruit fly gave the world modern cheese and yogurts (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/2QQPwn5
  • What’s made of legumes but sizzles on the barbie like beef? Australia’s new high-tech meat alternative (The Conversation) http://bit.ly/2SZtCkq

 

Education & Training