We know it when we eat it: The NYT's Mark Bittman ponders what to call food that used to go by "natural," before that word got co-opted by corporate marketing teams. "Instead of labeling ourselves — I only eat 'local,' 'seasonal,' or 'organic' food — why don’t we just say we strive to eat 'good' or 'wholesome' food?" he asks. (Bitten Blog) Sorry, Mssr. Minimalist, those adjectives were long ago trademarked for Go-Gurt. We joke, but not really. That's why we got SOLE (food that's sustainable, organic, local and/or ethical).
Q&A with the E. Coli avenger: Bill Marler talks about why he does what he does, how his kids have never eaten a hamburger (we bet they've snuck one), and how his response to meat reps saying "If only people would cook the meat” was “If only you didn’t put cow shit in it, people wouldn’t have to worry about it.” (Culinate; thanks Julie!)
Yes! We can change the food system: Yes! magazine's April issue, titled "Food for Everyone: How to Grow a Local Food Revolution," is an informative, educational smorgasbord. Choice morsels: 8 Ways To Join the Local Food Movement; Claire Hope Cummings on GMO-colonized Kaua‘i, which some think should be called Hawaii's "Mutant Garden Island; and a profile of Growing Power's Will Allen.
Peak oil, piques soil: Cooking up a Story posts a YouTube video of a lecture about the future of agriculture by Fred Kirschenmann. Wake up, farming-as-usual suspects — massive shortages of energy and water mean massive shifts in production techniques, says our sustainable-ag superhero.
Greenhorns a'plenty: Kristen and Nate Johanson of Wolf Lake Farm talk about how they started farming on the cheap, thanks to older farmers who not only shared their land, but their tools and experience. (The Green Fork) And over on Civil Eats, Zoe Bradbury tells what young farmers really need.
Consumers don't pass over HFCS-free Coke: Passover Coke, made with sugar instead of HFCS, is a hit with Jews and non-Jews alike. (USA Today)
Japan sends the unemployed back to the land: With help from a $10 million job-training government program, farming has emerged as a promising new career track in Japan. (Wall Street Journal)
What a downer: Paul Shapiro, senior director of The Humane Society’s factory farming campaign, takes the poultry industry to task for going on the attack, PR wise, rather than distancing itself from the facility captured in a new animal-cruelty undercover video. God forbid they condemn the abuses. (Civil Eats)
No "hearth healthy" soup for you! Nutritionist Marion Nestle wants the Obama Administration to take a cue from what regulators in Europe are doing — and just say no to label health claims. (Food Politics)
You've come a long way back, baby: You eat real food. Why shouldn't your infant? Chefs and Nina Planck (author of "Real Food," now with a baby food book) eschew the jars of mush. (Washington Post)
Food fight at MoJo: "Future of Food" author Paul Roberts, EatingWell's Lisa Gosselin, Jim Harkness of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and Ryan Zinn from the Organic Consumers Association debated the future of food all week with Mother Jones readers. It was billed as an online forum, but it read like a free-for-all in a comments section. You had to battle a lot of troll gobbledygook to find the good nuggets. (Mother Jones)
Going Horizontal: The commendable people at GoodGuide have released their comprehensive look at Green & Safe Yogurts, and guess who's the biggest loser? Horizon Organic Lowfat Strawberry Banana Yogurt. Why? Check out the damning report here: although it scored well in being rBGH free, it's high far too in sugar, and Horizon scored poorly on the rankings of "toxic or hazardous spills," "environmental compliance," labor, and a bunch of other stuff.
Brooklynites, save the date: The Brooklyn Food Conference, held May 2, will launch a Brooklyn base for the food movement, helping advocate for food democracy in Brooklyn neighborhoods and elsewhere in the world. Anna Lappe, Dan Barber, and Raj Patel are featured speakers. (Brooklyn Food Conference)
Unitarian Universalist congregations nationwide support food gardening projects (UUA.org press release)