Digest: Ethiopian compost conquest, company potluck, Governator gooses food safety

People and Planet: Somebody tell the Bill Gates Foundation to hold up on foisting a GMO- and fossil-fueled Green Revolution on Africa! A 10-year experimental project has shown that Ethiopian farms using organic compost are producing higher yields — sometimes double — compared with those using chemical fertilizers. (Reprinted from the South-North Development Monitor)

Business Week: Here's a new twist on the same-old, same-old cloned-meat reporting — the employees of Cyagra, a U.S. biotech company, have been chowing down for over a year on the leftover flesh of cloned animals. Does the company have insurance for that, we wonder?

Santa Cruz Sentinel: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed budget for California more than doubles the funds for investigating food-borne illnesses and creates several new food-safety positions.

Des Moines Register: Even though a lot of Iowa hog producers also grow corn, they're starting to get a little snippy about ethanol's demand driving up the cost of their favorite cheap feed.

Globe Gazette (Iowa): Hog farmers might have a bigger worry than the rising costs of feed. An op-ed from a Humane Society bigwig hints that the state is next on its to-do list for getting voters to ban the unsavory practice of sow gestation crates. A brawl's underway in the comment section.

Globe and Mail: Ontario's conventional dairy farmers are joining forces to trash-talk raw milk, gearing up for when rogue dairyman Michael Schmidt's case goes to court in February.

Inside Bay Area: Oakland entrepreneur Kim Cole starting making Mom's Pizza Dough from organic ingredients when she was on maternity leave. Her product is taking off, but if she sells more than $5,000 worth, she'll have to pay a hefty fee to make the organic claim on the label. [Via Grease Trap]

Contra Costa Times: Barbara Kobsar gives a mouth-watering, month-by-month summary of all the seasonal fruits and veggies us lucky NorCal eaters have to look forward to this year. [Via Grease Trap]

Business Week: About 220 of the 1,300 Swift & Co. meatpacking workers rounded up last month by Immigration will face criminal charges of identity theft. Sounds like they need a lot more legal help than they're getting.

AP Food Technology: Organic agriculture is booming in Asian countries, with China leading the way. But there's a clear segregation between producer markets and the countries actually buying the food.

Press release: Farm Sanctuary is no chicken when it comes to the USDA's call for comments on the "natural" meat label. The farm-animal shelter and advocacy group has submitted comments opposing the use of the label on any products from animals raised on factory farms, "whose lives have been otherwise altered and manipulated in blatantly unnatural ways."

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