Are Hospital Farms the Next Big Thing in Healthcare Reform?

When it comes to improving the food on today's hospital trays, some medical institutions are finding that onsite farms are the next logical step.
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This summer, St. Luke’s Hospital started sending all new moms home from the hospital with a basket of fresh produce, recipes and literature about the importance of a healthy diet.

All of the produce in the basket was grown on an organic farm on the hospital’s Anderson campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The hospital—part of a six-campus network—has been running a farm on the 500-acre grounds since 2014. Read More

5 Things To Know About the ‘DARK Act’

The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 moving through the House of Representatives would have major implications on GMO labeling and crop production.
Shutterstock/Carlos Amarillo

Update: After we published this article, several House Democrats filed amendments, potentially disabling several key parts of the bill. What you see below refers to the bill’s original language. 

There are two names for H.R. 1599, the controversial Republican-backed bill concerning GMO labeling that is currently moving through the House of Representatives. Read More

This Catskills Camp Immerses City Kids in Self-Sufficiency and Salad

From goats, to chickens, to jam-making, the camp immerses kids in 100-acres of farm and food fun.
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This post originally appeared in Edible Manhattan.

For teenagers accustomed to the fauna of New York City—pigeons, rats, cockroaches—Roxie the goat is a game-changer.

Each summer, a group of 120 lucky high schoolers treks north to a place called Steve’s Camp at Horizon Farms in the Catskill Mountains to spend 12 days, fully funded by scholarships, with Roxie and a team of educators intent on building community and leadership through experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Read More

All the News That’s Fit to Eat: Pastured Poultry Week, Cheap Bacon, and Vanishing Zinc

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Here’s the food news you won’t want to miss this week:

GMO Labeling is at the Center of a Congressional Food Fight (Washington Post)

The House Ag Committee passed the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” (known by advocates as the Deny Americans the Right to Know–or DARK–Act). The bill would overturn existing state GMO labeling laws and stop state and local governments from regulating any process related to production of GMO crops. It will likely be voted on by the full House before the August recess.

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Goodbye Tipping, Hello Living Wage: The Changing Face of Progressive Restaurants

In cities like Oakland and Seattle, where the minimum wage is on the rise, restaurants are raising prices and rethinking tips as a way to level the playing field for workers.
The line at Homestead, a restaurant where prices have recently gone up to accommodate a new pay structure for cooks. Photo by Thomas Hawk, courtesy of Flickr/Creative Commons.

A new message appearing at the top of the menu at Camino, a high-end restaurant in Oakland, California, declares the end of an age-old American practice. “No more tips!” it reads. “Our prices now include service so we can pay our employees a living wage.” Read More

From Ketchup to California Cuisine: How the Mechanical Tomato Harvester Prompted Today’s Food Movement

California's sauce tomatoes are never harvested by hand. Meet the machine that changed an industry, practically overnight.
Photo courtesy of California Tomato Machinery.

When you think of California cuisine, do you imagine baby lettuces doused in olive oil, and carefully arranged on white plates?

If you’ve ever driven down the Highway 99 corridor, which cuts through California’s Central Valley, you might have a different sense of the state’s contributions to global food culture. Driving 99 any hour of the day or night, from July through September, you’ll likely have to swerve around trucks mounded impossibly high with tomatoes. You’ll pass acres and acres of dense, low tomato plants being harvested by machines that spit them out into trailers bound for a string of processing facilities that dot the valley. Read More

Organic Farmers and Whole Foods Reach Ceasefire Over ‘Responsibly Grown’ Ratings

After a public letter from farmers, the company has offered to reconsider the way its produce rating program responds to organic practices.
Photo courtesy of Whole Foods.

It is no stretch to say that Whole Foods Markets has been essential to the viability of thousands of organic farms. With over 400 locations around the U.S., no other national chain buys produce directly from more organic farmers, many of whom have been working with the company since its early days. Read More

Why Does Meat Have to be Manly?

Is the inclination to avoid meat on the part of many women a product of gender messaging? Is the move toward smaller portions of meat an inherently 'feminine' approach?
Photo: Best Photo Studio / Shutterstock.

This story originally appeared on Grist.

When I was little–7, 8 years old–I used to be able to put away a steak with a gusto that my father remains proud of to this day. He happily recounts a meal we had in snow-covered central Wisconsin: A table full of my WASPy relatives watched, awestruck, as a tiny girl quietly devoured a massive steak with minimal ceremony. For as long as I can remember, one of my most beloved father-daughter traditions has been steak frites night–just the two of us, eating towering plates of grilled red meat and fried potatoes. Read More

What it Takes to Make a Decent Living Raising Ethical Meat

With their new book, Rebecca Thistlethwaite and Jim Dunlop address the business side of pasture-based meat operations.
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When it comes to raising farm animals, Rebecca Thistlethwaite and Jim Dunlop have been swimming against the tide for years. The husband-and-wife team ran a pasture-based pork and chicken operation called TC Ranch on 20 rented acres in California for six years. Now, they’re raising animals and farming crops on five acres in the Columbia River Gorge, an hour and a half east of Portland, Oregon. They’ve seen the challenges of raising animals responsibly first hand, and they’ve also travelled the country interviewing small producers for Thistlethwaite’s first book, Farms with a Future. Read More

Climate Change Is Shrinking Bumblebee Habitats, New Study Warns

Assisted migration may be necessary to prevent extinction of some bumblebee species in Europe and North America.
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Warming temperatures are killing off bumblebee populations across North America and Europe at an unprecedented rate, according to a new study published in Science. The study says global warming is putting a squeeze on these critical pollinators by shrinking their habitat ranges in both North America and Europe. Read More