Just Because Your Chicken Is Organic Doesn’t Mean It Was Raised Humanely

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Do you ever wonder why so much organic food also carries animal welfare labels?

The short answer is that while the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) organic standards are very precise about pesticides and other growing practices for the crops people and animals eat, it doesn’t include very many specific instructions about the way the animals themselves are raised. Read More

Gastropod: Why Does Grape Candy Taste So Fake? [Audio]

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Throughout human history, if you wanted to make a dish taste like strawberry, you had no choice but to add a strawberry. But in the 19th century, scientists began to understand how to synthesize flavor chemicals, whether from plants or from byproducts of coal processing, to evoke familiar flavors. While the technology to evaluate the flavor molecules of a particular food have become increasingly sophisticated in the past century, the basic concept of synthetic flavor has remained unchanged. Until now. In this episode of Gastropod, molecular biologists explain how they’re designing yeasts to ferment the tastes of the future. Read More

The Power of Selection: A Plant Breeder For the People

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When I moved to Portland four years ago and began frequenting the farmers’ market, it didn’t take me long to become obsessed with Gathering Together Farm’s vegetables. The farm’s stand drew me in with its bounty and its kaleidoscope of color: crisp peppers in green, red, yellow, and purple; fragrant bundles of fresh basil; and singular specimens that I’d never seen before, like watermelon radish and delicata “zeppelin” squash. Read More

4 Things You Should Know About the Paleo Diet

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The Paleo diet has been promoted as the optimal diet, offering the eater a plethora of benefits including weight loss, disease prevention, and improved health. It is designed to mimic what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate and includes grass-fed meats, nuts, seeds, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and some oils. Foods to avoid on the diet include all grains, cereals, dairy, beans, and potatoes, as well as processed foods, sugar, salt, and refined oils. Read More

Organic Food Companies Collaborate to Increase Grain Supply

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Sales of organic food are exploding. In 2013, Americans spent $35 billion on organic foods, a 12 percent increase over 2012. Organic food sales in 2014, which haven’t been compiled yet, will likely top that number.

Major retail chains such as Kroger, Target, and Wal-Mart are making major commitments to sell more organic food. General Mills plans to double its organic product sales in the next five years. Even McDonald’s plans to serve organic items in its restaurants. Read More

The Color of Food: Building Autonomy as African American Farmers

Renard Turner

This is the first in a series of four excerpt from The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience, and Farming. Read more about the book and the author, Natasha Bowens.

Renard “Azibo” Turner is a compact bundle of energy as he swiftly moves from one part of his 94-acre farm to the other. He is a machine, a methodical man who starts each day with just five hours of sleep and a cup of coffee and doesn’t stop working until supper.  Read More