Colleges Are Ignoring Food Insecurity, Which Affects Half of Students


.. when it comes to housing, things don’t look so good. When colleges and universities think about housing, they see dollar signs to be gained from residence halls catering to wealthy and international students, rather than opportunities to facilitate affordable living.

Given massive state disinvestment throughout the country, it is hard to blame the public institutions. But it means that a growing number of students are being left out in the cold.

Source: Colleges Are Ignoring Food Insecurity, Which Affects Half of Students

Meat, Without All of the Blood and Guts – Pacific Standard


Paul Shapiro’s forthcoming book, Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World, celebrates the future of meat and meat products that do not require animal slaughter.

For the uninitiated, this is a surprisingly broad category of consumption, including “meat” synthesized from pea-protein-derived heme (the iron-rich non-protein component of hemoglobin) to meat grown from the cultured muscle cells of live animals.

Source: Meat, Without All of the Blood and Guts – Pacific Standard

Global Food Chain Increasingly Threatened by Corporate Consolidation


“The fight for market share is achieved at the expense of the weakest links in the chain: farmers, and workers,” the report explains.

“The price pressure exerted by supermarkets and food firms is a major cause of poor working conditions and poverty further back in the chain.

It also promotes the onward march of industrial agriculture and its associated effects on the environment and climate.”

The atlas warns that further corporate consolidation throughout the global food chain will exacerbate issues that have already been perpetuated, in whole or in part, by past mergers among major companies in the agrifood sector.

Source: Report: Global Food Chain Increasingly Threatened by Corporate Consolidation

A Look at Urban Food Waste, by the Numbers | WIRED


The researchers flag that discrepancy, among other sticking points: At least in New York City, they found that participating in a compost program led to more overall waste, compared with families whose garbage all goes into a single stream. In other words: Compost-happy residents were disposing of more total scraps than residents who just threw the whole lot in the trash. To counter that trend, the report’s authors recommend reminding consumers that “preventing food waste is preferable to composting it.”

Far from being a luxury, “design thinking is something people should demand from cities, architects, and supers,” said Benjamin Prosky, executive director of the Center for Architecture, at an event announcing the waste-reduction blueprint.

Collecting, digesting, and acting upon ever-more-precise data can only sharpen its focus and impact.

Source: A Look at Urban Food Waste, by the Numbers | WIRED

Human Exposure to Glyphosate Has Skyrocketed 500% Since Introduction of GMO Crops


“The data compares excretion levels of glyphosate and its metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid in the human body over a 23-year time span, starting in 1993, just before the introduction of genetically modified crops into the United States,” Mills explained.

“What we saw was that prior to the introduction of genetically modified foods, very few people had detectable levels of glyphosate. As of 2016, 70 percent of the study cohort had detectable levels.”

The controversy surrounding glyphosate started in 2015 when the World Health Organization’s cancer assessment arm classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

California also listed glyphosate as a carcinogen in July.

And just yesterday, the European Parliament, representing 28 countries and more than 500 million people, voted in support of phasing out glyphosate over the next five years and immediately banning its use in households.

Source: Human Exposure to Glyphosate Has Skyrocketed 500% Since Introduction of GMO Crops

Amazon rivals turn to legal fine print to stem Whole Foods strategy


A Reuters examination of real estate agreements and interviews with 20 retail landlords, lawyers and brokers show that the strings attached to operating in malls like City Center present an emerging and little-scrutinized challenge to Amazon’s quest to re-shape Whole Foods.

Across the United States, large retailers including Target, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc and Best Buy Co Inc have legal rights in many lease agreements that allow them to limit what Amazon can do with nearby Whole Foods stores, and where it can open new ones.

Source: Amazon rivals turn to legal fine print to stem Whole Foods strategy

Trump officials quash litigation rule for farms | TheHill


The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyard Administration last week withdrew an interim final rule a day before it was set to take effect.

The rule aimed to make it easier for farmers to bring companies like Tyson Foods, Pilgrim Pride and Perdue to court over what they say are unfair, deceptive and retaliatory practices.

Source: Trump officials quash litigation rule for farms | TheHill

Sugar is a toxic agent that creates conditions for disease | Aeon Essays


It’s the implication of the phrase ‘a calorie is a calorie’, which, by the 1960s, had become a mantra of nutrition and obesity researchers, evoked invariably to support the dogma that only calories count when it comes to understanding and treating human obesity.

This logic has been the lifeblood of the sugar industry.

If sugar was uniquely toxic, in that it possessed some special property that made us respond to it by accumulating fat or becoming diabetic, then government health agencies would have to regulate it.

If all sugar does is add calories to the diet, just as any other food does, then it is, in effect, benign.

When the sugar industry embarked in 1956 on a nationwide advertising offensive to knock down reports that sugar is ‘fattening’, it did so on the seemingly sound scientific basis that ‘[s]ugar is neither a “reducing food” nor a “fattening food”’, as the industry advertisements explained.

Source: Sugar is a toxic agent that creates conditions for disease | Aeon Essays

Dark chocolate is now a health food. Here’s how that happened. | Vox


.. Wait, what? Make no mistake: This vegan avocado chocolate bar is candy.

So how in the world could a chocolate bar be convincingly sold as a health food? You can thank a decades-long effort by the chocolate industry.

Over the past 30 years, food companies like Nestlé, Mars, Barry Callebaut, and Hershey’s — among the world’s biggest producers of chocolate — have poured millions of dollars into scientific studies and research grants that support cocoa science.

Source: Dark chocolate is now a health food. Here’s how that happened. – Vox

BASF to buy seeds, herbicide businesses from Bayer for $7 billion


BASF, the world’s third-largest maker of crop chemicals, has so far avoided seed assets and instead pursued research into plant characteristics such as drought tolerance, which it sells or licenses out to seed developers.

But Bayer’s $66 billion deal to buy U.S. seeds group Monsanto, announced in September 2016, has created opportunities for rivals to snatch up assets that need to be sold to satisfy competition authorities.

Source: BASF to buy seeds, herbicide businesses from Bayer for $7 billion