Currently Browsing: Big Ag

Red alert! Americans are concerned about food safety!

Crank up the RSS feed! The news is out that Americans are worried about the safety of their food supply. This astonishing revelation comes to us via the Center for Food Integrity, an organization established just last year in Kansas City, Mo., "to increase consumer trust and confidence in the contemporary...

Centralization takes center stage at the Commonwealth Club

As part of the "How We Eat" series at the Commonwealth Club this month, Slow Food Nation Policy and Communications director Naomi Starkman moderated a thoughtful panel discussion last week about the centralization of the food industry with Michael Dimock, president of Roots of Change; Paul Frankel, managing...

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...

Sick to our stomachs: Food industry spent $1.6 billion to influence children in 2006

Last November, I wrote about the appointment of eating psychology expert Brian Wansink to a key post at the USDA. I applauded his nomination but noted that his office — and the entire federal government — is vastly outspent by the food industry. I cited data from Marion Nestle's "Food Politics" that the...

Salmonella shenanigans in Washington, D.C.

In a comment on my post about the FDA's new target in the salmonella investigation, Rebecca T. hopes that "US tomato farmers get together and sue the FDA for lost sales." I haven't seen any report of lawsuits yet, but something is stirring in Congress. Michael Doyle of McClatchy Newspapers reports that four...

Tomatoes off the hook, FDA aims at chili peppers

On July 17, the Food and Drug Administration lifted its warning about raw tomatoes after its investigation determined that tomatoes currently in the marketplace are free of the Salmonella Saintpaul strain that has sickened over 1,200 people across 42 states. Now their attention is turning to raw jalapeño...

Crimes against “natural”: FDA helps healthwash HFCS

Conveniently timed with the Corn Refiners Association's multimillion-dollar campaign to sweeten consumers' appetite for high fructose corn syrup, the FDA has reversed its position on whether HFCS can be labeled "natural," reports Food Navigator yesterday. "HFCS, like table sugar and honey, is natural. It is...

Calamity cowboys: On Iowa, obesity, and earthquakes

Living directly on top of the Hayward Fault, which seismologists claim is overdue for a major earthquake, I'm pretty familiar with the idea that there are losers (of which I may be one) and winners in moments of human tragedy. Here, the winner category is largely comprised of developers, who must feel a...

Industry’s high fructose corn syrup campaign leaves a sour taste

By Debra Eschmeyer Earlier last week the Corn Refiners Association launched a multimillion-dollar media campaign to defend high fructose corn syrup as a "quality" sweetener, in the face of mounting public perception that this cheap, ubiquitous compound has played a not-so-sweet role in making Americans...

Bill Moyers Journal looks at worker safety in the poultry industry

Back in February, the Charlotte Observer published a shocking six-part series on the human suffering involved in producing cheap chicken. "The Cruelest Cuts" package looked at typical working conditions at a poultry plant, the makeup of the workforce, the sorry state of government oversight, and how the...

Safeway’s unintentional commentary on modern tomatoes

Safeway is running ads declaring that their tomatoes are "robust," a word that makes me think of strength and resilience, two qualities that should have nothing to do with burstingly juicy red orbs. These characteristics, however, are ridiculously common in tomatoes sold in the United States. Tomatoes need...

Sweet deal: High-fructose corn syrup price vs. consumption

Hansen's Natural Soda is replacing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with cane sugar in all its soft drinks. Given that most soda advertisements these days seem to involve a daredevil doing something dramatic like riding a bike out of an airplane, a slogan that contains "to the max" or "extreme" (preferably...

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