Remember Carole Morison from the documentary Food, Inc.? Back then she was a contract grower, which means that she raised chickens on her land but the chickens and their feed were owned by Perdue Farms, the third largest chicken processor in the U.S. That’s right: She didn’t even own the chickens, except for the dead ones.
Carole opened our eyes to the way that nearly 8.7 billion chickens are raised in this country. Tens of thousands of them are crammed into confinement and fed a steady stream of antibiotics to keep them alive. They’re bred to grow extra fast, which makes it hard for their bones and organs to keep up. The corpses build up quickly along with the manure inside the chicken houses, and growers like Carole are left to deal with both.
On average, contract growers invest about $220,000 for each poultry house, which pulls in about $8,900/year, if all goes according to plan. Read more
I’d like to introduce you to CC; he’s 19 years old and he’s a new friend of mine. About a month ago, my fiancé and I opened a little coffee shop in an old gas station in Santa Cruz, California. Our friend, Fran Grayson, came to us with a vision of collaborating on the idea and now she parks her food truck on-site. Together, we are The Truck Stop and Filling Station. We strive to promote good, honest, and quality food and drink. This is where CC comes in.
If you can’t beat ‘em…confuse them. That seems to be the new motto of our good friends at the Corn Refiners Association, the lobbying group and manufacturing association that represents makers of high-fructose corn syrup. The AP is reporting that the group has petitioned the FDA for permission to identify high-fructose corn syrup on food packaging as–wait for it–“corn sugar.”
After all, HFCS sales are at a 20-year low. More and more, science is indicating that the body metabolizes HFCS differently from table sugar in a way that increases the risk of diabetes, liver disease, and obesity. (Yes, we consume too many sweeteners of all kinds, but as I wrote in this recent post, there is evidence that this industrially extracted combination of fructose and glucose has more health consequences than the ones that humans have been consuming for far longer.) Read more
Folks across the country know something is wrong. There’s just something about the system we’ve created over several decades that is inherently flawed. Some blame the government, others big banks, still others blame political parties, but all agree that there’s something that’s just not quite working the way it should. People are losing homes, jobs, and health coverage at an alarming rate because of the societal turbulence in the enormous yet formless thing we call the economy.
Enter Change.org and their 10 Ideas for Change in America. Read more