Digest: Santa Cruz named state’s healthy-food capital, cloning in practice, foodies make you fat

Santa Cruz beats Marin: A new study found that California has about four times as many fast food restaurants and convenience stores as healthier alternatives. In Santa Cruz County, the ratio was fewer than two unhealthy options for every healthy one — the highest proportion of healthy food options like grocery stores, farmers markets and produce stands. (Thanks, Tana!) Santa Cruz Sentinel

Cloned bulls standing by: Everyone's writing about how cloned cows will be too expensive to use for hamburger, but this profile of a Montana rancher shows where the real future meat supply is — in the progeny of cloned animals. Larry Coleman has three bulls cloned from his prized First Down, and is just waiting for the FDA so he can start selling their valuable semen. Billings-Gazette (Montana)

Foodies make you fat: Get ready, fellow "food Nazis" and "food nannies" — there's a new contrarian on the block, coming soon to the talk-show circuit. Spam-loving sociologist Barry Glassner, author of "The Gospel of Food: Everything You Think You Know About Food Is Wrong," asserts that Americans are fat because of people like us, says WSJ reviewer Alexander Theroux: "The primary culprit in American fatness is not sloth or high-caloric food...it is binge eating by folks racked with shame induced by food-idealist propaganda." Theroux (yup, brother of Paul) does express some skepticism that foodies are all that's to blame. Wall Street Journal (subscribers only)

Say no to bottled H2O: Bottling tap water is big business for Coke and Pepsi. San Francisco Chronicle

Field-worker shortage: California growers are feeling the pinch from a shortage of fewer seasonal workers, thanks to Dept. of Homeland Security zeal and competition from higher-paying industries. San Mateo County Times

A bowl o' Bayer LL601?: Supermarkets in Metro Manila, the Philippines’ most populous region, are still selling Uncle Sam Texas Long Grain Rice even after it was confirmed to be contaminated with a genetically-engineered (GE) strain not approved for human consumption. Bulatlat (Philippines)

Pig protest: Animal-rights activists filed a lawsuit Thursday in Sonoma County against one of the state's largest pig farmers for fraudulent business practices. The plaintiffs, who claim to have purchased and consumed Farmer John products, accuse the brand of misleading consumers with ads that say its pigs are raised in "a family tradition since 1931," when it actually keeps thousands of pregnant sows lying in their own feces in cages so small they can't turn around or scratch themselves. What, that's not how Grandpa did it? San Francisco Chronicle

Eat this book: Brief review of a new book we've got to have — Sandor Ellix Katz's "The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements." Treehugger

Pill-poppin' poultry: A new study finds that routinely feeding chickens antibiotics is slightly less cost-effective than not. Canada.com

Berry important: Ethicurean hero Wendell Berry urges conservationists and local land users such as farmers and loggers to come together. FreeNewMexican

The other stock market: Index funds have a much higher investment in agriculture futures than was previously known, which may be stoking volatility. Such volatility could lead to higher prices for buyers and sellers of agricultural commodities, including food at the grocery store. Article is accompanied by a picture of some very cute, unusual-looking piglets — anyone know why they have scalloped ears? New York Times

Wal-Mart and organics: A look at the criticism over Wal-Mart's organic-food display mishaps, and the general distrust that organic advocates feel for the chain. Business Week

EVOO et vous: Food alchemist Harold McGee has a new blog post on why there's no point in refrigerating your extra-virgin olive oil. Curious Cook

Fast-track organics: The California Center for Organic Farmers California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), one of the largest and oldest third-party organic certifiers, has announced that it is now offering fast-track organic certification — in as little as a week — for applicants in a rush because of impending harvests, market releases or product launch deadlines. No word on whether it costs more. Press release

Note to Toronto locavores: Globe Bistro, a new Toronto restaurant, sources its meat and vegetable locally as much as possible — no small feat in a far-northern climate, and one that this reviewer hopes more Canadian restaurants will attempt. Globe and Mail

One Responseto “Digest: Santa Cruz named state’s healthy-food capital, cloning in practice, foodies make you fat”

  1. cookiecrumb says:

    "binge eating by folks racked with shame"?
    Have to laugh. Such useless crap.
    Cranky says that's why Alexander Theroux is "somebody's brother" instead of "somebody."