Digest – Features and blogs: No flies on me, tomato realities, Osterholm revolves

The ‘fix’ is in: Sources say that the Obama Administration will nominate Michael Osterholm to head the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service on Monday, in clear violation of its own anti-revolving-door policy. Osterholm is a longtime supporter of food irradiation, but that’s not all – if you have any expensive technological solution in need of a problem, he’s your man. (Obama Foodorama)

Violent landscapes: Tom Philpott visits Immokalee, Florida, where tomato pickers struggle for their rights amidst apartheid-style housing and nearly intolerable working conditions. Part one of a multi-part post, with more to come. (Gristmill)

A powerful example: A profile of the Milwaukee-based organization Growing Power reveals a frenzy of activity and innovation. On a 2-acre farm within the Milwaukee city limits and a 40-acre farm outside of town, the group raises vegetables, goats, ducks, bees, turkeys, and fish (tilapia and perch). They also run a training center for youth, a retail store, and a CSA-like “Market Basket” program. An expansion of their model to other states is in the works. (YES! Magazine)

Beyond victory gardens: The story of the Women’s Land Army, which took over farm laboring across the country during World War I, has almost been forgotten. Author Elaine Weiss is trying to bring it back. (NPR)

Don’t bother me: Johns Hopkins researchers test flies buzzing around poultry CAFOs and find that not only do they carry poultry feces around on their tootsies, but that feces contains bacteria that are resistant to one or multiple antibiotics. (Antibiotics are commonly used as growth promoters in CAFOs, and longterm low-level exposure breeds resistant bacteria.) Flies could spread resistant bacteria to humans, increasing the possibility that we’ll get sick and find that antibiotics can’t cure us. (Center for a Livable Future blog)

Just soy no: The share of U.S. soybean acres planted with GMO varieties has increased each year since Monsanto’s Roundup Ready variety came on the market, but this year may turn the tide. Thanks in part to consumer demand, companies are looking for non-GM soybeans; farmers are also annoyed that RR seeds jumped in price by nearly a third, while the price of Roundup herbicide has nearly doubled. Only trouble: a non-GM seed shortage. (Organic and Non-GMO Report)

Tips on tipping: Michael Procopio explains how tips are distributed to the people who bus tables, greet you at the door, prepare drinks, and otherwise help you enjoy your restaurant experience. In his case, the “tip out” is based on the night’s receipts, not the tips, so stiffing a waiter actually takes money out of his or her pocket as the rest of the team needs to be paid whether the tips come in or not. (Bay Area Bites)

Underwriters Laboratories launches green claim certification program (Marc

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