All the News That's Fit to Eat: Pastured Poultry Week, Cheap Bacon, and Vanishing Zinc | Civil Eats

All the News That’s Fit to Eat: Pastured Poultry Week, Cheap Bacon, and Vanishing Zinc

Here’s the food news you won’t want to miss this week:

GMO Labeling is at the Center of a Congressional Food Fight (Washington Post)

The House Ag Committee passed the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” (known by advocates as the Deny Americans the Right to Know–or DARK–Act). The bill would overturn existing state GMO labeling laws and stop state and local governments from regulating any process related to production of GMO crops. It will likely be voted on by the full House before the August recess.

Why President Obama and Congress Turned Their Backs on Food Safety (Politico)

The Food Safety Modernization Act, passed by Congress in 2010, required more inspections and stricter anti-contamination standards, and placed more emphasis on preventing outbreaks rather than on chasing them down after people become sick. But five years later, none of the rules have been implemented and very little of the money is in place to do so.

Millions More People Will Likely Suffer a Nutrient Deficiency by 2050—and You Can Blame our Carbon Emissions (Washington Post)

Wheat and other crops are expected to have lower zinc content under higher atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, leading to millions of nutrient deficiencies around the world. A zinc deficiency can increase the likelihood of death by all kinds of common diseases.

Washington Company Grinds Up Grocery Waste (KPBS News)

Two former Microsoft executives are turning food waste into organic fertilizer.

Does Agave Hold the Secret to Drought-Resistant Farming? (Scientific American)

The cactus behind tequila is teaching scientists about how to craft more drought-resistant plants.

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Another ‘Too Big to Fail’ System in G.M.O.s (The New York Times)

“The G.M.O. experiment, carried out in real time and with our entire food and ecological system as its laboratory, is perhaps the greatest case of human hubris ever,” write the authors, who compare the current food system to the financial system before the 2008 bailout.

The World Eats Cheap Bacon at the Expense of North Carolina’s Rural Poor (Quartz)

Americans can buy their pork for as little as $2.50 per pound, and it’s partly thanks to North Carolina’s Duplin County, the top hog producing county in the country, and one of the highest concentrations of  concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in the world. It is also one of the poorest counties in North Carolina, and it is the poorer rural communities of color that bear the effects of the county’s 2,100 manure-filled open lagoons. (See more on this topic in our recent interview with Barry Estabrook about his book, Pig Tails.)

Greenpeace Report Ranks Retailers on Efforts to Protect Oceans, Seafood Industry Workers (Greenpeace)

Greenpeace evaluates major U.S. retailers on the sustainability of their seafood, in four key areas: policy, initiatives, labeling and transparency, and Red List inventory.

Hey Yogurt-Maker, Where’d You Get Those Microbes? (NPR’s The Salt)

While traditional yogurt makers keep starter cultures smuggled in suitcases, and passed down for generations, not all is made the old-fashioned way. Today, bacteria from one company ferment 40 percent the yogurt sold in America.

How Corn Made its Way into Just About Everything we Eat (The Washington Post)

Today’s food system is complex.

Invest in nonprofit journalism that tells the whole story.

A comprehensive look at the history of corn in the United States and how it eventually made its way to the center of the American diet.

Chicken Farmers Make the Leap From Factory to Pasture (National Geographic)

Meet a family that made the transition from factory farming to a pasture-based system.


Krista Holobar is the former social media editor at Civil Eats. She has been interested in sustainable food since becoming a vegetarian in 2010. In her spare time, she is most often found at the farmers' market or in the kitchen. Read more >

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In DC, Organic Ag Gets a Funding Boost but Is Missing from the Climate Conversation

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore have a kick-off plenary discussion during the AIM for Climate Summit in Washington, D.C. on Monday, May 8, 2023. The Summit is an event “for the partners, by the partners” to raise ambition, build collaborations, and share knowledge on climate-smart agriculture and food systems innovation in the lead-up to COP28. AIM for Climate partners have shaped the Summit agenda through hosting high-level plenaries, breakout sessions, interactive exhibits, and site tours. (USDA photo by Tom Witham)