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Food Corruption News Articles

Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable news media sources. If any link fails to function, a paywall blocks full access, or the article is no longer available, try these digital tools.

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Life-Threatening Food?
2001-05-17, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/05/17/eveningnews/main291992.shtml

Last fall, at a business lunch with co-workers, Grace Booth enjoyed three chicken enchiladas. The food, she recalls, was very good but then something went very wrong. "I thought, oh my God, what is happening to me? I felt like I was going to die." In the emergency room in nearby Oakland the diagnosis was severe allergic reaction and from here Grace Booth's story reached officials in Washington. At the time the national corn market was in an uproar. Starlink, a gene modified corn not approved for human food, had been found in taco shells and recalls were emptying the shelves of corn products. The fear was possible allergic reactions. At that moment, Booth says, she had no idea that the corn tortillas in her lunch were about to be recalled. In the wake of the recalls more than 50 Americans, including Booth, claimed they had reactions to Starlink corn. That forced the government to launch the first full-scale allergy investigation in the history of biotech food. It has taken months, but the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration have collected food samples and blood from two dozen people whose cases were believed most serious. [Symptoms] "[v]aried from just abdominal pain and diarrhea [or] skin rashes to some patients ... having very severe life-threatening reactions," said Dr. Marc Rothenberg, the allergy chief at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. He is an adviser to the government in the Starlink investigation. Its slow going he says because investigators first had to find the Starlink protein and then invent a blood test.

Note: The date of this article is May 17, 2001, though on the webpage itself a different date is listed. With so many examples of allergic reactions and more to GM foods, why does the FDA continue to insist that these foods are safe? Could it be because many top leaders at the FDA once worked at Monsanto?


Huge Study Of Diet Indicts Fat And Meat
1990-05-08, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/1990/05/08/science/huge-study-of-diet-indicts-fat-and-...

Early findings from the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease are challenging much of American dietary dogma. The study, being conducted in China, paints a bold portrait of a plant-based eating plan that is more likely to promote health than disease. Among the first tantalizing findings are these: Obesity is related more to what people eat than how much. Adjusted for height, the Chinese consume 20 percent more calories than Americans do, but Americans are 25 percent fatter. The main dietary differences are fat and starch. The Chinese eat only a third the amount of fat Americans do, while eating twice the starch. The body readily stores fat but expends a larger proportion of the carbohydrates consumed as heat. Some of the differences may be attributable to exercise. Reducing dietary fat to less than 30 percent of calories, as is currently recommended for Americans, may not be enough to curb the risk of heart disease and cancer. To make a significant impact, the Chinese data imply, a maximum of 20 percent of calories from fat - and preferably only 10 to 15 percent - should be consumed. Eating a lot of protein, especially animal protein, is also linked to chronic disease. Americans consume a third more protein than the Chinese do, and 70 percent of American protein comes from animals, while only 7 percent of Chinese protein does. Those Chinese who eat the most protein, and especially the most animal protein, also have the highest rates of the ''diseases of affluence'' like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Note: For a highly rated book about this landmark study, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.


Prosecutors Silence Evidence of Cruel Factory Farm Practices in Animal Rights Cases
2022-01-30, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2022/01/30/animal-rights-activists-dxe-trial-evidence/

In criminal trials, judges routinely rule that certain evidence or testimony does not get presented to the jury. By and large, these rulings to exclude evidence benefit the defendant. In ... cases against animal rights activists, who face hefty charges for removing ailing animals from farms, the typical logic behind keeping evidence from a jury is flipped on its head. The prosecutors, rather than defendants, have sought ... to suppress all mention during trial of animal cruelty. Next month, a Utah judge will hear pretrial motions on the exclusion of evidence in a case against two members of the animal liberation group Direct Action Everywhere. The activists face charges of burglary and theft for removing two suffering piglets from a hog farm in 2017, for which they could be sentenced to more than a decade in prison. The Utah attorney general is seeking to exclude all evidence and testimony relating to the torturous treatment of animals. The activists filmed themselves entering the pork facility; they turned the camera onto the pigs — mother pigs with bloody nipples, pigs with huge open sores, dead and dying piglets on the floor — and filmed themselves removing the piglets. The prosecution argues that ... the activists’ commentary on the grim factory conditions and any mention of the company’s mistreatment of its animals would be unfairly prejudicial. That a prosecutor would move to preclude real-time footage of the alleged crime speaks to a frantic desire to foreclose any reckoning with the case’s crucial context.

