The shame of food waste

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The hottest “emerging” political food issue is waste.  In food-rich America, depending on which organization or group you talk with, somewhere between 30-40% of all food – 34 million tons – is “wasted,” meaning crops so unharvested, surpluses are trashed, restaurant meals half-eaten and foods purchased for the home are prematurely tossed out.  Consumer and… Read more »

Organic “welfare,” competition and the “premium”

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There is a certain delicious irony in the warning from big organic egg producers that USDA’s latest attempt to layer philosophy over reality in its recent iteration of “animal welfare” standards for organic laying hens could put the big guys out of business. I admit I’m somewhat cynical about the organic side of food production. … Read more »

The arrogance of ignorance

Inside DC copy

This week all kinds of players have waded into the issue of antibiotic resistance and the use of antibiotics on farms and ranches, and unless I’m missing something, it’s tough to identify any one of these very loud voices as knowing much about antibiotic use in human medicine or agriculture. The latest noise comes from a… Read more »

Sue-and-settle stinks

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As the cherry blossoms begin to fade, their sweet scent is being replaced by the first whiffs of panic among the activist gang.  Industry lobbyists pick up on the odor first, like wild animals smelling feat in cornered prey.  The panic is engendered by a reading of the calendar – there are only eight months… Read more »

Common Sense Should be More Common

Inside DC copy

This week, USAToday carried an “issue insert” on food animal welfare (www.impactingourfuture.com).  Built by a company called Media Planet, the “insert” is what we used to call an “advertorial,” meaning a topic is chosen, articles are written by folks who care about the issue with no pretense of objectivity, and ads are sold to companies… Read more »

I forgot about Ag Day

Inside DC copy

So, what did you do to commemorate Agriculture Day this week?  What, no one told you March 15 was Ag Day?  Well, it wasn’t that bad for me.  I knew last Monday was Ag Day, but truth be told, I forgot. Maybe because the only thing I heard about it was an invitation to an… Read more »

“Truth” in GE Labeling

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The  legislative battle royal over the labeling of foods – whether for man or animal – containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients is getting sillier.  That’s a statement one would have been hard-pressed to make just a week ago.  I’ve got clients in this fight, so trust me I know silly when I see it. The… Read more »

Who pays for “guilt-free” production?

Inside DC copy

It’s no secret I believe the corporate food processing world is more concerned with being perceived as humane and sustainable than it is realistic about the economic consequences of its mad dash to ultimate “sustainability,” however that status is defined at the moment. Fearing negative publicity – and naively believing the propaganda activist groups tell them… Read more »

Hey, who’s minding the store?

Inside DC copy

Where is it written that legislative and executive branch responsibility is sacrificed on the altar of politics and party dominance?  Given the circus-like atmosphere of this year’s ostrich race among presidential wannabes and the attendant media feeding frenzy, I guess it should be no surprise that governing has given way to the battle over who… Read more »

You gotta love Iowa…

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National pollsters hate trying to handicap the Iowa caucuses – they almost always get the end result wrong – but you have to hand it to the folks in Iowa because their caucuses never fail to surprise.  The first-in-the-nation February 1 candidate confabs were no exception, boasting record turnout – an estimated 350,000 participated –… Read more »