Posted on Leave a comment

The Movement – Cage-Free Eggs

Touch the Soil News #278 Watt Global Media – which specializes in news surrounding the egg and poultry industries just published all the players in the cage=free egg movement. Following are the companies and time frames when they will be able to source all of their eggs from producers that use cage-free practices.   Completion by 2016 Taco Bell and Shake Shack   Completion by 2020 Arby’s Nestle, Peet’s Coffee, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Caribou Coffee, Panera Bread, Wendy’s,   Completion by 2022 Royal Caribbean Cruises   Completion by 2025 Dunkin Donuts, General Mills, McDonlads, Groupo Bimbo, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Kellogg’s, Carnival Cruise Lines, Subway and Quiznos.   In the Future…

Read more

Posted on Leave a comment

Following the Cities

Touch the Soil News #277 The local food and urban farm movement is catching the attention of cities across the nation. No, they are not directly subsidizing local farmers, but they are trying to implement new codes and regulations that are local food and urban farming supportive. In this news piece we are going to sample some of the cities in which grass-roots efforts have paid off. Mostly below the media radar, local food activists are getting cities to become urban farming friendly San Antonio, Texas (from the Rivard Report http://therivardreport.com) Effective 1/1/2016, the city of San Antonio created a new zoning designation called the “residential market garden” as a…

Read more

Posted on Leave a comment

The Emerging Food Domino Effect

Touch the Soil News #276 Emerging in the global food landscape is what could well be called the domino effect. In past decades, the effect of one nation’s struggle for food did not necessarily domino over to other nations. Most nations tried to be somewhat food self-sufficient. Many nations had subsidy programs to support and encourage their national foods and farmers. However, no nation ever considered balancing its population with its ability to feed itself. Then came the World Trade Organization (WTO). To join the WTO, nations had to eliminate subsidies in order for farmers across the oceans to be able to compete with farmers of someone’s homeland. The world’s…

Read more

Posted on Leave a comment

The U.S. Versus Kenya – Which is the Most Food-Progressive?

Touch the Soil News #275 Recently the news conglomerate All Africa, published an article on kitchen gardening in Busia County, of Western Kenya. Kitchen gardening is the practice of raising leafy greens, vegetables, fruits or herbs in close proximity to the kitchen. The reason for the resurgence of home gardening stems around three things – health, income from extra produce to sell and its becoming “vogue” to do so. Timely rains and some irrigation infrastructure allows most kitchen gardeners to raise crops year-round. Local governments, NGO’s and non-profits are contributing to the success of kitchen gardening through training of crop husbandry, organic methods, and sustainable practices. In addition to kitchen…

Read more

Posted on Leave a comment

Anatomy of Food Poisoning in America

Touch the Soil News #273 Once a week we visit sources that compile food poisoning and food recall events. Surprisingly there is a new food poisoning or food recall event almost every day. The food poisoning and recall events surrounding Blue Bell Ice Cream provides a window into food handling that is not altogether reassuring. Earlier in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control reported a total of 10 patients infected with several strains of Listeria reported from four states: Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. These illnesses were onset from January 2010 through January 2015. All ten patients were hospitalized. Three deaths were reported from Kansas. The Centers for Disease Control…

Read more

Posted on Leave a comment

Feeding Ourselves Versus Climate Change

Touch the Soil News #272   For 2016, the Food and Agriculture Organization – FAO (a division of the United Nations) thought we ought to put climate change into perspective. That perspective being how climate change poses risks to global food production. Following are their some of their top concerns:   75 percent of the world’s poor and food insecure rely on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihoods. They are unprotected in the path of climate change. World food production must rise 60 percent to keep pace with population gains and emerging nations eating higher on the food chain. Crop yield declines of 10-25 percent may be widespread by…

Read more

Posted on Leave a comment

News Round-up

Touch the Soil News #271   Are You A Climatarian Eater? New terms are emerging that identify what kind of eater you are. A climatarian is one who eats with climate change in mind. This generally includes eating locally, choosing pork and poultry over beef and lamb to limit gas emission and using every part of ingredients (apple cores, cheese rinds) to limit food waste.   The Expansion of Food Banking We recently reported on the trend to locate food pantries on college campuses as polls reveal over 35 percent of freshman are food-insecure. On a new front, the Iowa Food Bank has started a new program to quash hunger…

Read more

Posted on Leave a comment

Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville

Touch the Soil News #270 When we hear the term “collective” we often think of the old Soviet Union and its collective farms. However, here in the United States, the term has had a more positive re-birth. According to the Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville, “collective” means working together to grow and share healthy food that helps cultivate healthy communities. The big difference is “collective” now means from the bottom up rather than autocratically from the top down. Founded in 2012, the enterprise operates under the umbrella of a larger non-profit called Virginia Organizing. This past year, the “Collective” produced over 17,000 lbs. of fresh vegetable and fruits. Everything was…

Read more

Posted on Leave a comment

Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan

Touch the Soil News #269 What started as the “organic” food movement of several decades ago has evolved far beyond organics. The food landscape is shaping up to be a key “proving ground” for social activism and re-designing economics. Over the last two years, with funding from the Commonwealth (State) of Massachusetts and a half dozen foundation funds, a game-changing study was just finished. Some150 people of diverse education and experience worked up a 424 page document designed to transform food in Massachusetts. Called the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan, this study is set to become the policy and action guide for the entire food and farming sector in the…

Read more

Posted on Leave a comment

Picking Up What the Farm Leaves Behind

Touch the Soil News #268 What happens when six (6) recent college graduates – in fields not related to food – tackle food waste and attempt to re-invent the food chain? They create a company called Hungry Harvest and create a supply chain of food that is not cosmetically perfect – that would normally be trashed. Operating in the greater Washington D.C. and Baltimore metro areas, these young entrepreneurs are working to save a portion of the 6 billion pounds of fresh produce thrown away every year. Their supply comes from a network of farmers and food distributors who are at the decision making point on what produce qualifies for…

Read more