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SMGN ~ What you’re eating. What’s eating you!

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  • Farm workers suddenly lose $1.5 billion in Covid-19 safety funding January 14, 2021
    Farm workers lost out on up to $1.5 billion in grants and loans for Covid-19 safety needs after the USDA committed funds earmarked as such for a food box program.  The USDA announced on Jan. 4 that it planned to spend $1.5 billion in a fifth round of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program. It has […]
    Kate Cimini
  • The stimulus bill is helpful. But it doesn’t go far enough to help the hungry. January 14, 2021
    April, the poet T.S. Eliot famously wrote, is the cruelest month—but for many Americans, the cruelest month of 2020 was December, the deadliest and most infectious month so far in the Covid-19 pandemic. As the human toll mounted, employers also cut about 140,000 jobs, one indicator that the economic crisis linked to the pandemic is […]
    Simran Sethi
  • Federal agencies clash over who regulates genetically engineered meat January 14, 2021
    The head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is refusing to sign off on an agreement that would transfer oversight of genetically engineered livestock to the more industry-friendly Department of Agriculture (USDA), reviving a longstanding debate about how the new food technology should be regulated. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn cited concerns about the legality […]
    Jessica Fu
  • Farm workers still don’t get paid for overtime in most places: “This is the very definition of structural racism” January 14, 2021
    Last year, New York joined a handful of other states, including California, Minnesota, Hawaii, Washington, and Maryland in granting overtime pay to farm workers. Yet as the law took effect on January 1, 2020, there was already a hitch: Workers would only receive time-and-a-half pay after they had already worked a 60-hour week, 20 hours […]
    H. Claire Brown
  • “I didn’t trust my palate or my body or my mind”: Covid-related smell loss puts chefs through the emotional wringer January 11, 2021
    Last July, Justin Burke was watering plants in his Columbia, South Carolina backyard when he began feeling symptoms of Covid-19, days after many of his family members fell ill.  “It was a full body shutdown. I got super sweaty, dizzy, shortness of breath—it all just kind of happened at once,” he said.  For several days, […]
    H. Claire Brown
  • There is wood pulp in your “100 percent grated cheese.” Is that a problem? January 8, 2021
    The grated Parmesan cheese in the green shaker tube, the kind next to dried pastas and canned tomato sauces on grocery shelves, may not be exactly what’s promised. And no one’s even claiming it comes from cow’s milk in Italy.  Many of these cheese products, including those by leading shredded-cheese maker Kraft-Heinz or those sold […]
    Sam Bloch
  • After the success of Prop 22 in California, UberEats, Grubhub, and Instacart score a federal victory January 7, 2021
    Wednesday morning, the Trump administration published a controversial new rule that would it make easier for Uber, Instacart, and Grubhub to continue to classify their drivers, shoppers, and couriers as independent contractors, in a move that could save them and other companies over $3 billion annually. It’s no sure thing that this rule—one of many […]
    Sam Bloch
  • When meat is sourced from “independent family farms,” what does that really mean? January 5, 2021
    On some of Cargill’s customer-facing websites, the term “independent family farmer” makes an appearance before the company’s own name does. If you’re familiar with the company, this should come as no great surprise. For years, the meat processing giant has made numerous efforts to underscore the role that its contract growers play in the supply […]
    Jessica Fu
  • Delivery workers are struggling to survive the pandemic January 5, 2021
    “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” So reads the inscription above the entrance of the iconic James Farley Post Office. Although the creed has long been associated with the postal service since the early 20th Century, in the 21st Century, for food […]
    Amir Khafagy
  • Farmers still face barriers in their quest to becoming certified organic, including making it through an onerous 3-year window when costs are higher January 4, 2021
    When Ola Creston and George Brittenburg started Taproot Farm in 2009, they grew their produce according to USDA organic standards: It was important to them as producers and consumers to farm without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, with a focus on building and maintaining healthy soils. But it was six years until the […]
    Alexandra Jones