Last Week in Food

From the “With friends like these, who needs…etc.” department: Here’s a look inside the American Dietetic Association’s nutrition conference/expo, where you’ll hear all about how processed foods are an important source of nutrients. Argh. And: In an attempt to undermine the FDA’s current efforts to rationalize front-of-package labeling, industry groups have devised a new campaign: change “Nutrition Keys” to “Facts Up Front.” And: Julia Moskin on the newly-formed U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, a well-funded Big-Ag group that is – incredibly – trying to position itself as an underdog in the current food climate. (Apparently they don’t like the term “Big-Ag,” but when you have $11 million to spend on public relations, and your members include the American Egg Board, the National Milk Producers Federation, and the National Pork Board, that’s what you are.)

 A 30-year side-by-side study of conventional and organic agriculture concludes that organic is better by every measure. Granted, the study is from the Rodale Institute, which has a vested interest in organic coming out on top, but the numbers are believable.

Here’s a strong Atlantic piece by Michel Nischan about how Let’s Move! can refocus its efforts to better support small-scale, local food economies.

Here’s everything you need to know about listeria and cantaloupes, which has caused what is now the deadliest food poisoning outbreak in 12 years. Also, Tyson recently recalled more than 130,000 pounds of ground beef throughout the central and eastern U.S. after possible E. coli contamination. Had enough of the Republican line “99 percent of food is safe” yet?

A version of Slow Food’s $5 Challenge (which I wrote about here) is making its way to the White House. On November 29, White House chef Sam Kass will host two cooking events: the first is to cook a family meal for $10 (the typical SNAP budget for family dinner), and the second is to cook “gourmet” meals for $4.50 per person (the typical American dinner budget).

Evidence is growing that financial speculators are responsible for the rising price of food. So the Commodity Futures Trading Commission just released new rules to curb excessive speculation, and the result is — you guessed it — a giveaway to speculators.

Climate change is threatening our food supply. And speaking of a threat to our food supply, two upstate New York farmers share their Hurricane Irene horror story.

Food pantries can’t handle the volume they face, amid a 1-in-6 hunger rate.

The U.S.D.A. gives AquaBounty Technologies – a maker of genetically modified salmon – $494,000 to figure out how to make their fish sterile so they won’t reproduce with wild salmon. (Can you think of a better way for the U.S.D.A. to spend 500 grand? How about 100 better ways?) Other fun fish facts: Faux shark fin soup.

Reason #12,253 why it would be scary if Michele Bachmann became president: she might deregulate the food industry.

Women who drink coffee are 20 percent less prone to depression, according to a new Harvard study.

Bad Luck vs. Bad Practice: Radiation has been detected in rice crops near the crippled Fukushima power plant in Japan. Meanwhile, a Pennsylvania firm has recalled approximately 5,550 pounds of pureed pork products after reports that small metal fragments were found in boxes of Imperial Sysco’s Country Style Pork.

The environmental community sent Congress a memo stating their belief that industrial farming has no place in this country without parallel measures aimed at stopping soil erosion, lessening pesticide use, and cleaning up the air and soil on and around farms.

As part of his quest to eat healthier and more sustainably by only eating meat he kills himself, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appears to have killed a bison. Wow. What a Man.

Finally, pasta like you’ve never seen it before. And vegetables like you’ve never heard them before.

Posted in Food Politics

One Comment

  1. MegEtc said...

    My theory about why women who drink coffee are less depressed – chances are they’re drinking coffee because they are employed outside of the home, working full time. If not homebound by a disability or unemployment, they’d be less likely to be depressed.

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