Note: Read more about how video evidence of animal cruelty is suppressed to protect factory farms. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Can a Tiny Restaurant Surcharge Move the Needle on Climate?
2023-09-19, Reasons to be Cheerful
https://reasonstobecheerful.world/zero-foodprint-changing-the-food-system/

When Anthony Myint and his wife Karen Leibowitz opened their San Francisco restaurant The Perennial in 2016, they had big ambitions: They wanted it to be the first carbon-neutral restaurant in the world, and they succeeded. From the recycled floor tiles and reclaimed lumber to the aquaponic herb garden and compostable paper menus, the culinary duo designed every part of the diner with the climate in mind. “We shifted the menus, reduced food waste, switched to renewable energy, started composting and bought carbon offsets,” Myint says. They were motivated by the knowledge that agriculture and food systems contribute nearly a third of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The Perennial’s menu championed sourdough loaves baked with perennial Kernza grains, and the chefs bought their steaks from regenerative ranches associated with the Marin Carbon Project, the country’s foremost center for regenerative farming. The more Myint learned about regenerative agriculture, the more he became convinced that this was the global solution he needed to champion. “It became clear to me that this is the future of food, similar to the way renewable energy is the future of energy,” he says. “The whole food system needs to gradually transition.” Zero Foodprint is asking restaurant customers and other participating businesses to give one percent of their sales to a pool that funds regenerative agriculture. More than 80 businesses have signed up.

Note: We've summarized a handful of stories about the power of regenerative agriculture practices to reverse and heal global ecological destruction. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


How gardens enable refugees and immigrants to put down roots in new communities
2023-09-06, PBS News
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/how-gardens-enable-refugees-and-immigrants-...

Gardening and community gardens can be ways for immigrant and refugee communities to supplement their pantries by growing their own food, especially culturally appropriate food that is not readily found in grocery stores. It also helps people send literal roots down into a new place while maintaining a connection with their homeland. The Arab American National Museum (AANM) has created a new heritage garden on its roof with donated seeds, cuttings, and plants from local Arab American community members around Dearborn, Michigan. These include plants with a connection to the Arab world, but also plants from Michigan that have become meaningful to the Arab American community here. Accompanying the plants in the garden are oral histories of those community members about what gardening means to them, collected by the museum’s community historian. In Ann Arbor, Michigan, Phimmasone Kym Owens ... said, ‘Why don’t I create a garden for refugees?’” In 2021, Owens reached out to Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County. They formed a partnership to create an innovative refugee-to-refugee community garden program ... and to work with refugees and grow culturally appropriate vegetables. “What sold this as being different is giving autonomy to the clients,” Owens said. “So we had a vote. They voted [for] Freedom Garden. And that’s a name that says it all. The fact that they chose Freedom Garden says exactly what you know, being a refugee, what you want.”

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Atlanta creates the nation's largest free food forest with hopes of addressing food insecurity
2021-03-02, CNN News
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/22/us/atlanta-free-food-forest-trnd/index.html

