Kernza’s arrival has been a long time coming. The new grain variety from the Land Institute is derived from an ancient form of intermediate wheatgrass, a perennial that is actually a distant relative of wheat. And there’s a widespread team of researchers hoping their work will pave the way for an entirely new form of food.
Catch up on this week’s food politics news with the stories that caught our eye:
The bird flu that has plagued the Midwest for months is finally waning, but an unexpected side effect is the rising cost of eggs–in some cases, prices have more than doubled since May. Meanwhile, Hampton Creek, maker of eggless mayo and cookie dough, has become the fastest-growing food company in the world partially thanks to the bird flu’s effects.
Ric Brewer got his first taste of snails by gate-crashing a high-school French club field trip to a French restaurant in Seattle. He ate the escargots on a dare but loved them — so much so that somehow, decades later, he found himself quitting his job, moving out to the Olympic Peninsula in coastal Washington, and investing everything he had to launch one of America’s only snail ranches.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a vegan who doesn’t own at least one of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s cookbooks. Her first, Vegan with a Vengeance: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock, came out 10 years ago, and since then, she’s written seven more. Her third book, Veganomicon!, is known by many as the vegan bible, and her blog, The Post Punk Kitchen, has been a resource for both novice and experienced cooks since 2003.
I’m all for the spirit of the trash fish movement: getting lesser-known species that were once discarded into the hands of skillful chefs who make them shine. I just don’t like the name.
Chefs Collaborative has been hosting Trash Fish Dinners around the county since 2013 and they’ve started a trend. I was recently invited to a dinner at a vineyard in my area by chef and restaurateur Gabriela Cámara from Mexico City. The publicist told me she would be cooking with “trash fish.” The term made me wince, but I wanted to see what she could do with our local fish, as she’s opening a seafood restaurant in San Francisco this summer.
As animal welfare expert Temple Grandin has described it, pregnant pigs housed in gestation crates spend their days living in the equivalent of an airline seat for humans.
They spend their back-to-back 3-month pregnancies in a metal stall no wider than their bodies, unable to walk, turn around, or have physical contact with other pigs.
Jon Bansen has been working on a dairy farm in Monmouth, Oregon alongside his father for nearly 30 years. When the farm switched to organic about 16 years ago, he started to pay more attention to their 650 acres of grass and forageland. Grazing has long been central to organic dairies, and since 2010 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has required that organic dairy cows spend at least 120 days out of the year eating grass on pasture, rather than grain-based feed.
Walmart announced yesterday that, beginning July 1, it will improve worker conditions by better regulating the temperature inside its stores, replacing Celine Dion’s greatest hits with a corporate DJ, and allowing associates to wear jeans to work. Walmart will also be bringing back the slogan: “Our people make the difference.”
Both the North Carolina House and Senate voted on Wednesday to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto of a bill that would make it illegal for employees of any business to enter unauthorized spaces or place unattended surveillance devices on the property. House Bill 405, which many are calling an “ag-gag” bill because of its implications for factory farm whistleblowing, will become law January 1, 2016.
According to a study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), organic agriculture earns farmers more–often significantly more–than conventional farming.