Articles from September 2010



Score One for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna–And for Consumer Outrage

Guido Rahr has the sort of gumption I wish I had. I reported a month ago that when Rahr saw endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna on the menu Sinju Restaurant in Portland, Ore., he spoke up. Rahr quietly asked the chef if he knew that the fish was nearly extinct and politely suggested that it should [...]

Aboard the Vegetable Express: Getting Fresh, Organic Produce to the Neighborhoods that Need them Most

“Vegetables for sale!” Hilary Martin hollered. “Sweet corn, watermelons, leeks, tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, carrots, rutabagas, herbs!” Last Wednesday, with storm clouds threatening, Martin cruised slowly down a side street in a 1988 GMC delivery truck. The aged vehicle served two decades in New York City with the United States Postal Service before she [...]

Why Free-Range Hens Might be Less Susceptible to Salmonella than Their Factory-Farmed Sisters: Results from the Great Egg Challenge of 2010

Yum, yum. I’ll vouch for that.             The results are in. Earlier this month I speculated that the root cause of the recent foodborne epidemics like the Salmonella outbreak was to be found in the very nature of large-scale, industrialized agriculture: vast cacophonous barracks reeking of fumes from ammonia and [...]

Consumers Union Blasts FDA over Pending Approval of GMO Salmon; What’s in a Name? With Sales in the Pits, Corn Refiners Petition FDA to Let Then Call High Fructose Corn Syrup “Corn Sugar”

Consumers Union to FDA: Say NO to GMO Salmon During the a series of hearings early this week, a committee advising the Food and Drug Administration will decide whether to give its blessing to Atlantic salmon genetically modified to grow twice as fast as non-GMO salmon. The fish, engineered by a Massachusetts company called AquaBounty [...]

Cloned Steer Wins Iowa State 4-H Competition–Is that Fair? USDA Thumbs Nose at Federal Judge and Allows GMO Beets to be Planted

  All’s Fair: Cloned Cow Wins Iowa 4-H Competition One of my favorite events at our rural county’s annual agricultural fair is when the youthful 4-H club members show their prized cattle. Well-scrubbed teenagers clad in white shoes, white pants, and white shirts proudly lead their well-groomed bovines into the arena where they are judged [...]

The Great Egg Challenge of 2010

Last week, a reader who goes by the name Ploughman issued a challenge to me. “You might want to have your small flock [of laying hens] tested just to see what strain(s) of salmonella they are carrying. You might be surprised,” he wrote. Ploughman, your challenge is accepted. I shipped six of my eggs to EMSL [...]

Newsbites: Seafood’s Dirty Dozen; Farm Life is Making American Women Sick; Sharing the Wealth: A New Management System is Good News For Pacific Ground Fish; FDA is Gung Ho to OK GM Salmon–Maybe it Ought to be Dealing with Other Matters First, Like Contaminated Eggs

Seafood’s Dirty Dozen Seafood guides tend to focus either on those species that should be avoided for reasons related to environmental health (overfishing) or those species should be avoided for reasons related to human health (their flesh is contaminated with chemicals). Food and Water Watch, an environmental group based in Washington, D. C., publishes a [...]

In a Misguided Effort to Weed out the Bad Eggs, the Food Safety Bill Punishes the Safest Farmers in the Country

It’s been nearly a month since the nationwide recall of 550 million eggs, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still hasn’t figured out where the salmonella that sickened 1,470 people originated.             Well, I know where it originated, and I am about to reveal it here, both to save the FDA further trouble and to [...]