Digest – Features: Farming San Francisco, 0157′s mutant bastard, mo’ milk

Question for Digest readers; Does it annoy you when a Digest is really long like this one and we don’t break it with a More jump? How bout when we do?

starLocavore locus: The Chronicle’s Farming the City package features Kevin Bayuk, a young landscaper who wants to turn the city’s 100+ acres’ worth of vacant lots (awesome map) into owner-OKed urban farms, and a look at the state of community food security planning.

E. is for eek!: A discomfiting look at how the vicious new strain of E. coli O157:H7 has an almost entirely different genome from previous ancestors. (Slate Magazine)

We’re out of milk puns: Interesting tale of two conventional Arkansas dairies who transitioned to organic, paying more for feed, getting less milk, but having much healthier animals. (Morning News)

See above: David Gumpert (who we really hope at this point is working on a book about the raw-milk wars) has another great sweeping feature about the unpasteurized fringe, this time set in Massachusetts where 24 dairies have permits to sell raw milk, double the number two years ago. As one family emphasizes, it’s about carefully considering the risks — and there are some — and making your own choice, if the government will let you. (The Boston Globe)

All fear the dread Nutraloaf!: Vermont’s unruly prisoners are fed a mixture of "cubed whole wheat bread, nondairy cheese, raw carrots, spinach, seedless raisins, beans, vegetable oil, tomato paste, powdered milk and dehydrated potato flakes" to make them behave. Think it sounds OK? We do, but they’re suing. (San Francisco Chronicle)


If New York can do it: Having food to sell is not the only tricky component to winter farmers markets in northern climes. There’s labor, fuel costs, and farmers’ need to regroup. (New York Times)

The sisterhood of the soil: The members of Oregon’s League of Women Farmers share their knowledge. (Capital Press)

Time to bug off?: With increasing population pressuring our limited farmland, it is time to start eating insects. Prof. Arnold van Huis thinks so. They are nutritious, easy to raise, and sometimes even taste good. (Ode Magazine) Related: Marc explored some of the reasons certain cultures abhor the idea of insects as food.

You had us at Camelbert: Mauritania has opened one of the world’s first camel milk dairies, in a triumph of entrepreneurship. (New York Times)

Jesus Christ, won’t someone give them $3 million?: Starving bison leaving Yellowstone Park are being slaughtered to prevent the spread of brucellosis to cattle, but if land along the Yellowstone River could be leased from a church, the bison could cross to a publicly owned forest north of the park. (New York Times)

A radio call-in program on "The International Year of the Potato" (KQED Forum)
Cattle ranchers herding carbon credits (Living on Earth)

4 Responsesto “Digest – Features: Farming San Francisco, 0157′s mutant bastard, mo’ milk”

  1. Kristin says:

    Do you really think the Nutraloaf sounds okay? I have to admit that I’m shocked. So, you’re in favor of fresh, local, healthy, minimally processed food only for…those who are not incarcerated? Does this mean that you see these things as privileges that should be afforded only to the “deserving” rather than as basic human rights?

  2. Bonnie P. says:

    Kristin: Well I was sort of kidding, but honestly, it doesn’t sound that bad to me! I would rather eat it than a prison hotdog, for example! But for the record, no — I am not in favor of SOLE food only for free souls. Somewhere in the Digest archives there is a link to a report on how the worse the food is in prison, the higher the rates of violence and depression. I think all people would be on the whole much nicer to each other if we were all properly nourished with fresh, local, healthy, minimally processed food, and not strung out on a fast- or junk-food diet. And how cool would it be if prisons had kitchen gardens and cooking apprenticeships? The Edible Prisonyard!

  3. Kristin says:

    Thanks for the clarification. I would point out, though, that, in casual conversation, it can be common to hear people commiserate about how “it doesn’t sound all that bad in prison. They have TV and everything!” The Nutraloaf comment sounded similar to me. I tend to think people need to have tried it (and, you know, subsisted on it for at least 24 hours or so) before they make conclusions like this. Whether or not it’s better than a prison hot dog seems like sort of a moot point–and sets the bar very, very low. I used to work in mitigation. I’ve never tried the Nutraloaf myself, but I’ve talked to many prisoners who have–and it sounds absolutely awful. Thanks for letting me know about the digest link; I’ll look for it.

  4. @kristin: I got the sense that Ethicurean was focusing on the loaf having things like whole wheat bread and carrots, rather than, oh, processed chicken, canned sauce, and squishy soft white bread. Prison food is going to be processed, anyway, this is most likely less processed than they’re getting now, and they’re not likely to get organic eggs from a local farm and fresh local apples and kiwi very soon.

    (I typed this while people were responding but was having captcha problems. Now I see that I was pretty close to the truth.)