Digest: Rice restraining order, Pollan smackeyed, Farm Bill proposal, beef warning

Rogue rice: The USDA has ordered dealers not to sell a long-grain rice seed, Clearfield CL131, for planting because it may have been contaminated by a genetically modified strain. Yep, Bayer's pesky Liberty strain may have escaped its cellular bonds once again. New York Times

Who you calling a gentleman?: Mother Jones editorial fellow Cameron Scott's take on the John Mackey-Michael Pollan debate, despite a very familiar-sounding lead, ends with a sharp turn into some boldly critical territory — about Pollan. Mother Jones

Can't hurt to ask: More than 100 groups from the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association to World Hunger Year have requested Congress to restore $6 billion in budget cuts made to the conservation, rural development, energy and research titles of the current farm bill since 2002. Southwest Farm Press

Best beef money can buy: Consumer Reports, of all publications, is taking on the USDA's weakening of restrictions on cattle and cattle parts imported from Canada. A sidebar explains that "organic, biodynamic, or 100 percent grass-fed beef carries the least risk" of contracting mad-cow disease. Consumer Reports

Grazing the bar: Organic dairy farmers around the U.S. are banding together to demand that the "access to pasture" rule be enforced by the USDA's organic program, reports Sam Fromartz. Chews Wise Meanwhile, Sustainable Table's blog alerts us that the Cornucopia Institute is actually suing the USDA over its failure to act against Dean Foods, owner of Aurora Organic Dairy, which produces Horizon brand and private-label milk marketed by Safeway, Wild Oats, Trader Joe’s, and Wal-Mart, among others. Bonus link: Cornucopia has some damning aerial photos of Aurora's dairy operations, in which not a blade of grass can be seen. But hey, the cows *look* happy.

Going whole hog in Quebec election: With a provincial election only three weeks away, separatist party leader Andre Boisclair visits a pig farm (and is photographed walking by a sow confinement crate!). It's owned by one of his party's supporters, who stated that "we are unable to assure the public that we can do things well" when referring to rebuilding the pork industry's credibility following a new pig-farm moratorium imposed by Boisclair from 2002 to 2005. Montreal Gazette

Canada has pig problems: Federal Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl admits that there is "a real problem in the hog industry" and has apparently formed a small working group with the Canadian Pork Council to examine the challenges the industry is facing as "markets are changing from fresh meat to more processed food." Halifax, Nova Scotia Chronicle Herald

Toss the tofu: An interview with blogger-turned-cookbook-author Heidi Swanson. While "most people think cooking with 'natural' foods is about as exciting as buying a new pair of Birkenstocks," Swanson can make quinoa sound fun. With recipes. Salon

A flag as red as blood: Genetically modified cotton in India appears to be killing livestock who eat it. The Hindu

Sail away, sail away: A company is refitting a schooner to import organically grown coffee from Central America in an environmentally friendly manner. So is organic better than local if it's imported by wind power? Back to the 1600s we go. Wilmington Star

A productive conversation: Nutritionist Joy Bauer talks with TODAY host Meredith Vieira about the differences between buying organic and locally grown produce, and offers some sensible, succinct advice. MSNBC

Grassroots shooting up: It's like a massive advertising campaign — that nobody paid for. Yet another article about whether "local is the new organic"; this one quotes Friend o'Ethicurean Jen Maiser, founder of the blogs Eatlocalchallenge.com and Lifebeginsat30.com. E! The Environmental magazine

Plenty of cheap meat: The lag time in livestock production means that there's currently an oversupply of factory pork and chicken, which will not last thanks to increasing prices for corn and soybean. Des Moines Register

Fish out of water: 3 million cage-raised tilapia suffocated due to drought in southern Colombia. Fishfarmer magazine

The fish from down under: Australian native fish Barramundi are gaining in popularity as farmed fish in Massachusetts, but as this article mentions, they're carnivorous. Ad while their diet of wild small ocean fish (the catching of which is destabilizing wild predator fish populations) can be supplemented by corn and soy, they may not be as tasty on grain. Plenty

Paging Joanne!: Although Girl Scout cookies are being marketed — and covered incessantly in the newspapers right now — as having "zero trans fats per serving," they still contain partially hydrogenated oils, another name for trans fatty acids. Belleville News (via Chicago Tribune)

My humps: A story about Texas's official State Bison Herd — the last group of 100% native, not crossbred, buffalo in the country. Dallas Morning Newsb

Truth teller: Amanda Griscom Little interviews "Inconvenient Truth" co-producer and Hollywood bigwig Lawrence Bender, who calls Al Gore the "hardest-working man in Hollywood" — Gore is training 1,000 people to deliver his climate presentation. Grist

Hampered: Missing paperwork has delayed the much-anticipated arrival of Iberico ham, from free-range Iberian hogs that roam Western Andalusia gorging on wild acorns. OregonLive

3 Responsesto “Digest: Rice restraining order, Pollan smackeyed, Farm Bill proposal, beef warning”

  1. Omniwhore says:

    The Mother Jones article is bitchin'.

  2. cookiecrumb says:

    Hey, did Mother Jones crib from me too?

    (Super punny titles today. "Hampered.")

    :D

  3. DairyQueen says:

    Cookie: awww... you noticed mine! And yes I think he borrowed all your observations about MP's mellifluous voice and ran them through his blender, too.