After months of protests, Governor Gavin Newsom this week signed a bill allowing farmworkers to vote by mail in union elections. Supporters say the law will make union voting easier.
October 10, 2014
We’re here to catch you up on the week’s news in food.
1. Chipotle is Now Supporting 100 School Gardens Across the U.S. (Fast Company)
Chipotle–which has partnered with Slow Food in the past–has pledged to donate nearly $500,000 to build new gardens and improve existing ones. They’re also dedicating a marketing team of 45 people across the country who will pull together school garden volunteers and co-ordinate activities.
2. Judge Tosses Suit by 6 States Over California Law on Eggs (San Francisco Chronicle)
The latest in a long series of lawsuits by egg producers looking to stall the humane egg rules going into effect in California this January has been tossed out. All eggs produced outside the California for sale inside the state will have to adhere to the same standards as the ones produced in-state. And while the Humane Society of the U.S. says those standards mean cage-free production, some egg producers are hoping to move to larger “enriched cages” instead. See our recent story, “What a Difference a Cage Makes” for more background on the battle.
3. Soda Industry Spends $7.7 Million to Defeat SF Sugar Tax—So Far (San Francisco Chronicle)
The rubber is hitting the road with less than a month left before San Franciscans will vote on whether to make their city the first to tax sugary beverages. In addition to paying high-priced lobbyists and PR firms, the American Beverage Industry has paid for polling, expensive commercials, billboard space, and ads space on just about every local radio and television station in the area. This is the second-highest amount ever spent to attempt to defeat a San Francisco ballot proposition.
4. In Virtual Mega-Drought, California Avoids Defeat (Los Angeles Times)
A computer model that looked at what would happen if California experiences mega drought for the next 72 years found that although most of the state would adapt, “irrigated farm acreage would plunge” and “aquatic ecosystems would suffer, with some struggling salmon runs fading out of existence.”
5. Meet San Diego’s ‘Aquacowboy’ and the Project That Could Transform American Seafood (Voice of San Diego)
If Don Kent, president and CEO of Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute, gets his way, the first large, offshore fish farm could appear off the coast of San Diego in the next 12-18 months. The project–which would be six football fields large–would start with half-a-million yellowtail the first year, with the ability to scale up to 10 million fish per year (5,000 metric tons) at full capacity.
6. GM Corn Ruined Sales to China, Classes Claim (Courthouse News Service)
Plaintiffs in Omaha, Nebraska, Sioux City, Iowa, and Springfield, Illinois are suing pesticide and seed producer Syngenta after China rejected U.S. corn shipments. The farms in question claim that Syngenta released a genetically altered variety before the crop was approved for export to China. As a result, say some plaintiffs, Syngenta “destroyed the export of U.S. corn to China and caused depressed prices for all domestic corn.”
7. The Secret of These New Veggie Burgers: Plant Blood (Wall Street Journal)
This new food ingredient “looks like blood, has a metallic taste, and is derived from a molecule found in hemoglobin.” Now it’s going into a veggie burger that could appeal to meat eaters. The founding company, Impossible Foods, has racked up $75 million in venture capital to bring the product to a wider audience.
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