Currently Browsing: Business and technology

For Labor Day: Farmworkers’ Rights Still in the Toilet

Cross-posted from the TEDxFruitvale blog. (Why? Read this.) Today is Labor Day, a time when most Americans think of barbecues and Mondays off, not so much the people who picked the potatoes in that salad and the peaches in the cobbler, or who slaughtered and processed the steer that became that hamburger....

The Ethicurean lives! An update, in which I come out of my corporate closet

Tap, tap. Is this thing on? Does it still work? Wait, let me clear away the cobwebs from the microphone. Is that better? Can you hear me now? All five of you? (Hi mom! Hi Jack!) What readers remain may have wondered when someone was going to put this blog out of its misery. I certainly have. Unfortunately,...

Highlights and questions from the Natural Products Expo West trade show

In March I attended the Natural Products Expo West, one of the largest trade shows for the natural products industry. Produced by New Hope Natural Media, the show had hundreds of exhibitors promoting their products — companies looking for new distribution, looking for new buyers, testing new flavors or...

“A beautiful bowl of glory”: Rancho Gordo’s Steve Sando on beans, trade, and the tortilla project

International trade can wreak havoc on small farmers and the global food culture: impoverishing peasants, destroying old ways of cooking, and reducing biodiversity.  Now and then, however, international trade can have the opposite effect, building up farmers instead of rolling over them, preserving heritage...

On the trademarking of ‘urban homesteading’: The Original Best Most Complete Post on the Subject™

By Mat Rogers, Director of Agrariana Language and terminology are an integral part of the food movement. Making distinctions between agricultural practices deemed vile and reprehensible, in favor of methods moral and healthful, is a critical organizing tool for activists. Thus the good-food lexicon is...

Jimmy Stewart, cults, and a lot of broken glass: Remembering Straus Family Creamery’s opening day

By Michael Straus Pictures from opening night at Straus Family Creamery, February 4, 1994. (That's me with the goatee.) Straus Family Creamery recently turned 17, and I started thinking back to those crazy times. In 1989, my older brother Albert, who’d been managing the farm and doing some pretty innovative...

Farming groups resort to Machiavellian defense of indefensible practices

Spin-dustrial ag: Two dozen of the nation's largest and best-funded farm groups have formed a coalition to counter poor publicity, reports the AP (LAtimes.com). What are they mad about? "Videos that show male chicks being put into grinders, egg-laying hens in battery cages and the mistreatment of hogs in...

Massive gingerbread house recall a reminder that food safety starts in the gut

Grist (where I am the food editor) just got a late entry to our Scariest Food of 2010 contest: Gingerbread houses. Not because you can break a tooth on some of these hard-as-drywall sugar shacks, but because if you snacked on one bought at a Whole Foods in 23 states, you might be doubled over right now with...

Thanks, Jevons paradox! On why I won’t be replacing my spare fridge

A few weeks ago, my spare side-by-side fridge/freezer up and died. I was (and remain) pissed about this. It's a fancy-pants Samsung, about four years old, and the Sears repair guy said the compressor would cost $800 to fix -- 75% of what the fridge was new. "Samsung's great for TVs, crap for fridges," he...

Meet Roll International, the biggest dastardly agribiz mega-corps you’ve never heard of

Pom not-so-wonderful at all: John Gibler's epic, top-notch feature on Roll International – "or, as their website proclaims: 'the largest privately held company you’ve never heard of,' owner of Paramount Farming, the largest grower and processor of almonds and pistachios in the world; Paramount Citrus; Fiji...

Grow vacancies: Gene Fredericks is thinking inside the city’s big box

They're the bane of urban and suburban areas alike: the vacant, boarded-up K-Marts and Home Depot Expos, squatting like concrete cowpies amidst a landscape of weedy parking lots. But where most people see blight and a waste of space, San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneur Gene Fredericks sees opportunity: to...

Hey USDA & DoJ: Ranchers want more competition in the cattle industry

Big hats carrying small sticks: The CEO of R-Calf, which represents cattle raisers, has been criss-crossing the country, exhorting people to get to Fort Collins, Colorado, on Aug. 27th for a federal-level workshop about competition in the cattle industry. He wants 25,000 to show up and "send a message to...

« Older Entries