Product of Mexico: Hardship on Mexico's farms, a bounty for U.S. tables — the first in a series of four Los Angeles Times long-form stories about labor conditions discovered during an 18-month investigation of Mexican vegetable farms that supply produce to the United States. [more inside]
Industrial farming and animal cruelty (warning: very distressing images and sound) Rolling Stone reports on animal abuse in American factory farms...and the attempts by agribusiness to stop the exposure of this cruelty.
The Kansas City Star has concluded a year long investigation of the beef industry, and the results may sicken you. Literally. (contains slaughterhouse image) To quote the Huffington Post article on the investigation: This is the true state of affairs . . . just four companies process more than 87 percent of the beef packed in the U.S., and take advantage of novel, money-saving techniques that significantly increase the risk of contamination by foodborne pathogens, leading to hundreds of preventable illnesses every year.
The Corn Refiners Association has created a series of commercials to counter the increasing sentiment against high-fructose corn syrup. One commercial presents a lovely tableau of a couple in a park on a sunny day discussing how HFCS is not much to worry about (previously). A filmmaker reuses the technique to sell something a little bit less sweet.
This invisible germ of life in the grain of wheat can thus pass unimpaired through three thousand resurrections...
Some of the world's biggest grain exporters barred their farmers from selling in global markets yesterday, exacerbating the food price crisis for poorer nations that import their food and highlighting the failure of governments to nurture stronger rules for agricultural trade. Google news on restrictions on grain exports... Previously on MetaFilter. [more inside]
Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear. "Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination."
In this corner: John "Mack Daddy" Mackey. In this corner: Michael "The Pollanator" Pollan. Mackey. Pollan. Mackey. Pollan. Mackey vs. Pollan!! (.rm file via)
Pork's Dirty Secret is a Rolling Stone expose on Smithfield Foods, the world's top pork processor. via
Farmer Homer McFarland is being sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Monsanto corporation. His crime? Replanting his crops' own seed, as farmers have done for millennia, which violates the biotech giant's intellectual property rights, the company claims. Quietly, Monsanto's aggressive "seed police" have been suing farmers in 25 states for years, often settling out of court for huge sums, according to the Center for Food Safety's new report, Monsanto vs. US farmers [PDF link]. For more information, also see a new documentary called The Future of Food.
Of GM food, the PR industry and Tony Blair. George Monbiot exposes the questionable methods (fake public interest groups) of the PR industry in defense of big Agribusiness.
US Department of Agriculture under pressure to purchase surplus crops. One solution is to use the crops in school lunches, so they are testing things like sweet potato pancakes and hamburgers with prune puree in them (which makes them healthier by replacing some of the fat).