Currently Browsing: Grains

In defense of corn

It's cold, gray, and raining buckets here in Northern California, causing me to feel distinctly snacky. Problem is, the SOLE food lifestyle doesn't really support the quick, salty, fatty comfort food like I crave right now. I eyed a persimmon – too healthy. A couple of walnuts failed to satisfy. Then,...

Bake on the wild side: Part 1, the sourdough starter

I love to bake bread. It can be a messy process, requires a lot of patience, and rarely results in bread as good as what Bay Area bread wizards like Acme and Vital Vittles sell at many nearby markets. But that's OK with me — the process is as important as the product. Bread making can be nearly...

Pharmaceutical rice stirs little dust in Kansas

A frustrated Dan Nagengast, executive director of the Kansas Rural Center, said after a recent forum on pharmaceutical crops that opponents needed to take the fight somewhere else. Some 35 to 40 people attended the forum in Topeka on Nov. 14, which provided a pile of handouts, but it got little press and...

Digest: The scoop on China’s corner-cutting, Mexico goes GM, chocolate label reasoning

NEWS Be afraid. Be very afraid: The New York Times goes to Zhangqiu, a fast-growing industrial city southeast of Beijing, and gets some hair-raising real dirt on China's practices regarding the chemical that probably killed hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S. pets. For years, producers of animal feed all...

Digest: Tomato pickers get raise, Norman Borlaug to the rescue, Wal-Mart retreats

There's a golf course worth of links coming at ya. Fore! Pennies add up: McDonald's has reached agreement with a Florida farmworkers organization to pay 1 cent more per pound for the tomatoes it buys from state farms. Think that's nothing? It's a 75 percent pay raise for the laborers. Time for Burger King...

Digest: Check your kibble, rice growers speak out, corn ripple effect

More bad pet food: The pet food recall has been expanded to other wt food brands and dry kibble as well. Boston Globe (via AP) While the AP story says the FDA would not name the manufacturer, the FDA's website says that Hill's Pet Nutrition is recalling its Prescription Diet dry food. Hell no, don't grow:...

How green is your rice?

Dairy Queen here: This is the second guest post from our Berkeley neighbor Marc (bio now available), who's also been contributing daily to the Digest. Here, Marc — who's an engineer — engages in a little recreational fact-checking that I for one found fascinating. [Updated March 20 with caveat on Lundberg...

Digest: U.S. farmers mad over GM rice, Bee-t hypothesis, FDA fights back

Rice flows: Rick Weiss has another excellent feature, this time on rice farmers' frustration over seeds' contamination with genetically modified varieties unapproved for human consumption. Biotech proponents are asking "what's the big deal?" and claiming no harm has come to human health. (But since U.S....

Digest: Rice restraining order, Pollan smackeyed, Farm Bill proposal, beef warning

Rogue rice: The USDA has ordered dealers not to sell a long-grain rice seed, Clearfield CL131, for planting because it may have been contaminated by a genetically modified strain. Yep, Bayer's pesky Liberty strain may have escaped its cellular bonds once again. New York Times Who you calling a gentleman?:...

Digest: Mergers, monopolies, thieves, imposters, and rats

Bad seed: A proposed merger between Monsanto (the world's largest seed company) and the nation's largest cottonseed seller could mean bad news for organic cotton growers, says the Center for Food Safety, which is seeking to block the deal. Wired News Monopoly's not just a game: Same merger threatens the...

Digest: Santa Cruz named state’s healthy-food capital, cloning in practice, foodies make you fat

Santa Cruz beats Marin: A new study found that California has about four times as many fast food restaurants and convenience stores as healthier alternatives. In Santa Cruz County, the ratio was fewer than two unhealthy options for every healthy one — the highest proportion of healthy food options like...

White bean experiments

The discovery that my grandparents raised beans as a cash crop gave me new interest in the "magical fruit," and I was pleased to discover someone selling great white northern beans at our local farmers' market. I bought a small amount - probably a cup in measurement - and that sat on our counter for a few...

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