What would a government shutdown mean for U.S. agriculture? This blog post from the National Sustainable Agriculture Council (NSAC) discusses the very real impacts. NSAC “is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.”
Africa’s farmers “need urgent climate-proof investment.” Africa is considered one of the regions that will bear the brunt of climate change; mean temperatures will rise faster than the global average. A new report – The Farms of Change: African Smallholders Responding to an Uncertain Climate Future – says that more investment in “sustainable farming systems is needed to help smallholders adapt to and mitigate climate change.” The report was produced by the Montpellier Panel, a group of African and European experts from the fields of agriculture, trade, ecology and global development focusing on “regional agricultural development and food security priorities in Sub-Saharan Africa.” The report also calls for bringing the threats of climate change to “food and nutrition security” to the top of the United Nations’ agenda. Another finding contributes to the steady drumbeat of international organizations calling for increased investment in research and developing “local capacities.” Interesting piece on the report from Mark Kinver for BBC News. The chair of the Montpellier Panel, Professor Sir Gordon Conway, has penned an informative opinion piece for The Huffington Post.
Post buys Willamette Egg Farms. Post Holdings, a St. Louis-based company – you may know its cereal line – is buying a large Oregon egg business that is considered by many to be a leader in adopting cage-free egg production techniques. Willamette Egg Farms produces about two million eggs a day. Among other things, the purchase offers some geographic diversification, which in light of this year’s avian influenza, may be a good strategic move. The article also shares the story of how the egg company owner, Greg Satrum, worked with the Oregon Humane Society to support legislation that increased cage sizes over a 15-year period. Eric Mortensen for Capital Press.
Seafood and #foodwaste. According to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, nearly half the U.S. seafood supply winds up uneaten. There is waste at both the consumer end and by fishermen. Alastair Bland writes an interesting piece for NPR’s The Salt. Some terrific insight from #foodwaste expert Jonathan Bloom is included.
ICYMI, Mark Bittman shares why he left The New York Times, provides a bit of information about his next venture and discusses his views on “America’s changing food culture and politics.” Audio interview on The Takeaway. You may also want to view the next in Bittman’s series of California Matters videos, produced by the University of California as part of its Global Food Initiative. This episode takes Mark to the fields of Salinas, where he interviews UC Berkeley’s Brenda Eskenazi. Eskenazi leads the CHAMACOS study, which follows children born between 2000-2002 and assesses the impact of pesticides and other environmental chemicals (like flame retardants) on their long-term health. #GlobalFood