Articles from November 2014



250,000 Farmworkers Protected from Deportation by Obama’s Executive Order

  The United States became a more food secure nation last night after President Obama issued an order that would prevent deportation of up to five million immigrant workers—including at least 250,000 who are toil in the fields to feed us. To borrow a slogan, if you eat, thank an undocumented worker. Approximately two thirds […]

If You Truly Care about the Plight of Farmworkers, You Must See this Film

  Click here to view the Food Chains trailer now  When I first traveled to the fields of Southwestern Florida in 2008 to research my book, Tomatoland, I came face-to-face with labor abuses that I thought had disappeared from the United States in the 1860s. Abject slavery was common. Four out of five women picking […]

Genetic Engineers Develop an Appetite for the Humble Spud

    Update: McDonald’s rejects GMO potato.   Late last week the United States Department of Agriculture gave its blessing for J. R. Simplot Co., a major supplier of frozen French fries to McDonald’s and other fast-food chains, to begin planting a genetically modified (GMO) potato that the Idaho-based company calls “Innate.” Although not the […]

Blunderdrug: Growth Booster for Beef Cattle Rears Its Controversial Head–Again

  I thought we’d seen the last of Zilmax, a chemical given to feedlot cattle to make them pack weight in the weeks leading up to slaughter. Merck Animal Health, which sold the drug, called it a “beef-improving technology.” Although the drug added 24 and 33 pounds to carcasses, it failed in the marketplace. Grocery […]

Fish Die in Droves after Iowa Hog Farm Pumps Manure into River

During my many trips to Iowa to research my forthcoming book, Pig Tales, I lost count of the number of times government officials, university professors, and owners of large hog operations assured me that the state enforced strict manure-management regulations to keep the soupy manure, which is usually applied to fields, out of waterways and […]

Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production. A Review

Take this quick quiz: Beef production is a key contributor to global warming. True or False. Overgrazing by cattle and other livestock causes soil erosion and desertification. True or False. Americans’ over-consumption of beef has played a big role in the obesity epidemic. True or False. I suspect that many conscientious eaters would answer each […]