Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Food

Comments

FTC files appeal of Whole Foods’ Wild Oats buyout

In an unusual move, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is pursuing an appeal of a district-court ruling that allowed natural-foods giant Whole Foods to acquire its former competitor Wild Oats in August. The $565 million deal has already been completed, but the agency hopes the long-shot appeal will reverse it.

Comments

U.K. organic certifier says air-freighted organics must meet “ethical standards”

Britain's main organic certifier, the Soil Association, has decided not to deny the organic label to air-freighted food, instead opting to require producers of flown-in fare to meet ethical standards similar to "fair trade" certification. The association decided that denying organic status to all flown-in food would unfairly hurt farmers and workers in poor countries. Only about 1 percent of organic food is air-freighted to the U.K., but the association is worried about the market's future growth. The "ethical standards" seek to ensure that workers are not subject to exploitative conditions and that they are guaranteed a fair wage. After …

Read more: Food

Comments

Pediatrician identifies five foods for parents to buy organic

Like the sound of organic food but don't have the wherewithal to overhaul your entire pantry? Parents should focus their funds on organic milk, potatoes, peanut butter, ketchup, and apples, says pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene. But that doesn't mean you're allowed to mash those five foods together and call it a healthy dinner.

Read more: Food, Living

Comments

Along the Mississippi: Ponyshoe edition

$5 could be yours

It's morning in St Louis, and we're getting ready to talk with some of the movers and shakers in the world of riverfront greenways. While preparing, we ate at a greasy spoon where Jimmy Kimmel was on the teevee talking about his daily cross-country flights for this week's double-hosting duty. Yikes. On a side note, this meal was my third in a row involving white food products slathered in butter -- I've gotta be careful about that. But my health loss is your gain: I will send $5 to the first person who can correctly guess the four ingredients in …

Read more: Cities, Food

Comments

Soup bleg

So, it happens that a number of Gristies are having soup-based lunches today. Me, I'm having chili. Which prompted a comment from a colleague: "Well, that's a kind of soup, right?" Me: "Or is it a kind of stew?" Other colleague: "Or is stew a kind of soup?" So, a few seconds googling some intense research has confirmed that this is a contentious question -- even prompting a recent lawsuit -- but it has not revealed a definitive answer. Grist's audience seems rather food savvy. So we turn to you to bring clarity to this intolerable murk. Enlighten us.

Read more: Food

Comments

Our twisted Farm bill

An audio story about ag subsidies

This little radio story, from NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, tells the story of a sprawling ranch in Texas. It was the single largest recipient of federal farm subsidies between 1999 and 2005 -- receiving some $8.3 million, not for cattle, but for cotton. Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group says this: It's the exact opposite of what most taxpayers have in mind when they think of how their farm subsidy money is supporting agriculture. The farm is so big and so profitable, apparently, that it only applies for subsidies because "other cotton growers do," and because "the federal …

Read more: Food, Politics

Comments

Over the moon for cow power

Methane from Vermont dairy farms to provide electricity for utility customers

Central Vermont Public Service is laying claim to one of the fastest-growing renewable energy programs in the country: its customers can now choose to receive all, half, or a quarter of their electrical energy through the Cow Power program, which digests cow manure at participating dairy farms, captures the methane, and uses that to power generators. CVPS customers pay a premium of 4 cents per KWh, delivering another revenue stream for farmers, who are paid 95 percent of the market price for all of the energy sold to CVPS.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Food

Comments

As food series ends, the story is just beginning

During my trip to the Midwest this summer, I saw many unsettling sights: vast monocropped landscapes lashed regularly with chemicals, insidious low-slung buildings that imprison thousands of animals and concentrate their waste. Yet I returned oddly invigorated, buzzing about Iowa's promise as a sustainable-ag mecca. Amid the cornfields and the CAFOs, I saw thriving homestead farms where people are raising organic vegetables alongside pastured, happy hogs. I saw bustling farmers' markets and met chefs whose buy-local fixations might make them the toast of Berkeley or Santa Cruz. I came back with a mantra: Iowa today is California circa 1972. One …

Read more: Food

Comments

The wheat from the chaff

Good farm policies support good farm practices

Interest in the Farm Bill is usually confined to policy wonks and agribusiness lobbyists, but this year it has generated more buzz than a cowpie in a June paddock. Despite the stir, most of the public attention has been narrowly focused on only one aspect of the $280 billion policy package: the farm payments paid to corn, soybean, wheat, rice, and cotton producers. Though concerns over the current commodity programs are well-founded, their emphasis has given a negative cast to the Farm Bill debate: we should be against farm subsidies. But there are also things worth fighting for in the …

Read more: Food, Politics

Comments

Fight over disclosure of pesticide ingredients heats up in California

In California, a battle is raging over a pesticide that critics say is sickening hundreds of residents as it's being sprayed over large swaths of Monterey County to battle a crop-destroying moth. Residents who became ill after the first application of the pesticide want to know what's in it that could cause asthma-like symptoms, rashes, stomach pains, and burning eyes. But regulators have kept quiet about what's in the mix -- dubbed CheckMate by its manufacturer -- due to laws protecting pesticide ingredients as trade secrets. A district judge ordered a temporary halt to the spraying last week due to …

Read more: Food