Food News

Obesity Epidemic Spreading to Dogs

Jane K. Brody’s Personal Health column in the New York Times recently spotlighted the news that nearly half the dogs veterinarians see are overweight or obese in That Furry Friend May Need to Be on a Diet (2/5/19). Why is this? Michael Pollan in his Food Rules, an Eater’s Manual, now available in paperback, provides […]

Almonds or Walnuts: One Nut More Nutritious Than Another?

Invaluable foods since the dawn of time is the sentence that leads off the chapter on Nuts in Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Food Plants, published in 2008 by the National Geographic Society. We noted in our book review posted seven years ago, that this nearly 400 page illustrated guide is a worthy […]

Annual Fast-Food Scorecards Show Progress By Some Chains On Sourcing Meat From Suppliers Not Using Antibiotics

Back in 2017, we reported on the launching of a Consumer Voices Survey by Consumer Reports to determine its priorities for uncovering “what consumers need to know to make smarter choices in their daily life.” The praiseworthy non-profit organization, which does not accept paid advertising, does not accept test samples from manufacturers and maintains its […]

A Most Perfect Union: Vermont’s Sterling College Offering Future Farmers Tuition-Free College Education in Wendell Berry’s Henry County, Kentucky

The Wendell Berry Farming Program  of Vermont’s Sterling College (ranked #1 for food and dining three years in a row in Sierra’s Cool Schools rankings) based at The Berry Center in New Castle (Henry County), Kentucky, has received a $2.5 million grant from The NoVo Foundation, which shares the farming program’s vision of educating a next […]

Happy New Year and ONWARD in 2019 With Great News On Connecting Farmland & Next Generation Farmers

Reckoning with the calendar becoming 2019, this Class of 1972 college graduate thought it was clever to e-mail some greetings for the new year with “Best wishes for 2019, Ouch!” A good and intelligent friend set me straight on that superficial wit. He wrote: NOT Ouch, but Onward! And Onward! it is for in 2019 and our mission […]

Marketing Campaigns By Coca Cola & Jamba Juice Challenged In Court By Center For Science In The Public Interest

Dr. Peter G. Lurie, the president of the Center For Science In The Public Interest (CSPI), summarized (in a year-end appeal for member support), the three immutable principles guiding the organization’s work: (i) People deserve honest, reliable nutritional information about the food they eat; (2) Our government must protect its citizens from dishonest marketing practices (emphasis added), dangerous […]

The Carrot Project Grows the Local Farm Economy

The Carrot Project views as clients the farmers and businesses it works with directly. For over ten years, it has helped to build the financial management skills of its clients, and it takes pride in its 2017 Outcomes: 72 clients (whose service ended in the year) averaged an increase in net income of $28,500, 1767 farmland acres […]

Large Study Of 70,000 Adults Suggests Organic Food Diet Reduces Risk of Lymphomas & Breast Cancer

A study recently published in JAMA (the peer-reviewed medical Journal of the American Medical Association), Association of Frequency of Organic Food Consumption With Cancer Risk (10/22/18), suggests that a higher frequency of organic food consumption was associated with a reduced risk of cancer. Although organic foods are less likely to contain pesticide residues than conventional foods, […]

Scaling Up Means Closing Down Farmstead Creamery’s Pastoral Operation

Flocks of sheep at pasture in the idyllic landscape along Shaker Museum Road in Old Chatham, in the northern reaches of Columbia County in the Hudson Valley of upstate New York, have become a mere memory. In early September, 2017, this advocate for farmstead yogurt and cheese makers (who recommends scanning our yogurt and cheese […]

“Community Orcharding” Network Helps Guide Consumers to Organic & Local Apples

For five years in a row, from 2011 to 2015, apples were Number One on the dirty dozen list of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables to avoid compiled by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). But in 2016, strawberries displaced apples as the Number One conventionally grown fruit and vegetable to avoid. And in 2017 and again […]

Five Children’s Books Honored As Best On Gardening, Nature and the Environment in 2018

Created by the American Horticultural Society (AHS) and the Junior Master Gardener Program (JMG program), the Growing Good Kids- Excellence in Children’s Literature Awards honor the best new children’s books about gardening, nature and the environment. These national awards for children’s literature began in 2005 when the AHS and the JMG program recognized 40 books for children as […]

Food Tank’s Summit in NYC Questions Why 1/3rd Of The Global Harvest Never Reaches Peoples’ Stomachs

There wasn’t an empty seat in the 500-seat Tishman Auditorium at the New York University Law School’s Vanderbilt Hall for Food Tank’s Second Annual New York City Summit, Focusing On Food Loss And Food Waste. This Food Tank summit in the urban metropolis was the second day long gathering of diverse speakers in interactive panels […]

60 Artists Raise Funds to Protect Family Farms in the Northern Reaches of the Hudson River Valley

For 28 years the Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA) has worked to accomplish its praiseworthy mission: to protect the farms, rich soils and agricultural landscape in Washington and Rensselaer counties in upstate New York’s northern Hudson River Valley. In that time the organization has managed to conserve 125 farms and 20,042 acres. And for the last […]

Vermont’s Sterling College Again Ranked #1 for Food in Sierra’s Cool Schools 2018 Rankings

Participation in Sierra’s 12th annual Cool Schools ranking was open to all four-year undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and for the first time, two-year community colleges were eligible to participate. Sierra received 269 complete responses from qualified colleges- a record response rate. Sierra ranks schools on sustainability to serve as a […]

Not Just Books, Rural Public Library System Shares Locally Grown Fresh Veggies & Fruit

The Southern Adirondack Library System (SALS) is a consortium of 34 public libraries in Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties in upstate New York. SALS is governed by a Board of Trustees, composed of three representatives from each of these four upstate counties elected by the trustees of the 34 member libraries. (Member libraries are […]

Live Webcast of Sold-out Farm Aid 2018 Concert at Hartford, CT Amphitheater on September 22nd

