Yet more on Obama and USDA

Prez-elect urged to name progressive farm-policy chief

Rather than name a USDA chief, Obama keeps floating trial balloons. The names range from the deplorable, like Big Ag lobbyist Charles Stenholm, to the relatively innocuous, like Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. Sebelius is a …

Meet Shmeat

Test-tube flesh, coming soon to a hot dog near you

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. —– Dear Lou, …

Long forgotten, chestnuts are coming back with a vengeance, and make a delicious holiday pudding

  Nuts about chestnuts.   I first learned about chestnuts from “The Christmas Song” (most likely, the Chipmunks’ version), not from tasting one. That happened much later. A couple of years ago, a farmer brought …

Tomato concentrate

Time to slice up the tomato industry?

What happens when a few large buyers dominate a market? Anyone who keeps up with my posts — still there, mom? — knows what’s coming next: The buyers gain the power to dictate to dictate …

A taste test of seven ‘natural’ frozen dinners

  I have fond memories of microwaveable TV dinners from when I was a child: mac ‘n’ cheese, chicken nuggets, unidentifiable green lumps, mushy brown things. The wonder surrounding them was probably due to the …

Thorns and roses

The not-so-fragrant side of fresh-cut flowers

In conventional development dogma, the fresh-cut flower industry makes plenty of sense. Nations in the global south need foreign exchange and jobs; folks in the industrialized north have plenty of disposable income for buying pretty …

Burger and fr ... uh, what was I saying?

Study links fast-food diets to Alzheimer’s

As the economy plunges into an abyss, consumers are cutting back on spending. They’re desperately seeking bargains, including culinary ones. While most companies deal with declining demand, McDonald’s saw its U.S. sales jump 5.3 percent …

Meat Wagon: Chicken-shit blues

NYT: Maryland poultry CAFOs snuff out Chesapeake oyster industry

In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. —– I write this on the second day of December — one among a string of months that end in …

Agrofuel proponents hone tactics

The food price blame game

Tactic No. 1: Create a straw man. Nobody in their right mind can claim that corn ethanol has no impact on corn prices, or that corn prices have no impact on food prices. You can …

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