Wal-Mart Comes to the Farmers Market

As the ground shifts under their feet, food giants experiment with new strategies Grist Tom Philipott For more than a generation, the major corporations that process and sell the vast bulk of our food have had it pretty easy. They’ve had access to cheap energy to ship food over globe-spanning distances and run giant food-processing… Read more »

Unnatural Roots of the Food Crisis

BBC News VIEWPOINT — Gonzalo Oviedo As representatives of the world’s governments gather to address shortages in major foodstuffs and rising prices, Gonzalo Oviedo counsels them to focus on ecosystems. The modern business-dominated agricultural industry, he argues, promotes the degradation of nature – and that, in turn, means less and worse food. Four plant species… Read more »

Eat That?

Agriculture secretary’s reassurance rings hollow in light of current industrial beef processing The Houston Chronicle Editorial U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer recently assured Americans that USDA inspectors check “every single” processed American beef carcass. Charitably put, his statement is highly misleading. USDA inspections are perfunctory and fall far short of checks performed by other countries’… Read more »

Now, a Commodities Conundrum

The Washington Post By Steven Pearlstein, Business Columnist The global financial system these days is beginning to look like a giant Whac-a-Mole game — when we think we’ve knocked down one speculative bubble, another one just like it pops up. The latest is the commodities bubble — everything from oil and natural gas to gold,… Read more »

Hole in the Middle

To make local food more accessible, time to revive mid-sized farms Grist By Tom Philpott Most people probably don’t think of Carrboro, North Carolina — a bustling town just outside of Chapel Hill — as a food lover’s paradise. But walk into the town’s beloved farmers market on a spring Saturday morning, and you see… Read more »

What’s Not for Dinner — Wild Salmon

Enviroblog Environmental Working Group One of the glories of life in Northern California is the annual harvest of wild chinook salmon. We mark the beginning of summer by the first backyard barbecue of grilled chinook (although many people mistakenly call it king salmon). Paired with a bottle of pinot noir, a perfectly charred salmon steak… Read more »

How Now, Organic Cow?

As energy, healthcare, and feed costs skyrocket, organic dairy farmers get squeezed Guest post by Ed Maltby, executive director Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Deerfield, MA: What is more important to Stonyfield Farm and HP Hood, market share or the health and welfare of their organic family farmers? If you ask 24-year-old Mark Ouellette Jr.,… Read more »

Pay Rent and Eat Too?

Rising food prices hit home around the world Grist Tom Philipott Hey you, in the supermarket line — yeah, you, the one with the stuffed cart. Are you ready to pay up for those groceries? You’d better be, pal. That’s the message from Bill Lapp, former chief economist for the food giant Conagra. “I think… Read more »

My Forbidden Fruits (and Vegetables)

New York Times By Jack Hedin Rushford, Minn. If you’ve stood in line at a farmers’ market recently, you know that the local food movement is thriving, to the point that small farmers are having a tough time keeping up with the demand. But consumers who would like to be able to buy local fruits… Read more »