Tickets for the Farm Aid 2018 concert sold out on the first day of sales in only four hours, a couple of months before the concert is to be held on September 22 at XFINITY Theater in Hartford, Connecticut. “We’re honored that Connecticut has embraced Farm Aid in this way,” said Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid. The […]

Nature’s Path, Business Winner of Rodale’s 2018 Organic Pioneer Award, Resigns In Protest From The Organic Trade Association

Last month, we reported on the Rodale Institute’s Organic Pioneer Awards for 2018 honoring peach farmer Mas Masumoto, research scientist William Liebhardt, and North America’s largest organic breakfast company, Nature’s Path. This business, founded by Arran and Ratana Stephens and still family-owned, has recently announced its resignation from the Organic Trade Association (OTA). According to […]

It’s Time To Know About the World’s Tiniest Grain: Teff

Acres magazine is published monthly by Acres U.S.A., which was established back in 1971. This monthly magazine, known as the Voice of Eco-Agriculture, carries these pithy words of its founder Charles Walters (1926-2009) on its masthead: To be economical, agriculture must be ecological. For more than four decades, the magazine has sought to help farmers, ranchers […]

List Of Fast Food Frankenstein Concoctions Unfairly Includes A Cheese Dip From Chipotle?

It was big news for the Capital District of New York when Chipotle Mexican Grill decided to open its first upstate New York fast food operation in the Albany metro area, now nearly ten years ago. The All Over Albany blog post publicizing this news back in 2009 noted that Chipotle’s food is good –and […]

Peach Farmer David Mas Masumoto Receives Organic Pioneer Award From Rodale Institute

The Rodale Institute’s Organic Pioneer Awards honor a (1) farmer, (2) research scientist, and (3) business who are leading the good food movement towards an organic planet. This year a third-generation farmer, David Mas Masumoto who grows organic peaches, nectarines and grapes for raisins on the 80-acre Masumoto Family Farm, south of Fresno, California, received […]

Heifer International Incubated a CSA Program, Now Expanding In Arkansas, Which Moved Up Ten Spots On The 2018 Locavore Index

Last week, we reported on the results of the seventh annual Locavore Index compiled by the Vermont-based local food advocacy organization Strolling of the Heifers. A map of the United States, picturing the results, uses dark green to designate the top ten and brown to designate the bottom ten. The state of Arkansas (population 3,004,279) […]

#1 Green State in U.S. Reaching Out For New Residents

The enviably green, eco-conscious New England state of Vermont (population, 623,657) has been promoting Stay to Stay Weekends, defined by its tourism office as three-day lodging and networking packages for visitors interested in becoming Vermonters. Future weekends include one in mid-summer, August 10-13 and one in the fall, October 19-22. The purpose is to connect guests to […]

A 2.5 Acre Heritage Farm Grows In NYC: Producing 45 Tons of Produce In Past 6 Seasons & Growing Community Spirit

This spring. farmer Jon Wilson’s plan to plant 500 tomato seedlings was delayed by the heat of a day in mid-May that felt summer-like. The planting by a team of four farmers (two full time, two part-time) would have to wait until the cooler evening. Farmer Wilson’s favorite tomato of the 36 varieties that would […]

3 Cheers for Woodberry Kitchen’s Spike Gjerde & His Canned Maryland Tomatoes: Know Where Your Tomatoes Come From

The website for the farm to table restaurant Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, Maryland includes this impressive representation at its About Us tab: All of the food on our menu was sourced directly from a local farmer or waterman. All of our spirits are from the US and their materials are thoughtfully sourced. All of our […]

Rating Fruits & Veggies for Pesticide Residues: EWG’s Dirty Dozen for 2018

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) over the past couple of decades has issued an annual list of fruits and vegetables with high pesticide loads that should be avoided if at all possible. The non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment recommends that fruits and vegetables included in its Dirty Dozen rankings should be purchased […]

Bananas Superior To Sports Drinks In Aiding Athletes’ Recovery From Intense Workouts

Last month, we reported on the apparent superiority of fermented foods over manufactured probiotic pills. Now a recent study, reporting on an experiment carried out at the Human Performance Lab, located on the North Carolina Research Center in Kannapolis (Charlotte metro area) of Appalachian State University, confirms that a gift of nature, the banana, is a healthy […]

Pineapples Growing In Providence, R.I., An Unlikely Reminder That 99.9% Grown In Other Countries

Reporter David Karp in his recent article in the New York Times, Our New Global Garden (3/14/18), cites statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A) Economic Research Service, which demonstrate the steady rise in the import of fruits and vegetables grown in other countries. The latest information from the U.S.D.A. shows that from […]

Citizen Lawsuit Moving Forward Against Industrial Chicken Processing Facility Producing 2.4 Million Gallons of Daily Waste

The declaration by Scott Pruitt, who now leads the federal Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.), of a new day, and a new future for the agency, worries Americans concerned about the rollback of policies aimed at protecting the environment as well as health-protective rules. The rollback has happened fast: as of early 2018, 67 environmental rules are […]

B.U. Undergrads Demonstrate Potential Superiority of Fermented Foods Over Probiotic Pills

Late last year, in our book review of Tara Whitsitt’s Fermentation on Wheels, we noted that a daily dose of something fermented, like delicious sauerkraut, dill pickles or sourdough pancakes, will help get and keep a healthy gut-biome going. And earlier this month, in our review of The Hidden Half Of Nature, The Microbial Roots […]

2018 Maple Sugaring Season Underway & Massachusetts Proclaims March as Maple Month in the Bay State

We love maple syrup. And often rely on advice from Katie Webster, who in her cookbook, Maple- 100 sweet and savory recipes featuring pure maple syrup, recommends that if a recipe calls for 1 cup of white sugar, use 3/4 cup of maple syrup while also decreasing other liquids called for in a recipe by about 3 tablespoons per […]

Urge To Garden Springing to Life As March Rolls Into Upstate NY, Even If Like A Lion, Time To Plan A Garden

