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Digest – Features: China’s toxic scale, food trends forecast

Another way China is poisoning itself — fish: The latest installment in the NYT's "Choking on Growth" series paints yet another bleak portrait of the world's most populous country. China produces about 70 percent of the farmed fish in the world (and consumes most of it, for now), via...

Digest – Blogsnacks: Raw milk, Alice Waters updates; wine’s carbon footprint, defining local

Calling all Californian raw-milk drinkers: David Gumpert is chronicling all the latest twists and turns in the shady saga of AB1735, the handful of words that may have consigned raw milk to the compost pile in California. A raw-food advocate plans to file a court injunction and launch a class action suit....

Digest – Features: A+ for bee-minus story, cattlemen no supertasters, farming is poisoning our drinking water

Queen of the bees: Colony collapse disorder in U.S. bees "may have many contributing causes," writes Gina Covina in this terrific Ecology Center Terrain article posted on AlterNet, "but it comes down to bees hitting the biological limits of our agricultural system. It's not so much a bee...

The grape taste of Ohio wines

I am not a wine connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, when it comes to wine, I can generally take it or leave it. I've nothing against it, mind you, and I've found that the right wine can often make a good meal even more blissful. But I can also leave a wine bottle in the refrigerator for...

Digest: USDA diluting organics, emptying bottled water

NEWS Organic, except when it's too hard: The USDA followed the tried-and-true technique of releasing controversial news on a Friday afternoon with an interim approval to the rule allowing 38 non-organic ingredients to be used in products with the "USDA organic" label. Manufacturers must prove (whatever that...

Digest: Whole Foods blocked, lab loins, organic dairy smacked, Coke’s washwashing

NEWS The Safeway defense: As previously reported, the FTC is seeking to halt the merger between Whole Foods and Wild Oats, saying it will result in higher food prices in the markets in which the two previously competed. Whole Foods is arguing, quite rightly, that the agency assumes it competes only with...

Digest: Bee conference, MickeyD’s makes Greenpeace, pass the chuck

"Mad bee disease"?: About 60 scientists are sharing their early findings regarding "colony collapse disorder" in bees. They're focusing on the most likely suspects: a virus, a fungus or a pesticide, particularly the neonicotinoids group banned in France for causing what the French called "mad bee disease."...

Digest: Farm Bill proposals, health conflicts, bottled water redux

Gateway giveaways: AgSec Mike Johanns has announced proposed changes to Farm Bill programs "to help future generations of farmers and ranchers become established in production agriculture." Unfortunately, one of them involves proposes raising the direct payment for commodity crops by 20 percent for...

Digest: Organic rules changed, irradiation renamed, feed the tank and starve the poor

Bye-bye, organic coffee, sugar, chocolate?: Sam Fromartz reports on a new ruling by the USDA that dramatically changes how non-U.S. farms are certified organic. Previously, only a small percentage of farms in "grower groups" would be randomly inspected, and the group would then police the remainder's...

Digest: Puck goes Ethicurean, watery news, organic ag shortage

Bravo to Wolfgang Puck!: The L.A. restauranteur is taking foie gras, battery eggs, and meat from caged animals off the menu at all of his 14 fine-dining restaurants, 82 casual cafes, and his packaged food business. He'll also only sell seafood from certified sustainable fisheries, and will incorporate even...

Digest: Faith-based FDA, Chron raises food consciousness, more

Brace yourselves, it's link-overload Wednesday! Faith & Drugs Administration: The Center for Food Safety has blasted the FDA's risk assessment of the safety of food from cloned animals because it used data that was "selectively reported to fit predetermined conclusions" and relied heavily on...

Montreal profile: A tale of tofu

Eating ethically isn't especially easy. For one thing, it means cutting down on my meat consumption, at least until I find more sources of meat that my stomach can stomach, now that it is actually attached to my brain. Also, Noshette is a born-again omnivore and it still getting her meat-feet wet, so we are...

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