When a dormant pecan farm in the neighborhoods of south Atlanta closed, the land was soon rezoned and earmarked to become townhouses. But when the townhouses never came to fruition and with the lot remaining in foreclosure, the Conservation Fund bought it in 2016 to develop an unexpected project: the nation's largest free food forest. Thanks to a US Forest Service grant and a partnership between the city of Atlanta, the Conservation Fund, and Trees Atlanta, you'll find 7.1 acres of land ripe with 2,500 pesticide-free edible and medicinal plants only 10 minutes from Atlanta's airport. The forest is in the Browns Mill neighborhood of southeast Atlanta, where the closest grocery store is a 30-minute bus ride away. "Access to green space and healthy foods is very important. And that's a part of our mission," says Michael McCord, a certified arborist and expert edible landscaper who helps manage the forest. The forest is part of the city of Atlanta's larger mission to bring healthy food within half a mile of 85% of Atlanta's 500,000 residents by 2022, though as recently as 2014, it was illegal to grow food on residential lots in the city. Resources like the food forest are a rarity and necessity in Atlanta as 1 in 6 Georgians face food insecurity, 1 in 3 Browns Mill residents live below the poverty line, and 1 in 4 Atlantans live in food deserts. The forest is now owned by the parks department and more than 1,000 volunteers and neighbors are helping to plant, water and maintain the forest.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


What Are Sperm Telling Us?
2021-02-20, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/20/opinion/sunday/endocrine-disruptors-sperm....

Sperm counts have been dropping; infant boys are developing more genital abnormalities; more girls are experiencing early puberty; and adult women appear to be suffering declining egg quality and more miscarriages. It’s not just humans. Scientists report genital anomalies in a range of species, including unusually small penises in alligators, otters and minks. In some areas, significant numbers of fish, frogs and turtles have exhibited both male and female organs. Experts say the problem is a class of chemicals called endocrine disruptors, which mimic the body’s hormones and thus fool our cells. This is a particular problem for fetuses as they sexually differentiate early in pregnancy. Endocrine disruptors can wreak reproductive havoc. These endocrine disruptors are everywhere: plastics, shampoos, cosmetics, cushions, pesticides, canned foods and A.T.M. receipts. They often aren’t on labels and can be difficult to avoid. Chemical companies ... lobby against even safety testing of endocrine disruptors, so that we have little idea if products we use each day are damaging our bodies or our children. Still, the Endocrine Society, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, the President’s Cancer Panel and the World Health Organization have all warned about endocrine disruptors, and Europe and Canada have moved to regulate them. But in the United States, Congress and the Trump administration seemed to listen more to industry lobbyists than to independent scientists.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health from reliable major media sources.


2.4 million pounds and counting: How sending surplus crops to food banks is helping Washington farmers and hungry families
2020-07-21, Seattle Times
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/2-3m-pounds-and-counting-how-sendin...

It started with a simple message on Facebook on April 29. George Ahearn had heard about farmers in Eastern Washington who were giving away potatoes and onions and wanted to know if someone had a truck he could borrow to haul the discarded crops to Western Washington food banks. The response was immediate and dramatic. A convoy of four trucks, including two with trailers, made the trip east, helping provide quite a bounty for local food banks. We brought back 9.36 tons when my original goal was 2,000 pounds (one ton), Aheard said. The effort didnt end there. EastWest Food Rescue is now a registered nonprofit organization, having delivered more than 2.4 million pounds of crops to more than 160 food banks. Not only is it helping with food security, but the organization is paying the farmers, who saw the market for some of their crops vanish during the coronavirus pandemic. The whole thing started because of COVID, said Nancy Balin, who answered Ahearns initial request and is now one of three directors of the program. They immediately lost all the restaurant contracts they had for these restaurant-quality potatoes and onions. Meanwhile, unemployment was spiking everywhere, along with the need for food. People who had never needed food before needed food banks, and these farmers have potatoes that they need to get rid of, Balin said. The goal now is 10 million pounds of food rescued, which Balin said will take $250,000 in donations in addition to hundreds of volunteer hours.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Insect 'apocalypse' in U.S. driven by 50x increase in toxic pesticides
2019-08-06, National Geographic
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/08/insect-apocalypse-unde...

