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Budding food policy wonkette. This is a stew photos, news articles, recipes, and short posts by your truly on topics ranging from healthy school lunches to international food aid. Keeping the conversation fresh and players honest.

Buen provecho!!

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Check out this incredibly haunting marketing campaign Chipotle released earlier last week.

Both the game and film depict a scarecrow’s journey to bring wholesome food back to the people by providing an alternative to the processed food that dominates his world. The film is set in a spooky, fantasy world where all food production is controlled by fictional industrial food giant Crow Foods, run by evil crows.

"The crows control the scarecrows," says Crumpacker. "It’s a parallel of the industrial food system in the U.S., which is upside down."

The Crow Foods factory is staffed by scarecrows who have been displaced from their traditional jobs on the farm and are now relegated to working for the crows by helping them maintain their unsustainable processed food system.

Feeling all the feels.

(Finally) Hump Day! September 18, 2013

YOUR HEALTH

  • Could the frequent use of antibiotics, both to treat human sickness and encourage animal growth, be having unintended consequences on our health? This article pulls together a bunch of different studies on the microorganisms populating your gut…and how that diversity—or lack of diversity—might be tipping the scales, literally (CivilEats).
  • Did you know that an Odwalla has more sugar than five Krispy Kreme donuts? (MotherJones).
  • "If wearing a four-finger ring, carefully place it on a side table before starting to cook" is just one of the many hilarious instructions that can be found in 2 Chainz recently released album + #MealTime cookbook (Grubstreet).
  • The Atlantic covers Michelle Obama’s new public health campaign that refuses to talk about public health, “Drink More Water” (The Atlantic).
  • It was recently determined by Tufts University that a golden rice study in China violated ethical rules when researchers cut corners when it came to notifying parents and regulatory authorities about the details of the study…the details being that researchers were feeding children genetically modified rice. Not a good look (NPR).

bonappetit:

And now, quinoa makes its way to the booze industry…

(Photograph of Andrew Knowlton by Matt Duckor)

Fair trade quinoa vodka. So hipster, I can’t!

News Roundup!

September 11, 2013

Hunger & Lunches

  • Feeding America launched Hunger Action Month this September and they’re encouraging people to wear orange, volunteer at local food banks, write to their Congressmember to support SNAP, and experience food insecurity “personally” by living on the average food stamp allotment of $4.50/day. Given that hunger is a symptom of poverty, which is a result of unemployment/underemployment/low wages, don’t you think it’s weird that anti-hunger advocates have remained silent on the fast food workers’ strike? The reason is part of a larger, systemic problem within the charitable industrial complex. Good points via (CivilEats).
  • That “Kids Hate Healthy School Lunches” story from the Associated Press got it all wrong. An healthy school lunch advocate untangles the misinformation mess (BeyondChron).
  • Meanwhile, Texas passes a law to keep junk food in schools (CivilEats). 

State of the Land

  • Tragedy of the commons: The real reason Kansas is drying up one of the U.S.’s greatest groundwater resources. Hint: It has to do with farming (Grist).
  • Jessie Lopez De La Cruz, one of the most important women in the farmworker movement, passed away at 93 last week (Huffington Post)

Healthy Miscellany 

  • Marion Nestle’s New Book: “Eat, Drink, Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics” (Civil Eats).
  • E-cigarettes are really taking off with young whippersnappers and health officials are looking to start regulating sales (NYTimes). 
  • A new medication to make obesity healthier. Not kidding (LATimes).

Post-Labor Day News Roundup!

Happy Wednesday! September 4, 2013

WORLD FOOD SYSTEM

  • As the middle classes in the global South begin to grow and rural to urban migration accelerates, more people have foresaken diets high in unprocessed starch, high-fiber vegetables, and plant proteins for a more Western-style way of eating (animal protein and fat, refined carbs, sugars), a recipe for obesity and chronic disease. See: China, South Africa, India, Mexico (CivilEats).
  • Healthy soils are the underpinning of a food system that is not only more resilient to extreme weather events, but also healthier for us and the planet. So why do our policies continue to lag behind? (Switchboard).
  • 1,150 elderly hens were airlifted to New York last week, the cost totaling around $50,000. Mother Jones staffers put together some great charts trying to get to the bottom of whether or not the world has reached peak chicken (Mother Jones).
  • Beetles, moths, fungi, and other pests are traveling north as the climate warms around them (Grist).
  • Michael R. Dimock, president of Roots of Change, argues that public health advocates are the sustainable food movement’s most important allies and we must reframe “our work as the basis of national health and resilience” (Civil Eats).

