Many parents have trouble accessing school food ingredient lists, and when they do, they’re often appalled by what they learn. They might expect to find chemical additives in snacks, such as Hot Cheetos, but it can be surprising to learn, as one parent who contacted me recently did, that a chicken sandwich entreé can contain upwards of 60 ingredients.
As pollination season in California’s orchards draws to a close, and thousands of beehives are being trucked back to the Midwest, honeybee health is at the forefront of many people’s minds. This spring, 1.6 million honeybees have been medicated, fed syrups, and put to work in the orchards across the state’s Central Valley (including 760,000 acres of almonds), a lucrative business for farmers and hedge funds alike.
Over the past two weeks, grocery stores in every region of the United States and Canada have been taking frozen organic spinach–and a host of products ranging from frozen dinners to spinach dip–off their shelves. All the spinach in question, which may have been contaminated with Listeria, comes from a single California-based vegetable processing company.
In the past four years, school meals in Detroit have been transformed. Gone are the chicken nuggets and sugary drinks. Now school cafeterias serve fresh fruit and mixed baby green salads, lean meat, low-fat milk, and whole grain breads. Better yet, some even serve produce from school gardens and local farmers.
Can a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription service help more small farms survive in today’s consolidated food landscape? In 2014, economic researcher Mark Paul conducted in-person interviews with 16 Massachusetts farmers for Ecotrust and E3 Network’s Future Economy Initiative. The area where Paul did the research, called the Pioneer Valley, was home to one of the first two CSA businesses in the United States, founded in 1986. Now, it’s the epicenter for a new wave of CSA activity and can shed valuable light on the industry as a whole.
It’s been a few big weeks for glyphosate, the world’s most commonly used herbicide. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced this week that it is considering new restrictions on the chemical, which is found in more than 700 products, but most commonly known as the key ingredient in Monsanto’s popular Roundup.
Why exactly should you care?
For a few weeks this March, New Yorkers lined up outside a trendy Greenwich Village restaurant for a chance to pay $15 a plate for food that most would consider garbage. The event in question was wastED, the innovative and ambitious dining project from chef and author Dan Barber, who transformed his restaurant, Blue Hill, into a pop-up aimed at showing the dining world how much could be done with scraps, leftovers, and industrial byproducts.
When you order a burger in a restaurant, chances are it’s comprised of several grades of ground beef that come from more than one animal raised in completely different locations.
And while more businesses are building brands around the fact that they serve local, pasture-raised, and grassfed burgers, it’s much less common to eat in a restaurant run by a family that raises its own cows.
When Stephen Satterfield moved to San Francisco in the summer of 2010, the restaurant industry veteran had the good fortune of landing a gig managing Nopa, one of the area’s hottest farm-to-table restaurant named for the recently rebranded, fast gentrifying neighborhood where it is located. At the time, the Georgia native had no idea that he’d play a role in connecting the restaurant to its surrounding community.
This is the story you’ll often hear about how humans discovered cheese: one hot day nine thousand years ago, a nomad was on his travels, and brought along some milk in an animal stomach—a sort of proto-thermos—to have something to drink at the end of the day. But when he arrived, he discovered that the rennet in the stomach lining had curdled the milk, creating the first cheese.