Food

Meat Wagon: All the world's a CAFO

Don Tyson details plans to export the U.S. meat model to global south

In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. —– A handful of large companies [PDF] dominate the U.S. meat industry. The biggest of all (besides Cargill whose interests extend well beyond meat) is Tyson Foods, one of the two largest beef packers, the second-largest pork packer, and the second-largest chicken producer. Tyson has exerted tremendous influence over the recent U.S. food culture and economy. It innovated the “vertical-integration” strategy that now dominates meat production, wherein mega-packers breed, slaughter, and process farm animals — mostly leaving the risky job of raising them to farmers …

Feed a company, starve a country

Monsanto purchased a Brazilian sugarcane ethanol company for $290 million

At a time when many people were questioning causes of the recent food crisis, many more were investigating how our food systems can move forward to sustainably feed the increasing world population. Recently, the U.N. Task Force on Trade, Environment and Development released a report touting the noteworthy yields and economic benefits of organic agriculture in Africa. Even recognizing that organic production offers significant hope for increasing food security. Another report released earlier this year by the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development noted that a “radical change” was needed for agriculture, and that agricultural biotechnology …

Umbra on food-waste collection

Dear Umbra, Are any communities collecting food waste — potato peels, meat scraps, corn husks, etc. — for recycling? Is there a market for such material? Wendy S. Far Hills, N.J. Dearest Wendy, Yes and yes. Multiple communities collect food waste, in a variety of ways. Which is great, considering that food makes up about 12 percent of our garbage discards and is perfectly recyclable. You don’t have to be hardcore to recycle food scraps. The proper end to food scraps is rebirth as compost, wherein the nutrients stored in the foods will be returned to the soil and made …

Going up? Part 4

Michael Pollan and other food authors and activists offer their elevator pitches for Obama

We asked a number of leaders in sustainable food and agriculture to imagine they found themselves in an elevator with the president-elect — giving them one minute of his undivided attention. Here are their messages to Obama about how he should approach environment, energy, climate, and food policy. (For more perspectives, check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of our elevator-pitch series.) —– Michael Pollan. Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food: “I would urge the new president to appoint a Food Policy Czar in the White House. Why? Because, as I’ve written recently …

Going up? Part 2

Sustainable food and ag folks offer their elevator pitches for Obama

We asked a number of leaders in sustainable food and agriculture to imagine they found themselves in an elevator with the president-elect — giving them one minute of his undivided attention. Here are their messages to Obama about how he should approach environment, energy, climate, and food policy. (For more perspectives, check out Part 1, Part 3, and Part 4 of our elevator-pitch series.) —– Anna Lappe. Anna Lappé, author and co-founder of the Small Planet Institute: "President Obama, you have inspired millions by your call to all of us to become part of the change we want to see …

Talk turkey to me

Smaller breasts are better, and other advice for holiday-bird quandaries

In Checkout Line, Lou Bendrick cooks up answers to reader questions about how to green their food choices and other diet-related quandaries. Lettuce know what food worries keep you up at night. May I suggest a nice ham this year?   Dear Checkout Line, Let’s talk turkey. I want to green my Thanksgiving table, but have it be delicious, too. No more Butterball! But from there, should I mail order a heritage turkey, or buy a pastured one from a nearby farmer? Or buy an organic one from the supermarket? What sort of deliciousness/sustainability trade-offs are we talking about here? …