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Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Aug 10th, 2010

seeds

"Twelve Russian scientists famously chose to starve to death rather than eat the unique collection of seeds and plants they were protecting for humanity during the 900-day siege of Leningrad in the second world war. But the world's first global seed bank now faces destruction once more, to make way for a private housing estate."  - the Guardian, UK

It's defies logic, but the fate of the world's first seed bank in Russia, the Pavlovsk Experimental Station, hangs in the balance for something as frivilous and temporary as a housing development.  A Russian court will decide this week if, as argued, that the seed bank has a right and the protection to exist considering that it was never apparently registered with the Russian government. If not, it may be destroyed.


Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Aug 04th, 2010

Farmers MarketSome good news on the food and ag front...

The USDA has released its findings that farmers markets have increased 16% since 2009, with the largest increase throughout the nation's heartland.

That's the good news, but a closer look reveals that while the number of farmers markets have increased in the U.S., there are still obstacles to overcome for those utilizing government nutrition programs - or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), formerly knows as "food stamps". While the "food stamps" program has come a long way in reducing the stigma attached by incorporating the use of "plastic" (EBT cards), many individuals are still challenged when it comes to using them to access local, seasonal produce at the farmers market.

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Jul 26th, 2010

No McDonaldsFast Food hypocricy strikes again. Now McDonald's is jumping on the green-washing bandwagon, with a recent announcement of "going local" and even a microsite to bolster their lame Locavore claim. Below is McDonald's "new" advertising statistic, sited in a recent article on BrandWeek that:

"95 percent of McDonald's fries, 95 percent of Filet-O-Fish fillets, and 85 percent of the apples served in Washington State come from Washington."

Most locavores realize that that is quite a stretch at best as the "local" movement is based more upon lifestyle (eating food that is seasonal, local and supports local and sustainble farmers) than simply upon food proximity, along with the desire to support "mom and pop" owned businesses.


Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Jul 20th, 2010

pesticidefieldWhen I read this story, I pictured the characters of Big Ag sitting around the conference table pondering all the possible propaganda they could cook up to make Organics look and sound bad. Guess this is the best they could come up with...

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Jul 19th, 2010

What Are We Eating? graphAnyone curious about what the average American consumes on a yearly basis? If so, here's an easy to read graphic that shows what Americans consume, pound per pound, annually. Now, if one can visualize all the other "stuff" in those foods... additives, agrichemicals, hormones, antibiotics - you get the picture. Check it out!


Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Jul 11th, 2010
Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Jul 08th, 2010

A press release from the EPA today states that Monsanto has agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine for the sale of its genetically modified BT cotton seeds. This is the largest penalty ever under U.S. insecticide act...


Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Jul 02nd, 2010

Recently, at the DOJ/USDA antitrust hearing in Madison, Wisconsin, Secretary Vilsack called attention to the idea of setting a goal in the 2012 Farm Bill to support adding 100,000 new farmers in the next few years. The idea in and of itself was, of course, supported amongst sustainble ag and farm groups, but it also begs the question of how we support farmers that are yet to be, if we don't yet support the ones that we have? The folks at National Sustainable Ag Coalition flesh out some of these questions here in their latest post.

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Jun 30th, 2010

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Jun 28th, 2010

By Cooking Up a Story

June 28, 2010; The recent Supreme Court decision on the Roundup Ready Alfalfa case (PDF) has drawn a mixture of reactions from the mainstream media, and from the Blogosphere. To help us better understand this decision, CUpS sat down with Craig Johnston, professor of environmental law at Lewis & Clark Law School, and the lead author (on behalf of the NRDC) of one of the briefs presented to the Supreme Court in this case.

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Jun 22nd, 2010

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Jun 21st, 2010

dairycowsToday, the Department of Justice announced the agenda for the dairy hearing to be held next Friday, June 25th, in Madison, Wisconson to address issues of monopoly abuses in the dairy industry. As the third of five announced joint workshops held with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the dairy workshop promises to be more robust and potentially emotional as dairy farmers have faced a cripling economic crisis for the past 18 months, which has seen the price they are paid for their milk drop between 40 to 50% since December 2008.

 

Abuses in the dairy industry are so rife that the DOJ has already filed two antitrust suits. in October 2009, the DOJ launched a suit against Dean Foods, the nation's largest processor of fluid milk and Dariy Farmers of America (DFA), the largest dairy cooperative, for monopolistic practices against New England dairy farrmers, a region where Dean Food controls 70% of the fluid milk market. Three months later, on January 22nd, Dean Foods landed in the DOJ crosshairs once again, challenging its purchase of Foremost Farms. The DOJ contends that the merger "eliminates substantial competition between the two companies in the sale of milk to schools, grocery stores, convenience stores and other retailers in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin".

 

The confirmed star studded line-up includes two cabinet members, one U.S. Senator, three U.S. House of Representatives and one governor among many others. Highlights include:

Posted By: Food Democracy Now on Jun 20th, 2010

By Helena Bottemiller

 

Q&A With Eric Schlosser (from Food Safety News)

Catch up with Fast Food Nation author at Food Safety New's expert Q&A series, a conversation with New York Times best-selling author and award-winning journalist Eric Schlosser and Helena Bottemiller.


Eric Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (2001) is, in many ways, still fueling food policy discussion in America. A ground-breaking expose on the fast food industry and a critique of the modern food system, Fast Food Nation was a New York Times best-seller for nearly two years, evolved into a movie in 2006, and inspired the Oscar-nominated documentary Food Inc (2009).


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