FDL Book Salon Welcomes Jon Krampner, Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food

By: Saturday December 22, 2012 1:59 pm

You are 8 years old. It’s lunchtime at school. You grab your milk from the ‘lunch lady,’ pay your money, and sit down with your friends to eat. You open your Roy Rogers lunchbox or brown paper bag and pull out your sandwich and unwrap it. You look at your neighbor who is doing the same thing.

 

The Agricultural Cliff

By: Monday December 10, 2012 11:55 am

Another serious cliff resulting from the silly way Congress does business concerns the failure to pass a farm bill earlier this year. The Senate passed its own with bipartisan support, the House Agriculture Committee passed a version and then the House leadership refused to put that onto the floor for a variety of reasons. They broke in September without a plan for passage, and the lame duck session has been consumed by negotiations through the media on the fiscal slope, without addressing the farm bill.

Pesticide Threat Looms Large Over Farmworker Families

By: Sunday October 21, 2012 6:00 pm

No matter how good your next meal tastes, it’s likely it made society ill.

A new analysis by the Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN) draws a disturbing connection between pesticides in our food system and serious health problems among women and children. The report reviews empirical research linking agricultural chemicals to birth defects, neurological disorders, childhood cancers and reproductive problems.

Some of these chemicals make their way into the foods we eat, but they are more acutely concentrated in the environments surrounding farmlands.

What Does It Mean When the Farm Bill Expires?

By: Friday September 28, 2012 4:00 pm

This Sunday, the deadline will expire on the current farm bill. Many programs will revert back to the 1949 permanent legislation. However, provisions in the continuing resolution will keep food stamps, crop insurance, farmer subsidy programs and other funding streams moving through the system. That continuing resolution sets the USDA budget and will allow full funding for most current programs.

That’s not true across the board, however. In particular, dairy farmers could feel a pinch.

Farm Bill Set to Expire as Congress Leaves for Elections

By: Friday September 21, 2012 7:30 am

Today is the last day of the legislative session before Election Day. Lawmakers will go home to campaign on September 21, which is the earliest date during an election cycle in decades. And they leave a lot of pending legislation on the table. As John Boehner announced in the above clip, the House plans to adjourn without dealing with the farm bill. A bipartisan farm bill has already passed the Senate, and the House Agriculture Committee cleared their version months ago. But Boehner has been unable to line up support on the floor for it, out of an insistence that most of his caucus support it.

Congress to Hightail it Out of Washington With Major Priorities Unfinished

By: Tuesday September 18, 2012 7:36 am

Congress is in session this week for the final time this year before the election. I sort of shrugged this off as fairly typical for an election year, but it’s not. Usually, Congress stays in session until about a month before the election. Here they’re leaving with seven weeks to go. The do-nothing Congress has decided to double up on doing nothing.

Farm Bill Stalled, Programs Set to Expire September 30

By: Thursday September 13, 2012 5:00 pm

While the House will pass their six-month stopgap budget bill today, pushing government spending authority out to March, one other September 30 deadline remains outstanding, and Congress looks prepared to let it expire. That would be the authorization for farm programs. If nothing is done, the farm programs would revert back to the policy of decades ago.

Hidden Climate Costs: Drought Crushing Crop Insurance Industry

By: Monday August 27, 2012 2:45 pm

Farmers had already prepared for extreme weather events by purchasing more and more crop insurance in recent years. So when a historic drought hit this summer, many crop producers had the ability to handle it, although livestock producers seeing a spike in their feed costs still face major challenges. But the insurance industry will take a massive hit from crop insurance payouts, much of it reimbursed by the government, and that could rebound back to the economy.

EPA “Good Neighbor” Interstate Pollution Rule Overturned By DC Circuit Court

By: Wednesday August 22, 2012 8:25 am

A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court, voting 2-1 on partisan lines, has struck down the EPA’s “good neighbor” air pollution rule, which attempted to protect Eastern states from upwind pollution from Midwest and Southern states via tougher pollution laws. A federal appeals court Tuesday struck down a key Obama administration air pollution rule [...]

Industry Touts GMOs as Solution to Drought Conditions for Agriculture

By: Wednesday August 15, 2012 10:10 am

Monsanto and others who market genetically modified plant seeds appear eager to promote themselves as the solution droughts. But if our burned planet forces us to use GMOs because only those crops will stand up to the heat and lack of water, the least that we can do is to inform the public of what they’re eating. California will have a ballot measure in November that would force mandatory labeling of GMOs on all food product that use them.

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