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Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

The Environmental Justice Implications of Biofuels

Gonzalez, Carmen G., The Environmental Justice Implications of Biofuels (July 21, 2016). UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs, Vol. 20, 2016. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2813002

“Analyses of the viability of biofuels as alternatives to fossil fuels have often adopted a technocratic approach that focuses on environmental consequences, but places less emphasis on the impact that biofuels may have on vulnerable populations. This Article fills the gap in the existing literature by evaluating biofuels through the lens of environmental justice – including climate justice and food justice. The Article examines the impact of biofuels on the global food system and on the planet’s most food-insecure populations. It concludes that the laws and policies promoting the cultivation of biofuels have contributed to global malnourishment by raising food prices and accelerating the large-scale acquisition of arable lands in poor countries that deprive local communities of the land and water necessary to grow food (a phenomenon known as land-grabbing). Ironically, the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of many biofuels exceed those of the fossil fuels they replace. Instead of mitigating climate change, the promotion of biofuels threatens to intensify an industrial model of agricultural production that degrades local ecosystems, exacerbates climate change, and intensifies food insecurity. The Article concludes by discussing governance strategies to foster a more equitable and sustainable approach to bioenergy that respects, protects, and fulfills the human right to food.”

USDA Announces Additional Efforts to Make School Environments Healthier

USDA news release: “Today, the Obama Administration is announcing four final rules that implement important provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) building on the progress schools across the country have already made in the improved nutritional quality of meals served in schools. As a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move!… Continue Reading

Commentary – Classism and the Politics of SNAP

Despite mounting evidence that the majority of SNAP recipients are engaged in work, Americans of all political stripes often view beneficiaries as “lazy” or “moochers”—and this heavily affects how we treat them. Joel Berg from July 14, 2016. Continue Reading

DOD Needs More Complete Data on Active-Duty Servicemembers’ Use of Food Assistance Programs

Military Personnel: DOD Needs More Complete Data on Active-Duty Servicemembers’ Use of Food Assistance Programs, GAO-16-561: Published: Jul 15, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2016. “According to the Defense Commissary Agency, servicemembers on active duty spent over $21 million in SNAP benefits at commissaries from September 2014 through August 2015. This suggests that people serving… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Compact of Free Association, Federal Real Property, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Compact of Free Association: Proposed U.S. Assistance to Palau for Fiscal Years 2016 to 2024, GAO-16-788T: Published: Jul 6, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 2016. Federal Real Property: Actions Needed to Enhance Information on and Coordination among Federal Entities with Leasing Authority, GAO-16-648: Published: Jul 6, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 2016. Federal Real Property:… Continue Reading

Food, the UK and the EU: Brexit or Bremain?

Note – The Brexit vote took place on June 23, 2016 and the referendum decision to leave the EU was won by majority vote. This paper, written before the vote,  addresses the details of the referendum and the potential impact of a decision, on food policy – a dynamic and significant issue within the UK… Continue Reading

Whole Genome Sequencing: Cracking the Genetic Code for Foodborne Illness

“A person commits a crime, and the detective uses DNA evidence collected from the crime scene to track the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness makes people sick, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that caused it. Sound far-fetched? It’s not. The FDA has… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Defense Inventory, Littoral Combat Ship, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, DOD Small Business Contracting

Defense Inventory: Further Analysis and Enhanced Metrics Could Improve Service Supply and Depot Operations, GAO-16-450: Published: Jun 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2016. Littoral Combat Ship: Need to Address Fundamental Weaknesses in LCS and Frigate Acquisition Strategies, GAO-16-356: Published: Jun 9, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 2016. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Enhanced Detection Tools… Continue Reading

Origins and Destinations of the World’s Migrants, from 1990-2015

Pew – “The figures in this interactive feature refer to the total number (or cumulative “stocks”) of migrants living around the world as of 1990, 2000, 2010 or 2015 rather than to the annual rate of migration (or current “flows”) in a given year. Since migrants have both an origin and a destination, international migrants… Continue Reading

Toxic Crops and Zoonotic Disease: UNEP Identifies the Emerging Environmental Issues of Our Time

Via United Nations Environment Programme – “From the worrying rise in zoonotic diseases around the world to an examination of how climate change is increasing the toxicity of crops, a UNEP report out today seeks to highlight a number of the world’s key emerging environmental issues. UNEP’s Frontiers report identifies, highlights and offers solutions to… Continue Reading

Google Food Trends 2016 US Report

“In our Google Food Trends Report 2016, we are excited to bring forth the power of data into the hands of the marketers, product developers, restaurateurs, chefs, and foodies. The goal of this report is to share useful data for planning purposes accompanied by curated styles of what we believe can make for impactful trends.… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Disaster Recovery, DoD Financial Management, Human Trafficking, Immigration Detention, Imported Food Safety, Rail Grant Oversight

Disaster Recovery: FEMA Needs to Assess Its Effectiveness in Implementing the National Disaster Recovery Framework, GAO-16-476: Published: May 26, 2016. Publicly Released: May 26, 2016. DOD Financial Management: Greater Visibility Needed to Better Assess Audit Readiness for Property, Plant, and Equipment, GAO-16-383: Published: May 26, 2016. Publicly Released: May 26, 2016. Human Trafficking: Actions Taken… Continue Reading