3.22 Food & Farm Report

Worth a Gander:

Fed Up with School Lunch–Hot dog. Reconstituted chicken nuggets. Leathery fries. Nachos. A daily visual reminder that the way we’re going about feeding our children is absolutely flawed. That, or a sly celebration of the microwave oven.

Baby Bites–We’re all getting older and showing it. That is, except for Nonna’s Happy Meal, which celebrated its first birthday a few weeks ago, with no obvious signs of age.

SFA’s Oral History Interactive Map Project–Let the Southern Foodways Alliance guide you toward good eats and the stories behind them in the South.

New & Noteworthy:

The Departments of Justice and Agriculture began their long-anticipated inquiry into antitrust violations in the agribusiness sector. News on this topic abounds online. Civils Eats offers this particularly important, if often repeated, morsel:

Even though these statistics have been widely published lately, I will include them here again just to illustrate the point: 1 company (Monsanto) controls the genetics of 93% of soybeans and 80% of the corn grown in the U.S; 4 companies (Tyson, Cargill, Swift & National Beef Packing Co.) control 85% of the beef packing industry; 4 companies (Smithfield, Tyson, Swift & Cargill) control 66% of the pork packing industry.

Food Democracy Now! is currently rallying support to bust up “America’s corporate food monopolies.”

Finally, closer to home, even amidst talk of gutting 4-H and Cooperative Extension,  Governor Perdue launched the “Seventh Annual National Agriculture Awareness Week” in Atlanta last Tuesday. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but it’s always interesting to see what common items (and ambitious claims) come from your native state. From the press release:

Georgia features thriving and diversified farm economies, leading the country in the production of poultry, pecans, peanuts, eggs and forestry products. The state is also taking the lead in converting agricultural produce to ethanol and biodiesel. Georgia consistently ranks as a top producer of watermelons, rye, peaches, sweet potatoes and cotton is home to the world famous Vidalia onion.

The in-famous Vidalia onion? Wow, in-famous?! Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.


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