Americas agricultural landscape is now 48 times more toxic to honeybees, and likely other insects, than it was 25 years ago, almost entirely due to widespread use of so-called neonicotinoid pesticides, according to a new study published today in the journal PLOS One. This enormous rise in toxicity matches the sharp declines in bees, butterflies, and other pollinators as well as birds, says co-author Kendra Klein. This is the second Silent Spring. Neonics are like a new DDT, except they are a thousand times more toxic to bees than DDT was, Klein says. Using a new tool that measures toxicity to honey bees, the length of time a pesticide remains toxic, and the amount used in a year, Klein and researchers from three other institutions determined that the new generation of pesticides has made agriculture far more toxic to insects. Honey bees are used as a proxy for all insects. The study found that neonics accounted for 92 percent of this increased toxicity. Neonics are not only incredibly toxic to honeybees, they can remain toxic for more than 1,000 days in the environment, said Klein. Some scientists have been warning that there is an insect apocalypse underway. A global analysis of 452 species in 2014 estimated that insect abundance had declined 45 percent over 40 years. Not only do bees, butterflies, and other insects pollinate one-third of all food crops, declining insect numbers can also have catastrophic ecological repercussions.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Disturbing Undercover Video Shows Animal Abuse at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana
2019-06-05, NBC News (Chicago Affiliate)
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/fair-oaks-farms-indian...

A northwest Indiana dairy farm has fired four employees seen in a graphic undercover video released Tuesday by an animal welfare organization showing animals being abused. Following an investigation into the abuse, at least three retailers announced Wednesday that they would remove all Fairlife products from their shelves. The Coca Cola Corporation, which distributes the brand, said it was in talks to have sourcing from the farm in question discontinued. The Animal Recovery Mission called it the largest undercover dairy investigation in history and said the video documents systemic and illegal abuse at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana. ARM said an investigator spent three months undercover at the Prairies Edge North Barn after being hired as a calf care employee. The group noted that Fair Oaks Farms North Barn was not targeted, but rather the barn was the first farm to hire the investigator, who had applied to multiple dairy farms in Jasper and Newton Counties in Indiana. Employees were observed slapping, kicking, punching, pushing, throwing and slamming calves, ARM said in a statement. Calves were stabbed and beaten with steel rebars, hit in the mouth and face with hard plastic milking bottles, kneed in the spine, burned in the face with hot branding irons, subjected to extreme temperatures, provided with improper nutrition, and denied medical attention. The footage was released on social media (warning: footage is graphic) Tuesday, where it has since garnered more than 100,000 views on Facebook and more than 1 million views on Vimeo.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food industry from reliable major media sources.


The future of the food supply chain lives on a rooftop in Montreal
2021-02-06, Fortune
https://fortune.com/2021/02/06/brainstorm-reinvent-rooftop-farming-lufa-farms...

The world’s biggest commercial rooftop greenhouse sits atop a former Sears warehouse in a semi-industrial northwestern quarter of Montreal. Early every morning, staff pick fresh vegetables, then bring them downstairs, where they get packed into heavy-duty plastic totes along with the rest of the day’s grocery orders. Whatever Lufa doesn’t grow in its four greenhouses comes from local farms and producers, mostly from within 100 miles. This is a modern foodie’s dream: a tech-forward online shop full of locally grown, pesticide-free, ethically-sourced products at reasonable price points, delivered once a week to either your doorstep or a local pickup point in your neighborhood. Customers - Lufavores, as the company calls them - typically place their orders a few days before delivery through the online store, dubbed “the Marketplace,” which Lufa built from scratch in 2012. That’s how Lufa’s suppliers know how much product to provide: They get forecasts first, then final order numbers, through their Lufa software. Technology is the underpinning of Lufa’s success, and the owners know it. “We see ourselves as a technology company, in the sense that we solve with software,” [cofounder Lauren] Rathmell, 32, says. “Nothing off-the-shelf can be applied to what we do, because it’s so complex. We harvest food ourselves; we gather from farmers and food makers throughout the province; most of it’s arriving just in time throughout the night to be packed in baskets for that day, and every order is fully unique.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Monsantos Spies
2019-09-16, Huffington Post
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/monsantos-spies_n_5d7ba20de4b03b5fc88233c4?

