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Touch the Soil News #807 Go Olive Garden Olive Garden reports that it sold 22,000 of its $100 “unlimited” pasta passes in less than one second on September 14th. The pass allows a passholder to enjoy The Never Ending Pasta Bowl for eight weeks.   Meat Scandal The ongoing corruption scandal within the world’s largest meat companies (JBS SA – Brazil) just never stops. Last week, former CEO Wesley Batista was taken into custody for further corruption including “insider trading” prior to his plea bargain with Brazilian prosecutors. The company has put in 84 year-old Joes Batista (Wesley’s father) as temporary CEO.   Chocolate’s Dark Secret Non profit MightyEarth has…

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Touch the Soil News #735 (feature photo – CC SA 3.0)   Milk Dumping Low milk prices and increases in folks choosing alternatives to milk are resulting in dairy farmers having to dump milk. Dairy farmers dumped 43 million gallons in 2006, and have already dumped 78 million gallons in the first 5 months of 2017. If these 121 million gallons of milk, were lined up in 1 gallon milk jugs, the line would be 11,500 miles long – four times the distance from San Francisco to New York.   New Zealanders Looking to Eat Less Meat A recent poll by food company Bean Supreme surveyed 1,000 New Zealand residents…

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Touch the Soil News #659 Weird Turkey Stuff Recent investigations into corruption and unsanitary conditions at meatpackers in Brazil has resulted in a weird outcome. Temporarily shutting down many of the nation’s meat plants, some 250,000 turkeys did not get slaughtered in time. They are now to fat to fit into the processing machines. A turkey must weight no more than 44 to 48 lbs. in order to fit into the processing machines. Hard to say what will happen to these creatures.   New Poll on Organics A recent Nielson poll – looking at state by state organic purchases – just came out. More than 80 percent of the nation’s…

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Touch the Soil News #647 (feature photo – logo of the World Health Organization)   EPA Won’t Belly Up After the World Health Organization announced that glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) was a probable carcinogen, the U.S. EPA decided to do its own research. The EPA published a report later on that said Roundup is not likely to be carcinogenic. When consumer advocacy group U.S. Right To Know sued the EPA for the documents used to determine Glyphosate’s safety last May, the EPA has been stonewalling the request. Legally, under the Freedom of Information, the EPA must provide the documents.   Tyson Chicken Tyson Foods announced that all of…

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Touch the Soil News #625 COOL Labeling In December of 2015, Congress repealed the COOL (country of origin labeling) for meat products. Recently, the state of Wyoming and the state of South Dakota have introduced legislation that would require meat products carry country-of-origin labeling. Looks like states are tired of federal oversight on things that they want.   Agricultural Trade Over 130 agricultural groups in the U.S. (most every major ag group in America) have put their signatures to a letter to Donald Trump on the importance of U.S. agricultural trade overseas. The groups illustrate that the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) has facilitated a quadrupling of agricultural exports…

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Touch the Soil News #557 Free for the Picking In the small city of Coquitlam, British Columbia, (population 130,000) the residents have taken to public city gardening. Garden designer Rachel Elves and a city improvement association created 38 self-watering planters. The planters were planted with a variety of food crops. The planters were located in front of businesses which adopted them, planted them and cared for them. The harvest of the planters was given to the public to harvest and consume.   California Indian Tribes Explore Food Sovereignty Fed up with industrial food, two California Indian tribes are experimenting with growing their own. The Big Pine Paiute-Shoshone tribe (500 members)…

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Touch the Soil News #528 Ukraine Pitches GMOs The Ukraine is a top 10 world producer of crops like wheat and corn – targets of GMO seed companies. Despite massive pressure from Monsanto, the Ukraine’s Parliamentary Committee on Agrarian Policy supported a renewal of a moratorium on the planting of GMO crops (GMO prohibition) for another 7 years.   Pope Francis Against GMOs Pope Francis, leader of the 1.3 billion member Catholic Church recently took a stance against GMOs. In a speed on World Food Day (10/16/2016) Pope Francis declared: “there is a growing number of people who believe they are omnipotent, or able to ignore the cycles of the…

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Touch the Soil News #514 General Mills Flour Recall under Control The Centers for Disease Control says the problem has been contained after 63 people in 24 states were sickened by flour contaminated with Shiga-toxins. By the time it was all said and done, General Mills recalled a whopping 45 million pounds of suspected flour products.   World Health Organization – Tax Sodas The World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland recently established a new recommendation to curb the consumption of sugary drinks – a cause of epidemic obesity and diabetes conditions. On October 11, 2016, the WHO recommends a tax on sugary drinks that would lead to at least a…

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Touch the Soil News #499 World Unites over Antibiotic Resistance Problem The clamor over using medicinally important antibiotics in routine feeding of livestock has reached international levels. The U.N held a special meeting on the subject on 9/21/2016 in New York. Delegates from 193 nations discussed the emerging global crisis. In the U.S. alone, antibiotic-resistant organisms cause over 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year.   The Bayer Acquisition of Monsanto While it will take time for regulators and home and abroad to sort through the merger issues, public attitude towards Bayer – who is acquiring Monsanto – has already soured. A new ReportLinker survey shows that almost 60…

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Touch the Soil News #487 Chipotle Foodborne Illness Crisis Over Chipotle Mexican Grill just settled nearly 100 legal cases regarding food poisoning claims from some 510 people who got ill by eating compromised food at the restaurant. Lawyers and the Centers for Disease Control feel the company has overcome the health and sanitation issues that caused the illnesses. Chipotle investors paid dearly for the incident. Chipotle stock was at $430.70 on September 9, 2016 down nearly $327 from last year when it was at $757.   CEO of World Largest Meat Company under Fraud Probe JBS, S.A. is the world’s largest Meat Processing company (see our previous News piece #472…

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