Digest – Features & Blogs: Obama and GMOs, O’Brien interviewed, Chuck E. Cheesiness

GMObama?: Tom Philpott takes a look at the state of U.S. regulation of genetically modified food — basically, we don't, and evidence indicate we should — and asks whether Obama will "update a broken regulatory framework that hasn't been changed since its birth in the, gulp, Quayle era?" Chances not looking so good. (Grist) That reminds us: have you signed this petition for a reform-minded Secretary of the USDA yet? Forwarded it to every list you're on, as Michael Pollan has?

Learning from history: Kat interviews Denise O'Brien, former head of Iowa's Women, Food and Agriculture Network and once a candidate for Iowa Secretary of State, about her thoughts on the call for a sustainable head of USDA. Her conclusion? We may not get what we want this time, but for goodness's sake, keep up the good work. (Eating Liberally)

Olive and let die: Spanish olive growers, like other European farmers, have long relied on migrant workers. Yet a recession means those jobs are now going to newly out-of-work locals "only too happy to collect $72 for the back-breaking job of collecting olives." Some areas are paying migrants to go home. (Time)

WOOF, W00t!: FoE Naomi Starkman writes about her unusual path to becoming an organic farmer. (Civil Eats)

Where a kid can be a kid and an adult can act like a biker: The kiddie restaurant chain Chuck E. Cheese's is the site of an appalling amount of disorderly conduct and battery among adults. Altercations have involved pepper spray, thrown shoes, and brawls of up to 85 people at a time. (The Wall Street Journal)

…and everyone can get cooties. After a coworker reported getting ringworm from a Chuck E. Cheese's, Momlogic swabbed numerous surfaces at several outlets, and what they found "shocked the hell" out of them: germs responsible for infant meningitis, urinary tract infections, wound and blood infections, and much more. (Momlogic)

We wish this were April Fool's: Now for sale — meat-flavored bottled water. (Trend Insights)

Piggy Smiles: Michael Ruhlman goes whole hog, and wonders whether more people might be willing to order a whole pig and spend several days processing it, too. (Ruhlman.com)

How Does the President-Elect Feel About Raw Milk? (The Complete Patient)

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