Food News

Stanford study missed the boat

Jim Riddle explains why

Eating Well has to cost so much more?

Don't believe it. A nice review of that "news" from the author of Wildly Affordable Organic.

Anne Lappé explains why attacks on Organic food are just. plain. wrong.

Organic Chicken Is Too Safer

Published study on salmonella and chicken.

UN Studies conclude that Sustainable Ag is the only way to feed a growing world population

New UN Report on How to Feed the World's Hungry: Ditch Corporate-Controlled Agriculture

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

Sustainable Farming Can Feed the World?

For an historical perspective on how we've been talking about "feeding the world" for over 50 years, read: How the World Was Supposed to Look in 2000.

Alarming Studies on RoundUp and GE RoundUp-Ready Plants

Links to new soil fungus, plant disease and animal infertility

In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Don M. Huber, Emeritus Professor, Purdue University, APS Coordinator, USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System (NPDRS) outlines alarming news about everyone's favorite Monsanto product and the plants that have been genetically engineered to tolerate more applications of that herbicide.

Read the whole letter. Tell your friends.

Rumor flying about sugar substitute in organic food

There is some nonsense going around the blogosphere about an artificial sweetener in organic food.

Nothing could be further from the truth! That sweetener is not on the approved list for additives to organic foods - never has been.

Even if it were, it would have to be listed as an ingredient. We can't imagine anyone who went to all the trouble to make an organic product turning around and dumping a fake sweetener into it.

Our friends at the Cornucopia Institute looked into this as soon as they heard about it.

USDA to change status of Genetically Engineered Alfalfa - Organic Dairy Farms at Risk

For background information on the GE Alfalfa petition, read the statement from the National Cooperative Grocers Association at

Food Safety Legislation Could be Great or Awful

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has an update on efforts by Senator Tester (D-MT, the Senate's only organic farmer) and Senator Hagan (D-NC) to protect small-scale, sustainable farms and farmers.

We believe that inclusion of the Tester-Hagan Amendment to S. 510 is crucial. A cloture vote has been scheduled on the Senate food safety bill for November 17. The "Manager's amendment" to the bill, likely to be the first amendment dealt with if cloture is reached, includes several provisions backed by NSAC to address the concerns of small and mid-size family farmers, diversified sustainable and organic agriculture, and conservation and environmental impacts of food safety regulation.

The Tester amendment would improve food safety outcomes by creating size-appropriate alternatives to the requirements in the underlying bill for "preventative control plans" for very small processing facilities of all types as well as for those with less than $500,000 in annual sales that primarily direct market their products to consumers, stores, or restaurants and do so within state boundaries or within 400 miles of the farm or processing facility. Under current FDA rules, a wide range of farming activities broadly qualify as "processing" and thus qualify those farms as processing "facilities" that fall under FDA's regulatory controls.

Long-term Cropping Trials at Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC) Demonstrate Positive Effects of Organic Production

Data presented by University of Minnesota Extension Corn Agronomist Dr. Jeff Coulter during the U of M's Organic Field Day, held July 8, 2010, at the SWROC near Lamberton, demonstrates the long-term productivity of organic cropping systems (pdf).

Consumers can choose organic products to avoid synthetic food dyes

Worried about artificial colors in food products? Certified organic food never uses them.

Egg research findings inaccurately peg organic in media reports

If you read the Time report claiming that organic eggs are no more nutritious than conventional eggs, well, they were wrong. The study they cite didn't measure nutrition.

From the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

California Bans Battery Cage Eggs As of 2015

Vilsack: Farm Bill Should Emphasize Beginning Farmers

State governor strikes deal with animal welfare groups to avoid costly campaign

Instead of "fighting an acrimonious campaign" over animal welfare reform, a Midwestern state governor on Wednesday ordered improvements to the state's animal care standards including the phasing out of extreme confinement systems for breeding pigs and veal calves and an immediate moratorium on battery cage construction.

Update on the Food Safety Bill

Food Safety Talks: An Interview with NSAC's Ferd Hoefner

Confused by the Supreme Court's GE Ruling?

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in GE Alfalfa Case

Other Issues Delay Senate Food Safety

The Packer

Senate food safety legislation is getting squeezed by a tight Congressional calendar.

Food Safety Update

S510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, was expected to be taken up by the Senate just after Memorial Day but has been pushed back due to the Gulf oil spill.

The Wedge is following debate about this bill from many sources. Blogs from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), a farm and foods advocate in Washington, DC., provides ongoing dialog about the debate and the issues that are meaningful to those of us interested in food safety.

USDA Local Food Systems Report

A recent report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) about local food systems provides a comprehensive literature-review-based overview of the current understanding of local food systems, including: alternative definitions, estimates of market size and reach, descriptions of the characteristics of local food consumers and producers, and an examination of early evidence on the economic and health impacts of such systems.

Just when you think organic agriculture is making new friends, news comes to remind you that you always have to be on guard.

Bill introduced to repeal National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) has introduced a bill, HR 5326, to repeal the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. Rep. Conaway has continually introduced similar legislation since the 2008 Farm Bill. The bill will not likely receive a Committee hearing, but will serve as a "marker" bill for the 2012 Farm Bill, which enhances the issue's visibility in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill. The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has scheduled a meeting with Congressman Conaway to discuss the importance of the program to the organic industry, especially small farmers.

OTA is reaching out to other groups (Organic Farmers Research Foundation, National Organic Coalition and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition) and individual OTA members to send a joint letter to the House Agriculture Committee in opposition to the bill. OTA is committed to keeping the program in place and there are currently no cosponsors of this bill.

The Cost-Share Program is used by the Wedge to recoup some of the costs associated with our Organic Certification. It's not much, but it does help with the expense of our annual Inspection and renewal fees. The Cost-Share Program is funded through the Farm Bill and funds are distributed through State Organic Programs. Cost-Share is capped at $750 per Tax ID.