In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites
- It's widely known that the perimeter of grocery stores is where the fresher and more appealing items are often stocked. But how do stores decide what to stock around the perimeter or inside the "center store"? Products that are relegated to the less-trafficked areas of stores are required to advertise more aggressively and compete with similar products. This piece discusses their efforts. The politics of the grocery store!
- A long story in last weekend's New York Times discusses the possibility that advanced robotic machinery will replace workers in many industries. New improvements to existing robot technology have made robotic arms accessible enough that they are beginning to threaten previously human jobs. The article mentions that one robotic arm can replace up to five workers at Earthbound Farms in California. Marion Nestle wonders about further implications of these robots in the food service industry.
- As this summer's drought continues, and worsens, in many agricultural areas of the country, farmers are looking to adapt for next season. These adaptations include cross-breeding plants with hardier, more heat-resistant varieties, and even choosing to raise different types of cattle from hotter parts of the world. The cattle stock in the country, at 98 million head, is currently the lowest it's ever been, as farmers sell off cattle that they can't afford to feed and water.
- A popular proposition in California would require labeling of foods containing GMO ingredients - but the food industry is pushing back. Most of the industry giants, including the Kelogg Company, ConAgra Foods, and Coca-Cola have donated a combined $2 million to oppose the efforts of the bill's proponents. An estimated 75% of foods in American grocery stores contain GM ingredients. FoodNavigator has details on the proposition's details, which will be on the state's November ballot.
- NPR's The Salt discusses the inherent difficulty of measuring the environmental and health impact of producing and consuming meat. They point out data discrepancies between their own infographics and other sources' reporting. Such discrepancies are important for recognizing the malleability of environmental and health data, which are so necessary to building better food-related policies.
About the Author: A student in Providence, Rhode Island, Leah Douglas loves learning about, talking about, reading about, and consuming food. Her work has also been featured in Rhode Island Monthly Magazine.