Food Politics

by Marion Nestle
Oct 2 2017

Rodale introduces Regenerative Organic Certification

The Rodale Institute has a new Regenerative Organic certification program with four requirements that include but go beyond those for USDA Certified Organic:

  • Increase soil organic matter over time, and potentially sequester carbon in the soil
  • Improve animal welfare
  • Provide economic stability and fairness for farmers, ranchers, and workers
  • Create resilient regional ecosystems and communities

An Infographic illustrates how it works.  It’s based on three pillars:

This program seems to address most of the major criticisms of USDA’s National Organic Program.   I will be interested to see whether farmers sign on for it.

Sep 29 2017

Weekend reading: Healthy and Sustainable Diets for Europe

I’m in Europe this week so especially interested in its public health efforts. This report is an example.

Healthy and Sustainable Diets for European Countries. Report of a Working Group. EUPHA (European Public Health Association), 2017.

The purpose of this report is to encourage public health professionals to promote policies that will enable individuals to make healthier food choices.  It’s a long report, but summarizes its goals in one quick table:

Sep 28 2017

World food insecurity: moving in the wrong direction

The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has just released its annual report on food security, country-by-country.

After years of decline, the new uptick is alarming.

Why is this happening?  In a word, conflict.

  • The number of conflicts is also on the rise.  Exacerbated by climate-related shocks, conflicts seriously affect food security and are a cause of much of the recent increase in food insecurity.
  • Conflict is a key driver of situations of severe food crisis and recently re-emerged famines, while hunger and undernutrition are significantly worse where conflicts are prolonged and institutional capacities weak.
  • Addressing food insecurity and malnutrition in conflict-affected situations cannot be “business as usual”. It requires a conflict-sensitive approach that aligns actions for immediate humanitarian assistance, long-term development and sustaining peace.
Sep 27 2017

Sugar: a roundup of recent industry reports

Is sugar under siege?

The sugar industry must think so.

Take a look at these recent industry reports:

Here’s what the sugar industry is worried about, according to The Sugar Association:

 

Share |
Tags:
Sep 26 2017

Capitalism in our food?

I wrote the Foreword to Eric Holt Giménez’s Foodies Guide to Capitalism: Understanding the Political Economy of What We Eat.  

His book won’t be out for a few weeks, but Food First, the organization he heads, has published my Foreword as a Backgrounder, titled The Capitalism in Our Food.

Here’s how it begins:

When Eric Holt-Giménez asked me to introduce his Foodie’s Guide to Capitalism, I said yes right away. I love the title, I think the food movement needs this book, and I am tired of having to treat capitalism as the “C-word,”never to be mentioned in polite company. Those of us “foodies” who love to eat and want our food system to produce tastier, healthier, and more sustainable diets—and to provide a decent living to everyone involved in this work—need to bring capitalism out of the closet, understand the problems it causes, and deal with them front and
center. Eric (if I may) has done us an enormous favor by producing this book at this time.

And here’s the pull-quote:

Share |
Tags:
Sep 25 2017

Good news: sales of organic foods

The USDA announces:  2016 Sales of U.S. Certified Organic Agricultural Production Up 23 Percent from Previous Year

Sales of organic agricultural production continued to increase in 2016, when U.S. farms produced and sold $7.6 billion in certified organic commodities….

Results of the 2016 Certified Organic Survey show that 2016 sales were up 23 percent from $6.2 billion in 2015.

During the same year, the number of certified organic farms in the country increased 11 percent to 14,217, and the number of certified acres increased 15 percent to 5.0 million.

The top commodities in 2016 were:

  • Milk – $1.4 billion, up 18 percent
  • Eggs – $816 million, up 11 percent
  • Broiler chickens – $750 million, up 78 percent
  • Apples – $327 million, up 8 percent
  • Lettuce – $277 million, up 6 percent

And here’s a quick look at the trend:

Image result for trends in organic foods

Share |
Tags:
Sep 22 2017

Weekend reading: Carey Gilliam’s Whitewash

Carey Gilliam.  Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science.  Island Press, 2017.

Image result for whitewash story weed killer

I did a blurb for this book (only the last sentence is on the back cover):

Whitewash, says Carey Gilliam, is what Monsanto, Monsanto-paid scientists, and the Monsanto-influenced EPA are trying to do for the herbicide glyphosate (“Roundup”)—make it  appear benign in the face of evidence that glyphosate may be carcinogenic,  strongly promotes weed resistance, and causes genetically modified crops to require even greater use of toxic chemicals.

Gilliam’s deep dive into this industry’s manipulation of science gives us even more reasons to advocate for organic and sustainable agricultural systems.

Sep 21 2017

Food Politics: Canada

I don’t write much about  Canadian food politics, but every now and then collect interesting items.

Bakery & Snacks interviewed the author:

BAS: Who do you really admire in the book?

Janis Thiessen: As a company, I admire Hawkins Cheezies for their rejection of capitalist imperatives like growth and expansion. As an individual, I admire Covered Bridge fryer operator Thomas Broad, who has overcome personal adversity and has pride and autonomy in his work.

Share |
Tags:
Page 5 of 371« First...34567...Last »