With the winter’s snow pack in the Capital District of upstate New York now a memory (and any future inches of whiteness sure to melt quickly), the concise summing up by Liz Cardinal (who is a Teaching Garden Coordinator for Sustainable Food Center in Austin, Texas) of the Seven Reasons You Should Be Gardening deserves attention up […]

World’s Strictest Controls Over Marketing Of Industrial Food Potentially At Risk In Chile’s War On Obesity Epidemic

Reporter Andrew Jacobs in his front page story in the New York Times (Waging a Sweeping War of Obesity, Chile Slays Tony the Tiger, 2/8/18), notes that Chile’s former president, Sebastian Piñera, returns to political leadership of the South American nation next month and that back in 2011, he vetoed the first proposed food law that […]

Marketing Pizazz Needed To Get College Students To Eat Veggies

The recent hullabaloo over the airing of ads during Super Bowl LII brought to mind a study published last summer in JAMA Internal Medicine (the peer-reviewed medical journal of the American Medical Association) where researchers watched nearly 30,000 customers over 46 days in a college cafeteria select various vegetables and determined that touting health claims is […]

Health Benefits With Hot Tea, But Know Where Your Tea Comes From

Researchers, who analyzed results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States, which combines interviews and physical examination), have found that daily consumption of hot tea “had a 74% decreased odds of having glaucoma compared […]

Smart Chicken’s Industrial Scale Poultry Operations Muddies The Meaning of Organic For Food Co-op Consumers

We have long admired and supported the Cornucopia Institute, which advocates for sustainable and organic agriculture. The non-profit organization’s research and investigations on agricultural and food issues provides needed information and guidance to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement. Backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food, the Cornucopia Institute has demonstrated […]

Sharing Recipes Using Real Food From Farmers Markets Or CSA Farms to Build Community

As 2017 winds down, we’re nearing the 8th anniversary of this website and we remain hopeful that more of our users and readers in the new year will take the step (1) to participate in  a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm or (2) commit to shopping for their food at a farmers market with the […]

Consumer Reports Signs Off On Superiority of 100% Grass-Fed Meat & Dairy

Consumer Reports describes itself as the world’s largest independent, nonprofit, consumer-product-testing organization. It maintains integrity by paying for all the products it rates, not accepting paid advertising, and not accepting test samples from manufacturers. Consumer Reports also does not allow its name or content to be used for any promotional purposes. The November 2017 Eat […]

21st Century Gleaning of Farm Crops Providing Food Security For People In Need

Three cheers for the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at Vermont Law School which has implemented the National Gleaning Project (NGP) with funding from the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Library (USDA-NAL). The mission of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems is to train the next generation of food and agriculture […]

Paul McCartney Voices Support for Meatless Mondays In Advance of UN’s Climate Change Conference (COP 23)

We’ve long admired Michael Pollan’s Food Rules and its central message: Eat Food, Mostly Plants, Not Too Much, and a Meatless Monday is a simple step to take to follow Pollan’s advice. Prior to the start of COP23, the gathering of 23 countries for the United Nations’ annual Climate Change Conference, Paul McCartney, a long […]

Nearly 90% of Coffee Growing Land in Latin America Threatened by Global Warming

A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS), one of the world’s most cited and comprehensive multidisciplinary scientific journals, with more than 3,100 research papers published annually, suggests that due to climate change and because coffee production is dependent on bee pollination, by 2050 there will […]

Better for the Land, Water & Air: Advocates for Grass-Based Grazing Gather in Upstate NY

Corn is the dietary staple of most cattle because it’s an inexpensive feed that fattens the animals quickly – but that comes at the expense of the cow’s own health. Grassfed cows are healthier and the meat and milk that comes from them is better for humans. And the cycle of grass-based grazing is better […]

Increasing Risk: Imported Non-Organic Products May Be Labeled As Organic

Twenty-seven years ago, part of the 1990 Farm Bill, known as the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), required the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish national standards governing the marketing of agricultural products as “organically produced products.” In response, the USDA established the National Organic Program (NOP) as a regulatory program within […]

Upending Traditional Diets of Real Food While Processed Food & Obesity Spreads Worldwide

After the examination by The New York Times of epidemiological studies, government reports, corporate records of multinational big food companies and interviews of scores of nutritionists and health experts around the world, reporters Andrew Jacobs and Matt Richtel’s front page story, How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food  (NY Times, 9/17/17), part of […]

Three Cheers For NOFA-New Hampshire’s Program to Subsidize CSA Farm Shares for Limited Income Folks

The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) is an affiliation of seven state chapters in the northeast United States: New York, New Jersey and five of the six New England States, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire. Each of the seven state chapters provides educational conferences, workshops, farm tours and printed materials to educate farmers, […]

Ever Important & Simple Advice: Be Wary of Marketing Claims

Last month, we reported on the Organic Consumers Association’s campaign to challenge the use of the words natural and socially responsible to market ice-cream by Ben & Jerry’s, now a subsidiary of Unilever, the world’s largest consumer goods company. A marketing matter on a much smaller scale has been of personal concern to this reporter […]

227 Universities & Colleges Participate in Sierra’s Cool Schools 2017 Rankings & Two Schools Tie for #1 for Food: Sterling College & Univ. of Winnipeg

Two schools, Vermont’s Sterling College and the University of Winnipeg tied for #1 in scoring 44.00 out of a possible score of 51.00 in Sierra Magazine’s Cool Schools 2017 ranking in the food category to lead the list of 227 four-year, degree-granting undergraduate colleges and universities in North America which participated. All deserve praise for […]

Labeling Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream “Natural” Provokes the Organic Consumers Association

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) contends that “the proliferation of $90 billion worth of fraudulently labeled or advertised natural and socially responsible food products in the U.S. confuses even the most well-intentioned of consumers and lures them away from purchasing genuine organic or grass-fed products.” Taking special aim at Ben & Jerry’s, now a subsidiary of Unilever, […]

