Category Archives: Food Policy

Stanford’s REAL FARM: Ag Ed by School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

Stanford farm-infographic copy

Stanford’s six-acre site is to be as much a laboratory as a classroom for students to learn theory and evolve best practices in sustainable agriculture.  The goal is to educate future leaders who can address our environmental and food system challenges in the 21st Century.

 

Source: A new educational farm on the “Farm” | Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

Consumer Reports Study: The Bacteria in Conventional Beef

Consumer Reports tested 458 pounds of ground beef and discovered alarming rates of bacterial contamination. 82% of conventionally produced and processed beef samples were found to have at least 2 types of bacteria.  CONVENTIONAL SAMPLES WERE MORE THAN TWICE AS LIKELY TO HAVE BACTERIA WHICH WAS RESISTANT TO 3  OR MORE CLASSES OF TYPICAL ANTIBIOTICS. 

 

Source: Ecocentric | The Bacteria in Our Beef

U.S. Crop Diversity Declining but…5 Ag Regions Buck This Trend!

9 Farm Regions Map from journal PLOS ONE

A new USDA study (published in the journal PLOS ONE) tracked crop diversity across farms in the US from 1978 to 2012 using five year ag census data.

While the overall data confirms the dominance of monoculture farming – a practice known not to be sustainable in the long-term – there is evidence that in five of the nine Farm Resource Regions where fruits and vegetables reign supreme crop diversity was either maintained or increased slightly.  Check out the map for specifics and read more…

Source: U.S. Farms Becoming Less Diverse Over Time | Civil Eats

GOOD FOOD NEWS! USDA Allots $34.3 M for Local Foods Infrastructure, Veg & Fruit Access

IMG_6164

In an effort to strengthen local and regional food systems, the USDA has promised millions through several grants to support farmers markets, CSA’s and ‘hub’ businesses that aggregate and facilitate regional food promotion, awareness of resources and actual distribution channels.  Farm-to-institution programs are also included which is great news for educational and health organizations!

Source: USDA Awards $34.3 Million to Support Communities Local Foods Infrastructure, Increase Access to Fruits and Vegetables

$51M spent by Big Food in 2015 to Lobby for Less Transparency in Food Labeling 

From GMO labeling to pesticides to the source of the meat you buy, a handful of companies are spending heavily to keep information off your food labels.

Source: Big Food is Spending Millions to Lobby for Less Transparency | Bay Area Bites | KQED Food

Breeding Organic Seeds (with a little help from Clif Bar)

Organic farmers say they need crop varieties that were bred specifically for conditions on their farms. Clif Bar & Company decided to back their cause with up to $10 million in grants.

Source: Do Organic Farmers Need Special Seeds And Money To Breed Them? | Bay Area Bites | KQED Food

GMO Salmon: Concerns Over Contamination of Wild Species in Nearby Rivers, Waterways

Scientists are trying to predict what might happen if genetically modified salmon escaped growth facilities. It’s a scenario often raised by critics who don’t want the FDA to approve sale of the fish.

Source: Genetically Modified Salmon: Coming To A River Near You? | Bay Area Bites | KQED Food

White House Moves to Update Rules for Biotech’s Products & Genetically Modified Crops

The White House has ordered a review of the government’s system for regulating products of biotechnology, including genetically modified crops. That system has been controversial from the start.

Source: White House: We Have A Beef With GMO Regulations | Bay Area Bites | KQED Food

Meat Labeling–Grass-Fed or Not?–Why You Should Care 

hamburgersMore of us are asking for grass-fed beef at the meat counters and restaurants.  With few or no consistent regulations in place, ranching operations and labels vary and consumers are left to trust what marketers tell us.  If that is of concern to you, follow the Source link…

Source: Is Your Grass-Fed Beef for Real? Here’s How to Tell and Why it Matters | Bay Area Bites | KQED Food

Food Policy & Capitol Updates (on-going from Roots of Change)

ROC’s Capitol Updates – Roots of Change.

From our friends at Roots of Change, we will periodically post their summary of current legislation related all aspects of our food system and our state’s agriculture.