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An interview with Carol Moseley Braun about her biodynamic food company

This election season, Carol Moseley Braun isn't gunning to become the first black president or the first female president. (Been there, done that.) Instead, she's trying to break ground in another arena, one she considers vastly more satisfying than politics: food. Healthy, organic, biodynamic food. Carol Moseley Braun. Photo: AP / Seth Perlman In 2002, after a couple of decades in politics -- she served as an Illinois state senator from 1978 to 1987, a U.S. senator for Illinois from 1993 to 1999, and ambassador to New Zealand from 1999 to 2001 -- Brown founded Good Food Organics in Chicago. …

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A full-flavored attack on industrial food

Edible Media takes an occasional look at interesting or deplorable food journalism on the web and off. I have to admit, when I think of vegan fare, I first picture little lumps of soy curd, swimming in a brown pool of Bragg's Liquid Amino Acids -- perhaps with a spear or two of oversteamed broccoli on the side. Then, when I think a little harder, I picture all the fantastic food that emerges without direct involvement of animals (though nearly all well-raised produce involves at least some contact with animals). I can picture the antipasti table at a simple trattoria …

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Avoid burgers in Texas, Hillary gets charred for CAFO ties, and more

In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat industry. In a proper finale to an E. coli-tainted 2007, the USDA has issued a public-heath alert regarding 14,800 pounds of stolen hamburger meat down in Texas. Get this: the hot meat is "thought to be contaminated with E. coli bacteria." By my calculations, there is enough of the tainted stuff floating around Texas to produce no fewer than 74,000 quarter pounders. Texas Grist readers, don't say you weren't warned. Meanwhile, up in Iowa, Hillary Clinton is getting flack for anointing a shill for the CAFO (concentrated animal …

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Ammonium drifts into national parks

You may not be able to smell cow poop in Yellowstone, Glacier, and Rocky Mountain National Parks, but the air there has become increasingly contaminated with nitrogen compound ammonium, says a recent report from the National Park Service. Possibly originating in concentrated animal feeding operations, ammonium in the three parks -- as well as six other parks in Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota, and Utah -- was most likely borne in from the east by snow and rain, says the report. Ammonium can subtly alter ecosystems; for example, scientists are noticing Rocky Mountain's iconic wildflowers giving way to grasses. Says John …

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Edna Lewis, late doyenne of traditional southern fare, in Gourmet

Edible Media takes an occasional look at interesting or deplorable food journalism on the web. The January issue of Gourmet is devoted to the food of the U.S. south -- probably our sturdiest regional culinary tradition. I adore southern cooking, and the issue had my stomach grumbling from start to finish. I can think of few dishes that sound as satisfying as "simmered greens with cornmeal dumplings" (page 37). Beyond the enticing recipes and food-porn photos, what really makes the issue work is the presence of the late Edna Lewis (1916-2006), the great food writer, chef, and canonizer of southern …

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GOP (and Dem) candidates: red-meat-lovin’, veggie-hatin’

From a compilation of responses given to AP reporters throughout the year: FAVORITE FOOD TO COOK DEMOCRATS: Clinton: "I'm a lousy cook, but I make pretty good soft scrambled eggs." Edwards: Hamburgers. Obama: Chili. Richardson: Diet milkshake. REPUBLICANS: Giuliani: Hamburgers or steak on the grill. Huckabee: Ribeye steak on the grill. McCain: Baby-back ribs. Romney: Hot dog. SHUNNED FOOD ITEMS DEMOCRATS: Clinton: "I like nearly everything. "I don't like, you know, things that are still alive." Edwards: "I can't stand mushrooms. I don't want them on anything that I eat. And I have had to eat them because you get …

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Tyson Foods chief nets $10 million — oops, no, $24 million

Update [2007-12-28 10:14:4 by Tom Philpott]:According to AP, Tyson CEO Richard Bond made total compensation of $24 million in 2007, not $9.88 million, as reported by Bloomberg. Here's how industrial meat production works: you stuff animals into pens, feed them genetically modified, nutritionally suspect corn and soy (along with growth hormones), and force them to wallow in their own waste while keeping them alive with regular lashings of antibiotics. Then you haul them to vast death factories, where de-skilled, low-paid workers, under immense time pressure, dismember them and pack their flesh into little shrink-wrapped styrofoam packages. There's plenty to be …

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Chicago will levy bottled-water tax, Big Bottle plans to sue

Beginning Jan. 1, Chicago will levy a 5-cent tax on bottled water; shortly after it goes into effect, an alliance of food and beverage retailer associations plans to sue.

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Unlike the U.S., European governments are cutting back on agrofuel goodies

European biodiesel makers have entered a rough patch. The price for their main feedstock, rapeseed, has risen more than 50 percent since the beginning of the year. But the price of the final product, biodiesel, has plunged, because producers are churning out far more biodiesel than the market can absorb. Similar conditions hold sway among U.S. ethanol makers: heightened corn prices combined with an ethanol glut. But U.S. producers are celebrating while their European counterparts exude gloom. Why the difference? That's an easy one. In the U.S., the government is playing Santa Claus, while in Europe, governments are responding to …

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No holiday cheer from the meat industry

This isn't what you want to hear about in the wake of the holiday feast, but here goes. From a meat-industry trade journal: A new strain of swine influenza -- H2N3, which belongs to the group of H2 influenza viruses that last infected humans during the 1957 pandemic, has been identified by researchers. However, this new strain has a molecular twist: It is composed of avian and swine influenza genes. Yikes: Bird and pig flus, combined into one that can infect humans. As the trade journal puts it: These findings provide further evidence that swine have the potential to serve …

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