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How Pervasive is Food Fraud?

Touch the Soil News # 157 Popularly, when the topic of food fraud comes up, we think of foreign countries. Recently, Food Safety News had a special interview with Mitchell Weinberg – who is CEO of a food-fraud investigation firm. According to Weinberg, his company finds food fraud in 50 percent to 60 percent of the investigations they do. Weinberg explains that food fraud goes across the spectrum of all food and in virtually every country in the world. At the end of this story is a videotaped interview with Mitchell Weinberg that is revealing. Food fraud touches many areas including: When one food is substituted for another and it…

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Where Have All the Mother Cows Gone – Long Time Passing?

Touch the Soil News # 154 In the livestock business, they are called mother cows. In USDA statistics, they are referred to as beef cow herds. A mother cow is kept around the ranch to have a calf each year. A rancher keeps the mother cow and the calf goes into the meat supply. The USDA keeps track of how many mother cows are out there in order to get a sense of the ongoing supply of beef. In 1975, America had 46.9 million mother cows. That number has steadily dropped to 30.5 million cows this year on 7/1/2015. Why did mother cow numbers decrease by over 16 million head?…

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Food-Chain News Roundup

Touch the Soil News # 149 Billionaires and Food Vietnam’s only billionaire, Pham Nhat Vuong, through his investment company Vingroup, is putting together a $46.5 million dollar greenhouse food enterprise. Up till now, Vuong has been involved in property development – making agriculture a total departure from his norm. Helping in the project is Israeli company Netafim. Netafim builds out greenhouses and is the world’s leader in drip irrigation products and technology. Vuong represents just one small investor, among a growing flock of investors looking to harness their dollars in food and agriculture. Greenhouse food production near cities attracts billionaire Farmers Open Grocery Store Two Canadian farmers – Simone Rudge…

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Palm Oil – A Food Goliath Run Amok (Part 2 of 2)

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The overtaking of rainforests for farmland to produce palm oil has environmental and social organizations crying foul. The goal is to limit corruption in governments and greed in the multi-national corporations developing palm oil plantations over rainforests. While there is corruption and greed, are they the root cause of the situation? Is it the financial and economic opportunity created by a hungry world causing the greed and corruption? The causes of deforestation include a world looking for cooking oil at an affordable price. In addition, decades of loss of best top soils in the U.S., Europe and China, have pushed agriculture into the rainforests. As we quoted in Part 1,…

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