About a half a dozen journalists were in a northern California courtroom to cover a third lawsuit alleging that Monsantos pesticide glyphosate causes cancer. [Sylvie] Barak told others that she was a freelancer for the BBC. When journalists searched the internet for Barak, they noticed that her LinkedIn account said she worked for FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firm that Monsanto and Bayer, Monsantos parent company, had engaged for consulting. Monsanto has also previously employed shadowy networks of consultants, PR firms, and front groups to spy on and influence reporters. And all of it appears to be part of a pattern at the company of using a variety of tactics to intimidate, mislead and discredit journalists and critics. In the latest example of Monsantos efforts to track journalists, The Guardian reported in August on internal documents from the companys fusion center, which worked to discredit reporters and nonprofits via third-party actors. In the California trial, the reporter who first identified Barak as an FTI plant said she ... saw an uptick in Monsantos industry partners contacting her as she covered the trial. A guy named Jay Byrne ... contacted her on social media to discuss how GMO criticism was part of a Russian influence campaign; when she Googled Byrne, she learned he is Monsantos former director of communications. In a January deposition, a Monsanto representative said that in 2016 the company spent around $16 or 17 million on activities to defend glyphosate.

Note: Major lawsuits are now unfolding over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of glyphosate. Yet the EPA continues to use industry studies to declare Roundup safe while ignoring independent scientists. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.


Pesticides could wipe out frogs by turning them female, study finds
2018-06-04, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/frog-pesticides-female-fertility-ch...

A widely used pesticide could be placing frog populations in danger by diminishing their ability to reproduce properly. Not only does exposure to the chemical linuron a potato herbicide reduce male frog fertility, it skews the sex ratios of growing tadpoles significantly towards females. The devastation pesticides have caused to insect populations has been well documented, with German scientists warning of an ecological Armageddon when they found numbers had plummeted by 75 per cent in the countrys nature reserves. Knock-on effects further up the food chain are thought to be behind the disappearance of many bird species from the European countryside. But pesticides can have toxic effects on other animals too, and there has been a distinct lack of research into their effects on amphibians. To improve this situation, ecotoxicologist Dr Cecilia Berg of the University of Uppsala and a team of ... researchers set out to investigate the effects of linuron in the West African clawed frog. They found that the tadpoles grew ovaries substantially more than they grew testicles, an effect the team attributed to the endocrine disrupting or hormone disrupting properties of linuron, which could hinder production of testosterone. The male frogs exposed to the chemicals as tadpoles were less fertile and had certain feminine characteristics. While linuron is not licensed for use in the UK ... it is widely used in other parts of the European Union (EU) and North America.

Note: Don't forget that humans drink the water contaminated by these chemicals, too. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


Weed killer 'castrates' male frogs, study says
2010-03-01, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2010/TECH/science/03/01/pesticide.study.frogs/index.html

Atrazine, a weed killer widely used in the Midwestern United States and other agricultural areas of the world, can chemically "castrate" male frogs and turn some into females. New research suggests the herbicide may be a cause of amphibian declines around the globe, said biologists at the University of California-Berkeley. Researchers found that long-term exposure to low levels of atrazine - 2.5 parts per billion of water - emasculated three-quarters of laboratory frogs and turned one in 10 into females. Scientists believe the pesticide interferes with endocrine hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. "The effects of atrazine in the long term have been shown to demasculinize or chemically castrate [frogs], combined with complete feminization of some animals," said lead researcher Tyrone B. Hayes, a biologist and herpetologist. Hayes found that 10 percent of the exposed genetic male frogs developed into functional females who copulated with unexposed males and produced viable eggs. The other 90 percent of the exposed male frogs expressed decreased libido, reduced sperm count and decreased fertility, among other findings. Tens of millions of pounds of atrazine are used each year in the United States. Syngenta estimates that 60 million pounds were used during 2008, most of it on corn. A 2006 study by the U.S. Geological Survey found atrazine in approximately 75 percent of stream water and about 40 percent of all groundwater samples from agricultural areas tested between 1992 and 2001.

