Today, to be patriotic, I bought my wife some red, white and blue carnations. I asked the clerk who was trimming and wrapping the flowers where they came from, and he said, “Columbia.” I would rather have purchased them from a domestic grower, but I couldn’t…. And it’s hard to find domestic fruits and vegetables, too. What happened?
I usually try to be an optimistic, “glass half full” kind of person, but yesterday when I read that the Supreme Court had upheld an Arizona law that allows fines and business license revocation for companies that knowingly hire “illegal aliens,” it took some serious effort to come up with optimistic scenarios for the future [...]
Last week Dr. Robert Paarlberg published an article in GOOD titled “The Inconvenient Truth About Cheap Food and Obesity: It’s Not Farm Subsidies.” In the article he debunks the assertion by Michael Pollan in Omnivore’s Dilemma that farm subsidies make unhealthy foods artificially cheap. He points out that (for different reasons) libertarian-leaning groups like the [...]
The short answer is “no.” Here is the longer answer: Last Thursday the president of Port Organic Products Ltd was indicted on 28 counts of mail fraud for marketing an “Organic” fertilizer that was spiked with aqueous ammonia – a “synthetic” source of nitrogen which is not allowed under the Organic rules. Nelson had represented [...]
In 2008, the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA (USDA-NASS) conducted a very detailed and comprehensive survey of Organic agriculture in the US. It was published last year but got little notice. It is interesting to study the data and to compare it to the equivalent statistics that are available for the rest of [...]
As Congressional Republicans and others search for budget cuts (without addressing any of the really big ticket items), one of the programs they are targeting is the small national support for wheat breeding. Representatives of the wheat industry are mobilizing to try to let the politicians know why that is a really bad idea! Even [...]
How “local and sustainable” is the produce you’re buying at your local farmers market? There is a troubling article today on a site called “The Perishable Pundit.” Jim Prevor, the author, is an extremely well respected source of information for the fresh produce industry. It’s safe to say that most people in that business follow [...]
There was a news story this week about how there are $1.5 million of Federal funds available to help farmers in Nebraska convert to Organic. This is part of an Obama administration initiative to promote the expansion of Organic agriculture. Frankly, this is a token effort that will have little effect, but there is an [...]