Live Webcast Available of Next Month’s Sold-Out 2017 Farm Aid Concert Near Pittsburgh

Tickets for the Farm Aid 2017 concert sold out on the first day of sales, nearly three months before next month’s concert to be held on September 16 at Burgettstown Keybank Pavilion (formerly known as First Niagara Pavilion and originally Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheater) near Pittsburgh. The open-air pavilion will host over 23,000 fans (7,100 […]

Scientific Research Supports Eating More Yogurt

The results of an observational study of 4,310 Irish adults 60 and older (whose lead author, Eamon J. Laird, is a research fellow at Trinity College Dublin) have shown that greater yogurt consumption is associated with increased bone mineral density and physical function in older adults. The study is summarized in a short abstract published […]

American Obesity Problem Spreading World-wide

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a new study on the Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity in 195 Countries over 25 Years (6/12/17), based on a Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD), a collaboration of over 2,300 researchers in 133 countries (of late). A global research program, the GBD assesses mortality and disability from 300-plus […]

Ensuring A Drinkable Glass of Water With Your Next Meal

To any list of “what makes life worth living,” we recently opined that clean food, clean air and clean water must be included. Food & Water Watch, a national advocacy organization that works to build “a just, healthy and sustainable world,” in its most recent quarterly newsletter, noted that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) […]

Vermont #1 (Again!) In Local Food Rankings & Maine, Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire Round-Out Top Five

The non-profit, local food advocacy organization, Strolling of the Heifers has issued its sixth annual Locavore Index, which ranks the 50 states (plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico) in terms of their commitment to local food. Seven different data sets, reflecting patterns of local food consumption, were researched and compiled in creating the rankings. Vermont […]

Fruits & Veggies Rated for Pesticide Residues: Latest Dirty Dozen

The Environmental Working Group  (EWG) has long been a strong advocate, rooted in its own health research, for consumer awareness of fruits and vegetables with “high pesticide loads” that should be avoided “if at all possible.”  Over the past couple of decades, it has developed an annual list of The Dirty Dozen with the recommendation that […]

Consumer Reports Calls On FDA To Cut Loophole Allowing Meat Producers To Use Antibiotics On Healthy Animals for Disease Prevention

Consumer Reports (CR) has launched a new Consumer Voices Survey to determine its priorities for “testing, researching, and uncovering what consumers need to know to make smarter choices in their daily life.”  The nonprofit and nonpartisan organization notes that this mission has not changed over its more than 80 years existence. The inaugural CR Consumer […]

Rural State College Bolsters Local Farm Economy

SUNY Cobleskill, a four year public college in rural Schoharie County of upstate New York is one of seven technology colleges, which are part of the State University of New York, “the nation’s largest comprehensive system of public higher education which offers programs at 64 geographically dispersed campuses.”  The School of Agriculture and Natural Resources at […]

Founder of World’s Biggest Bakery, With $14 Billion in Sales, Dies at 98

The death of Lorenzo Servitje at his home in Mexico City, reported in the NY Times by Sam Roberts, Lorenzo Servitje, 98, Who Built Empire By Bringing Bread Across Borders, Dies (2/7/17), brings renewed attention to Grupo Bimbo, a company which reported more than $14 billion in sales in 2014, and that has 130,000 employees […]

Sold-Out Wendell Berry Talk in Berkshires Now Available On-line

The Mahaiwe Theatre’s 690 seats sold out in what seemed like no time when it was announced that Wendell Berry would be speaking there last October. The Great Barrington, Mass., theater is at the cultural heart of the Berkshires and hosts (alongside live theater and music, movies, lectures, and community events) the annual E.F. Schumacher […]

Good Wishes for the New Year to Our Readers

With 2017 starting to tick away and uncertain political changes brewing in our nation’s capital (which put at risk America’s clean air, clean water and clean food), we would like to renew our commitment to knowing where our food comes from and to express gratitude to the farmers and growers who produce food with concern […]

Two Ways to Save Farmland: State Grants & Municipal Funds to Purchase Development Rights

Upstate New York has struggled against economic decline as its rust belt cities have lost manufacturing jobs. But a bright spot of economic news in upstate is the thriving small city of Saratoga Springs, which has brought back to life its historic downtown and now has acted to preserve its last remaining farmland. Developers have […]

Food and Farm Conference Confronts Challenges Posed by Climate Change

For its third annual conference in its Celebration of Our Agricultural Community series, the Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown (Otsego County in upstate New York) addressed Climate Change and Its Impact on Farming in Central New York. The bad news, of course, is that we are on an irrevocable path to an ever-greater crisis, a crisis that […]

Food Festival’s Moveable Feast Fortifies Local Farm Economy & Community Rebuilding

There’s no good time for a flood, but late August has to be the worst for a farming community. The Schoharie Creek ran up over its banks when Hurricane Irene hit during that time of year in 2011, punishing the area in and around the town of Schoharie in upstate New York, with a disaster […]

Government Officials Urged to Block Mega-Mergers of Seed/Agro-Chemical Corporations

Pending mega-mergers between (1) Monsanto-Bayer, (2) Dow-DuPont & (3) Syngenta-ChemChina represent “shocking consolidation in the biotech seed and agrochemical industry” in the words of Wenonah Hauter, the Executive Director of the Food and Water Watch. Along with eight other groups (Sierra Club, SumofUs, Pesticide Action Network, Friends of the Earth, Center for Food Safety, Organic […]

200 Universities & Colleges Participate in Sierra’s Coolest Schools Rankings & Vermont’s Sterling College #1 For Food

Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, one of only eight federally recognized work colleges, earned an impressive 46.00 out of a possible score of 51 in Sierra Magazine’s 2016 Cool Schools ranking in the food category to lead the list of 201 “four-year, degree-granting undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States.” The top ten colleges for […]

