Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ethan's Farm and Food Roundup

EthanThe city of Philadelphia is investing $900,000 into new programs that would expand access to healthy food in the city. The program is aimed at promoting fresh produce and slowing the growing obesity epidemic taking over the city that has become famous for its cheesesteak.

Atlanta, Georgia, is known to many as the capital of the South, and also to many as the capital of Big Chicken. But for a handful of chefs, pastured poultry is a no-brainer for sustainability, animal welfare and overall consistent quality. “People want to know where their chicken is from, where their fish is from… You have to respect sustainability now, people are asking for it,” said Craig Richards, executive chef at Ecco Restaurant.

Following the rapid gas boom that has swept through Pennsylvania, can neighboring Ohio take the necessary precautions to make sure that the state doesn't face harmful economic and environmental impacts in the future? “We have this wealth that is literally a part of the land,” said Michael Farren, a graduate student at Ohio State University. “That natural wealth is leaving, and, because we can never get it back, we want to make sure we do something to retain some of the value lost.”

The California Right to Know petition gathered over a million signatures this year, which allows it to move onto the ballot this November. If Californians decide in favor of labeling genetically modified (GM) food, the resulting laws could make their way to the national level, creating a ripple effect for grocery stores and biotech companies everywhere that market and sell the products.

As the 2012 Farm Bill gets closer to completion, many Americans are wondering how the new regulations and proposed programs are going to affect them directly. This story from NPR demonstrates that, in more ways than you might think, the Farm Bill has a very significant impact on all of us.

And for all you policy wonks out there, check out this Farm Bill Primer to find out the current state of the giant omnibus legislation, including up-to-date amendments.

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