News & Views

"Speak Up to Stop Big Ag": The Latest Action Alert from Food Democracy Now

Obama campaigning in Iowa, January 2008.Obama campaigning in Iowa, January 2008.

While the debate over healthcare reform continues to rage in Washington, other political news can get lost in the cracks.

Case in point, did you know that President Obama recently nominated two "Big Ag" executives -- with connections to Monsanto and CropLife -- to key posts in the U. S. Department of Agriculture? The story wasn't covered by the mainstream news organizations, so I didn't hear about it until I received an action alert from Food Democracy Now.

Here's the full text:

Dear Friends,

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This Halloween, Beware of "Tainted" Chocolate

This Saturday night, as you give candy to the little ghosts, witches, pirates and princesses who've come to your door yelling “trick or treat,” you may get something in return: A piece of chocolate. And an education.

This Halloween, thousands of children across the country will be “Reverse Trick-or-Treating” to tell grown-ups the ugly truth about the chocolate industry. To do so, they will distribute chocolate samples that are Fair Trade Certified and will be accompanied by cards that say this:

Thank you for the candy that you are generously sharing tonight.

Like Halloween, chocolate should be a source of joy for all children, including those in countries where cocoa is grown. Unfortunately, that is not the case today.

Why?

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In Praise of Carrots

 Kate SommersImage Credit: Kate SommersHas there ever been a food more perfect than the carrot? Delicious raw or cooked, skinned or peeled, if I edited the dictionary, there'd be a carrot next to the word "superfood" (if I edited the dictionary, the word "superfood" would be included, yes). The picture would show those lovely orange roots (with green tops, of course) in my 7-year old boy's just-washed hands.

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Beware of the Soccer Snack Shrew!

The fall recreational soccer leagues are now behind us. And with them, the nutritional pitfalls of post-soccer snacks.

If you’re a parent with a kid who plays some kind of sport, chances are you know what I’m talking about. For some reason, snacks have become such a ubiquitous part of recreational sports that questioning their necessity is met with the same disdain as, say, suggesting that our children play their next game with their hands tied behind their backs.

Not that I’ve ever suggested such a thing – kids playing with their hands tied behind their backs, I mean. But I have, on several occasions, tried to gently convince whomever will listen that the post-game goodie grabs do more harm than good.

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A Case for Eating Raw Food

Susan Powers of RawmazingSusan Powers of RawmazingThis article was written by Susan Powers, owner of Rawmazing, a Twin Cities-based raw food business that teaches people to prepare and enjoy raw foods. (You can see Rawmazing's class schedule here.) We're thrilled to have Susan write this article for us.

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FDN Wants to "Stop the Pork" for Factory Pork Producers

Let’s say you’re the CEO of a factory pork producer. Your top priority is squeezing profits out of pigs. But there’s a downturn in the market. There’s more supply than demand for pork products, which means prices have fallen so low that you can’t charge enough to make the profit you promised your board of directors and shareholders.

Is it time to worry?
Sign FDN's petition and help stop government pork for factory porkSign FDN's petition and help stop government pork for factory pork
Not likely. Because under the current system, sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are two things you can do to boost your business:

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Too Busy to Eat Good Food? Blame the Kids!

"The Feast," by Subway"The Feast," by SubwayHere’s what I’m dealing with. I’ve got these 2 boys, 7 and 11 years old (yeah, yeah, just like “7-11”), and they always seem to take forever to get going in the morning. Like this morning they woke up at 7 am, and they took about 20 minutes to get dressed. I was totally annoyed. I mean, the boys took so long we didn’t even have time to let them eat their cereal in front of the TV. We basically had to rush them out the door as soon as their coats were on, which meant that - again - they’d be eating breakfast bars in the car in the way to school.

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National School Lunch Program: Is Opting Out an Option?

Just last week, Congress voted its support for the current agricultural appropriations bill, HR 2997, reauthorizing, among other things, funding for school lunch programs.

I supported the bill because, as I was told by the head of nutrition for my kids’ school district, the lunches served in school cafeterias are the only daily meal that millions of American children can count on.

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Got a Craving for Raw Milk? Blame it on Nina Planck

Every Tuesday morning, the supplier, under cover of pre-dawn darkness, packs up his truck in rural Minnesota to make his weekly delivery. His drop-off site is a nondescript, middle-class home in a Minneapolis suburb, where his regular customers begin to converge around 8:00 a.m. They drive up, park, pick up their orders, leave cash, then return to their everyday lives.

What they’re doing is illegal, but the contraband isn’t cocaine, krugerrands or even Cuban cigars.

It’s milk. Straight from the cow. Whole, non-pasteurized, non-homogenized, non-industrialized, raw milk.

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Slim Jim: Almost Completely Food Free!

Photo by Tim Morris, Wired MagazinePhoto by Tim Morris, Wired MagazineSeptember's Wired Magazine features one of the scariest technology articles I've ever read. It's not a look at how our government plans to train digital video cameras on our every move. It's not a piece on robots that are smarter than us, or small kids who can see into the future. It's not about aliens or even Silicon Valley VCs. The article I'm referring to, written, by Patrick di Justo, is much scarier than any of those things. It's called:

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