September 12, 2012
Midwestern farmers, facing uncertainty about their crops in the midst of the worst drought in half a century, have something else to steam about: Congress' failure to pass a new farm bill, even though the old one is slated to expire Sept. 30. That may not sound so bad, because farm bills are invariably bloated with market-distorting corporate welfare for agribusiness that we'd be better off without. Yet they also fund the federal food stamp program, one of the most important strands of the U.S. safety net. The Senate passed a version of the farm bill in June that cut spending on food stamps by a modest $4.5 billion over 10 years and trimmed overall spending by $23 billion during that period by eliminating direct payments to farmers, which are awarded whether or not they plant anything.
August 27, 2012 |
Central Valley Meat Co., the California slaughterhouse shut down by regulators last week after undercover video footage showed apparent animal abuse, reopened Monday morning after promising to change its ways. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it had “concluded its evaluation of the extensive corrective action plan” submitted by the slaughterhouse to address “recent humane handling violations.” The company, according to the agency's Food Safety and Inspection Service, will add more training for employees along with other safeguards to ensure that “only ambulatory animals are processed.” Workers will not be allowed to pull, drag or lift the cows, and may use electric or vibrating prods only sparingly, and never on sensitive body parts such as the face, the slaughterhouse promised.
June 5, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - As the Senate considers a once-every-five-years farm bill this week, a group of food activists and celebrity chefs has called on Congress to cut subsidies to commodity crop farmers and reinvest the money in conservation and healthy food programs. The bill before the Senate would take “positive steps” toward meeting those goals, but it “falls far short of the reforms needed to come to grips with the nation's critical food and farming challenges,” the group wrote.
May 23, 2012 |
A vast majority of Americans say they eat more whole grains and fresh produce than they did five years ago, but many believe the federal government needs to do more to ensure greater access to locally produced fresh food, according to a new survey. Eighty-four percent of adults surveyed said federal food programs should focus more on supporting smaller, local fruit and vegetable farmers and should provide incentives for development of new businesses that offer "locally produced healthy food," according to the poll, which was commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
December 8, 2011 |
"Inventing Cuisine" La Huit Productions (distributed in the U.S by Allegro Media Group) Available on Amazon.com or direct from the Allegro website, www.allegro-music.com. $15 to $20 per video. Television is awash in food these days, most of it utterly forgettable, at best (I'm still having flashbacks from having accidentally watched five minutes of "The Chew"). Want to see what food on film could really be like? Check out this series of French documentaries.
January 20, 2011 |
Wal-Mart Stores Inc unveiled a plan to promote healthier and more affordable foods at its stores, a move supported by U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and one that could push food companies to overhaul some products. The move comes as the world's largest retailer tries to overcome political and union opposition to its expansion in urban areas like New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C., by touting its ability to bring lower priced fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods to areas that lack traditional grocery chains.