March 10, 2014
Child of a migratory farm laborer, cabbage crop, Texas, 1942
President Obama and the leadership of the U.S. House and Senate have all declared that reform of the United States’ unfair and broken immigration system is on their respective agendas for this year. While Speaker John Boehner and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have backtracked somewhat recently, the interest in reforming the current fiasco is there.
It has been estimated by Farmworker Justice that there are 4.5 million farm workers and family members in the United States, and that up to 75 percent of them are undocumented. Read More >
March 7, 2014
Increase inspection line speeds? Help FWW say No.
Praise for TEDx. We congratulate our colleagues Peggy Neu of the Meatless Monday campaign and Andrew Gunther of Animal Welfare Approved for their stand-out talks at TEDx Manhattan. Well done!
Bye-bye, bivalves. In aquaculture news, increasing acidification in oceans has begun to wreak havoc with a sustainable seafood option. According to this story in the Vancouver Sun, “human-caused carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere are being absorbed by the ocean and may have pushed local waters through a ‘tipping point’ of acidity beyond which shellfish cannot survive.” CLF’s Jillian Fry says that “farmed bivalves, like clams, oysters, and scallops, are a very sustainable seafood option, but ocean acidification is affecting this food production method.” One company in British Columbia has lost 10 million scallops in three years and laid off a significant portion of their staff. Read More >
March 6, 2014
Reading journalist Heather Tirado Gilligan’s recently published article, “Food Deserts Aren’t the Problem: Getting fresh fruits and vegetables doesn’t make poor people healthier,” in Slate was an exercise in frustration. The author argues that a recent study published in Health Affairs demonstrates the essential failure of supermarket redevelopment policies to improve health in low-income “food desert” neighborhoods. In Ms. Gilligan’s article, you can find the typical errors Read More >
March 4, 2014
This is the first in a series of posts about food waste.
This year, Bloomberg School students, faculty, and staff will have one more reason to think before they toss. At the School, 3,000 small composting bins will begin to appear underneath office desks as trash cans start to become sparser. Department by department, Environmental Services Operations will introduce a new desk-side composting initiative, making composting as accessible as recycling. Read More >
March 4, 2014
Ask a child to explain the “three Rs.” Will they tell you about reading, ’riting, and ’rithmetic? Not likely. This generation of American schoolchildren are much more deft with “reduce, reuse, recycle.”
CLF researcher Roni Neff, who heads up the Food System Sustainability and Public Health program, is spending a lot of time focusing on food waste—and what we can do about it. One of the points that Neff hopes to make clear to a wide audience is that while reusing and recycling are important, we should be focusing most wholeheartedly on the “reduce” part of that mantra. Composting and recycling are great, but by the time food is headed for the landfill or compost bin Read More >
February 28, 2014
New labels by FDA. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to update the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect new public health and scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The proposed label would also update out-of-date serving size requirements to better align with how much people really eat; for example, a can of soup might be labeled as one serving instead of the current 2.5. The new labels will require information about added sugars, as well as about potassium and vitamin D. This new labeling system should be a big improvement in communicating to consumers what they’re actually eating, and it’s been a long time coming. There’s no doubt, however, that corporations will fight it; when consumers realize how much fat, sugar, and sodium they’re actually Read More >
February 20, 2014
A new report released last month by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Friends of the Earth Europe fell under the radar for many of us here in the U.S. However, that shouldn’t keep you from checking out this comprehensive guide to the global meat system and its effects.
Besides covering many of the issues we focus on here at the CLF – antibiotic resistance, negative impacts of industrial meat and dairy production, greenhouse gas contributions from our diets, and growing trends towards “flexitarianism” and ethical dietary choices – the report also presents many lesser-known issues to consider as part of the global animal production and consumption system. These include gender equality in livestock production, impacts of new trade agreement proposals, prospects for insect protein alternatives, urban livestock production, diminishing biodiversity of animal breeds, and more. Read More >
February 19, 2014
“If I believed that God loves all Creation and desires that all Creation flourish free from oppression, then my faith required me to change my eating habits.” —Pastor Christopher Carter, First UMC, Compton, Calif.
Places of religion have always been places that offer something different from societal norms—morals, ethics, and hospitalities that may be distinct from whatever seems “normal.” Some religious institutions have readily embraced their distinctions. In Nazi Germany, for example, Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer of the Confessing Church actively resisted the Nazi regime, while Rabbi Abraham Heschel joined arms with Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. to oppose Alabama law and culture by marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma’s protest for civil rights. Read More >
February 17, 2014
I read the headline “It takes more than a produce aisle to refresh a food desert” with part amusement and part exhaustion. I knew there would be an onslaught of articles bemoaning the wasted resources being spent on financing food retail in underserved neighborhoods.
Then I read the news story that followed the headline, and I also read the original scholarly article that provided fodder for the article. I encourage anyone who reads a provocative Read More >
February 14, 2014
Olympics and climate change. This USA Today story tells us about the group of Olympians, led by Americans, who are speaking out to fight climate change. Apparently, some unwelcome balmy weather has created slush in Sochi. According to the story, the athletes are “asking countries to reduce heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions, embrace ‘clean energy’ and prepare for a global agreement at the United Nations’ climate convention in Paris next year.” The half-pipe snowboarders have been especially impacted by the poor snow conditions. Sadly, slush in Sochi and extreme weather events with heavy snow along the Atlantic seaboard here at home appear unlikely to diminish the Read More >