The Holy Grail of fuel plants?: The poisonous black seeds of a seemingly worthless weed may be a potentially ideal source of biofuel. Developing nations are in a mad race to plant jatropha, which can grow in marginal soil or beside food crops, does not require a lot of fertilizer, and yields many times as much fuel per acre planted as corn. (New York Times)
Raw-milk police are back: A year after the E. coli incident that nearly torpedoed California's largest raw-milk dairy, California health officials have found Listeria in Organic Pastures' raw cream and ordered it withdrawn from shelves, although no one has gotten sick. (CDFA press release) Rawmilk reporter David Gumpert has the complete story, along with an interview with Organic Pastures head Mark McAfee, over at his blog, The Complete Patient. Although it does sound like the state is once again persecuting Organic Pastures without any justification, there's something that does concern us: McAfee says the cream in question actually came from a dairy in Northern California, because, “We can’t make enough cream to satisfy our own customers.” Buyers of raw milk (or cream) place a lot of faith in their producer: they expect to know exactly where what they're drinking comes from. If OP is going to serve as a distributor/collective, it should identify on its website (and ideally, labels) whose milk it's selling. A lack of transparency will erode trust.
Nutrient decline and fall: Today’s farmers raise more bushels of corn, pecks of apples, and pounds of broccoli from a given piece of land than they did decades ago. But those crops are often less nutritious, according to a new report released today from The Organic Center — unless they're organic. The nutritional advantage of organic food ranges from a few percent to sometimes 20 percent or more for certain minerals. (Press release)
Which is healthier, Diet Pepsi or whole milk?: The FDA has invited food companies, trade groups, watchdog organizations, medical experts and its overseas counterparts to discuss how front-label symbols, like the "traffic light" system used in Britain, can improve public health. (The Associated Press)
CAFOs on the Hill: A Senate committee held a hearing on CAFOs and the environment last week, with a long list of witnesses from various walks of life. Here's Senator Boxer's opening statement. The committee web page also has a digital recording of the session and the opening statement from each witness. (Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works)
NOT two more years!: Budget squabbles in the Senate are reducing the chances that the Food and Farm Bill will be completed before it expires on September 30. The needs are many, the funds are few, and each senator's pet programs are the most important thing ever (to them anyway). (CQ Today)
Soda for sofa spuds: Are you dehydrated or drained after a long day sitting on the couch playing video games? Thanks to Mountain Dew's preposterous new extra-caffeinated "Game Fuel"edition,"hitting the wall" during gaming can be avoided. Just what this nation needs. (Evening Sun)
New study shows connection between food additives and hyper kids (MSNBS via Reuters)