Thursday, May 03, 2012

Ethan's Farm and Food Roundup

EthanThe Obama administration has decided to withdraw its proposal for a new child labor law that would place restrictions on children working on family farms. The President made the decision after tough criticism from farmers across the country.

Dow AgroSciences has rolled out a new genetically modified type of corn under the name "Enlist" but nicknamed "Agent Orange Corn" by opponents. The corn has been engineered to be immune to 2,4- Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, a potent herbicide containing chemicals that are found in the Agent Orange toxin. And it's not just environmentalists who are worried about the potential impact of Enlist.

A Chicago meat packing plant is going to be turned into a net-zero-energy vertical farm when the empty space is equipped with plants, mushrooms, a fish farm, bakeries and breweries. The idea is to use the waste from each one of these elements as food for another, creating a sustainable circle of production.

Obesity in America is costing us a lot more than we think: $190 billion every year in health costs to be exact. And with rising rates of obesity annually, we are on the fast track to some serious future spending. You know what we have to say about that: Eat good food from family farmers for good health!

A recent study published in Nature on the production and yields of industrial agriculture versus organic agriculture has brought on a slew of debates about which system is right for our country. Tom Philpott takes a look at the various responses to the study and critiques its focus on only yield. At Philpott concludes, "I fear that a lot of policy makers and pundits will glance at the Nature study and conclude that at least the agricultural part of our food system isn't broken and doesn't need fixing. They're wrong."

A former Perdue chicken farmer who was featured in Food, Inc. has decided to take a different approach to farming by ditching her contract and starting a pastured egg operation. Carole Morison loves her new work, explaining, "There’s no one breathing down your neck saying you have to do it this way, no you can’t do it that way. You don’t have to feel bad about what you’re doing.”

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