& HEALTH TIPS, FOODIE MISCELLANY 

  • Eat blueberries, grapes, and apples. Avoid fruit juice and diabetes. Seems easy enough (BBC News).
  • Book Review: “Raising Dough: The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business” (Civil Eats).
  • Bittman encourages everyone to plan leftovers, brown-bag them and take them to work. I’d have to agree! (NYTimes).

paigehermreck:

ingredients to a palm spring spritzer.

grilled limes + sriracha salt for starters. 

© paige hermreck

(via mexicanfoodporn)

A cool Kickstarter campaign in action! Food Huggers preserve your leftover fruits and veggies with a air tight seal, preventing it from spoiling. Such a unique idea!

wereallfedup:

Whoa. These Horrifying Photos Show A Destroyed American Landscape That Agriculture Giants Don’t Want You To See

These aerial images of industrial beef farming operations look less like shots of land and more like a post-apocalyptic nightmare.

Not everyone trying to document feedlots has been so lucky. Just last month, National Geographic photographer George Steinmetz was arrested for misdemeanor criminal trespassing when trying to take photos of a Kansas feedlot from a paraglider. A couple of weeks later, journalists and activists filed the first lawsuit against “ag-gag” bills rapidly proliferating across the United States. As model legislation drummed up by the American Legislative Council (ALEC), ag gag bills seek to make entering animal farms and taking photos or recording video illegal. Such laws have passed in Utah, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, and Missouri, with more states considering them.

California Discourages Needy From Signing Up for Food Stamps via LATimes

For years, Texas was among a handful of states that required every resident seeking help with grocery bills to first be fingerprinted, an exercise typically associated with criminals.

Even though Republican Gov. Rick Perry ultimately got rid of the policy, Texas — always seeking to whittle down “big government” — remains one of the most effective states at keeping its poor out of the giant federal food stamp program.

But it is not No. 1. That distinction belongs to California.

Liberal California discourages eligible people from signing up for food stamps at rates conservative activists elsewhere envy. Only about half of the Californians who qualify for help get it.

Getting more families who already qualify for food stamps to actually use them is one of the easiest ways to improve child nutrition and fight poverty. It’s a damn that one of the most progressive states in our nation just can’t seem to get this right.

“We eat, we pay rent and no more,” Mr. Romero said in Spanish. “The salary that they give you here, to pay insurance for the family, it wouldn’t be enough.”

There seems to be widespread agreement among agricultural employers, insurance brokers and health plans in California that low-wage farmworkers cannot be asked to pay health insurance premiums. “He’s making $8 to $9 an hour, and you’re asking him to pay for something that’s he’s not going to use?” Mr. Herrin said.

The minimum compliant health plan for employee coverage under the new law will cost about $250 a month in California’s growing regions, according to insurance brokers, and includes a $5,000 deductible for medical care, although insurers cannot charge co-payments for preventive visits. “It’s unacceptable,” Mr. Herrin said of the cost.

The Los Angeles City Council gave its blessing on Tuesday to neighborhood gardeners who want to plant vegetables on public parkways, voting to waive enforcement of a city law that was denying low-income families access to growing healthy food in their own front yards.

The issue was initially highlighted by TED speaker and South L.A. activist Ron Finley, who in 2011 was threatened with a warrant if he didn’t take out the one hundred fifty food “food forest” he built on a South Central parkway that was owned by the city.

Councilmembers recognized that handing out citations in a city that’s dealing with a health crisis didn’t make much sense.

Councilman Mike Bonin said he supports the vegetable gardens because Los Angeles has a “wellness crisis” while Councilman Felipe Fuentes, an avid gardener, pointed to a “tremendous diabetes crisis” in his San Fernando Valley district.

LAist: Keep Calm and Veg On: Parkway Gardens Approved By City Council

Four Questions You Should Never Ask at a Farmers Market via Civil Eats

A seasoned pro gives us foodies some real talk on National Farmers Market Week.

3) I know you’re not open yet, but I’m in a hurry … could you sell me something before the bell?

Hello, Starbucks? Sorry to call so early, but your door is locked and I really need a latte. Could you open up early just for me? I’m in such a rush, and it’ll only take a second!

Where else in the world could someone get away with this question?

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