Digest – Features: Kolbert buzz on CCD, lessons from New Zealand

starQueen Bee: Finally, Dairy Queen's favorite magazine ventures into the food-politics field with a terrific first-person essay on the crisis in beekeeping, by no less than climate-change expert and author Elizabeth Kolbert (who shows off her back-yard bee colony in a audio slideshow). The likely villain in colony-collapse disorder? An AIDS-like virus. (New Yorker) Related: Backyard versus factory beekeeping in the (East Bay Express)

Free-market Kiwis: A look at how New Zealand's farmers went cold turkey on subsidies. "In the process it was very rough on their farming economy,” says a source. “But they came out healthier and stronger. They proved it could be done." Caveat: Our two economies are very different. another source says that if the U.S. did the same thing, farming would end up controlled by large corporations. Gee, that'd be terrible. (New York Times)

starEggstra special, read all about it!: Carol Ness looks at pastured, true free-range eggs in the Bay Area, and hangs out with one of our very favorite local farmers, Liz Cunninghame of Clark Summit Farm, and talks to another, Alexis Koefoed of Soul Food Farms. (San Francisco Chronicle)

"The Great Cheapavore Challenge": In an attempt to merge the locavore spirit with the cheapskate spirit, three New York chefs compete to make the cheapest locally grown grub. The photos will have you salivating.(New York Magazine)

RIP, Mushroom Lady: A touching obit for Annette Maleson, who coaxed children and adults at the Newton Farmers Market into enjoying wild mushrooms, and recently died at the age of 83. (Boston Globe)

We're in love with the Ditty Bops: Singers and local-food activists Amanda Barrett and Abby DeWald are bringing together an unusual recipe for marrying the flavors of environmentalism, sustainable agriculture, local farm support, and green eating. Check out one of their Bay Area appearances. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Grown on the Pharm: Food technologists are increasingly touting ingredients with health-promoting properties, even though a) most of them come from China's troubled manufacturing industry and b) as Michael Pollan chronicled at length, nutritionism is just another way to stuff more calories down our throats. (New York Times)

Can I borrow some wheat?: A dedicated group of vegetable gardeners is ripping out their front lawns and planting dinner, but some neighbors are riled. (CNN.com)

"Bad plastic": A detailed look at why scientists are fearing bisphenol A, a chemical used in baby bottles and CDs, food cans and dental sealants, can disrupt fetal development and even lead to obesity. (Salon)

"A profitable feast": Food-related entrepreneurs are turning the Bay Area into a free range of innovation, and their customers are eating it up. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Eating local in Pittsburgh (Post-Gazette)

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