March 20 Updates

March 21, 2013

Environmental Justice/Food Justice/Food Sovereignty

·      Brooksville becomes the ninth Maine town to defy state on sales of local foods
o   And here is some background on the food sovereignty movement on the Blue Hill Peninsula, Hancock County, Maine (4/18/11)
o   State Sues Blue Hill Farmer, Challenges Food Sovereignty Ordinance (11/17/11)
o   Raw deal: Maine residents’ fight for unregulated food draws crackdown (6/29/12)
·      Farmers Markets Are Actually Cheap – So Where Are the Low-Income Shoppers?
A new study suggests lack of information – not price – is what keeps low-income individuals away.
·      Panera Bread Feeds the Hungry, and Markets Their Values
o   Panera Cares café is now officially open in Boston (1/23/13)
Pay what you can cafés… 
·      The Feminization of Farming
o   Women’s rights and right to food, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter
·      $48 Million and Rising: Student Campaigns Transform (College) Cafeteria Food Service
·      Sharks at risk of extinction from overfishing, say scientists
Almost 100 million sharks are killed each year and many species need better protection, according to researchers.
·      Uprooting Racism in the Food System, African Americans Organize
·      Cheap Eats: How America Spends Money on Food
Food is cheap and getting cheaper in America, unless you’re poor…
o   America’s Shrinking Grocery Bill
In 1984, the average US household spent 16.8% of its annual post-tax income on food. By 2011, Americans spent only 11.2%...
·      How Factory Farming Contributes to Global Warming
·      Everyone to Asia: We don’t want your stinkin’ unsustainable palm oil
·      OCA Creates ORCA to Attack ‘Natural’ Products Labeling Fraud
·      Ending Senior Hunger Must Begin Today
… hidden faces of America’s hunger crisis.
·      ‘Story Of An Egg’ Film Explains What ‘Cage-Free,’ ‘Free-Range’ Actually Mean
·      Solar Water Distiller Enables Desalination Anywhere There’s sunlight and Saltwater
·      Corn free: Cutting back on our dominant crop is easier said than done
The monolithic nature of corn production presents a systemic risk to America’s agriculture, with impacts ranging form food prices to feed prices and energy prices. It also present a potential threat to our economy and to the tax payer…
·      Fairness for Small Farmers: A Missing Ingredient in the US Farm Bill
·      Olive oil prices to rocket as Spanish drought cuts harvest by 62%
·      Food for Thought: Evaluating the Impact of Indian’s Midday Meal Meal Program on Educational Attainment
·      Back to the Land: Reaction to Greece’s Recession: Greek Farm Resurgence
·      Fresno Public Market Would Give the San Joaquin Valley Its “Local” Food Back

·      Campaign Begins for $10.10 Minimum Wage
o   Costco’s Profit Soars to %537 Million Just Days After CEO Endorses Minimum Wage Increase
o   Socialism, Anyone? Profits Soar for Costco Days After CEO Endorses Minimum Wage Hike
Cosctco’s CEO Explains how they make record profits: “We pay workers $45K/Year, provide health insurance, and let them unionize – the opposite of what Walmart does.”
·      Portland (OR) City Council votes unanimously to approve sick leave policy

·      Paid sick leave passed by Philadelphia City Council

·      Worker Owned Businesses Point to New Forms of Ownership
Can co-ops come out of the margins of the economy and be part of a larger political project to transform things are owned?
            Unions are on the decline, and worker owned cooperatives are on the rise…
·      New Yorkers consider worker cooperatives as part of long-term recovery from Superstorm Sandy
·      Six Operational Advantages of Worker Cooperatives
·      The Green Collar Community 
     Advancing green jobs and resilient communities through cooperative enterprise. 

·      Norwegian (investment) fund pulls out of ‘unsustainable’ palm oil companies

·      DuPont Investments Hindered as Congress Delays Farm Bill
Gleaning, Food Waste & Reuse

·      5 Stores Tackling Waste by Selling ‘Expired’ Food
·      A Third of Americans Are Perfectly Fin With (Poor) People Eating Horsemeat How do we feel about having horse for dinner? A new poll offers answers.

·      Production, Distribution & Waste – Challenging Industrial Agriculture
1/3 of global food production is wasted…

·      How One Activist Diverts Food Waste to Soup Kitchens (UK)
Government/Regulation/Policy/Farm Bill

·      USDA extends use of broad-spectrum antibiotic for organic apple, pear growers only
Nearly 80% of Washington growers said without tetracycline they’d cut production or exit the industry…
·      USDA, NOP Fraudulent Organic Certificates
This includes a list of the Fraudulent Certifications Reported to NOP
·      All Federal Meat Inspectors To Be Furloughed on 11 Scheduled Days
·      Census: Record 1 In 3 Counties Now Dying Off, Hit By Aging Popultaion, Weakened Local Economies
·      USDA Weights Sugar Bailout That May Boost Candy Prices: Report
·      Drakes Bay Oyster Farm Flap Reaches Far Beyond Northern California
GMOs/Cloning/Food Technology/Poisons

