Dan Charles http://kplu.org en Is Foster Farms A Food Safety Pioneer Or A Persistent Offender? http://kplu.org/post/foster-farms-food-safety-pioneer-or-persistent-offender Foster Farms, a chicken producer in California, just can't seem to stop bleeding bad news.<p>On July 3, it <a href="https://fosterfarms.com/about/press/press_release.asp?press_release_id=183">recalled</a> several batches of chicken products because a chicken breast from one of those batches is blamed for poisoning someone with salmonella bacteria. The recall came on top of an <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg-10-13/map.html">outbreak</a> of salmonella that's been going on since October 2013. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:49:24 +0000 Dan Charles 17657 at http://kplu.org Is Foster Farms A Food Safety Pioneer Or A Persistent Offender? Globe-Trotting GMO Bananas Arrive For Their First Test In Iowa http://kplu.org/post/globe-trotting-gmo-bananas-arrive-their-first-test-iowa Somewhere in Iowa, volunteers are earning $900 apiece by providing blood samples after eating bits of a banana kissed with a curious tinge of orange.<p>It's the first human trial of a banana that's been genetically engineered to contain higher levels of beta carotene, the nutrient that our body converts into vitamin A. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 18:26:36 +0000 Dan Charles 17619 at http://kplu.org Globe-Trotting GMO Bananas Arrive For Their First Test In Iowa 'Natural' Food Sounds Good But Doesn't Mean Much http://kplu.org/post/natural-food-sounds-good-doesnt-mean-much Some people have had it with "natural" food.<p>For fifteen years, <a href="http://consumersunion.org/experts/urvashi-rangan/">Urvashi Rangan</a>, director of consumer safety and sustainability for Consumer Reports, has been pointing out that "natural" is just about the most misleading label that you'll ever see on a food package. Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:51:14 +0000 Dan Charles 17369 at http://kplu.org 'Natural' Food Sounds Good But Doesn't Mean Much From Organic Pioneers, Son Inherits Passion, Just Not For Farming http://kplu.org/post/organic-pioneers-son-inherits-passion-just-not-farming If you're a listener, you may recognize the name <a href="http://www.newmorningfarm.net/">New Morning Farm</a>. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 22:15:25 +0000 Dan Charles 17305 at http://kplu.org From Organic Pioneers, Son Inherits Passion, Just Not For Farming In The Making Of Megafarms, A Mixture Of Pride And Pain http://kplu.org/post/making-megafarms-few-winners-and-many-losers It seems that everybody, going back at least to <a href="http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/quotations-agriculture">Thomas Jefferson</a>, loves small family farms.<p>Yet those beloved small farms are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Big farms are taking over.<p>According to the <a href="http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/">latest census of American agriculture</a>, released this year, there are two million farms in America. Mon, 16 Jun 2014 21:42:02 +0000 Dan Charles 17183 at http://kplu.org In The Making Of Megafarms, A Mixture Of Pride And Pain California's Drought Isn't Making Food Cost More. Here's Why http://kplu.org/post/californias-drought-isnt-making-food-cost-more-heres-why The entire state of California is in a severe drought. Farmers and farmworkers <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/04/22/303726931/fields-and-farm-jobs-dry-up-with-californias-worsening-drought">are hurting</a>.<p>You might expect this to cause food shortages and higher prices across the country. After all, California grows 95 percent of America's broccoli, 81 percent of its carrots and 99 percent of the country's artichokes, almonds and walnuts, among other foods.<p>Yet there's been no sign of a big price shock. What gives?<p>Here are three explanations.<p><strong>1. Fri, 23 May 2014 20:24:22 +0000 Dan Charles 16814 at http://kplu.org California's Drought Isn't Making Food Cost More. Here's Why For Many, Farming Is A Labor Of Love, Not A Living http://kplu.org/post/many-farming-labor-love-not-living Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture carries out a census of farmers: who they are, and what they are doing on their farms.<p>The agency just released the <a href="http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/">latest one</a>, and it's a feast for all ag geeks. And here's the very first, most basic piece of new information: There are 2,109,303 farmers in this country.<p>But look a little closer at that number, and you can see that it's not quite what it seems. Most of those farmers are not actually making a living by farming.<p>Bill Miller is a typical example. Wed, 07 May 2014 21:17:07 +0000 Dan Charles 16446 at http://kplu.org For Many, Farming Is A Labor Of Love, Not A Living No More Bromine: Coke, Pepsi Drop Controversial Ingredient http://kplu.org/post/no-more-bromine-coke-pepsi-drop-controversial-ingredient Chalk up another win for citizen activists. Coke and Pepsi <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/05/coke-pepsi-dropping-bvo-from-all-drinks/8736657/">announced</a> this week that they will no longer use brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, in their soft drinks.