SOLE food for all: Despite the title, "The Poor Get Diabetes, the Rich Get Local and Organic," this is not just another diatribe on class and the food movement. Mark Winne, who has a new book, "Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty," talks to low-income families and learns that their awareness of the benefits of local and organic food was very high: "Like parents of all races, education levels, and occupations, these moms wanted what was best for their children as well, even when they knew that what was best was not available to them." And then he provides a glimpse of ways to get it to them. (AlterNet) Related: Edible Portland has a great article about what Oregon is doing to get SOLE food to low-income residents.
The accidental activist: Carol Ness takes Michael Pollan to lunch — Pollan meets her jokey suggestion of a chain restaurant with "We only have three meals a day. I hate to waste one" — and learns that his next book may not be about food, that he's every bit the food detective in restaurants, and that he's uncomfortable in the role of leader of the current wave of the food movement. (San Francisco Chronicle) Related: USA Today also profiles Pollan.
It does no body good: This assessment of the safety of meat and dairy from cloned animals contains an eyebrow-raising passage. About the criticism that cloning could create a "monoculture" more susceptible to diseases, "some breeds of American dairy cows today are so inbred that 'we already have that problem, and cloning is not going to make it worse.'" Yup, these "normal" cows are so inbred that they have weak immune systems, requiring more antibiotics to treat their high rates of infection. (LiveScience)
The food system can drive you crazy: Robyn O'Brien is on a one-woman, Erin Brockovitch-style crusade against a food supply that she says is being manipulated with additives, genetic modification, hormones, and herbicides, causing spikes in allergies, autism and other disorders in children. She sounds a little publicity hungry, sure, but crazy? Or have we lost sight of what "normal" is? (New York Times)
Wait — CSPI is "in favor" of HFCS?: An interview with Adam Drewnowski, the director of the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington and author of the "nutritious calories are the most expensive" research. Turns out he's also the brains behind the new 100-point nutrional grades, and more than willing to admit that they're base don the "nutrients du jour." (NPR)
Salmon are not the same: Explaining the choices between wild and farmed. Do you know which "Atlantic salmon" is? (South Florida Sentinel)
Trust us, it tastes better than horizontally integrated: A WSU Extension beef specialist has received a two-year grant from Washington state to convert part of the state's Conservation Reserve Program into what's dubbed a "vertically integrated grass-fed beef production system." (Capital Press)
Build a better rattrap...: Catching rats in Indian farm fields has always been a lousy profession, but thanks to recent innovation in rat traps, the job has gotten easier and more lucrative, with five times more rats captured per day. The improved traps will help lift some people out of poverty and improve crop yields — without using poisons. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Fair-trade ethanol?: "Behind the global buzz over Brazil’s cane-based ethanol production — the 21st century’s environment-friendly biofuel par excellence — lurk enduring social problems." (New York Times)
Most Amusing Headline of 2008, So Far : "Furlow woman puts the ‘love’ in ‘animal lover’" (Cabot Star Herald)
Some 52,000 U.S. farms earn income from agritourism, according to the USDA (All Headline News)
'You are what you eat,' say Maine beef growers (keepMEcurrent.com)
A guide to eco-friendly meat by Bruce Aidells (Bon Appétit)