Digest – Features: Big local, organic Apple; Temple Grandin on the ‘guest test,’ proposed new nutrition label

Local food, 365 days a year: Kim Severson on the possibility that New York will build a large, permanent farmers market featuring local and seasonal produce, cheesemongers, butchers, and a selection of staples. Guess Whole Foods isn't doing the trick. (New York Times)

starWe worship (at the) Temple Grandin: The autistic livestock expert is telling pork producers they need to do more public outreach, and that it's good they're being forced to give up sow farrowing crates. "I think we have to say to ourselves, if you took your Christmas guests or your Thanksgiving guests or your Hanukkah guests, or whatever kind of guests you got from out-of-town, and you showed them what you did," Grandin posited, "are you going to be squirming, or are you going to proud of it?" (Brownfield Network)

But how will they label the apples?: Having just read the Pollan book, we're of course skeptical of a new labeling system that nutrition scientists say will help consumers easily identify the healthiest foods in a grocery store, as rated on a 1-100 scale. The formulas seem just a tad too complicated, and who's to say the goalposts won't shift with the next fad nutrient. However, it's hard to find fault with the sample ratings, in which the top scorers were Mustard Greens, Fresh Strawberries, and Raw Spinach. (Taffy and Soda were losers, at 1 point each.) (San Francisco Chronicle)

Alohagriculture: A new development on Kauai, known as the Garden Island, hopes to preserve the Hawaiian island's farming heritage. The developers of the 2,000-acre property — once used for plantations — will sell land for both houses and working farms. Why, oh why, aren't we rich? (New York Times; thanks Diana!)

"Food trumps politics any day!": An interview with Carol Moseley Braun about her biodynamic coffee, tea, and spices company, Ambassador Organics. Interesting aside: "A recent study by the Hartman Group found that the fastest-growing segment per capita of the organic market is among what would traditionally be called ethnic markets -- blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other people of color." (Grist)

Noshin' in the North: Everything in the 100 Mile Market in Meaford, Ontario, is grown or produced within that radius. Business has been "unbelievable." Oh sure, it's easy to eat local if you live near the Arctic Circle... (National Post)

Arizona buys into Buy Local: In response to the mounting interest in locally grown food, the Arizona Farm Bureau has created a database on its website of locally grown food, while the University of Arizona has a site, www.farmdirectory.org, where visitors can find farms by growing season, ZIP code and product. (Arizona Central)

Too late for Pollan's book… but a great example of why scientists shouldn't be deciding the menu. A new research report encourages the food industry to reduce health risks associated with fatty foods by pairing them with polyphenols (natural compounds in red wine, fruits, and vegetables). Immortal quote: "As long as deep-fried candy bars are on menus, scientists will need to keep serving up new ways to prevent the cellular damage caused by these very tasty treats," says the editor-in-chief of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal. (Science Daily)

They also wear stripes: A Maryland corrections center began a beekeeping program this year to better pollinate crops on the prison's 18-acre farm. (The Daily Times)

Pick your liquor: "From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Pennsylvania to the Bay Area farmland of California, small mom-and-pop distilleries have begun making liquor out of all kinds of fruits and grains." (Time)

Sustainabili-T: The Sustainable Cotton Project has helped almost two dozen cotton farmers penetrate the fashion industry by promoting California-grown BASIC cotton, a crop that is not quite organic but is farmed using techniques that reduce pesticide usage by as much as 73%. Fun fact: Wal-Mart is the biggest seller of organic cotton products worldwide. (Sustainable fashion offers US farmers a hip new market - International Herald Tribune)

Yeah yeah, we know we're all composed of carbon atoms: Lake Superior State University picks "organic" for its 2008 List of Banished Words for overuse. (LSSU; thanks MHW!)

"I only weigh 277": Two "hearty eaters" who head for the crab legs three times a week at their local all-you-can-eat buffet got banned and are pissed. (AP)

Would 10% have been too much to ask?: A fast-food worker found a $185,000 check and took a bus to return it — as thanks he got a $50 tip. (AP)

Public schools in Medford, MA, will soon have a professional chef cooking from scratch (The Boston Globe)

Convincing ranchers to stop killing jaguars has become a priority for Brazilian conservationists (New York Times)

Purdue University students earn cash from sniffing livestock odors (Pig Progress)


2 Responsesto “Digest – Features: Big local, organic Apple; Temple Grandin on the ‘guest test,’ proposed new nutrition label”

  1. Grandin's Grand. I wish people really listened to her more.

  2. "a great example of why scientists shouldn’t be deciding the menu."

    I have to admit that this remark frustrates me. The inventor of the deep fried candy bar certainly wasn't a scientist. People are going to make unhealthy food choices whether we like it or not. These scientists are simply looking for ways to help alleviate the negative effects of an unhealthy diet. They aren't making evil potions or telling you what to eat.