Digest: The crises in rice and corn, beyond-organic gurus, BB fight

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: very informative article about how badly the discovery of genetically engineered rice hiding in an export shipment has hurt the U.S. rice industry, with Arkansas the biggest loser. (Arkansas grows roughly $800 million worth of the $1.3 billion U.S. rice market; it's the state's biggest crop.) The solution, says the industry — which apparently is not against biotech or GE rice, but just wants consumers to be "ready for it" — is to attempt to flush genetically engineered rice out of the system, which at the moment is by no means GE-free.

Wall Street Journal: The ethanol boom is hurting livestock farmers and other food suppliers that rely on cheap commodity corn. The free market may be spelling an end to the era of cheap food.

New York Times: Heidi Julavits (cofounder of the Believer), visits gardening gurus and farmers Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch, who are attempting to go "beyond organic" year-round in Maine.

New York Times: Julavits again, on buying and cooking a quarter of a grass-fed steer — from eye of round to the heart.

Boing Boing: There's a big ole e-streetfight going on over at Boing Boing, where blogger Mark Frauenfelder complained about a Whole Foods display of "wind power cards" that consumers could buy. Mark says they're misleading, as they're basically a donation; green meanies, including the founder of the company in question, Renewable Choice Energy, took him to task, and hundreds are weighing in. Grist is narrating the play by play.

Contra Costa Times: An October story we missed, about Bay Area farms that are going "beyond organic," and how others in the sustainability movement wish they wouldn't forsake the label entirely.

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