Digest – Commentary/features: SOLE supply blockages, choco woes, go bananas

COMMENTARY

Feeling lucky, punk?: "Diet for a Dead Planet" author Christopher D. Cook on how Downergate represents the Russian roulette we've been playing with our food safety system...and now the "deregulated chickens, cows and pigs have come home to roost." (LA Times)

Us and them: Reader Kei sent in this link to a "My Little Corner of the World" from the Farm Bureau about how farmers need to get out more and defend their practices, because consumers are idiots who think chicken wings "grow back" and don't realize that "antibiotics were used to kill bacteria in animals, and that the absence of them increased her risk of consuming meat with bacteria." Kei sums it up best: "I'm all for farmers telling their story, and I understand they must feel embattled at times; but this is too much." (Voice of Agriculture)

FEATURES

Why SOLE meat costs more: The organizers of the San Francisco Ferry Plaza farmers market report on difficulties faced by small local ranchers and farmers in bringing their products to market. Rebuilding a local foods infrastructure is looking like one of the major challenges facing the movement. (CUESA)

The bitter business: Globe-trotting journalist Christian Parenti visits the Ivory Coast to report on child labor on cacao farms. Although the big companies (who buy though layers of contractors and middlemen to give themselves plausible deniability) initiated a voluntarily program several years ago to reduce child labor, not much improvement can be found. Cacao farmers continue to be harmed by government corruption, thuggery, and terrible infrastructure. (Fortune, via CNN Money)

An appeeling earful: Dan Koeppel, author of "Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World" talks about the brutal past and bleak future of bananas. The interview can be streamed at Fresh Air or downloaded with podcasting software. (Fresh Air)

Water dries up fast in food desert: When a community group's effort to bring a full-service grocery store to their neighborhood failed, they approached the managers of a local convenience stores with survey data showing the need for fresh food. One store started stocking fruits and veggies, and has even started working with local farmers. The project faces many challenges, like extra work for employees, quality control, and so on. (The New Farm)

Stripmining the sea: Bottom trawlers dredge up marine life over an area twice the size of the lower 48 every year, and leave behind wakes of sediment plumes that are visible from outer space. Check out the satellite snapshot of what one expert is calling "tip of the iceberg." (Deep Sea News via Treehugger)

Helping conventional farmers go organic with hemp crops (Ode Magazine)

2 Responsesto “Digest – Commentary/features: SOLE supply blockages, choco woes, go bananas”

  1. azurite says:

    The New Farm article was interesting and one of the more encouraging food articles I've read lately. I'm impressed by the persistence & creativity of the people involved.

  2. Kei says:

    Re: Us and them, SOLE meat
    Something tells me the folks at the farm bureau would
    encourage Marin Sun to adapt "modern production methods"
    to skirt higher costs...
    Of course, the blogger-farmers who write the Voice of
    Agriculture blog are just as credible in their experience
    as the faces we see every week at the farmer's market. I
    just wish there were some way to hear their perspective
    without all the ideological posturing and ranting.