User: flenvcenter Topic: Food-Independent
Category: Policy
Last updated: Nov 17 2017 24:57 IST RSS 2.0
 
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The Food Industry Has the Trump Administration Right Where It Wants It 16.11.2017 Truthout - All Articles
You can fuel thoughtful, authority-challenging journalism: Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to Truthout. When Donald Trump was elected president, American consumer protection groups, food safety advocates and commentators were "on high alert." Two months prior, his campaign had posted -- and later deleted -- an online fact sheet that highlighted a number of "regulations to be eliminated" under his proposed economic plan. The document read in part: The FDA Food Police, which [sic] dictate how the federal government expects farmers to produce fruits and vegetables and even dictates the nutritional content of dog food. The rules govern the soil farmers use, farm and food production hygiene, food packaging, food temperatures and even what animals may roam which fields and when. It also greatly increased inspections of food 'facilities,' and levies new taxes to pay for this inspection overkill.  Now, with Trump's first year in office characterized by tumult and scandal (including the FBI's ongoing ...
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New Research Shows: Organic Farming Can Make an Important Contribution to World Nutrition 16.11.2017 Environmental News Network
A global conversion to organic farming can contribute to a profoundly sustainable food system, provided that it is combined with further measures, specifically with a one-third reduction of animal-based products in the human diet, less concentrated feed and less food waste. At the same time, this type of food system has extremely positive ecological effects, i.e. considerable reduction of fertilizers and pesticides, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions – and does not lead to increased land use, despite lower agricultural yields. These are the findings of a new study, which included the Vienna-based Department of Social Ecology among its contributors. Results have recently been published in “Nature Communications”.   
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An Environmental and Public Health Disaster Awaits -- if USDA Gives Organic Label to Hydroponics 31.10.2017 Truthout.com
Choose journalism that empowers movements for social, environmental and economic justice: Support the independent media at Truthout! Whether food production entails acres of mono-crops, livestock shuttled through assembly lines or orderly tracks of plastic pipelines in factory-scale hydroponics spaces, streamlined production techniques tempt food producers to improve on nature, without necessarily assessing the long-term health or environmental costs. Even an apparently benign innovation, like hydroponics, may convey unexpected downsides. Despite each new agricultural novelty, 17 years after the  US Department of Agriculture  established the Organic Standards, earth-based farming remains the oldest and most proven method for cultivating organic food. A coalition of farmers, sustainability advocates and foodies wants to keep it that way. "If we want to protect the integrity of the organic seal, we will have to fight for it," says Lisa Stokke, founder of  Next7 , which has launched a campaign to raise ...
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Americans' Appetite for Cheap Meat Linked to Widespread Drinking Water Contamination 20.10.2017 Truthout - All Articles
Agricultural pollution is contaminating drinking water supplies for millions of Americans with potentially dangerous chemicals, says a new report. Environmental groups blame the meat industry, which requires massive supplies of industrially grown corn and soy to raise cattle, and are putting pressure on large-scale meat producers to get their supply chains to clean up their acts. Scientists recently announced that the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, an area the size of New Jersey where oxygen levels are too low to sustain most forms of life, is larger than ever. For years, environmentalists have used annual surveys of the dead zone to bring attention to large amounts of agricultural pollution from the nation's breadbasket that flows down the Mississippi River and fuels oxygen-depleting algae blooms in the Gulf.    This year, the message is hitting much closer to home, especially for those living near farmlands. A new  report  from the Environmental Working Group shows that the agricultural pollution ...
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Undocumented Workers Are The Backbone Of Dairies. Will Trump Change That? 6.10.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
"A cow does not take a day off."
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Why is anyone surprised that a chicken factory engages in questionable activity? 29.9.2017 TreeHugger
The entire industrial food system, after all, is built on cutting corners, from raising animals to consuming them.
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For farmers and working people, cancelling NAFTA could be the best way forward 20.9.2017 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Politics in Canada Have you ever wondered what would happen if you called the bully's bluff? As Liberal members of Parliament return to their seats in the House of Commons, they need to consider the sometimes-veiled opportunities that political bullying provides. Are you listening, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland? More than 20 years ago, I was someone who campaigned and organized against the passage of both the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). I was devastated, like many others, when both passed, first the FTA and then later NAFTA, enabled by the Liberals, and supported over the years by various shades of Conservatives. The results of almost 30 years of free trade have not borne fruit for workers, the environment or family farmers. Over the years the U.S. has placed one barrier in front of another, and Canada has spent incredible energy trying to defend some of the public systems that have created a bit of equality in this country. Whether it be ...
