Published on July 19th, 2014 | by Tanya Sitton1
Top News from the Food Front: Progress Galore! (Unless You’re a Bird)
Holy guacamole: this week there’s actually more good news than bad! Such an occurrence is like a rare comet, seen only once in a great while. Don’t miss it — get your (good) food news fix here!
2 Ag-Gag Laws Facing Constitutional Challenges — Most states that have tried to pass this kind of toxic anti-whistleblower legislation have failed; but Utah and Idaho successfully criminalized people who document and report cruelty or worker abuse or food safety violations at animal facilities. Since we have this whole ‘Constitution’ thingie asserting that stuff like ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘freedom of the press’ does indeed exist, I’m glad to see these reprehensible laws challenged at a federal level.
Chicago Loves It’s Urban Farmers! — In a decidedly sensible move, Chicago decides to sell vacant lot space for $1 per parcel to would-be urban produce growers. Dear every other place: take notes and emulate, please and thank you!
Dietary Guideline Committee ‘Quadruples’ Down on Moving Americans to ‘Plant-Based Diets’ — The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) met on Friday, and continued a lovely trend towards emphasis on nutrition guidelines emphasizing plant-based eating. The committee’s guidelines play an important role in setting nutrition policy at a federal level; since research continually supports the efficacy of plant-heavy diets in improving health and reducing risk for chronic disease, this trend looks like movement in the right direction!
USDA Suggests Changes to Grocery Stores to ‘Nudge’ Consumers to Eat Healthy — Baby steps, towards shifting U.S. food culture in a positive direction: they add up!
Go Vegetarian, Live Longer — Such articles appearing in non-foodie, non-traditionally-veggie publications like Men’s Health offer further opportunities for optimism, regarding positive food culture evolutions ongoing. Woot!
Who Needs Transparency, Anyway? It’s Only Food…
USDA Withdraws GMO Disclosure Rule — Such a move only benefits makers and sellers of biotech agricultural products, not consumers or citizens… unfortunately we see over and over again which of these interests drives USDA policy: troubling, but sadly unsurprising.
Food System Dominoes Fall, Crush Birds
Neonicotinoid Insecticides Linked to Collapsing Bird Populations — Pollinators like bees were among the first ‘canaries in the coal mine,’ regarding the devastating effects of this class of poisons. Now the canaries are the canaries in the coal mine; and it’s looking grim. It’s also a completely optional problem, that could be avoided simply by changing how we grow food! It matters, you guys, it really really matters how we grow our food — assuming we want a functioning ecosystem, suitable for habitation by living things. I, for one, very much do. So, you know, maybe we could just KNOCK THIS S*** OFF!
Food News Junkies, Stay Tuned
Subscribe to the EDB newsletter, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and meet me back here every Saturday for a good hard look at all the best (and sometimes, though less so this week, worst) news in food!
Keep up with the latest sustainable food news by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!