Foxes guarding the hen house, or how politics trumps qualifications at DHS

Did you hear the one about how our great, politically appointed bureaucrats bypassed better-qualified locations for the planned National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in favor of one with more desirable political connections? Makes me feel all cozy and protected knowing the care with which our Department of...

Ain’t nobody here but us pigs…

At the rate food prices are increasing, maybe we don't need to worry about people overeating, but a report by Youfa Wang, Lan Liang, Benjamin Caballero and Shiriki Kumanyika released today says 86 percent of Americans are going to be overweight or obese by 2030. Their study, "Will All Americans Become...

EU fertilizes the organic agriculture sector

Do the Europeans know something we don't, or are they just more willing to act on it? First the European Union urged caution on the marketing of cloned animals, and now it's — can you believe it? — actively encouraging organic farming and foods through its "Organic Farming: Good for Nature, Good for You"...

Mini-Digest: Monsanto wants to “save” the world, Kill Bill Vol. 247, SOLE research in the pipeline

You say crisis, we say …Croesus: Monsanto has launched a massive PR campaign (New York Times) promising to double the yields of corn, soy, and cotton using genetically modified seeds. Never mind that its most successful GM seed to date has produced lower yields while requiring higher inputs and actually...

Are tomatoes the kickoff to food-illness season?

Ugh. Looks like our industrial food system is cranking out the salmonella for broad distribution again. That's the word from the latest Food and Drug Administration consumer alert. The current culprit: tomatoes. Where? Texas and New Mexico. Oh, and maybe Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas,...

Local food promoted as economic development tool

It's one of the ironies of our food system that here in Kansas, one of the largest agriculture states in the union, we don't have a whole lot of local food. It doesn't have to be that way. What's more, a turnaround in that situation is a good economic development plan. That was the message that two...

Local meat gets star treatment at Kansas farmers market

Kansas may be the beef capital (PDF) of the United States, but people here aren't necessarily eating beef from the neighborhood. To introduce people in the Lawrence area to local meats — including many that are not from cattle — the Downtown Lawrence Farmers Market had its third annual "Local Meat: It's...

Gary Nabhan wants you to go native for SOLE food

Could native foods be the next big thing in eating? Some people, Gary Nabhan in particular, are working to push things in that direction. Nabhan, a noted conservation scientist at the Northern Arizona University, is a founder of the Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) Alliance and may be the original...

Food-health-agriculture connections noted at SARE conference

There was plenty of positive energy and discussion of the food and agriculture connection yesterday at the opening of the three-day Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program’s 20th anniversary conference, held this year in Kansas City, Missouri. More than 800 people were expected...

Bread rises, and not just from yeast

Around the world there’s growing talk about food crisis as grain prices soar and supplies plummet. They’re talking food riots. And the American Bakers Association marched on Washington. Meanwhile, in the breadbasket of the nation (a.k.a. Kansas), the price of bread rose yesterday in its...

Climate change already yielding food disruptions

A recurring theme of last fall's Kaw Valley Farm Tour was the terrible, killing freeze of the preceding spring. Now, scientists are suggesting that climate change may mean more of the same, and that's bad news for local food in places with four seasons, a.k.a. most of the country. The March issue of...

Kansas Legislature joins list of those who prefer consumers stay ignorant

Members of the Kansas Legislature have joined the esteemed lawmakers or regulators in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio who want to spare their citizens the challenge of too much information. Specifically, they want to keep consumers ignorant of whether the milk they’re drinking comes from cows not dosed...

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