Currently Browsing: Labeling

“Locavore” chosen as word of the year

Our friend Derrick alerts us that the New Oxford American Dictionary has selected "locavore" as the word that best reflects "the ethos of the year" and has "lasting potential as a word of cultural significance and use." W00t! The term locavore was coined by four Bay Area women...

Digest – Features: Food labeling follies, Madison reflects, “King Corn” hits Iowa

Serious and/or funny takes on food labeling: “It seems to imply there is a safe, nonsafe dimension”: Pennsylvania and Ohio are cracking down on "absence labeling" in milk, that is, touting its lack of artificial hormones, antibiotics, etc. We *love* that the Times has given reporter...

A food-values pyramid for Ethicureans

A few weeks ago, after the announcement of the USDA's new standards for grass-fed meat, I came up with a lame little graphic to depict how I place different approaches to food production on a bummer-better-best continuum. I should have known that people who've been wrestling with these concepts a lot longer...

Digest – News: AgSec threatens Farm Bill veto, farmworkers win pesticide lawsuit

Farm Bill follies: Continuing her outstanding Farm Bill coverage, Carolyn Lochhead reports on how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling the bill a "historic reform," even as critics denounce it as obscene. (San Francisco Chronicle) Farm Bill veto threatened: In a Q&A with reporters,...

Digest – News: New AgSec nominated, organic food is superior (duh), meat zombies

Due to a road trip to remote Oregon with non-Ethicurean parental units and deadline pressures, there has not been a full Digest for over a week. (Sorry.) Some of these links are thus a little moldy, but we need'em for the archives, so just hold your noses. Living with Ed, maybe: President Bush has nominated...

Digest – Features: A woman’s place, corn-grower Q&A, Farm Bill failure looms

Uber-mom Frau Farmer: A profile of the very appealing sounding (to us anyway) Shannon Hayes, who is a third-generation farmer as well as a "newly minted paradigm, an exemplar of the pastoral." (New York Times) And don't miss Hayes' tart essay that inspired the coverage: "What I really feel...

Hey Californians — like your raw milk? Drink fast.

About one year ago, my mom, son, and I attended the rally in which Mark McAfee announced the end of the Organic Pastures recall for E. coli 0157:H7. So many interesting people were there. I met families from the Bay Area and Southern California. I shared mountain-blackberry water kefir out of the trunk of...

Ruminating on the grass-fed label backlash

I'm a product of the post-Watergate era, which I guess is to say pragmatic verging on cynical. Maybe that's why I believe the U.S. government serves its citizenry best by making and enforcing laws, not morals. There are people who prefer it handle both, but I'd rather not have to eat dinner with them. So,...

Digest – News: Farm Bill “compromise,” mystery spray clouds, John Edwards gets rural

Not bloody likely: What's up with the Farm Bill? Carolyn Lochhead has a clear, concise summary of all the back-room wheeling and dealing that's been going on. The story's (mis) lead says there's been a "breakthrough," thanks to a couple billion "found" for California fruit and vegetable...

First delivery of devilry from “The Devil’s Food Dictionary”

We've got a new series for you, contributed by Barry Foy of The Devil's Food Dictionary, that "pioneering culinary reference work consisting entirely of lies." Barry has selected a few definitions — out of his 800 or so mouth-puckeringly tart entries — that we think we will amuse...

Breaking news: USDA limits “grass fed” label to meat that actually is

Photos are of Clark Summit Farm in Tomales, CA; see note at end. Exciting announcement for Ethicurean readers: After almost five years of deliberation and two rounds of public comments, the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has finally issued standards for "grass (forage) fed" marketing...

Digest – Features: Rats prefer organic, horse exposé, toothpaste hero

The rat's nose knows quality: Given a choice of biscuits made from organic or conventional wheat, 40 Swiss rats ate significantly more of the former. While organic advocates everywhere start jigging, writer and food scientist Harold McGee blows right past this revelation, explaining that it could be because...

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