Blogs | Food & Water Watch - Part 111
Victory! Farm Bureau case challenging EPA’s right to share factory farm data dismissed. more wins »
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August 6th, 2010

Surreptitious Seafood Certification?

Consumers are paying more attention to their seafood choices—particularly where it’s from and how it’s sourced. More people are choosing products with labels that show an item’s country-of-origin or how it was caught, demonstrating demand for more transparency in the food industry. But without solid standards defining what various terms like organic or sustainable means, labels certifying seafood products can often be confusing or misleading. Read the full article…

Homegrown in Huron and Plum Tuckered in Ypsilanti

Farmer Lee of the Culinary Vegetable Institute welcomes the Chef Rocky Road Trip crew to Huron Ohio.

From Columbus we headed up to the shores of Lake Erie to the port town of Huron, Ohio yesterday morning where we met with Kim and Deirdre from Slow Food Huron Valley. They’ve been busy organizing their annual Homegrown Festival, coming up this September, which celebrates good food and local business. It’s too bad we won’t be in town for it. Kim and Deirdre joined us for a tour of The Chef’s Garden in the morning. Wow, what a place! It’s all about education and eating fresh and sustainable food. Read the full article…

August 5th, 2010

Fair Farming in Ohio

The Rocky Road Crew visits Farmer Dick Jensen's Flying J Farms.

We had a blast in Pittsburgh yesterday, but the road show must go on. We got back on the highway early on Wednesday morning, and headed to Columbus. Hang on, Sloopy! (Ohio’s official state rock song.) Our first stop was at the Ohio State Fair, cow suits and all. (If you haven’t yet seen the cow suits, they are as versatile as they are refined.) The plan was to talk to fair-goers about the Department of Justice and USDA hearings being held this summer to investigate the lack of competition in agricultural markets. Needless to say, big agribusiness isn’t a fan. Read the full article…

August 4th, 2010

Stopping the Frack in its Track

Not so fast, natural gas! Last night at 12:15 a.m., the New York State Senate passed a yearlong moratorium on gas drilling 49 to 9, taking the state one step closer to being the first to stop hydraulic fracturing. The vote hampers energy companies’ efforts to continue fracking in New York’s section of the Marcellus Shale until the potential environmental impact is more closely studied. Read the full article…

Pittsburgh is Sprouting!

Hello from da Burgh—Pittsburgh that is! (How yinz doin’?) We hit the road bright and early yesterday so we could get to the city of three rivers in good time. (Fun fact: Pittsburgh has more bridges than any other city in America, and second only to Venice in the world.) On our way to our first cooking demonstration of the trip, we stopped off at the East End Food Co-op for supplies. This is Pittsburgh’s only member-owned natural and organic food market. I saw the most incredible selection of local honeys and something new to me: sprouted lentils.

Chef Rocky Barnette prepares a meal for the Braddock Youth Project in Pittsburgh using produce from their garden.

Read the full article…

August 3rd, 2010

Choice Cuts of Meat—But is the Choice Ours or Theirs?

On August 27, USDA and the Department of Justice will jointly host a workshop about concentration in the livestock market, one of the working parts of our food system and a critical segment of the work we are doing on the Farm Bill.

When you walk into a supermarket to buy steaks, pork chops, or ground beef, you may not realize that a lot of choices have already been made for you. Before you’ve had a chance to weigh in, industry giants control where the meat you buy comes from, including the type and size of the farms that raise the livestock.

The livestock sector needs change and USDA’s proposed rule—which is only the first step in the right direction—is at a critical juncture in the legislative process.

Most of us don’t follow the rules and regulations that dictate how livestock producers and processors get their products to our tables, but much of this process seems to favor factory farms over small farms. Some farmers and producers raise their livestock using sound and sensible practices that yield safe, healthful food with little to no environmental impact. But others, like industrial-scale factory farms, pump their animals with hormones, ignore food safety practices and pollute groundwater in the process. If we want to have better choices at a more reasonable cost, protecting fair competition in the marketplace is critical. Read the full article…

August 2nd, 2010

Rocky Road Trippin’

Chef Rocky Barnette and some of our staff from the outreach team will be hitting the road for 11 days of food philosophy.

One of the best traditions of summertime is the road trip. At Food & Water Watch, our version is called the Chef Rocky Road Trip! Tomorrow, Chef Rocky Barnette and some of our staff from the outreach team will be hitting the road for 11 days of food philosophy. They are driving across the country to explore the current state of our food system by visiting a few farms and food festivals, cooking up some delectable recipes from sustainable ingredients, and talking to people about the policies and practices that affect our food choices—namely, the Farm Bill. Read the full article…

July 30th, 2010

Dubious Health Claims and Toys: How the Industry Sells Junk

Food companies relentlessly target children—and their parents—with faux nutrition labels and shiny plastic toys.

Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, ConAgra Foods, Unilever, General Mills, PepsiCo and Tyson Foods all have a great understanding of nutrition—if they do say so, themselves. They have a select group of “healthy” products that they promote through the front-of-the-package Smart Choices labeling program. Under the program, healthy food for kids includes Fruit Loops, which Smart Choices Board President Eileen T. Kennedy tells us is healthier than a donut.

Do we want food companies teaching our kids about nutrition? Read the full article…

July 28th, 2010

UN: Water is a Human Right

The UN General Assembly passed a resolution today on the human right to water and sanitation.  The official tabulation: 122 states voted yes, 41 states abstained—including the U.S.—and no state voted against. First things first: Hooray! This is a fantastic victory that finally establishes the critical recognition that all human beings have a right to water—a vital and natural resource upon which all of us depend. Read the full article…

The CLEAR Act Loses its Point

This week, Congress is voting on the critically important and extremely timely “Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2009,” also called the CLEAR Act. The stated purpose of the act was to promote clean energy while heightening safety standards surrounding offshore drilling and other problematic industries in the Gulf. Unfortunately, several important provisions, which would have furthered these stated goals, were dropped from the bill. Read the full article…