·      PA Lawmaker Pushes For Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods
·      Vermont’s Governor Peter Shumlin Still Bullied by Monsanto
·      Eye on Augusta (Maine): GMO Labeling Bill Returns to the Legislature
It’s very seldom that a bill gets as many as 123 cosponsors in the Maine Legislature…
·      GMO fail: Monsanto foiled by feds, Supreme Court, and science
·      Researchers: GM Crops Are Killing Monarch Butterflies, After All
Once again, no surprise…
o   Study Abstract: Milkweed loss in agricultural fields because of herbicede use: effect on the monarch butterfly population
·      Conflicts of interest at European Food Safety Authority  (EFSA) erode public confidence
o   Monsanto threatens to sue EFSA over publication of maize GM data
o   GMOs: Monsanto wants to attack EFSA justice
Note: this will need to be translated from French to English…
·      EU relaxes tolerances on glyphosate residue in lentils
The European Union, effective June 14, has revised its limit on glyphosate residue in lentil imports to 10 parts per million (ppm), up from its much tighter residue limit of 0.1ppm…
·      Operation Maple: Seeds of Deception
None of us called for genetic manipulation of seeds. Not one of us said, yes, this new technology will benefit me, my family, and my community.
·      Monsanto continues expansion in Argentina
Community opposes the construction of transgenic seed factory
o   Historic Ruling Convicts Two of Three Defendants for Poisoning Neighborhood with Pesticides (glyphosate)
o   Argentina’s Bad Seed
·      Vandana Shiva on Bowman v. Monsanto: This Case Is About Every Farm…
·      Bt Cotton is Failing; Blame the Farmers (India)
·      Rice farming in India: ‘Now I produce enough food for my family’
More on the SRI growing method…
·      Mark Lynas: truth, treachery and GM food
This is new article,… This guy has no idea where he is coming from, he doesn’t seem to understand the science.
·      Ben & Jerry’s switching to non-GMO ingredients
·      Five Ways the FDA Has Failed Consumers on Genetically Engineered Foods
Healthy/Humane/Safe Food & Water

·      Antibiotic Resistance Poses ‘Catastrophic Threat’ To Medicine Says Britain’s Top Health Official
·      Minority Groups and Bottlers Team Up in Battles Over Soda
·      Food security debate needs to include stronger focus on food safety (in the developing world)
Progress across the developing world is being undermined by contaminated foods (aflatoxin,) more campaigns need to all for food safety
·      Is the Dairy Industry Getting Sneaky With Sweeteners?
A petition pending with the FDA would make it legal to sweeten milk with aspartame without labeling it on the front.
·      Processed meat scare: a bacon sandwich won’t kill you… will it?
As a new scare over salami and sausages emerges, is it time to ditch processed meat products from our diet?
o   Study: Meat consumption and mortality – results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition 
·      Safety of the National School Lunch Program’s Frozen Ground Beef Products
·      Forget Money Laundering – These Guys Were Running Dirty Honey
Criminal charges have been filed against groups who allegedly imported Chinese honey without paying anti – dumping duties.
·      Congressional Bill Introduced to Combat Seafood Fraud
o   How to avoid doctored food
Keeping it real: Prescriptions for avoiding doctored food
·      Dead Pigs In China Floating By The Hundreds In Shanghi River (3/11/13)
Chinese officials say they have fished out 900 dead pigs from a Shanghai river that is a water source for city residents.
o   Dead Pigs In Shanghai River Raise Concern As Number Of Carcasses Grows
Count at 2,800…
o   Dead Pigs In China’s Shanghai River Worry Residents
Authorities recovered hundreds more dead pigs from a river that provides drinking water to Shanghai, China’s financial hub, bringing the total to more than 6,600 since last Friday (3/8/13)
·      Livestock Falling Ill in Fracking Regions, Raising Concerns About Food
This is from 12/12, but worth the read…
·      Fracking Moratorium in New York Gets Extended

·      Oakland Soil Workshop: Are Your Soils Health? Understanding and Evaluating Your Soils Workshop
Thursday, March 28, 2013, 9am – 12noon
Phat Beets Urban Farm, 59th St. between Market St. & Adeline St., Oakland, CA
            For more information, or to register, contact Rex Dufour 530-792-7338 or
·      Graze The Roof: Spring Workshops, Glide Foundation San Francisco
o   March 31st, Designing your Spring Garden
o   April 7th, Designing Sustainable Habitats and Visionary Place Making
·      Detroit Food 2013: What’s on Your Plate? April 4-6, 2013, Focus: HOPE Conference Center
·      Urgent: Get Antibiotics Out of Organic Apple and Pear Production