2016 Farm Aid Concert in Northern Virginia’s Jiffy Lube Live Amphitheater in Bristow

Thirty-one years after the first Farm Aid concert in 1985, this inspirational day of music and praise for the American family farm will be taking place on Saturday, September 17, 2016 at the Jiffy Lube Live amphitheater in Bristow (formerly known as Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge), near Manassas, in northern Virginia. The amphitheater can seat […]

The POTUS Signs “Dark Act” Blocking Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law

A federal law preventing individual states, namely Vermont, from requiring labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) foods has been signed by President Obama. Unlike the Vermont state law, now curtailed, this federal law does not require “words” on packages of GMO food noting that the food has been “produced with genetic engineering.” We the People, Your […]

Federal DARK Act Limiting Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law Resurrected

We reported back in March that a bill in Congress sponsored by Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, preventing individual states from requiring labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) foods, had been rejected after full Senate consideration. But we also noted that the Organic Consumers Association emphasized that the rejection of Senator Roberts’ bill was only “an exciting preliminary victory.” OCA asked back […]

Tips For Storing The Bounty As 2016 CSA Farm Season Gets Underway

Members of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms are savoring the start of the 2016 farm season. Just Food, a praiseworthy organization based in New York City, each year connects nearly a quarter million New Yorkers with fresh food through its network of community food projects. And the organization offers special training for Gotham residents “to […]

Wholesale Market For Local Farm-Fresh Produce Now Operating At NYC’s Hunts Point

The Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx is the largest wholesale produce market in the world. Sitting on 113 acres, it includes 1 million square feet of interior space. Its produce, according to its website, is delivered fresh daily via plane, boat, and tractor trailer from 49 states and 55 countries. This Goliath of produce markets, […]

Rotate Your Baby’s Food, Just Like Your Puppy’s

In Pukka’s Promise, The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs, (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, NY 2013), Ted Kerasote’s decision to feed his puppy Pukka an AAFCO-certified raw food diet has one major caveat. In his wonderful, memoir-like guide to caring for a dog to ensure a long life, he describes testing commercial kibbles, as well as commercially available raw-food […]

Defeat of Effort in U.S. Senate to Stop States From Requiring Foods With GMOs To Be Labeled

A bill sponsored by Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, preventing individual states from requiring labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) foods, has been rejected after full Senate consideration.  Wenonah Hauter, the Executive Director of the Food & Water Watch noted that Senator Robert’s bill, best described as “the Denying Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act,” would […]

Field Goods Celebrates Its New Distribution/Warehouse Facility in NY’s Hudson Valley

Fresh foods from small farms is the praiseworthy tagline for Field Goods, a direct-to-consumer, food distributor in upstate NY’s rural Greene County. On a late January day, in a remarkably mild upstate New York winter, this locally grown business (supported by an Empire State Development grant through the Capital Region Economic Development Council) celebrated its […]

Food Co-op Struggles To Maintain Discount for Members Working in Store

Food co-operatives have a long tradition of in-store member labor, perhaps best represented by one of the most successful food co-operatives in the United States: Brooklyn’s Park Slope Food Coop. The Park Slope Food Coop, which was founded in 1973, and operated first in space rented from a community center, eventually purchased a building in 1980 […]

Local Newspaper Asks: Who’s Making Trader Joe’s Food?

A little over three years ago, Trader Joe’s opened a store in the Capital Region of upstate New York. For years, a group called We Want Trader Joe’s in the Capital District, organized by Bruce Roter, a professor at the College of St. Rose in my hometown of Albany, campaigned to bring the national chain […]

Hard To Know Where Your Salmon Comes From

Oceana, established in 2001 by a group of leading foundations (The Pew Charitable Trusts, Oak Foundation, Marisla Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund) to protect and restore the world’s oceans, has conducted “the largest salmon mislabeling study in the United States to-date.” The organization has reported that 43% of the 82 winter salmon samples its […]

Food Writer/Activist Mark Bittman Speaks at Albany’s Writers Institute

  The insightful New York Times food writer, recipe guru, and activist Mark Bittman, as part of the Writers Institute’s speakers series (founded by William Kennedy, Albany’s famed novelist in 1983), spent an afternoon last week at a recital hall on the campus of the State University of Albany and explained how he “accidentally” became a food writer. […]

Dartmouth Ranked #1 for College Food in Sierra Magazine’s 2015 Rankings

Dartmouth College earned an impressive 49.89 out of a possible score of 51 in Sierra Magazine’s 2015 Cool Schools ranking in the food category to lead the list of 153 “four-year, degree-granting undergraduate colleges and universities in the United States.” The top ten for college food include schools in diverse eastern and western locations, but […]

Consumer Reports: Lower Bacteria Count in Organic Grass Fed Beef

Three hundred samples of raw ground beef from stores nationwide were recently tested by Consumer Reports for harmful bacteria. In “The Safest Beef to Buy,” a recent article in Consumer Reports On Health (October, 2015), this nonprofit, independent organization which provides advice on “goods, services, health, and personal finance” (and accepts no advertising in its […]

Idaho Ag Gag Law Knocked Down By Judge Protecting Freedom of Speech & Whistleblowers

The Idaho legislature passed a bill, which was signed into law by Governor C.L. Butch Otter on February 14, 2014, that created a new crime, “interference with agricultural production” (Idaho Code Section 18-7042).  This so-called “ag gag” law criminalized any of the following five specified actions: (1) a person, not employed by an agricultural production […]

How Individual Members of U.S. Congress Voted On Labeling GMOs in Food

Last week, we reported on the campaign led by the Organic Consumers Association to appeal to President Obama to veto “any federal bill that would preempt states’ rights to pass mandatory GMO (Genetically MOdified food) labeling laws.”  This campaign was started as a response to the U.S. House of Representatives passing on July 23rd the […]

Campaign Started For President Obama To Veto Any Federal Bill Preempting State GMO Labeling Laws

The Organic Consumers Association has started a campaign to appeal to President Barack Obama to veto “any federal bill that would preempt states’ rights to pass mandatory GMO (Genetically MOdified food) labeling laws.” Via a petition available for signing on the website of, President Obama is asked to “pledge that he will veto H.R. […]

