October 11, 2012 |
In America we hold a consumer's power of choice at the checkout line nearly as sacred as that of a voter at the ballot box. In November, California voters will be asked to protect the right of food buyers to make informed purchases. Passing Proposition 37 could change the future of food in this country. The initiative is rooted in a simple premise: Consumers have the right to know if their food is produced using genetic engineering, which manipulates DNA or transfers it from one organism to another.
October 3, 2012 |
With Proposition 37 -- to label genetically engineered food -- on the November ballot in California, there's obviously a raised level of debate about whether such food is truly safe for human consumption. The evidence doesn't indicate any harm, but a 2009 editorial in Scientific American complains that too much of the research is controlled by the companies that produce the bioengineered seed. Concerns have been raised about possible allergenicity; on the other hand, some genetically engineered food has been designed specifically to remove properties that cause allergic reactions.
September 29, 2012 |
With dark blue, astringent skins, and dry, sour flesh, the ancient plums called damsons aren't good for eating fresh. When submitted to a process akin to alchemy, however, their tartness and spiciness are ideal for making preserves. Cooked down, the damson's astringency disappears, and its tannic skin imparts a gorgeous magenta color and rich, spicy flavor, while its abundant pectin confers a lusciously thick and smooth consistency. Originating in western Asia (supposedly near Damascus, whence its name)
September 25, 2012 |
ABC's Emmy-winning hit series “Modern Family” is a point of pride in Los Angeles, where it stands among the growing crop of comedies filming locally in a region buffeted by production flight. Local drama production has fallen off dramatically due to the proliferation of film incentives offered outside of California. Notably, the other big winner from Sunday night's 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, the Showtime series “Homeland,” is actually produced in North Carolina. But production in Los Angeles of television comedies has been on the rise, climbing nearly 30% to 718 production days January through June compared with the same period a year ago, according to FilmL.A.
September 17, 2012 |
WOODLAND, Calif. - The worst U.S. drought in half a century is withering the nation's corn crop, but it's a fertile opportunity for makers of genetically modified crops. Agricultural biotechnology companies have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into developing plants that can withstand the effects of a prolonged dry spell. Monsanto Co., based in St. Louis, has received regulatory approval for DroughtGard, a corn variety that contains the first genetically modified trait for drought resistance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 16, 2012 |
An elephant weevil, a tiny insect that attacks wine crops and fruit trees, was intercepted last month at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex in a container of oranges from Australia, officials said. It was the first time the pest had been found in the United States. It attacks roots, stems and fruits of cultivated vines, and also feeds on citrus, blueberry bushes and fruit trees. "Had this pest gone undetected, it could have had a serious impact on the California wine industry," Todd C. Owen, Customs and Border Protection director of Los Angeles field operations, said in a statement last week.
September 5, 2012 |
Zynga wants to harvest a bumper crop of new players and revive its withering profit with its latest social game, "FarmVille 2," set to debut on Facebook Wednesday. Dubbed as a prime example of a "next-generation" social game, "FarmVille 2" represents Zynga's answer to its critics who say the company failed to innovate fast enough to keep up with the growing expectations of social gamers on Facebook, the Web and other connected platforms. Aside from its name, "FarmVille 2" has little in common with the original "FarmVille" that vaulted Zynga into mainstream consciousness after it launched in 2009.
August 24, 2012 |
The worst U.S. drought in more than half a century has rallied critics of the federal renewable fuel standard, which will reserve about 40% of the nation's corn crop for ethanol production this year. Critics have long questioned the commitment of a growing share of a food source for fuel use. But the calls for change have grown louder because the widespread drought has killed more than 50% of the corn crop, driving prices to record levels - and U.S. ethanol is made mostly from corn.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 23, 2012 |
The comments started before Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas made history. Haters turned to social media, but not to criticize her performance - that was golden. It was to trash her hair. Slicked back in a high ponytail with half her mane tucked into an elastic band, her style seem to blend in with her teammates'. Hair clips pinned the stray hairs in place as she vaulted into the history books as the first African American to win the women's all-around in gymnastics. Still, that simple style threatened to overshadow her golden moment.
August 23, 2012 |
The Midwest drought may not leave you with a whole lot of sympathy for corn farmers and producers of other commodity crops. Not only has the drought driven up prices allowing them to rake in beaucoup bucks -- NPR's Sam Charles has posted an eye-popping chart -- but these farmers will also receive crop insurance. But for small farmers, the drought has threatened their livelihood. Grist rounded up a handful of tweets with the hashtag #Drought12 to show how farmers are using social media to humanize their critical situation.