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For farmers and working people, cancelling NAFTA might be the best way forward 20.9.2017 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Politics in Canada Have you ever wondered what would happen if you called the bully's bluff? As Liberal members of Parliament return to their seats in the House of Commons, they need to consider the sometimes-veiled opportunities that political bullying provides. Are you listening, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland? More than 20 years ago, I was someone who campaigned and organized against the passage of both the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). I was devastated, like many others, when both passed, first the FTA and then later NAFTA, enabled by the Liberals, and supported over the years by various shades of Conservatives. The results of almost 30 years of free trade have not borne fruit for workers, the environment or family farmers. Over the years the U.S. has placed one barrier in front of another, and Canada has spent incredible energy trying to defend some of the public systems that have created a bit of equality in this country. Whether it be ...
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Texas Public School Districts May Now Store, Not Trash, Leftover Food 15.9.2017 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Texas schools can now create food pantries on campus where they can store donated food as well as surplus food from the cafeteria.
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The problem with Mason jars 12.9.2017 TreeHugger
And how to improve them.
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We Should Serve Kids Food in School, Not Shame 1.9.2017 Truthout.com
Students with unpaid meal debts have been experiencing some shaming policies at school. Access to food is a basic human need and should be considered a right -- regardless of income. The best way to combat meal debt shame in US public schools is to provide every student with free meals. Children eat breakfast at the federally-funded Head Start Program school on September 20, 2012 in Woodbourne, New York. (Photo: John Moore / Getty Images) For the past several years, reports have surfaced about the "shaming" of students for outstanding school meal debts. These students, often from low-income families, are being publicly humiliated because they have unpaid debt in their school meal accounts. Policies that shame students can include stamping on children's hands or arms, taking their food away and dumping it in the trash or giving them stigmatized cold, partial meals in lieu of the regular hot lunch. As an education researcher who studies food in schools, I believe it's our duty in schools to treat students ...
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How the Large-Scale Privatization of New Orleans' Schools Upholds Inequality 29.8.2017 Truthout - All Articles
Cafeteria workers in New Orleans are working to organize a union in order to negotiate for better wages and working conditions with Volunteers of America, a wealthy Christian ministry contracting with local elementary schools to provide meals to students. From left to right: Damita Hall, Pamela Bourgois, Quintessa Dampeer and Debra Slaughter. (Photo: Julie Dermansky) For the school cafeteria workers fighting for living wages and a union, the full-scale privatization of the New Orleans school system created a race to the bottom that robbed Black communities of good-paying jobs. For students and families, it created an academic race to the top that left disadvantaged students behind in a system based on markets and competition. Cafeteria workers in New Orleans are working to organize a union in order to negotiate for better wages and working conditions with Volunteers of America, a wealthy Christian ministry contracting with local elementary schools to provide meals to students. From left to right: Damita ...
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Trump's Proposed After-School Cuts Could Lead to More Hungry Kids, Lower Test Scores 21.8.2017 Truthout - All Articles
Greenville, Mississippi—In March, President Trump revealed his "skinny budget," a rough sketch of the nascent administration's fiscal priorities and objectives that included deep cuts to education and nutrition programs. Budget chief Mick Mulvaney defended the move. "[The programs] are supposed to help kids who don't get fed at home so they do better in school," Mulvaney said at a press conference on the day of the announcement . "Guess what? There's no demonstrable evidence they're actually doing that. There's no demonstrable evidence they're actually helping results, helping kids do better in school." In Greenville, Mississippi, a town on the Blues Highway in the Mississippi Delta where every public school student receives free breakfast and lunch, Joan Rowe, director of the local Boys and Girls Club, heard that comment and immediately thought: "They should come down here." Rowe and her colleagues across the Delta are watching with keen attention as the federal government aims to slash vital programs ...