California Drought Worsens: Another Good Reason to Join a Local CSA Farm

There are plenty of reasons to buy a share in the bounty of a farm that follows the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model of small farm agriculture rooted in growing a variety of crops in an earth friendly way.  Freshly harvested food tastes better; buying food from a CSA keeps money in the pocket of […]

Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon & Massachusetts Top the 2015 Locavore Index

The local food advocacy group, Strolling of the Heifers has issued its fourth annual Locavore Index, which ranks the 50 states (and Washington, D.C.)  “in terms of their commitment to healthy local food.”  The current 2015 ranking has incorporated “newly available information” from the United States Department of Agriculture Statistic Service’s  Census of Agriculture on […]

Cancer Research Arm of World Health Organization Views Roundup’s Glyphosate As “Probable Carcinogen”

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, has released a study, recently published on-line in The Lancet Oncology, that places glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, in the second highest category for cancer risk of “probable carcinogen.”  As noted by Maria Rodale in her must-read  Organic Manifesto (Rodale, Inc. […]

Grading of Maple Syrup Revised by USDA in Time for 2015 Sugaring Season

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revised the grading of maple syrup, effective March 2, 2015, to eliminate the grading of syrup as Grade B.  Instead, Grade A maple syrup will now include four new color and flavor classes: (1) US Grade A Golden, delicate flavor; (2) […]

Low Regard for Animal Welfare at Taxpayer Funded U.S. Meat Animal Research Center

Michael Moss, the New York Times reporter who won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize  for his reporting on contaminated hamburger, has now shined a light on the failure of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure adequate oversight of animal research at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, “a complex of laboratories and pastures […]

No Processed Foods for 100 Days: A Doable New Year’s Resolution

Four years ago (back in 2010), Lisa Leake and her family of four went 100 days without processed food on a small budget.  That experience led to her creation of a very popular blog and a bestselling book, 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes […]

Six B&Bs With Breakfasts “That Don’t Get Any Fresher”

The popular website,, has listings of over 4,000 bed and breakfasts in the United States and Canada with the top ten states, by number of bed and breakfasts:  California (804), Massachusetts (723), New York (508), Pennsylvania (425), Michigan (368), Maine (334), Washington (323), Texas (267), Alaska (258) and Virginia (250).  This internet guide to B&Bs […]

Live Webcast of 2014 Farm Aid Concert in Raleigh

This coming Saturday’s 2014 Farm Aid concert in Raleigh, North Carolina has sold out.   All 21,000 seats, including lawn tickets, at the Walnut Creek Amphitheater have been claimed.  If you were unable to obtain tickets or a trip to the Tar Hill state was not a possibility, this inspirational day of music and praise for […]

2014 Farm Aid Concert in Raleigh’s Walnut Creek Amphitheater

Twenty-nine years after the first Farm Aid concert in 1985, this inspirational day of music and praise for the American family farm will be taking place on September 13, 2014 at the Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Constructed by the City of Raleigh in 1991 and covering 77 acres, the beautiful outdoor music venue has […]

Greenest Colleges for Food Ranked by Sierra Magazine

The Sierra Club’s Sierra magazine has ranked America’s greenest universities for the past eight years and has just issued its rankings for 2014.  Colleges at the top of the annual “Cool Schools” are “dedicated to greening at every level of their operation, from energy usage to recycling to food sourcing to curriculum, that sustainability has become woven […]

Photos of Farming and Rural Life from 19th Century to Present On-Line

Cooperstown, the lake-side, rural town in upstate New York (Otsego County) is the home, not only of the renowned Baseball Hall of Fame, but also the Farmers Museum, which first opened its doors to the public in 1944 on land which has been part of a working farm since 1813 when it was owned by James Fenimore […]

From One NYC CSA in 1995 to 100+ Today

The Big Apple now boasts more than 100 CSA programs according to the local food advocacy group Just Food which promotes CSAs, farmers markets and other urban food initiatives (including its inspirational City Farms program).  Just Food estimates that nearly 40,000 Gothamites now get their produce through Just Food-affiliated CSAs.  Considering there was only one […]

“Dirty Dozen” Plus Two: Conventionally Grown Produce To Avoid

Based upon “high pesticide loads,” the Environmental Working Group (EWG) for its most recent “Dirty Dozen” list has named  a dozen, plus two, conventionally grown foods to avoid.  The EWG advises that “if at all possible”, the items on this list should be purchased organic:  (1) Apples, (2) Celery, (3) Cherry Tomatoes, (4) Cucumbers, (5) Grapes, […]

“Industrial Food Image Bureau” Runs Full-Page Ad in NY Times

The Industrial Food Image Bureau, whose motto, “Making Food Affordable at Any Cost,” has raised its profile and that of its CEO, Buck Marshall, by taking out a full page advertisement in today’s (Tuesday, January 28, 2014) New York Times.   Setting the record straight, Mr. Marshall challenges his “organic adversaries.”  He asserts that “While […]

Environmentalists Name 5 Foods to Avoid

Avital Andrews in Sierra, the bi-monthly magazine published by the Sierra Club, in Five Foods That Are Killing the Planet (January/February 2014 issue), cites the well-reasoned opinions of nearly a dozen prominent environmentalists in concluding that  (1) blue fish tuna, (2) conventional coffee, (3) cheap burgers made with factory-farmed beef, (4) genetically modified corn, and (5) […]

The ONION reviews Cage, factory farm to table dining

The Onion, in its latest report on Fine Dining, has penned an unrestrained restaurant review of Cage, a factory farm to table restaurant in California’s wine country.  Mason Kelflani, the owner and head chef, describes the dining experience at his St. Helena (Napa County) restaurant as “one that preserves the link between the food on […]

Paperback Version of Michael Pollan’s New Illustrated Food Rules Available in Late October

