News Roundup: Wednesday 2.26.2014

We are now in an era where the voices of distrust and disgust for our food system are being heard by giant food businesses and corporations ... and some are responding. The quote below sums up some this small, but noticeable trend. Heartening to hear! Today we celebrate these successes, but we do so with the understanding that there is still much more to do as we unite the fight.

Words to Live By

“The more people are raising the bar, the more the food chain will shift, and the more consumers will become knowledgeable about issues surrounding food production and why these things matter."

— Chris Arnold, CEO, Chipotle

Newest News

Edible Schoolyards Expand and Unite!
Our friends at Edible Schoolyard have been hard at work building gardens and educating youngsters (and adults alike) about food, nutrition, and growing the freshest produce--and eating it to discover how good it is. How busy have they been? Check out their new interactive map of 494 locations at which they’ve been working their magic. Click away to learn a little about each school and the program that it is running. Please check back in frequently to see how this map continues to grow! Better yet, help them start a program at YOUR local schoolyard.
Explore the Network via Edible Schoolyard Project


Farm Worker Safety Takes a Turn in the Right Direction
Michael Pollan’s latest crusade into the rights and livelihoods of food and agricultural workers is bringing even more national attention to the injustices that are a part of our food system. (For some other great advocates in this arena, check out Farm Worker Justice, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, RAFI, and Toxic Free NC to start). As a substantial step in the right direction, the EPA announced this week that updated Worker Protection Standards (WPS), which set safety limits on pesticide use for farmworkers, will go into effect in March. Civil Eats explains more about the new WPS, and the powerful advocates who helped bring these changes about. By the way, if you haven’t checked out what the folks at Civil Eats are doing, we encourage you to do so. This week, they have some inspiring articles about food waste initiatives and an analysis of the newly released USDA 2012 agricultural census data.
EPA (Finally) Proposes Measures to Protect Farmworkers from Pesticide Exposure via Civil Eats


GMO Labeling: We Won’t Back Down!
Described as a more simple version of CA Proposition 37, California State Senator Noreen Evans introduced SB 1381, a bill to label GE foods. The Center for Food Safety was a founding member of the coalition that sponsored the bill. Read a little more about the bill, CFS’s involvement and the broad support of GE labeling worldwide.
CFS-Backed GE Food Labeling Bill Introduced in California via Center for Food Safety


Get Involved

Soda is Not Part of a Healthy Meal!
It is so hard to avoid soda. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has been fighting to get sugar drinks out of kids’ meals at fast food restaurants and you can join them. Send a letter to the CEOs of leading fast food chains demanding that they remove these beverages from our kids’ food.
Get Soda off Restaurant Children's Menus via Center for Science in the Public Interest


Toxic Taters Take it To Thompson
The Toxic Tater Coalition is a group of people who are fed up with pesticides and they are lobbying McDonald’s CEO Donald Thompson to take a stance as well. Read more about this tactic and consider helping them with their cause.


The Fast Food Frontline

It’s Hard Work, Not Soda, That Makes an Olympian
As measures to tax and curtail soda and sugary drink consumption are starting to become more popular in states and municipalities, our friends at the Center for Science in the Public Interest help lead the fight. Earlier this month, CSPI Executive Director, Dr. Michael Jacobson, wrote an article in the Huffington Post on the problematic nature of Olympic athletes endorsing sodas and sugary drinks in advertisements geared towards kids. CSPI was quick to point out Coca-Cola’s latest claim that “Coke gives Olympic skier Ted Ligety super powers.”  We hope that continued pressure on these companies will make them stop such false advertising. Check out our “GET INVOLVED” section to see what you can do to stop the tsunami of sugary drinks washing over children’s lives.
New Coke Ad Links Ted Ligety's Success to Soda Consumption via Center for Science in the Public Interest


Prevention News

Higher Fat = Lower Weight: The Whole Milk Phenomenon
A few weeks ago, we heard this great NPR piece about a study out of Sweden showing that people who consume whole-milk-based, “full-fat” dairy products are less likely to be obese. Why might that be? Walter Willett, one of the world’s most published nutritionists from the Harvard School of Public Health, has a few sound explanations:


What We're Watching

Edible Education
We’ve been following The Edible Schoolyard Project’s Edible Education 101 class since it started back in January of this year. Michael Pollan and Raj Patel are two powerhouse thinkers who are working to help change the health of our nation. The latest installment in this course is up on Vimeo and it’s great! Raj Patel explains the “Green Revolution,” the global food economy, and what factors may shape the international future of food.
Edible Education 101: The Rise and Future of the Food Movement (2014) via Edible Schoolyard Project


Wonderful Listening

The Injustice of Contract Chicken Farming
We have long known that industrial poultry farming can often lead farmers into vicious cycles of debt due to the integrated production systems and antagonistic management practices of companies like Perdue, Tyson, and Cargill. However, it may be less common knowledge that this “contract farming” system also creates unfair competition between growers, pays them on a somewhat arbitrary scale (from the farmers’ perspective), and commits plenty of other injustices. This great NPR piece describes some of the ways that these big companies exploit their workers. Listening to it may make you think twice about what kind of chicken you buy next time you go to the market.


Turmeric: Your New Best Friend
The power of turmeric can’t be denied according to Dr. Weil and a number of other health and wellness advocates. This recipe uses the curative powers of turmeric with a heart-healthy fish to make a delicious seafood feast. Read a little more about the many healing benefits of this anti-inflammatory root and see even more recipes with turmeric at the link below.
Cod and Cockles in a Fresh Turmeric Broth
At Carmel Valley Ranch, chef Tim Wood makes this dish with Monterey line-caught rock cod and Pacific Northwest cockles. You can refer to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch to find the best alternatives available in your area.

Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 4

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4-inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 pound cockles or Prince Edward Island mussels
  • Ciabatta or sourdough bread, thickly sliced
  • 4 rock cod or other flaky white fish fillets (6 ounces each)
  • ¼ bunch cilantro, chopped, plus ¼ bunch, whole


1. Set a heavy, lidded pot over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, onions, fennel, garlic and ginger to pot. Decrease heat to medium-low and cook until vegetables soften, 10 minutes. Add turmeric, season with salt and pepper, and cook until spice releases a little of its flavor, 5 minutes more. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high. Add cockles, cover with lid and cook until cockles are beginning to open, 5 minutes more.

2. Meanwhile, toast bread in oven or toaster oven.

3. Add fish fillets to pot, cover and let steam 8 minutes for medium to medium-rare fish. (Check occasionally to make sure pan has enough liquid, and add water if necessary.)

4. In a small bowl, combine remaining oil with chopped cilantro. To serve, top fish with cockle mixture and spoon some broth from pot overtop. Garnish with remaining cilantro. Drizzle bread with cilantro oil and serve on top of or alongside fish.

—Adapted from Jeff Mahin of Stella Barra Pizzeria, Santa Monica, Calif.

Turmeric: Snow Day Superfood via NY Times

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