Media/News Archive

Why Farmed Salmon Is Losing Its Omega-3 Edge

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Civil Eats
by Clare Leschin-Hoar

Source: Kris Krüg

Closing the fish oil gap

When Amanda West Reade was pregnant with her now two-year-old son, she started eating farmed salmon. As a vegetarian, she knew that getting enough protein, omega-3s, and folic acid to boost her growing baby’s development might be tricky.

“My doctor listed a few meal ideas and I thought I could handle the salmon,” says Reade. “She said to lean more towards farmed salmon because it was higher in omega-3s.”

Reade followed her doctor’s advice and added farmed salmon to her diet three times a week. “It became something I really craved,” she says.

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are good for the brain and eye development of growing babies and salmon has been a go-to meal for those looking for a reliable a low-mercury fish source. When it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, the message is the clear: All salmon is a good choice.

But that might soon change. A piece of farmed salmon today may contain as little as half the amount of omega-3s than it did a decade ago. Read Full Article »

Prominent Chefs Serve Up a Message to Congress: Label GMOs

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Center for Food Safety

Source: David Holt

Washington, D.C. – More than 700 chefs – including Tom Colicchio, José Andrés, Art Smith and Sam Talbot – are urging members of Congress to support legislation to mandate labeling of genetically modified foods and to oppose efforts to block state GMO labeling laws.

In a petition delivered Dec. 2, authored by Chef Tom Colicchio, the chefs call on Congress to advance legislation sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.

“As chefs, we know that choosing the right ingredients is an absolutely critical part of cooking,” the petition states. “But when it comes to whether our ingredients contain genetically modified organisms, we’re in the dark. It’s time for Congress to move us forward, not backward, when it comes to our right to know what’s in our food.” Read Full Article »

Hardship on Mexico’s Farms, a Bounty for U.S. Tables

Monday, December 8th, 2014

A Times reporter and photographer find that thousands of laborers at Mexico’s mega-farms endure harsh conditions and exploitation while supplying produce for American consumers. First of four stories.
Please click on the link below to view this story with all images on the LA Times website.

Source: Rusty Clark

LA Times
by Richard Marosi

The tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers arrive year-round by the ton, with peel-off stickers proclaiming “Product of Mexico.”

Farm exports to the U.S. from Mexico have tripled to $7.6 billion in the last decade, enriching agribusinesses, distributors and retailers.

American consumers get all the salsa, squash and melons they can eat at affordable prices. And top U.S. brands — Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Subway and Safeway, among many others — profit from produce they have come to depend on.

These corporations say their Mexican suppliers have committed to decent treatment and living conditions for workers.

But a Los Angeles Times investigation found that for thousands of farm laborers south of the border, the export boom is a story of exploitation and extreme hardship. Read Full Article »

Biotech Group Spent Historic $7M Against Maui GMO Farming Moratorium

Monday, December 8th, 2014

Now global seed companies Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences are spending more on a legal challenge to the voter-approved initiative.

Civil Beat
by Anita Hofschneider

Hawaiian Corn Field
Source: David Casteel

A biotech group backed by Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences spent a record-breaking $7 million in its failed attempt to defeat a Maui County voter initiative that will temporarily ban genetically engineered farming — if it survives a legal challenge by the companies.

Citizens Against the Maui County Farming Ban, a political action committee financed overwhelmingly by global seed companies Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, spent more than $7.2 million seeking to convince voters to reject the bill, according to the group’s campaign spending report filed late last week.

That’s more than any other campaign in Hawaii history.

The measure still passed Nov. 4 by a margin of 1,077 votes. It is being challenged in federal court. Read Full Article »

Celebrity Chefs Cook Up Lobbying Agenda

Friday, December 5th, 2014

The school lunch debate is only the first test for the culinary political network.

by Helena Bottemiller Evich

Tom Colicchio
Source: David Shankbone

“Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio was about to deliver his critique to the starstruck House Republican aides assembled before him — but not of the wild boar carnitas they prepared for his visit.

It was on their push to roll back the first lady’s school nutrition standards. His verdict might as well been his show’s catchphrase: Please pack your knives and go.

Colicchio is part of a growing army of chefs across the country looking to channel their growing celebrity to influence food and agriculture policy in Washington, from school nutrition to the farm bill to animal welfare and even fisheries management. Their number is legion, their ranks full of names like Rachael Ray and Mario Batali along with scores of local celebrity chefs and restaurateurs — and their increasingly organized effort backs up some of the Obama administration’s sweeping food policy agenda right as it faces down an adversarial Congress.

“I think a lot of us feel food is a right,” said Colicchio, who first got involved in food politics about three years ago. If you mention reproductive rights, you immediately go to the politics. Food? No, you don’t even think about it. It doesn’t come up. Yet everything we care about it gets voted on, whether it’s the farm bill or school lunch.” Read Full Article »