In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites
- Maybe you stand in front of the fish case and try to buy sustainably, but have you ever considered which canned fish is best for the environment? Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish, makes the case for canned salmon in a piece for the Atlantic. The traceability of salmon, our ability to catch the fish without much environmental damage, and the fish's lower toxin content make salmon a preferable option to tuna, the other canned option. Is salmon casserole this generation's next eco-conscious next kitchen staple?
- The president of American Farmland Trust is wary about the coming months of agricultural policy in the wake of the recently passed deficit reduction bills. Jon Scholl expressed concern in an article for Western Farm Press about the probable reduction in funding available to farm and agriculture interests. He noted that writing the coming Farm Bill is at once a looming and difficult task, as well as an opportunity to create new, innovative policies for a sometimes slow to change industry.
- The Environmental Protection Agency issued a stop order on DuPont's Imprelis herbicide, which has been damaging many types of trees including white pine and Norway spruce. For several months the EPA has been investigating the effects of this powerful herbicide. DuPont issued the recall voluntarily and will be conducting a return and refund program in the coming weeks. Over 7,000 incident reports have been sent to the EPA by users of the herbicide. The EPA suspects that mislabeled bottles resulted in incorrect usage of the product and unintentional damage to the affected trees.
- Drought continues to ravage the state of Texas, which received less than an inch of rain state-wide in July. The drought has been determined to be the second worst in Texas history. The state's water supply is severely threatened, with high temperatures and little rainfall drying out tributary rivers. Agriculture in the state is also at high risk, with farmers standing to lose up to $8 billion if conditions don't improve fast. Temperatures have reached 100 degrees for more than thirty consecutive days.
- New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced an initiative to increase the number and visibility of farmers' markets in his state. The FreshConnect program will bring markets to underserved communities in Harlem, Mount Vernon, Queens, and more. The program will assist markets in accepting SNAP/WIC benefits, recruiting farmers, advertising the market hours, and providing nutrition education. FreshConnect is one of several efforts at work to bring the vibrant agricultural community of upstate New York into closer contact with city residents.
About the Author: A student in Providence, Rhode Island, Leah Douglas loves learning about, talking about, reading about, and consuming food. Her work is also featured in Rhode Island Monthly magazine.