Farmers Markets – The Alternative Food System

Modern supermarkets are as sterile as hospitals, the produce is mostly hard as tennis balls and practically odorless and tasteless, and the staff is less than helpful when you have a question. They have very little connection to the food they put on the shelves. In contrast, the farmers you meet at your local farmers market are directly connected to the food they raise and the land on which it is grown.
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Legal Challenges to Big Ag, the USDA, and the FDA

Lawsuits are flying around the food world these days! Do lawsuits like these work? Sometimes!
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NOP, NOSB, NOC - Organic Meetings in Seattle

For the first time, the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) and the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) are holding their semi-annual meetings in Seattle. These meetings are held in moving locations to allow as much public access as possible, and are open to the public for an insider’s view of the organic rule-making process.
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USDA to Allocate Additional Funds for Fruit and Vegetables in Schools

When I was a child we really did get milk and graham crackers, but the fruit and vegetable selection was pretty dismal. Applesauce and corn relish seem to stick in my mind after all these years. The USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is a great program to help ensure that all children have access to good food and are given healthy choices. Two thumbs up for good food!
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Lawsuit Challenges USDA Approval of Genetically Engineered Alfalfa

Farmers and consumer groups filed a lawsuit against the USDA arguing the recent unrestricted approval of GE “Roundup Ready” alfalfa was unlawful. The suit charges that GE alfalfa threatens the rights of farmers and consumers, as well as significant harm to the environment.
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The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture by Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry is emerging as a figure who is much-saluted but little-heeded by those in power. Yet his critique is as relevant today as it was when this book was first published in 1977.
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Are Food Hubs the Next Big Thing?

The need for aggregating and marketing services is especially great with new and transition farmers. New farmers are challenged to learn the business side of farming while dealing with setting up farm systems. Mid-sized farmers who would like to transition to local markets deal in greater volumes than are typical of direct sales markets. Food hubs can serve these needs.
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USDA's Food Safety Vision

The nation’s highest-ranking food safety official laid out the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s vision for strengthening the food safety system to better “meet the demands of the 21st century” before the annual American Farm Bureau meeting.”No one … no one … is more important to that farm-to-fork system than you,” said Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety, in her remarks Sunday at the conference in Atlanta.
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2010: 27 Million Pounds of Meat and Poultry Recalled

Dan Flynn of Food Safety News pulled together a quick – and scary – list of meat and poultry recalls by the USDA in 2010. Here are the highlights. Let’s be careful out there!
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Center for Rural Affairs Applauds USDA Decision to Proceed with GIPSA Rule

The Center for Rural Affairs applauds the USDA decision to proceed with rulemaking process on the proposed competitive livestock market reform rule (GIPSA rule). Public comments are accepted through November 22, 2010.
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