The paperback version of Michael Pollan’s illustrated Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual will be released on October 29, 2013.  This wonderful new version, with 19 additional rules for a total of 83 food rules, has been illustrated with humor and a colorful palette by Maira Kalman, the talented artist whose cover art and cartoons frequently […]

Heavy Spending by Opponents of GMO Labeling Referendum in Washington State

Less than two weeks from now, voting by mail will begin in Washington State on the initiative (I-522) to require labeling of products which contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  Readers will remember that California’s similar Proposition 37 was defeated in a campaign by the opposition, which was funded to the tune of $44 million  (as […]

Locavore Prizes: With Local & Global Perspectives

Glynwood, in Putnam County’s river town of Cold Spring in upstate New York, is a remarkable organization with a mission “to strengthen the regional food system throughout the Hudson Valley,” an area of agricultural bounty and rural beauty, which is rich in history.   Glynwood’s Harvest Award, now in its 11th year, celebrates farmers, organizations and […]

60 Best Colleges for Food Named By The Daily Meal

The Daily Meal has issued its 2nd Annual list of colleges that “gave their students top-notch dining experiences.”   In publishing the list, The Daily Meal’s reporter, Dana Kaufman  noted that students on the whole are already passionate and knowledgeable about food when they arrive at campus, and  “want to know where it’s coming from.” The […]

Live Webcast of Farm Aid Concert from Saratoga Springs

The  2013 Farm Aid concert will be webcast from Saratoga Springs in upstate New York this coming Saturday, September 21st from 5:00PM-11:00PM.  The concert is completely sold-out, with all of the seats inside the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) amphitheater selling out in under 11 minutes and 20,000 general admission lawn tickets sold out a […]

Local Economies Benefit With $$$ Spent at Farmers Markets & Food Co-ops

Support for family farmers goes hand-in-hand with spending food dollars at farmers markets.   American Farmland Trust (AFT) reports in its Summer 2013 newsletter that  for every $10.00 spent on local food at a farmers market, farmers get close to $8.00 to $9.00 of the money spent.  This compares to the $1.58 farmers and ranchers receive […]

2013 FarmAid Concert in Saratoga Springs, NY

Twenty-eight years after the first Farm Aid concert in 1985, this inspirational day of music and praise for the American family farm will be taking place on September 21, 2013 in historic Saratoga Springs in upstate New York at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) on the grounds of the Saratoga Spa State Park, a […]

Untimely Death of Grenada Chocolate’s Founder In Accident

A few weeks ago, the brigantine, Tres Hombres, operated by a company called Fairtransport, set sail from the island of Grenada in the Caribbean to Holland with a load of Grenada Chocolate bars.  Unloaded on to a large caravan of human-powered cycles pulling trailers, the approximately 18,000 chocolate bars were delivered throughout Holland to chocolate […]

Tip Trips Up Phony Organic Sales at Farmers Market

Federal District Court Judge Gary L. Sharpe, based in Albany, New York, has sentenced Craig Acton, who operated Hoosic River Poultry, a small upstate New York farm  in Buskirk (Rensselaer County) to serve two years on probation and complete 50 hours of community service for his “fraudulent use of a United States Department of Agriculture […]

Farm to Table Breakfasts at B and Bs

Elizabeth Arneson of has estimated that there are over 10,000 bed and breakfasts (B & Bs) in the United States, based upon information from the Professional Association of Innkeepers International and a nationwide listing of bed and breakfasts available from Abacus Computing.  The popular website,, has listings of over 4,000 bed and breakfasts […]

Winter Farmers Markets Are Flourishing

Seventeen percent of the 7,222 farmers markets in the United States are now operating winter markets.   According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) during 2011 (the latest calendar year with available statistics) there were 1,225 farmers markets operating in the winter, an increase of 38% from the 886 winter farmers markets operating in […]

Strong U.S. Presence at 2012 Global Meeting of Slow Food/Terra Madre

The Slow Food movement has an extensive network of 100,000 members in 1,300 local chapters across 150 countries.  Described on its website as “committed to improving the way food is produced and distributed,” Slow Food has a strong presence in the United States with more than 200 local chapters, and at least one chapter in […]

Soil from Germany & Denmark Imported by Hong Kong Organic Growers

David Montgomery in Dirt, The Erosion of Civilizations, argues that the twin problems of soil degradation and accelerated erosion (with an estimated twenty-four billion tons of soil lost annually around the world) eventually determine the fate of civilizations.   The pressure of growing world population intensifies these problems, with Montgomery noting that “to feed one human […]

FDA Directed To Take Action On Unsafe Use of Antibiotics In Animal Feed

Approximately 80 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States  are used in livestock.  Compared to the 3,000,000 pounds of antibiotics given to humans each year, 17,800,000 pounds of antibiotics are fed to livestock.  Jonathan Safran Foer in Eating Animals (New York, Little Brown and Co., 2009) notes that the Union of Concerned Scientists […]

Court Victory Against Water Polluting CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation)

Nelson Faria Dairy, a factory farm producing dairy products in the small farm community of Royal City  located in Washington State’s Grant County, has been held in contempt for violating the provisions of a consent decree, which had settled litigation brought by the Community Association for Restoration of the Environment (CARE) for pollution violating the […]

Wendell Berry Honored As 2012 Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities [], which supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation, has honored Wendell E. Berry, the noted farmer, philosopher, poet, essayist, novelist, and conservationist, with perhaps the most prestigious honor the United States bestows […]

Meaning of ‘Fair Trade’ Coffee In Dispute

Fair Trade USA [] has resigned its membership in the Fairtrade International system [], a group of 25 organizations which “work to secure a better deal for producers,” and which owns “the FAIRTRADE Mark – the product label that certifies international Fairtrade standards have been met.”  A carefully worded statement on the website of Fairtrade […]

