Currently Browsing: Organic vs. industrial

Digest – News: Label libel, Chiquita goes bananas, and another reason to stay off soda

We digest the news for you twice a week. Read something great? Send it our way at dig...@ethicurean.com. Take it to the limit: Many consumers who buy organic food assume it is safer than conventional food. Some conflate the word with local, with humane treatment of livestock, and with fair pay for workers....

Digest – News: Meat on the move, the chains of biotech, resources for organic

Drop it like it's hot: Brazilian beef giant JBS, which snagged Smithfield's beef business last March, abandoned plans to purchase U.S. National Beef Packing Co. on Friday. The JBS/National Beef merger was under anti-trust investigation by the Justice Department, which celebrated JBS' decision and claimed...

Digest – Blogs: Cali drought, Rebecca takes on “Judy,” Dear Mom-in-Chief

Canary in the empty reservoir: How the nation responds to the drought in California will offer us a template of how to respond to global climate change, opine former Calif. AgSec Richard Rominger and Roots of Change President Michael R. Dimock. (San Francisco Chronicle) Not all they're cracked up to be:...

Digest – News: Focusing the foodies, DNA Q&A, and MRSA attacks

Good food movement needs focus: The Post's Jane Black reports on a series of pricey charity dinners in Washington, DC organized by Berkeley foodies in honor of the inauguration. Their goal was to propel food-system change into the agenda of the new administration, but some say the movement is too fragmented...

Show Senator Pat Roberts that small farmers aren’t little GQ-reading dilettantes

Former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack went before the Senate Agriculture Committee today to be confirmed as Secretary of Agriculture. Brownfield has a short recap of the run-of-the-mill comments, the Senate Ag Committee page has a webcast archived, but go straight to Chris Clayton at the DTN Ag Policy Blog for...

Digest – News & opinion: Antibiotics freakout, Gupta as Doc-in-Chief, duelling op-ed duos

Side of spinach, hold the tetracycline: Researchers at the University of Minnesota find that when crops are fertilized with manure from animals routinely fed antibiotics (a common practice in CAFOs to help them survive their living conditions), the antibiotics are absorbed into the crops. This is an old...

Digest – News: Organic fertilizer faked, UK farmers want organic “holiday,” Obama wishlists

Stinks to high heaven: A large California fertilizer supplier has been selling organic fertilizer, brewed from fish and chicken feathers, that it was secretly spiking with ammonium sulfate, a synthetic fertilizer banned from organic farms. The state knew and did nothing. (Sacramento Bee) Why? Maybe because,...

Let’s cure Absencia Grassosis! Weigh in on organic pasture rule by Dec. 23

We've reported before on a disturbing disease that's been plaguing large-scale organic dairies: Absencia Grassosis. Sounds pretty nasty, doesn't it? Loosely translated, it means lack of grass. Industrial-organic companies including Aurora (supplier of organic milk to Safeway and other private-label brands)...

Digest – News & Features: Organic gets wild n’ crazy, turkey workers do too, and everyone turns to SPAM

When organic gets fishy: The National Organic Standards Board ruled to allow farmed fish that consume up to 25% non-organic feed to be labeled "organic." Consumer advocates worry it's the beginning of a downward slide for standards on other organic animal products. (Washington Post) Pasture perfect...

Review: New documentary “Food Fight” is more of a lovefest

Ethicurean headquarters in Oakland, CA, should have been the home stadium for a preview screening of "Food Fight," the new documentary by Chris Taylor. After all, this "story of culinary revolt" covers the damage wrought by industrialization of the food system and features star players such as Michael...

Energy to spare: Clif Bar Q&A and profile

At the Eco-Farm conference this past January, Tom Philpott and I were suitemates. (He was also my chauffeur and backpack caddy, due to my dumb neck-nerve injury, but that's another story.) Tom went to the Ferry Building beforehand and loaded up on wine, cheese, and other goodies for our trip to Santa Cruz....

As the dirt turns (a pair of agricultural hope operas)

I grew up surrounded by farms. Though my family lived in a neighborhood on the very outskirts of our northern Ohio city, my school bus drove out into the country to pick up some of my farm-raised classmates. And in the summer, I spent the county fair week not only taking pride in my townie 4-H projects but...

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