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Haagen-Dazs says CCD could interrupt your ice cream fix

As I and many others have pointed out, the loss of as much as 70-80 percent of the US honeybee population to Colony Collapse Disorder is a far greater concern than missing that spot of honey in your lavender soy chai. Premium ice cream maker Haagen-Dazs has joined in to sound the alarm about CCD and the impact it could have on our food supply Haagen-Dazs is warning that a creature as small as a honeybee could become a big problem for the premium ice cream maker's business. At issue is the disappearing bee colonies in the United States, a …

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Aerial spraying of pesticide on Bay Area given OK

The California agriculture department has authorized nighttime aerial pesticide spraying on the San Francisco Bay Area this summer in an attempt to eradicate a potentially crop-destroying moth. Similar spraying was done in two other counties this fall, after which more than 600 residents complained of respiratory problems. Application of the pesticide, called Checkmate, was only authorized for agricultural areas until the U.S. Department of Agriculture received an "emergency exemption" from the U.S. EPA for its use in urban California. The Bay spray would begin June 1 and could continue for up to five years, though residents are organizing to stop …

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A pair of decadent desserts guaranteed to sweeten up your Valentine’s Day

Like every food writer the world over, I am duty-bound to offer a chocolate recipe for Valentine's Day. I was fortunate to get a recipe for Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes from the Woodstar Café in Northampton, Mass., a bakery whose goods are so delicious that I have been known to eat there twice a day when I'm in town. Nothing says I Love You like a cannelé. Photo: Canto 6 Bakery and Café But I also wanted to offer a non-chocolate alternative for those who can't have chocolate or who just prefer other flavors. The owners of Canto 6, a bakery …

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A view behind the scenes at the EPA and the White House

It is now less than four weeks until the EPA announces its decision on whether to change current national standards for ozone or smog. And things are getting very interesting behind the scenes. Officially, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget website, the EPA has not yet transmitted its plan to the White House for review. The truth is, the EPA is obviously being picked at by the OMB already. The Bush administration is just trying to keep the details of this matter as secret as possible. (Some business lobbyists have heard that the EPA is pushing …

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While global GMO acreage surges, herbicide-resistent weeds thrive

Global acreage of genetically modified crops jumped 12 percent in 2007 -- "the second highest increase in global biotech crop area in the last five years," gushes a report from the pro-GMO International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). Farmers planted an additional 30 million acres of GM crops in 2007, an area nearly equal to the land mass of Iowa (a huge swath of which itself is planted in GM crops). Overall, GM crops cover 282.4 million acres, ISAAA claims -- up from zero as recently as 1994. Photo: iStockphoto ISAAA hails the GM explosion as a …

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More ideas for Valentine’s Day bliss

In "Mad Flavor," I describe exceptional culinary experiences from small artisan producers. Showing my usual absolute devotion to the interests of Grist readers and disdain for my own, I attended a tasting last night of wine and chocolate pairings. I made this sacrifice to give you, dear readers, more ideas for a festive Valentine's Day. The tasting took place at 3 Cups in Chapel Hill, a cafe fanatical about sourcing and serving excellent coffee, wine, chocolate, and tea. 3 Cups chocolate buyer Jonathan Wallace and wine guy Matt Souza paired four small-batch chocolates with Italian wines from small farms. Wallace …

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Campaign will let restaurant patrons donate to drinking-water project

Mark your calendars for the week of March 16, when diners at participating restaurants can choose to drink local tap water instead of bottled water and donate $1 to the Tap Project. Proceeds from the project benefit Unicef's efforts to provide clean drinking water to children in developing countries. The Tap Project was started pro bono last year by New York boutique exec David Droga; it raised $100,000 in New York last year, will go forth in more than a dozen additional cities next month, and may go global in 2009. sources:

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Veganism as relationship deal breaker

Love is in the air, and according to the New York Times, it's also served up at the dinner table. But when it comes to dueling food preferences -- he loves meat, she doesn't -- sometimes dinner leaves couples, well, hungry for more. No-holds-barred carnivores, for example, may share the view of Anthony Bourdain, who wrote in his book Kitchen Confidential that "vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans ... are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit." Returning the compliment, many vegetarians say they cannot date anyone who eats meat. Vegans, who avoid eating …

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Can a ‘renewable fuel’ rely on mining a finite resource?

While scrolling through news accounts of the recent boom in the agrochemicals industry -- yes, that's how I spend my days -- I came across an interesting take on biofuels and phosphate, a key element of soil fertility. The article, from Investors Business Daily, takes a standard rah-rah position on what it deems a "heyday in the heartland." The journal wants to make sure its readers know there's plenty of cash to be made investing in the companies catering to the great boom in industrial agriculture. With corn and soy prices both at or near record highs, the article tries …

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GMO giant Monsanto wows Wall Street, consolidates its grip on South America

While debate rages on Gristmill and elsewhere about whether biofuels are worth a damn ecologically, investors in agribusiness firms are quietly counting their cash. As corn and soy prices approach all-time highs, driven up by government biofuel mandates, farmers are scrambling to plant as much as they can -- and lashing the earth with chemicals to maximize yields. At a Wall Street meeting on Tuesday, genetically modified seed/herbicide giant Monsanto promised investors even-higher-than-expected profits in fiscal year 2008. The company expects to rake in $1.3-$1.4 billion in gross profit from its Roundup herbicide alone (Monsanto had been previously expecting to …