<p>BVO is an emulsifier; it helps to keep other ingredients, like flavors and colors, nicely mixed together. Tue, 06 May 2014 19:38:22 +0000 Dan Charles 16421 at http://kplu.org No More Bromine: Coke, Pepsi Drop Controversial Ingredient Organic Farming Factions Spat Over Synthetic Substances http://kplu.org/post/organic-farming-factions-spat-over-synthetic-substances Here in the news biz, we rely on thumbnail descriptions, sparing you the details. We'll tell you, for instance, that organic farmers aren't allowed to use synthetic pesticides and factory-made fertilizer.<p>In general, that's true. But there's also a <a href="http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5096045">long list</a> of pesky exceptions to the rule. Sat, 03 May 2014 20:58:11 +0000 Dan Charles 16381 at http://kplu.org Organic Farming Factions Spat Over Synthetic Substances Can Fish Farms Thrive In The USA? http://kplu.org/post/future-clean-green-fish-farming-could-be-indoor-factories Why hasn't fish farming taken off in the United States?<p>It's certainly not for lack of demand for the fish. Slowly but surely, seafood that's grown in aquaculture is taking over the seafood section at your supermarket, and the vast majority is imported. The shrimp and tilapia typically come from warm-water ponds in southeast Asia and Latin America. Mon, 07 Apr 2014 23:40:46 +0000 Dan Charles 15776 at http://kplu.org Can Fish Farms Thrive In The USA? Farmers Need To Get 'Climate Smart' To Prep For What's Ahead http://kplu.org/post/farmers-need-get-climate-smart-prep-whats-ahead The planet's top experts on global warming released their latest <a href="http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/report/final-drafts/">predictions</a> this week for how rising temperatures will change our lives, and in particular, what they mean for the <a href="http://ipcc-wg2.gov/AR5/images/uploads/WGIIAR5-Chap7_FGDall.pdf">production of food</a>.<p>The report, sadly, is massive and excruciatingly hard to digest. Thu, 03 Apr 2014 19:06:59 +0000 Dan Charles 15651 at http://kplu.org Farmers Need To Get 'Climate Smart' To Prep For What's Ahead Food Giants Want 'Sustainable' Beef. But What Does That Mean? http://kplu.org/post/food-giants-want-sustainable-beef-what-does-mean McDonald's made a big green splash a few months ago by <a href="http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/sustainability/signature_programs/beef-sustainability.html">announcing</a> that it will start buying "verified sustainable" beef in 2016.<p>A chorus of voices responded, "What's 'verified sustainable' beef?"<p>McDonald's, it turns out, is part of a group that's trying to come up with an answer. Tue, 25 Mar 2014 18:01:29 +0000 Dan Charles 15277 at http://kplu.org Food Giants Want 'Sustainable' Beef. But What Does That Mean? Top 5 Ways Asparagus, A Rite Of Spring, Can Still Surprise http://kplu.org/post/top-5-ways-asparagus-rite-spring-can-still-surprise As the snow melts, even in Minnesota, and daylight lingers into evening, people who like to eat with the seasons know what's coming: asparagus.<br /> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 19:41:13 +0000 Dan Charles 14803 at http://kplu.org Top 5 Ways Asparagus, A Rite Of Spring, Can Still Surprise In The New Globalized Diet, Wheat, Soy And Palm Oil Rule http://kplu.org/post/new-globalized-diet-wheat-soy-and-palm-oil-rule These days you can fly to far corners of the world and eat pretty much the same food you can get back home. There's pizza in China and sushi in Ethiopia.<p>A new scientific <a href="http://www.ciatnews.cgiar.org/2014/03/03/globalized-diet-more-food-less-diversity-more-associated-risks/">study</a> shows that something similar is true of the crops that farmers grow. Increasingly, there's a standard global diet, and the human race is depending more and more on a handful of major crops for much of its food.<p>At the same time, all over the world, people are eating a bigger variety of foods. Tue, 04 Mar 2014 17:21:22 +0000 Dan Charles 14400 at http://kplu.org In The New Globalized Diet, Wheat, Soy And Palm Oil Rule Why The 'Non-GMO' Label Is Organic's Frenemy http://kplu.org/post/why-non-gmo-label-organics-frenemy It's easy to think of "organic" and "non-GMO" as the best buddies of food. They sit comfortably beside each other in the same grocery stores — most prominently, in Whole Foods Market. Culturally, they also seem to occupy the same space. Both reject aspects of mainstream industrial agriculture.<p>In fact, the <a href="http://www.nongmoproject.org/">increasingly successful</a> movement to eliminate genetically modified crops — GMOs — from food is turning out to be organic's false friend. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 19:10:52 +0000 Dan Charles 14273 at http://kplu.org Why The 'Non-GMO' Label Is Organic's Frenemy