Digest: PB woes, black farmers organize, Schillinger takes on Monsanto

You got salmonella in my peanut butter: As the salmonella scare continues with dozens of recalls by the FDA of truly frightening things like Little Debbie® Peanut Butter Toasties, the agency is urging people to avoid products made with peanut paste and peanut butter. Peanut butter in jars is probably safe. (AP via Yahoo!News)

I have a dream … to farm fairly: Many black farmers are organizing to protest USDA policies which have lead to African-American land loss and a decline in the number of black farmers in the U.S. (ColorLines)

Take that, Monsanto: Iowa-based Schillinger Seed has launched "the industry's first premium non-GMO soybean seed brand" to respond to increased demand by farmers for non-GM seed. New plantings will supply the international market for non-GM soy products and (here's something you don't hear from Monsanto) will help farmers improve their bottom lines, as concern about the high costs of GM seed is one factor driving farmers toward the non-GM option. (Corn and Soybean Digest)

Thinking in moving pictures: Promoting her new book, "Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals," animal behavior expert Temple Grandin talks about animal emotions and her work to improve the treatment of livestock. One of her interesting ideas is "video audits" for animal facilities, so that instead of allowing the facility to 'put on a show' when auditors visit, video cameras can be used for 24/7 audits. (NPR's Fresh Air)

Longhorns pissed at pay to play: Texas officials are considering a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security's choice to put the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Kansas, complaining that local and state governments were asked at the last minute to pony up money to help offset some of the federal government's costs. (Forbes.com)

Wave bye-bye: Aria Pearson explains how storms have major impacts on sea creature populations (they move food around and can kill young fish) and also how large-scale climatic effects can change fish populations. El Niño, for example, generally decimates the Peruvian anchovy and albacore tuna populations, while boosting populations of skipjack tuna. (New Scientist)

Planters to the people!: When the Victory Garden was removed from the foot of San Francisco's City Hall, the materials were given away to gardeners across the city. Here's what some of the recipients had to say. (L.A. Times)

Freely radical: Last week Obama named University of Chicago legal scholar Cass Sunstein to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. (Chicago Tribune) So? Well, Sunstein happens to be a vegetarian and the author of "Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions." Cue Psycho theme for industry front groups like the Center for Consumer Freedom (press release), and a funny ri(post)e and contextualization from Jill at La Vida Locavore.

…and speaking of industry front groups: Thank you, CREW, for exposing the many many astroturf websites that prominent corporate propagandist Rick Berman has had a snout in creating, including Center for Consumer Freedom and MercuryFacts.org. (Berman Exposed)

Obligatory one good news item: Neil Hamilton, an agricultural law expert at Drake University and one of the original picks on Food Democracy Now's Secretary of Agriculture wishlist, says the new AgSec Tom Vilsack "may be more of a reformer than his critics think." We'd love to be surprised. (Des Moines Register)

Color us shovel-ready: We love this idea of Agriculture Supported Communities as an economic stimulus. (Civil Eats)

Gross-out food of the century: Casu marzu, or maggot-infested cheese, is supposedly a delicacy in Sardinia. (BoingBoing; thanks Jack!)

Obese Americans now outweigh the merely overweight (Reuters)

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