Currently Browsing: Globalization

A bad week for bluefin tuna and sharks

It was a bad week for some of the ocean's top predators in Doha, Qatar as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) rejected international trade restrictions on northern bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) and eight species of sharks. I haven't seen much coverage of vote on the shark...

Forget food shortages, worry about overproduction, says ag analyst

We can feed the world: Is a food crisis imminent? In his latest "Policy Pennings" column, Daryll E. Ray, director of the University of Tennessee’s Agricultural Policy Analysis Center,  says no, for two reasons. First, the world has plenty of fallow farmland — in Russia, Ukraine, and Byelorussia, for example...

What the finance meltdown has in common with the industrial food system

Toxic assets: Tom Philpott uses the New Yorker's recent chronicle of the world financial collapse as a mirror for the global food system. But "whereas Wall Street’s leverage was financial, the food industry’s is mostly ecological and social," writes Philpott, before going on to detail all the dire warning...

Know thy enemy: Smithfield’s porky expansion into Eastern Europe

Portrait of the corporation as sociopath: There's some essential reading about the pork company we love to hate in the Times' business section this morning (thanks Holly!). Facing increasing restrictions in the U.S. about odor control, manure management, and its vertical integration practices, Smithfield a...

Gates Foundation announces grants, including for pharma tomatoes

Blithe tomato: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced its second round of grants for global health research. Among the 81 projects is a $100,000 grant for creating a tomato to deliver antiviral drugs. (Because really, why wouldn't you want to develop something like that in a food crop?)...

Global Grocer illustrates how cosmopolitan our carts are

Here's an interesting companion piece to the New York Times farming maps we just Digested below. Food & Water Watch has created a Web education tool illustrating just how much America has increased its imports of certain foods, and how risky these products can be. The Global Grocer lets visitors shop at...

While we were sleeping: Score one for the GMO lobby

Updated at 3:10 pacific to include the full language of the relevant section of the bill. Thanks, IM. Things have been busy around here lately, but that's no excuse. We've just been reminded that, like time, Monsanto stops for no man. Yesterday, eliciting not a ripple from the blogosphere, the Senate...

Meet menhaden – before this ecologically critical fish vanishes

By Alice Friedemann Ever heard of menhaden? Probably not, although perhaps you're familiar with the fish’s other names: bunker, pogies, mossbacks, bugmouths, alewifes, and fat-backs. You may be surprised to learn they’re the most important fish in the Atlantic and Gulf waters. Menhaden are the vacuum...

Not milk: The ingredient behind the dairy crisis

I have no idea what it would feel like to be a dairy farmer. I don't run a business that was started by my father or mother or grandparents, or that I built myself; I don't own and manage land that has been in my family for generations. Come to think of it, I've never really had to make a major business...

Parallel universes: A rice farmer’s point of view on U.S.-European GMO attitudes

By Greg Massa I’m a California rice farmer, but recently in Germany I was a rock star. Or at least that’s what it felt like. Oddly, my celebrity status came from a speech I gave to European farmers about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). I’ve spoken and written on this topic numerous times here in the...

Digest – News: Dairy cows on the moove, Big Corn throwdown, a locavore loses it

Industry pail-out: California's dairy industry announces a plan to cull 300,000 dairy cows, or roughly 1/6th of the state's herd, in an attempt to raise market prices for milk from the $0.97/gallon producers have received recently. Mass sell-offs have happened before, but often the cows were bought by other...

Human Rights Day revelation: Global food companies suck

I have a background in human rights work, so I was especially chagrined to discover this afternoon — having spent the day skulking about my office and being generally useless — that today was International Human Rights Day. The discovery came in the form of a press release from the nonprofit International...

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