Thursday, June 07, 2012

Ethan's Farm and Food Roundup

A provision in a proposed U.S. House bill would allow farmers to buy and use new genetically modified crops while the USDA is still testing the crops for potential safety threats. The bill also seems to be putting a muzzle on the federal judges who stand between biotech products and public health.

New studies have raised some serious questions about Monsanto's GMO drought-tolerant corn, and have found that its traits are very comparable to conventional hybrids on the market. Monsanto is also under scrutiny for claiming the product has increased "water efficiency," which was also challenged in recent research.

Food service workers in our country are facing some tough and discriminating working conditions, and a new sector of the food movement is working to shed light on these injustices. “The industrialization of our food system has disconnected people from our environment — from how we treat the land and our animals,” said Joann Lo, executive director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance. And in the case of humans, she says, “that loss of respect for animals and nature is mirrored.”

Are your supermarkets throwing food away several days before the expiration date? In one consumer's experience, this seems to be a very normal practice for the grocery stores that he usually visits. Even the FDA admits this: "'Use-by' dates usually refer to best quality and are not safety dates," the agency says in its expiration-date FAQ. Do you still keep your food after the expiration date has passed?

Although your meat may be coming from local farms, it may have travelled hundreds of miles to a processing plant before making its way back to your local market. For cattle producers in Washington, new small-scale slaughtering facilities are being created to help keep this final phase of production within the local community. 

And in case you missed it, check out the new music video for Willie and Lukas Nelson’s collaboration for their cover version of Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe.”

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