Archive for September, 2010

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Marion Nestle: Food Politics and Food Safety

In a recent blog post, Nestle responds to the question: A decent food safety system: will we ever get one?

“Push-pull” agriculture in Kenya links to Nobel discussions

Some news on the international ag production front. As background on the article, stem borer is obviously a kind of pest we are familiar with, but the Striga pest mentioned in the article is a parasitic weed with varied species that use their roots to steal nutrients from corn, sorghum, millet, and cowpeas (aka black-eyed […]

Race to the genome, redux

Remember when two rival organizations were racing to sequence the human genome? Well, it’s happening again; this time with something that is, to some, nearly as precious as their own life: chocolate. The USDA and Mars (the candy company, not the planet nor the god of war) have just this morning announced that they have […]

Confessions of a pusher

In my office desk drawer, I have a jar of dark chocolate.  I distribute pieces of this chocolate to colleagues and students who visit me.  According to a recent opinion piece by Gary Wenk, I should probably be considered a pusher. Chocolate contains phenethylamine, a molecule that resembles amphetamine, and a small amount of a […]

Frances Moore Lappe at TED

Frances Moore Lappe, whose talk will conclude the 2010 Nobel Conference, delivered this TED talk.

FDA: genetically modified salmon safe to eat

On the Friday before Labor Day, the FDA released its findings that a salmon, genetically modifed to grow fast, is “as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon,” according to this story in the New York Times.The fish features a growth hormone from the Chinook salmon, which is kept “turned on” by a “switch” from […]

Finding: Diet, not environment, the best indicator of “personal pollution levels”

From an article in Chemical Engineering News: Research directed by Emma Undeman, a Swedish chemical engineering student, and Frank Wania, an environmental chemist at the University of Toronto, Scarborough, shows that diet  is a “key factor” in determining the load of pollutants that a given individual will carry. The region of the world in which […]

What’s Biomimicry?

The August 19 issue of  Now, a weekly news magazine from Toronto, features several articles on  “biomimicry,”  a concept developed by biologist Janine Benyus (Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired By Nature). One short article in the issue, “Plagued by the Plow,” by Wayne Roberts suggests that the agro-ecology long practiced in Latin America and Asia, constitutes a […]

Expired, but still good? An ethical musing

On the blog for his CSA, Paul Thompson  reflects on whether or not it’s ethical to donate food that passed its “best by” date.

“When a woman has assets, it impacts more directly on the access to nutrition for all members of the family than when only the man has assets.”

India’s Congress Party president, Sonia Gandhi, has recently called for a constitutional right to food, according to this article in the New York Times (“India Asks: Should Food be a Right for the Poor?”). She also advocates expanding the existing food entitlement program, to ensure that each family “would qualify for a monthly 77-pound bag […]