Digest: China chicken, problematic salmon farms, lobster muckraking

Bird-flu vs. mad-cow trading: The U.S. might start importing cooked poultry products from China, which has had several deaths from avian flu; some think it's a bid to get China to drop its ban on U.S. beef, in place since a 2003 case of mad-cow disease. Less than 1% of the chicken Americans eat comes from elsewhere; just to show how bizarrely intricate our food chain is here, we do currently allow cooked poultry products from China — if they've been made with U.S. or Canadian chicken. Mercury News

Don't feed the feral salmon: Farmed Atlantic salmon are threatening native wild salmon stocks, both by escaping and by spreading sea lice infestations. And as the sea lice can decimate a farmed-fish colony, farm operators are incorporating pesticides into the salmon feed, which is somewhat helping but whoops, killing nearby colonies of shrimp and other crustaceans. Epoch Times

Humane hubris: This is what happens when you claim the moral high ground — everyone starts looking for the chinks in your armor. Turns out Little Bay Lobster Group of Newington, N.H., named last week as Whole Foods' first supplier of humanely treated live lobsters, has a less-than-wholesome environmental record. Among Little Bay's past crimes: dipping wooden lobster traps into a pesticide called tributyltin, which keeps worms from eating the traps but is toxic to marine life. That's actually permitted by the EPA (!), but then Little Bay dripped the chemical on the ground and let it get washed into a nearby river. Maine Today

Bird-flu finger pointing: British and Welsh farmers want poultry imports banned until it's determined whether a Hungary slaughterhouse was the source of the recent outbreak in turkeys. Int'l Herald Tribune

Thanks for saving us — now look out for the butyric acid: Anti-whaling protesters had to be rescued by the Japanese whaling ship they were tormenting, then returned to their tactics. New York Times (via AP)

Whoa!: Joel Stein thinks eating horse meat is no different ethically than pork or beef, and with some difficulty, he procures some to try. Time (Thanks, Jack)

Waste not, want not: America has more cow manure than it can deal with. One solution: turn it into pressed fiberboard for flooring in homes. Today's THV (Arkansas)

A growing trend: Farmers are increasingly going online to swap tips, although still only 51% of U.S. farms have Internet access. Associated Press

Smithfield sales down?: Not sure what this means yet in the big picture, but Smithfield has shut down the second shift of one of its massive hog-processing slaughterhouses, laying off hundreds over temporarily "unfavorable market conditions." Des Moines Register

Prohibition effect: Interestingly, foie gras bans tend to make sales of the liver delicacy rise. New York magazine

Advertising sheriffs descend: The Connecticut Attorney General is investigating Coca-Cola and Nestlé USA's claims that their new product Enviga can burn calories. Promo magazine

One Responseto “Digest: China chicken, problematic salmon farms, lobster muckraking”

  1. Marc says:

    Last September the radio show Living on Earth interviewed a man from Wales who makes paper from sheep dung. The dung is first sterilized in an autoclave, then the remaining fibers are turned into paper. I assume it would work with grass-fed cattle, but I don't know about not corn-fed animals. Link to transcript and MP3 download: http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=06-P13-00038&segmentID=9