Note: Don't forget that humans drink the water contaminated by these chemicals, too. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.


EU Commission to extend use of glyphosate for 10 more years after member countries fail to agree
2023-11-17, Nature
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-023-03589-z

The European Commission says it has decided to renew the license for the weedkiller compound glyphosate, approving its use in European Union countries for ten more years. Following the decision yesterday, the Commission released a statement saying that, on the basis of comprehensive safety assessments carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), it would renew the licence, “subject to certain new conditions and restrictions”. These include a ban on the use of the chemical to dry crops before harvest, and “the need for certain measures to protect non-target organisms”. Governments can still restrict the use of glyphosate in their own countries if they consider the risks too high. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the world’s most widely used herbicide. Some studies point to a link between glyphosate and certain cancers. Robin Mesnage, a toxicologist at King’s College London, welcomes the Commission’s decision to continue to allow the use of glyphosate. Others have expressed disappointment. “It is unacceptable that the Commission still plans to go ahead with its proposal, considering the amount of scientific evidence of the substance’s health impacts,” says Natacha Cingotti, a campaigner at the Health and Environment Alliance. “While we can’t undo the decades of exposure, the Commission can still seize the opportunity to turn the tide towards more sustainable agricultural practices.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system from reliable major media sources.


UN hunger expert: US must recognize ‘right to food’ to fix broken system
2023-11-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/09/united-nations-right-to-f...

The US must acknowledge the right to food in order to transform its broken food system in the post-pandemic era and make it more resilient in the face of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, according to a United Nations hunger expert. “Whether we’re talking about right to food, food justice or food sovereignty, there has been growing momentum over the last 10 years to understand that food is not just something we just leave to be determined by what is available or by corporations or the status quo,” said Michael Fakhri, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food. Last month, Fakhri presented a report on the right to food – which would entail that adequate food be available and accessible to all people – as a means of food system recovery and transformation to the UN general assembly. The right to food, which can also be characterized as a right to culturally appropriate nutrition that a person needs to live a healthy and active life, is recognized in the UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is enshrined in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In 2021, the US and Israel were the only countries to vote against a United Nations committee’s draft that asserted food as a human right. The draft also expressed alarm that the number of people lacking access to adequate food rose by 320 million to 2.4 billion in 2020 – nearly one-third of the world’s population. In 2022, 44.2 million people in the US lived in food-insecure households.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the food system from reliable major media sources.


'Everything is natural and tastes so good': microfarms push back against 'food apartheid'
2023-06-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jun/10/local-food-microfarms-equity

In South Los Angeles, Crop Swap LA volunteers and staffers harvested bags of freshly picked produce from the front yard of a residence. "Everything we're growing is nutrient-dense and the food remains in the neighborhood," says Jamiah Hargins, who founded Crop Swap LA in 2018 as a small monthly swap of surplus produce. After spending years in finance and consulting, Hargins decided to create a local food distribution system to address the fact that his neighborhood was a food desert, meaning most residents have little access to healthy food. It's now one of many Bipoc-led groups across the US that are reclaiming their agricultural heritage and redefining the local food movement by growing on traditional farms and unconventional spaces such as yards, medians and vacant lots as a way to increase food security and health in their own communities. There are similar groups run by communities of color across the US. After the Chicora-Cherokee community in North Charleston, South Carolina, was left without a grocery store for more than 10 years, Fresh Future Farm stepped in. Founded in 2014, the non-profit transformed a vacant lot into a flourishing urban farm that grows bananas, sugarcane, meyer lemons, satsuma oranges, collard greens, okra and tomatoes, among other crops. Two years later, it opened a sliding scale grocery store on the same property – the first one in the area in 11 years. The non-profit also teaches home gardening classes, which is inspiring a new crop of home growers.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Society has never produced so much food, yet we live in a world where only the rich get to be healthy
2023-02-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/feb/16/society-has-never-produ...