Michael Pollan Speaks to Full House in Troy, NY

Michael Pollan’s fundamental and simply-stated food rules have become well-known, especially his easy-to-comprehend mantra: “Eat Food, Real Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants.”  Mr. Pollan, the author of one of the most significant books of the new century, The Omnivore’s Dilemma (The Penguin Press, New York, New York, 2006), in an often humorous and crowd-pleasing […]

World Economic and Social Survey: Feed The World With Greener Food Production

It’s hard to miss Monsanto Corporation’s latest marketing and self-promotion campaign with full-page advertisements running in newspapers: “9 billion people to feed. A changing climate. NOW WHAT? Producing more. Conserving more. Improving farmers’ lives. That’s sustainable agriculture. And that’s what Monsanto is all about.”   There is no doubt that this sophisticated advertising campaign has a […]

Victory Gardens Promoted by National WWII Museum

The National World War II Museum [] in New Orleans is promoting an elementary school curriculum entitled the Classroom Victory Garden Project.  The museum has created a unique website []  to promote its project “that includes an interdisciplinary curriculum taught through gardening, including social studies, literacy, math, science and art modules.” During World War II, […]

A Band of 60 Davids Challenges Monsanto, the Goliath, in Federal Court

According to a Federal lawsuit recently filed by the Public Patent Foundation [] in the Southern District of New York on behalf of the Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter, Inc. [] and 59 other plaintiffs, Monsanto Corporation has bullied farmers who have  resisted its Round-Up Ready Technology [Organic Seed Growers & Trade Association, et al. […]

Oatmeal Credited for McDonald’s Sales Topping Forecast

McDonald’s Corp has credited the addition of oatmeal to its menu, as well as its McCafe hot chocolate and Chicken McNuggets, for a 5.3 percent rise in sales in January 2011 at its locations opened more than a year []. As someone who has oatmeal for breakfast nearly every day of the year, the success […]

Agriculture Experts At California State U (Chico) and University of California (Davis) Confirm: Grass-Fed Beef Superior

In The Omnivore’s Dilemma (The Penguin Press, New York, New York, 2006), Michael Pollan describes in vivid prose the nightmare world of CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) and the “polluted water and air, toxic wastes, novel and deadly pathogens” they have produced “in their short history.”  It is with some relief that Mr. Pollan also […]

Organic Farmland in U.S. More Than Doubles In 8 Years

The 2011 Statistical Abstract of the United States recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau [] should brighten the day of organic food advocates.  Organic farmland in the United States has increased from 1,776,000 acres in 2000 to 4,817,000 in 2008, an increase of 171.2%.  Still, there is the sorry statistic also reported that Americans […]

Eat Your Carrots: A Carrot A Day Keeps The Grim Reaper Away

A new study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] has determined that there is an association between high levels of the antioxidant alpha-carotene and longer life spans.  The researchers analyzed alpha-carotene levels in blood samples from more than 15,000 adults.  The New York Times reports that according to Dr. […]

Record Attendance At Slow Food’s Festival

This fall’s food festival of the Slow Food movement (the eighth Salone del Gusto [Assembly Room of Taste]) held in Torino [Turin], Italy attracted record attendance estimated at over 200,000, including 30% from outside Italy, to five days of events.  The Slow Food’s 2010 biannual food festival showcased 910 quality, small-scale food producers from around […]

Food Industry Marketing Challenged By Initial Report of the Institute of Medicine

Information on the fronts of food packaging would be most useful to shoppers if they highlighted four nutrients of greatest concern – calories, saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium – says a new report from the Institute of Medicine.  These food components are routinely overconsumed and associated most strongly with diet-related health problems affecting many […]

A Garden Grows At Upstate New York's Colgate University

The first seeds of an idea for a garden at Colgate were planted in February 2001, when Heather Schoen ’02 did an Environmental Studies project that described the successes of student-run gardens at 12 other colleges and universities, and outlined a plan to start a student organization called “Green Thumbs,” focused on promoting local, sustainable […]

Upstate New York’s Rochester Farmers Market America’s Favorite

American Farmland Trust has announced the winners of its 2010 “America’s Favorite Farmers Market” contest.  Over 50,000 people cast votes, with 1,200+ farmers markets enrolled in the contest.  In the category of Large Markets, with 56+ vendors, Upstate New York’s City of Rochester Public Market took 1st place, with nearly double the votes cast for […]

A Perfect 10 For Food At Yale

It’s positive news that an increasing number of applicants to America’s colleges and universities consider the green credentials of the colleges they may attend [].  In the Sierra Club’s most recent annual ranking of planet preserving colleges and universities, the Ivies’ Yale University ranked 14th overall in the ranking of 135 schools [], but in […]

USDA Bans Inspector of Chinese Organic Foods

The best of all worlds equates to local foods, grown organically.  But when that is not a possibility, there is an ongoing debate whether local foods, not grown organically, are a superior source of food to organic food grown hundreds, if not thousands of miles away.  Complicating this debate is the fact that it is […]

Prestigious Environmental Prize Awarded to Michigan Family Farmer

The 2010 Goldman Environmental Prize, known as the Green Nobel Prize, has been awarded to Lynn Henning, a farmer from Clayton, Michigan, a small town in south-central Michigan.  Ms Henning has led a campaign in her hometown to challenge the environmental degradation created by local concentrated animal-feeding operations (CAFOs).  Lorrae Rominger, the deputy director of […]

Reporting On Contaminated Hamburger Wins 2010 Pulitzer Prize

The 2010 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting was awarded to Michael Moss and members of the New York Times staff, in the words of the Pulitzer Prize committee, for “relentless reporting on contaminated hamburger and other food safety issues that, in print and online, spotlighted defects in federal regulation and led to improved practices.”  In […]

Setting standards for “organic” milking cows

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (Department) has amended the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations to clarify the use of pasture in raising organic ruminants including dairy cows.  After receiving over 26,000 comments from producers, retailers, consumers, organic associations, animal welfare organizations and others, the Department’s rule, which goes into effect on June 17, 2010, requires […]

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