Digest: SmartFresh airs, grain gains, beeing and nothingness

New York Times*: Growers and grocers are using a synthetic gas called SmartFresh to slow ripening of 55-60% of U.S. apples, along with other fruits. The gas — which is undetectable after application, does not require a label, and “most likely harmless to humans, according to pesticide experts” (now that’s reassuring) — is a huge boon to global produce shipping. SmartFresh’s makers say they may apply to the National Organic Standards Board to allow gassed fruit to be labeled organic. (Via our unflagging tipster Jack)

Illinois Farm Bureau: Bad news for feedlots — grain prices are going up. Of course, that’s good news for grass-fed beef producers like these in New Zealand.

strawberry_funky.jpgUC Berkeley NewsCenter: “You can thank a pollinator for one out of three bites of food you eat,” goes the old adage, and a new research study has proven it true. Problem is, we’ve decimated wild-bee populations, and without them, our strawberries are going to look like this (left) — if we can even grow any.

San Francisco Chronicle: In an op-ed, farmer and author Michael Ableman gives solid Ethicurean advice on avoiding food-borne landminds, reminding us to “Know your farmer, know your food.”

Reason: A review of Michael Pollan’s “Omnivore’s Dilemma” calls it “irritatingly excellent” then proceeds to filet him for elitism and for failing to answer the question of what should be for dinner for 300 millions Americans.

Foodfirst.org: The Institute for Food and Development Policy, based in Oakland, CA, publishes another Food First Policy Brief, this one’s entitled, “Ten Reasons Why the Rockefeller and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations’ Alliance for Another Green Revolution Will Not Solve the Problems of Poverty and Hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The Post-Star (NY): It had to happen — there’s a new organic-vending-machine business that supplies school and companies with all-organic versions of their favorite sodas and snacks. No word on whether they contain organic HFCS.

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