Digest: Economist weighs in, epic fish tale, Schlosser on food safety …

The Economist: In a sign that it has reached true zeitgeist level, the venerable U.K. magazine takes on the idea of voting with your forks. While we'd dispute some of the cavalier claims from interested parties that organic agriculture is no better for the environment than industrial, the article makes some thought-provoking points about fair-trade economics and the idea of food-miles. [Via U.S. Food Policy]

The Observer (UK): Ethical columnist Lucy Siegle jumps into the deep end of the cataclysmic state of the fishing industry around the world. If you're confused about "good" vs. "bad" fish from an ecological standpoint, you must read this article (all of it)...but we warn you that the takeaway is so depressing that we're not even going to make any fish puns about it.

New York Times: An opinion piece by "Fast Food Nation" author Eric Schlosser reminds us why his book rocked. The devil is in the details, and Schlosser musters plenty of facts to illustrate his key points about food-supply centralization and foxes' guarding of henhouses (the USDA chief of staff was the beef industry’s chief lobbyist, the head of the FDA was an executive at the National Food Processors Association — meanwhile, the FDA's number of food-safety inspections has dropped to 3,400 a year from 35,000 in the '70s). Learn why he thinks the Safe Food Act deserves bipartisan backing. New York Times reporter Andrew Martin has more about the FDA's declining role and why more industry regulation is needed; the Washington Post reports that the FDA thinks it's doing a fine job.

L.A. Times: Why treating this particular strain of E. coli with antibiotics is a bad, bad idea, and why most doctors avoid prescribing antibiotics for diarrhea anyway. New fact learned today: E. coli O157:H7 is akin to the toxin ricin, and both are on the U.S. list of possible bioterrorism substances.

Washington Post: The latest installment in the Post's commendable series "Harvesting Cash," examining current U.S. farm policy, looks at how Big Dairy crushed an innovator who tried to make an end run around the unconscionable price-control system. [Via Keith Good's FarmPolicy newsletter; Good also has an audio interview with Post writer Dan Morgan about the series.]

Outside: Amanda Griscom Little recaps the excellent reporting she's been doing for Grist in this article about why greenies should give Wal-Mart a chance to make good on its sustainability promises.

Independent UK: A profile of sorts of Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini, and why he hates celebrity chefs as well as the idea that slow food is elitist.

The Guardian (UK): Local-food proponents in the town of Tavistock, UK, are celebrating as the lone McDonald's outlet concedes defeat.

AP/Seattle P-I: Auto makers demonstrated a number of alternatively fueled concept cars at the Los Angeles Auto Show, but many of the vehicles are a decade or more away from production.

One Responseto “Digest: Economist weighs in, epic fish tale, Schlosser on food safety …”

  1. Niki says:

    Oh my goodness, that article on fish in the Observer makes me want to cry. However, I almost never eat fish (other than sushi) unless I've caught it myself when visiting my family in Alaska. I refuse to feel bad about that. However, these articles more and more push me back into a vegetarian frame of mind. I definitely can't justify sushi anymore. And that really is a crying shame.