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Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

Welcome to the Age of Climate Migration

Rolling Stone: Extreme weather due to climate change displaced more than a million people from their homes last year. It could soon reshape the nation. “In 2017, a string of climate disasters – six big hurricanes in the Atlantic, wildfires in the West, horrific mudslides, high-temperature records breaking all over the country – caused $306 billion in damage, killing more than 300 people. After Hurricane Maria, 300,000 Puerto Ricans fled to Florida, and disaster experts estimate that climate and weather events displaced more than 1 million Americans from their homes last year. These statistics don’t begin to capture the emotional and financial toll on survivors who have to dig through ashes and flooded debris to rebuild their lives. Mental-health workers often see spikes in depression, PTSD and suicides in the months that follow a natural disaster. After Harvey, one study found that 30 percent of residents in flooded areas had fallen behind on their rent or mortgage. One in four respondents said they were having problems paying for food. Politicians inevitably vow to rebuild, to make their city stronger than before. But in the coming years, as the climate gets hotter, the seas keep rising and storms grow more intense, those vows will become less and less credible. Climate change is going to remap our world, changing not just how we live but where we live. As scientist Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Pacific Institute, puts it, “There is a shocking, unreported, fundamental change coming to the habitability of many parts of the planet, including the U.S.A.”…

CRS – Nutrition Labeling of Restaurant Menu and Vending Machine Items

CRS Report – Nutrition Labeling of Restaurant Menu and Vending Machine Items, February 5, 2018. “High rates of obesity and chronic diseases have prompted various federal, state, and local nutrition labeling initiatives. The 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (P.L. 101-535) required nutrition labeling of most foods and dietary supplements, but it did not require… Continue Reading

Dead zone conditions expanding rapidly throughout shallow coastal seas and lakes

Quartz: “On January 5, 2018, a paper published in the journal Science delivered a sobering message: The oxygenation of open oceans and coastal seas has been steadily declining during the past half century. The volume of ocean with no oxygen at all has quadrupled, and the volume where oxygen levels are falling dangerously low has… Continue Reading

Oxfam – The State of Inequality in the World

“Our new report about the state of inequality in the world reveals how our economy is delivering unimaginable rewards for those at the top by exploiting millions of ordinary workers at the bottom…Last year saw the biggest increase in billionaires in history, one more every two days. This huge increase could have ended global extreme… Continue Reading

U.S. Welfare Reform Efforts Have Been Based on an Availability of Work that Doesn’t Always Exist

“Hilary W. Hoynes, an NBER research associate and professor of economics and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, specializes in the study of poverty, food and nutrition programs, and the impacts of government tax and transfer programs on low income families. In this video, she outlines successes and failures of federal efforts to… Continue Reading

The Case Against Eating Fish

The Walrus – The Case Against Eating Fish As a biologist, I know what can happen to seafood before it ends up on our plates. That’s why it’s not on mine “…But eating mislabelled fish can make you ill. Seafood is delicate; each species has a specific temperature range at which it can be stored,… Continue Reading

NOAA – 2017 was third warmest year on record for US with record number of climate disasters

Assessing the U.S. Climate in 2017 – “Based on preliminary analysis, the average annual temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 54.6°F, 2.6°F above the 20th century average. This was the third warmest year since record keeping began in 1895, behind 2012 (55.3°F) and 2016 (54.9°F), and the 21st consecutive warmer-than-average year for the U.S. (1997… Continue Reading

Study – deploying solar energy dev across non traditional sites

Land-Sparing Opportunities for Solar Energy Development in Agricultural Landscapes: A Case Study of the Great Central Valley, CA, United States. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2017, 51 (24), pp 14472–14482. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.7b05110. Publication Date (Web): December 19, 2017. “Land-cover change from energy development, including solar energy, presents trade-offs for land used for the production of food and… Continue Reading

EPA Releases Draft Risk Assessments for Glyphosate – Denies cancer risk to humans

EPA Releases Draft Risk Assessments for Glyphosate – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing for public comment the draft human health and ecological risk assessments for glyphosate, one of the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States. The draft human health risk assessment concludes that glyphosate is not likely to be… Continue Reading

The EFSA Comprehensive European Food Consumption Database

“The Comprehensive Food Consumption Database is a source of information on food consumption across the European Union (EU). It contains detailed data for a number of EU countries. The database plays a key role in the evaluation of the risks related to possible hazards in food in the EU and allows estimates of consumers’ exposure… Continue Reading

Wealthy countries throw out up to 40% of food

The New York Times: “Globally, we throw out about 1.3 billion tons of food a year, or a third of all the food that we grow. That’s important for at least two reasons. The less the world wastes, the easier it will be to meet the food needs of the global population in coming years.… Continue Reading

The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities

New book published jointly by the USDA and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis – Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investment to Transform Communities “This publication is designed to highlight the prospects available in the regional food systems sector, advance efforts to provide meaningful earnings and job opportunities for low- and… Continue Reading