Currently Browsing: Organic vs. industrial

If biotechnology won’t feed the world, what will? Knowledge, says GE expert Doug Gurian-Sherman

Earlier this week, I asked plant pathologist and molecular biologist Doug Gurian-Sherman to explain some of the science behind genetically engineered crops and their potential — or lack thereof — to feed a more populous, climate-changing world. Today, President Barack Obama is unveiling a $15 billion plan...

Sam Fromartz on the WaPo’s organic standards article

"Don’t make a fucking shelf-stable organic English muffin!": We've been holding off on Digesting the Washington Post's much-talked-about and hands-wrung-over story, “Purity of Organic Label is Questioned,” which ran last week. Leading with a truly arresting example of how synthetic additives were first...

Dispatch from Germany: An agroecology student dives deep into organic

By Renee Ciulla Although many days I would prefer to just pick up a shovel and start farming, I am forging ahead with a Master of Science degree in Agroecology. I am currently studying for a year in Germany, and the more I learn about organic farming and local-food initiatives, the more I see how they can...

Marion Nestle disembowels “organic is elitist” argument

Three cheers for Marion!: At the end of her column, nutritionist Marion Nestle provides a fabulously steely answer to a reader's question, "Aren't organics elitist? People can't buy organic foods if they aren't available at an affordable price." High prices aren't organic producers' fault, she says: they're...

You want demand? We got demand!

So much for that elitism crap: According to a new report released by the USDA, the demand for organically produced food in the U.S. continues to outpace supply. Organic food sales have increased more than five-fold since the late 1990s, while organic production has slightly more than doubled in that time....

Can aquaculture feed the world with protein sustainably?

Swimming in controversy: In a world of growing population and shrinking ocean resources, aquaculture is often touted as a necessary tool for food production. And yet many criticize the damage that aquaculture does to wild ecosystems, its use of chemicals, and other unsavory practices. Environmental Health...

USDA hearings on NAIS

Will they really listen? The Rural Blog reminds us that the USDA is holding "listening sessions" about the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The last two will be in Storrs, Connecticut on May 27 and Loveland, Colorado on June 1 (location information and a link to the NAIS comment page at USDA)....

Organic agriculture gets $50M boost from USDA

Feeling like 50 million bucks: Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced $50 million for a new initiative to meet the Obama Administration's promise to encourage more organic agriculture production. The 2009 Organic Initiative, to be funded as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives...

Digest – Features & Blogs: Local or just “good,” Marler takes the stand

We know it when we eat it: The NYT's Mark Bittman ponders what to call food that used to go by "natural," before that word got co-opted by corporate marketing teams. "Instead of labeling ourselves — I only eat 'local,' 'seasonal,' or 'organic' food — why don’t we just say we strive to eat 'good' or...

There are much scarier food safety bills than HR 875 in Congress

If you care about food and farming and you use the Internet, you've probably received this particular e-mail. The title is something like, "BILL WOULD OUTLAW ORGANIC FARMING!!!!" or "MONSANTO'S DREAM BILL!!!!" It appears, inevitably, in all caps. I have upwards of 30 versions in my inbox. Normally, it would...

Digest: Times et al on food movement’s “arrival,” dairy drama, Murphy profiled

Busy days; we're playing catch-up on news this week. Send URLs we shouldn't miss to digest@ethicurean.com. The dietgeist “love fest”: Everyone's talking about Andrew Martin's sweeping, chockablock New York Times Business section feature on how the food movement finally feels it's breaking some political...

Rooted in discomfort: Dispatch from the MOSES organic farming conference

Lately I’ve realized that in the midst of distracting sights and sounds, I forget to notice the smells around me. So last weekend at the Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin, I made an effort to pay attention. Surrounded by friends new and old, I smelled hay, dirt, manure, beer, sweat and...

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