Talking to pork purveyors about antibiotics, sow housing

Rural Issues copy

In his position as vice president of industry relations for the National Pork Producers Council, Dallas Hockman focuses on building relationships with pork producers, processors and allied industries. Those allied industries include the major food companies, grocery and restaurant chains, and other purveyors of pork products. Over the past few years, Hockman has been very busy… Read more »

Backers of Oregon’s GMO initiative concede defeat

Backers of an Oregon ballot measure to require labels on genetically modified foods have conceded defeat. The initiative lost in November by just 812 votes out of 1.5 million total votes. That triggered an automatic recount, which showed a net shift of 25 votes against the initiative. Proponents of the measure tried to prolong the… Read more »

Reducing food loss and waste

Rural Issues copy

It is estimated that one-third of all food produced around the world is lost to food waste.  That includes losses in the field during and after harvest as well as food that is thrown away by grocery stores and consumers. It’s a big issue in the discussion about how we’re going to feed a rapidly increasing global… Read more »

General Mills supports nationwide GMO labeling

Even though General Mills’ shareholders have rejected a proposal to eliminate genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from the company’s products, General Mills CEO Ken Powell says the company still supports nationwide GMO labeling. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Powell told shareholders this week that General Mills “strongly supports” a federal GMO labeling solution that “would… Read more »

More shoppers say they care about ‘animal welfare’

A spokesman for the organization that represents U.S. food retailers says more consumers are identifying “humane treatment of farm animals” as one of their food-buying concerns. “In looking at some of the (survey) data, we’ve found that it jumped about seven percent—so it’s a growing concern,” says David Fikes of the Food Marketing Institute. “Most… Read more »

Ag economist to speak at Iowa events

Oklahoma State University ag economist Jayson Lusk will be in Iowa July 8th and 9th to speak at two separate events. On the evening of the 8th, Lusk will address farmers and other agricultural stakeholders at an event on the Iowa State University campus. The next day he will deliver the keynote presentation at the… Read more »

Survey looks at consumer awareness, concern for food issues

Oklahoma State University ag economist Jayson Lusk coordinates a monthly Food Demand Survey of consumers across the U.S. In addition to questions about meat prices and overall buying habits, Lusk also asks consumers about food-related issues, measuring both “awareness” and “concern” on those issues. In a recent interview with Brownfield, Lusk discussed some of his… Read more »

GMO labeling debate continues

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) says it will file suit to overturn Vermont’s new GMO labeling law. GMA argues that the labels are not necessary, pointing out that the FDA, the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association all have said bioengineered ingredients are safe.  And the group says consumers who prefer to avoid… Read more »

Supermarket exec discusses GMOs, hormones, antibiotics

How do food retailers view current hot button food issues such as GMOs, hormones and antibiotics?  And what are they hearing from consumers? At a recent CommonGround event in Lincoln, Nebraska, we discussed those topics with Larry Elias, director of sales and merchandising with Lincoln-based B & R Stores.  B & R owns and operates… Read more »

Post will make Grape-Nuts ‘non-GMO’

Cereal manufacturer Post says it will begin producing a “Non-GMO Verified” version of its staple barley and wheat cereal, Grape-Nuts.  And the company indicates that efforts are underway to add more non-GMO verified products to the Post Foods product line. The move closely follows General Mills’ announcement that regular Cheerios will be made with non-GMO… Read more »