According to the World Health Organization definition, 1.9 billion adults are considered overweight. Of these, more than 650 million people are classified as obese. In Australia, health authorities suggest being overweight is more dangerous to us than alcohol, and only second in “preventable health risk” to smoking. ABS health data claims 67% of Australian adults are overweight, an increase on 63.4% a decade ago. Last year, Australia’s former conservative government released a “National Obesity Strategy”, concerned Australia was facing health risks of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancers. That government did recognise weight is influenced by complex “social, environmental, and economic factors”, but their framework of encouraging “healthy choices” as a remedy unhelpfully individualises a collective problem. First, shaming individuals into weight loss doesn’t work. 95% of weight loss attempts fail. Two-thirds of dieters regain the weight they lose. Second, the structural giveaway here is an admission that the poorest “experience the greatest burden of disease linked to excess weight”. Our societies have never produced so much food, yet we live in a capitalist perversion where fresh, healthy food – and the time to prepare it – are priced as a luxury, while highly processed items are inexpensive, easy and aggressively mass-marketed. It’s not a failure of collective willpower that’s jeopardising our health, but a diet of bad food that’s culturally familiar, low in nutrition and super available.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


‘Filling in the gaps’ for food access: women-run farms rethink California agriculture
2023-02-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2023/feb/15/california-women-led-farms-food-...

At Radical Family Farms, Leslie Wiser recently planted bitter melons, what she refers to as “one of our most beloved crops”, a staple in many types of Asian cuisine that grows on a vine and is related to zucchini, squash and cucumber. Women like Wiser are increasingly the face of farming in California, and nationally as well. Experts say the growing presence of women in agriculture is having an impact on how the industry operates, especially in the face of generational challenges like pandemics and climate change, with research showing that women-led businesses are more likely to take a community-minded approach to how they operate and fill in gaps during crises. During the pandemic, for example ... women farmers filled the gaps in local communities for food access. Radical Family Farm stepped in to feed food-insecure seniors throughout the Bay Area when it was not safe for them to go to the grocery store or farmers’ market. “A lot of this was driven by the attacks on our Asian elders during the pandemic,” Wiser said. “It’s still happening, with seniors afraid to walk on the streets.” Her long-term goal is to dedicate one-third of the produce from her farm to seniors in the Bay Area. “It is part of my cultural heritage to honor our elders,” she said, adding that her grandparents on both sides took care of her growing up, so delivering “culturally relevant produce” to seniors is meaningful. “Instead of getting bags of potatoes, they can get vegetables, produce and herbs that are familiar to them.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


An Indigenous reservation has a novel way to grow food – below the earth’s surface
2022-12-03, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/03/south-dakota-reservation-...

Near the southern border of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, a curved translucent roof peeks out a few feet above the dusty plains. Below ground, at the bottom of a short flight of stairs, the inside of this 80ft-long sleek structure is bursting with life – pallets of vivid microgreens, potato plants growing from hay bales and planters full of thick heads of Swiss chard and pak choi. This is an underground greenhouse, or walipini, and the harvesters are members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. It is one of at least eight underground greenhouses that, over the past decade, have been built or are being constructed on the reservation – which has one of the highest poverty rates in the US. Some hope they can help solve the interconnected problems of the lack of affordable, nutritious food and the difficulties of farming in the climate crisis. Today, more than half of the residents of Oglala Lakota county, one of three counties within the boundaries of the reservation, live below the poverty line. Food access is a huge problem. The 2.1m-acre reservation is classified as a “food desert” with only a handful of grocery stores. And health outcomes, including diet related diseases, are poor – about 50% of adults over 40 have diabetes. Neil Mattson, professor and greenhouse extension specialist at Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science, says underground greenhouses could help to usher in more year-round food production across the northern US but they are still fairly new in the country.

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