More thoughts on USDA and Obama

With the food world’s eyes on farm policy, is the real action at Treasury?

Food-politics blogs and listservs are blowing up with speculation about whom Obama will tap as USDA chief. I’ve weighed in myself here and here. (Update: House Ag Committee chair Colin Peterson, tipped as a top …

Making biofuel out of small farmers

Impoverished Africans can’t eat their own crops

From an interesting article by Dave Harcourt in Ecoworldly: The castor [oil], equivalent to 12,000 tons of oil, would actually be grown by 25,000 families [small African farmers] contracted by GEE and would have a …

Reclaiming the beauty of Thanksgiving

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. – Cicero   In a couple of days, we’ll celebrate our best, most important holiday. While celebrations of the harvest …

Beyond secretary of agriculture

How to change USDA with sustainable agriculture allies

In a recent post, I discussed likely candidates for secretary of agriculture in the Obama administration and encouraged you to voice your support or dislike of the names being floated to Obama’s transition team. You …

Biofuelishness unbowed

‘Second generation’ or not, biofuels contribute to Peak Soil

The Seattle Times has another story peddling the fantasy that there are "second generation biofuels" that magically appear without use of energy, land, or water (not to mention subsidies). The most revealing comment in the …

New annual quota for bluefin tuna does the fish no favors, say greens

A new legal quota set Monday for Atlantic bluefin tuna is a “mockery of science” and may cause the tuna population to collapse, green group WWF warned. The 46 member nations of the International Commission …

Turkey-ish delight

A meat-free turkey slideshow and other vegetarian Thanksgiving fare

In the spirit of holiday gratitude, Grist would like to give thanks for those creative souls who play with their food. Because without them, we wouldn’t have this festive slideshow of meat-free masterpieces shaped like …

Obama's USDA chief: And then there were two?

Vilsack out; Peterson and Herseth Sandlin square off

Until very recently, speculation around who would take the top spot at Obama’s USDA centered on former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, a champion of both genetically modified seed technology and farm-subsidy reform. But now Vilsack’s …

Time to fundamentally reassess the WTO's Doha Round

Food sovereignty needs to be the center of renewed negotiations

With each new event or international conference in 2008’s saga of economic and food crises, there are calls to complete the long-running Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations. The international players all act as …

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