Category Archives: Food. Sort of.

Have a Coke and a…uh…

80 Percent of Public Schools Have Contracts With Coke or Pepsi, says Mother Jones.

Even if you don’t consider the other contents, check out how much sugar‘s in those drinks — which makes this kind of corporate double-speak, yes?

Scientist and philosopher Vandana Shiva on genetically-modified seeds

You can read more here.

And thanks, DickG., for the link.

What if instead of planting flowers, cities planted vegetables?

And then people who needed to could take those veggies for free?

Hartford’s Charter Oak Cultural Center‘s doing just that. The brainchild of 21-year old center intern, Ethan Burke, the idea is to fill planters with growing vegetables, train people to care for them, and then offer the veggies to people who need them. The program, BOTS Pots (named after Hartford’s street newspaper, Beat of the Street, another center project), will launch this Friday, and doesn’t this just make sense?

The first plantings are sponsored by First Church of Christ (also known as Center Church), in downtown Hartford. Charter Oak’s executive director, Rabbi Donna Berman, said:

As a result of limited food choices, it is often the case that Charter Oak’s neighbors are left with less healthy foods to eat. This has influenced the rise of obesity and diabetes in the neighborhoods. That’s why a program like BOTS pots is so important.

If you want to help this worthy project, adopting a pot costs $300, but you can send any amount to: Charter Oak Cultural Center, 21 Charter Oak Ave., Hartford, CT 06105, and put BOTS Pots in the FOR: line on your checks.

And soon? Your corn will be eating you!

Something called a “Monsanto rider” (after the agribusiness behemoth) in this year’s Farm Bill would — well, let’s let Alexis Baden-Mayer of Truthout say it. The rider would:

require – the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.

And thanks, DickG., for the link.


Michael Pollan’s Food Rules!

Put the Doritos back on the shelf

Americans spend twice as much of our budgets on processed food as we did 30 years ago.

From Grist and NPR.

If Mayor Michael Bloomberg is being scolded for being a nanny…

…is his suggestion to ban of large sugary soft drinks in New York City really so bad in light of the rise of diabetes among young people?

Or is it more “You can have my Big Gulp when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers?”

Meanwhile, a former soda executive breaks with his past.

And thanks, DickG., for the links.

And while you’re enjoying your leftovers:

You can read more here.

That clown is everywhere

Here’s how hard it is to escape Ronald McDonald.

Need v. greed

While the Super Committee discusses how to lower the federal budget by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, a new report “Food Choices: Families or Corporations” from the Praxis Project and the Alliance for a Just Society, shows just what role the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s family nutrition programs (like SNAP, the former food stamp program) play in feeding 16 percent of America — or 48.8 million people.

That makes the Farm Bill – the main policy tool for the government when it comes to food — even more precious.

The report also covers the $95 billion in federal subsidies and contracts the federal government gives to Big Agriculture. Some highlights are:

Riceland Foods, Inc., a transnational corporation with revenues of $1.3 billion in 2009,
received $554 million in subsidies in 1995-2010.

In 2005, Tyson Foods, the largest meat producer in the U.S. with revenues of $26 billion,
received $46 million in USDA commodity contracts.

Smithfield Foods, the fourth-largest meat producer, with $11 billion in revenues, received
$18.2 million in contracts.

The report, along with a petition you can sign here, will be delivered to the Super Committee prior to its Nov. 23 deadline for making recommendations.