Here’s to our health

Greetings from sunny San Diego, home of this year's annual conference of the American Public Health Association, "Public Health Without Borders." Thanks to successful lobbying by many of its members, the APHA has begun to include more sessions on the intersection of food, nutrition, and the environment in...

Cooking up a plan: Food policy for the president-to-be

Although Slow Food Nation, with its red-carpet promenade of food-system luminaries, has not yet faded from memory, I'm apparently a bit of a masochist when it comes to listening to people wax visionary about the future of the food system. Instead of staying in and canning the latest massive harvest of...

Dispatch from NC: Notes on the food crisis

It's been a whirlwind few days on the campus of North Carolina State University, where I attended "The Politics of Food," a conference organized by the Environmental Leadership Program. There's lots to report on: Panels during the three-day event ranged in topic from the role of business in a sustainable...

Rigging the aquaculture game

Updated 9/21 to clarify the MMS proposal. Thanks, Zach! I've gotta hand it to the Bushies. If there is one arena in which this band of generally-less-than-a-full -deckers shows a glimmer of brilliance, it is in propping up bottom lines for big oil and gas. I mean, really: Could you imagine more ways for the...

The youth these days

A highlight of my summer was the occasional e-mail I received from a friend in New Hampshire who has returned to our small town to start her own farm. Her parents, my family's closest friends, are organic farmers, so it's not exactly a new science for her. But it was a long, long struggle to buy land;...

Mini-Digest: ‘Raw’ strikes back, Whole Foods gets a star, and ever more food-safety problems

There's been a lot going on in the food and ag world these past few weeks (though when isn't there?). Here are some of the most tasty (and not-so-tasty) morsels: Penny for your troubles: Following in the footsteps of Yum! Brands, McDonald's, and Burger King (but not Chipotle -- yet), Whole Foods signed an...

The invisible workers: A Labor Day tribute

It's still Monday on the West Coast, so here, under the wire, is my second annual Labor Day ode to workers in the food system. (The first one is here.) Although I was busy staffing the tap water dispensary for most of Slow Food Nation weekend, I did manage to escape for long enough to attend a panel on...

Big problems? Blame the little guy

Been feeling a bit queasy about all the contaminated meat peppering the news lately? Put that weary stomach to rest. Yes, children, all is well with the world (or at least the world of ground beef). In yet another illustration of its almost preternatural ability to correctly identify and attack food-safety...

Growing, growing… gone

Monsanto has just announced plans to unload its dairy hormone business, citing a desire to focus in on the GMO seed market. Apparently, growth hormone is not a growth industry. As you might remember from previous posts, activists around the country have been waging campaigns against state legislatures that,...

WT… Oh, forget it

There was little commotion in the blogosphere as the WTO's Doha Round, which had been struggling to bail out its liberalization life raft for years, finally slipped below the surface last week. I, for one, was on vacation, watching shrimpers in much sturdier boats cast their nets off of North Carolina's...

Animal behavior: Crackdowns on meatpacking workers give new meaning to ‘inhumane’

Mainstream media and many of the blogs covered the raid of the Agriprocessors, Inc. meatpacking plant in Postville, IA when it took place back in May. It was the largest immigration raid of a single site by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) in history: Nearly 400 immigrant workers were...

Something good for a change: USDA increases info access on meat recalls

Score one for access to information. The USDA announced today that starting next month, it will publicize the names of retail stores that have received shipments of recalled meat and poultry. Up until now, recalls were issued for slaughtering or processing companies; consumers were informed that meat...

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