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Study: For food-waste recycling, policy is key 18.8.2017 Environmental News Network
Food scraps. Okay, those aren’t the first words that come to mind when you think about the environment. But 22 percent of the municipal solid waste dropped into landfills or incincerators in the U.S. is, in fact, food that could be put to better use through composting and soil enrichment.Moreover, food-scrap recycling programs, while still relatively uncommon, are having a growth moment in the U.S.; they’ve roughly doubled in size since 2010. Now, a national study by MIT researchers provides one of the first in-depth looks at the characteristics of places that have adopted food recycling, revealing several new facts in the process.
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Farm-to-School Movement Fights for a Foothold in Corn Belt Cafeterias 18.8.2017 Truthout.com
As the movement for a local and ethical food system continues to gain traction, school food is slowly but surely becoming a focus in the fight for change.  School districts serve lunch to 30.4 million students a day through the USDA's National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The NSLP provides cash subsidies and USDA foods to enrolled schools, which in turn provide free and low-cost meals for qualifying students. In total, meals served through the NSLP amount to as many as 5 billion per year . Due to the program's scale and the influence of Big Ag interests, the lion's share of food served through the NSLP has typically been sourced from large-scale producers, transported from afar and heavily processed. The resulting meals are often less than nutritious. In 2009, the ground beef the USDA bought from five major meatpackers and distributed through the program failed to meet the quality standards of most fast food restaurants. But two initiatives, the farm-to-school movement and the Good Food Purchasing Policy ...
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A food policy for Canada -- show us the goods, please! 15.8.2017 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
You'll know from reading this column that I am rarely one to champion or cheerlead government initiatives. Call me jaded, call me skeptical, call me grouchy… Having been around the agricultural policy block a few times, I have all too often seen both previous federal Liberal and Conservative governments shaft family farmers and small-scale producers, and food consumers. I have seen governments miss opportunity after opportunity to encourage sustainable agriculture and healthy food practices, and instead continue to bow to the pressure of transnationals and corporations bent on making profits at the costs of the environment, health and community. The most recent example, of course, is the introduction of genetically modified (GM) salmon, unlabelled, into the Canadian market. How the heck did that happen? Despite the fact that more than 75 per cent of Canadians want labelling of GM products, GM salmon has been sold in Canada over the past year without consumers' knowledge . And last May the majority ...
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Mercury is altering gene expression 15.8.2017 Environmental News Network
The mercury found at very low concentrations in water is concentrated along the entire food chain, from algae via zooplankton to small fish and on to the largest fish — the ones we eat. Mercury causes severe and irreversible neurological disorders in people who have consumed highly contaminated fish. Whereas we know about the element’s extreme toxicity, what happens further down the food chain, all the way down to those microalgae that are the first level and the gateway for mercury? By employing molecular biology tools, a team of researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has addressed this question for the first time. The scientists measured the way mercury affects the gene expression of algae, even when its concentration in water is very low, comparable to European environmental protection standards. Find out more about the UNIGE research in Scientific Reports.
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The Future of the Low-Wage Worker Movement May Depend on an Unheralded New York City Law 9.8.2017 Truthout - All Articles
Fast food workers and Fast Food Justice board members. (Photo: WNV / Fast Food Justice) Flavia Cabral doesn't equivocate. She joined the fast food worker movement, she said, for a single reason: to put her daughter through college. Cabral, 53, of the Bronx, earned $7.25 per hour at McDonald's when she stood alongside coworkers in her first single-day strike four years ago. Over 10 strikes later, she makes $12 per hour, thanks to a statewide minimum wage hike that will gradually elevate her pay to $15 by the end of 2018. Still, her goal remains out of reach. "I don't have enough savings for my daughter to finish college," she said. "I want her to graduate." Cabral's predicament is emblematic of one facing the Fight for $15: how to move beyond its titular demand to address other barriers that are keeping fast food workers from a middle class life. These obstacles include insufficient hours, non-union workplaces and crippling expenses like housing, health insurance and college education. Fight for $15 won ...
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The Garden State cuts food waste for climate goals 31.7.2017 GreenBiz.com
New Jersey state laws mandating food waste reductions create business opportunities for recyclers, composters and others.
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Stage set for RBI policy panel to go for cut in repo rate 31.7.2017 Front Page – The Indian Express
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