Growing genius: BusinessWeek reporter and raw-milk-detective David Gumpert looks at "Omnivore’s Dilemma" sustainable-farming poster guy Joel Salatin, whose Polyface Farm is leasing another 700 acres to keep up with demand. Hmm. Does Polyface’s $700,000 annual revenues include those from Salatin’s sold-out, $550-per-head business seminars? Cuz that’s chicken scratch. (Yoohoo David, the slideshow link in the article is broken.) (Business Week)
Straight from the top: In his remarks to the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns takes a swipe at Korea’s beef regulations, the Democrats’ insertion of a last-minute "tax increase" in the Farm Bill, and the issue of payment limitations. Notice the skilled framing of how the richest farmers would "graduate" from receiving subsidies. Funnily enough, sounds like Johanns apparently showed EWG’s subsidies map of New York City as part of his speech, albeit without ID-ing it. (USDA.gov)
Long before "The Omnivore’s Dilemma": An excerpt from 1992′s excellent "Story of Corn" by food historian Betty Fussell. (Culinate)
Nora jonesin’: In a slide show, the Union of Concerned Scientists talks with Nora Pouillon, owner of DC’s Restaurant Nora and Asia Nora, about why supporting small farmers in the region is so important, and farmer Jim Crawford, who you may remember from Sam Fromartz’s "Organic Inc." (UCS website)
"Thin, shallow articles about thin, shallow people": We weren’t going to bother Digesting Thursday’s feminist-baiting Style article on how guys love girls who love big, bloody steaks, but Kerry’s bug-eyed-with-outrage post about it is too funny to pass up. (Eating Liberally)
"Skinning" the Earth: A new study argues that erosion rates from conventionally plowed agricultural fields are much greater than soil production rates, erosion under native vegetation, or long-term geological erosion. The study’s author is a professor whose intriguing-sounding book "Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations" links the demise of history’s major civilizations to how long it took them to deplete their soil supply. (Green Car Congress)
Fairly up-to-date archives of all the Digest entries can be found here.