Digest – Features: Hugh F-W and Jamie Oliver to set feathers flying, grass-fed beef ranchers in unlikely places
English chefs chew it better: The Times Online reports that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the TV chef and author of "The River Cottage Meat Book" is campaigning to get more middle-class Brits to pay more for humanely raised poultry. His campaign starts January 7 with "Hugh’s Chicken Run," a short series for Channel 4 in which he set up an experiment, dividing a shed into half free-range and half intensive. Fun fact: In England, apparently, "free-range" chickens must be allowed outside for at least half their lives, instead of merely having "access to the outdoors" as they do here. Jamie Oliver will also host a Channel 4 program, called "Jamie’s Fowl Dinners," that champions the feathered cause.
"More beef, less sperm"?: A clever graphical month-by-month guide to the year's nutrition research. (New York Times)
"Last of the urban cowboys": A 63-year-old former airline pilot is carving out a second career as a grass-fed beef rancher on 90 of his family's acres in north St. Louis County. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Cowboys in the desert: Amid desert mountains on the Yavapai County border, Date Creek Ranch and O X Ranch are returning to natural ranching techniques like rotational grazing used more than 100 years ago, and thriving by catering to a niche market of health-conscious consumers. (Arizona Central)
Latte-comers: What's the best way to boost sales at an independently owned coffeehouse? Shockingly, by having Starbucks move in next-door. (Slate)
The garbage man: Ari Derfel, a Berkeley catering company owner, has been saving his trash for 12 months. All of it. (Although he does compost the food.) (San Francisco Chronicle)
Milking an opportunity: The new president of Canada's Prince Edward Island Organic Dairy Producers Association says organic milk produces not only bigger profits, but healthier animals. (The Guardian)
Free refills: The giant containers used to ship products from southeast Asia to places like Wal-Mart in the U.S. aren’t going back empty anymore — they're being sent back full of soybeans. (Brownfield Network: Soybean exporters making use of once-empty containers)
Turnip sauteeing in action: Cooking demonstrations increase attendance, excitement and most importantly sales at farmers' markets, offering shoppers opportunities to taste and learn to use produce that is new to them, according to the Kansas Rural Center, which partnered with the USDA to develop "Cooking Demonstrations: Providing the Perfect Ingredients to Season Your Farmers Market" (PDF; via ATTRA)
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