Posts Tagged ‘food trends

News from the Hub – Week of May 21, 2012

Friday, May 25th, 2012 by

Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

Waitress’s Wages Leave Little to Take Home
A waitress in a family-style restaurant in Detroit says it’s a struggle to make ends meet. Most servers are women and they are subject to a sub-minimum wage that hasn’t been raised since 1991. Family members often provide a crucial safety net.

Poultry scientists working on “chicken translator”
Any experienced chicken farmer will tell you, the relative contentment of the birds can be gauged by the sounds they’re making. While this has generally been accepted as anecdotal folk wisdom, a team of scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia are now trying to scientifically verify it.

More Americans now eating whole grains, fresh produce
Los Angeles Times
A vast majority of Americans say they eat more whole grains and fresh produce than they did five years ago, but many believe the federal government needs to do more to ensure greater access to locally produced fresh food, according to a new survey.

Battle Brewing Over Labeling of Genetically Modified Food
For more than a decade, almost all processed foods in the US have contained ingredients from plants whose DNA was manipulated in a laboratory. Regulators and many scientists say these pose no danger. Labeling bills have been proposed in more than a dozen states over the last year, the most closely watched labeling effort is a proposed ballot initiative in California that cleared a crucial hurdle this month.

LA makes history with ban on plastic bags at stores
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to approve a ban on plastic bags at supermarket checkout lines, handing a hard-fought victory to environmentalists and promising to change the way Angelenos do their grocery shopping.


News from the Hub – Week of March 12, 2012

Friday, March 16th, 2012 by

Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

New Study Explores Innovation and Opportunities for Diverse Local Food Distributors
Today, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan released a new report on the distribution practices of eight producer networks and their partners distributing locally or regionally-grown food to retail and foodservice customers. The report shows how these networks tap into the growing commercial demand for local and regional food products while creating additional economic opportunities and expanding healthy food access.

Locally Produced Food Gets Boost Through Food Hubs
The USDA is helping small farmers connect with people who want to buy locally produced food by fostering “food hubs.” By aggregrating local produce from many small farmers, food hubs can sell to large buyers that want locally and regionally grown food, such as schools and hospitals. These hubs remove some of the most onerous, time draining chores for farmers, who typically reach consumers by driving long distances to farmers markets and restaurants.

Bad Food: Illnesses from Imported Food Are on the Rise, CDC Says
Altogether about 16% of the food eaten in the U.S. comes from other countries — and given some of the many holes in the food safety net for imports, that should be a little concerning. In a new report published on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that foodborne disease outbreaks caused by imported food appeared to rise in 2009 and 2010.

Brooklyn food pantries go grow-your-own
New York Daily News
A Bedford-Stuyvesant food pantry built an indoor farm where clients grow fresh produce year-round — and provide vegetables for hundreds of families a week. Brooklyn is in the grip of an urban farming craze. Grow-your-own is going strong, from rooftop gardens to massive plantings at public high schools.

Food Craft Institute to open in Jack London Square
San Francisco Chronicle
Local producers will share some of their skills and experience as instructors at the new Food Craft Institute, a school for artisan food companies opening in Oakland’s Jack London Square in April. A nonprofit affiliated with Oakland’s Eat Real Festival, the annual street food festival, the institute will offer its first “master course” in jam, followed by courses in pickling, charcuterie, and coffee roasting and coffee bar management.


News from the Hub – Week of March 5, 2012

Friday, March 9th, 2012 by

Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

Treated beef dubbed ‘pink slime’ to show up in school lunches
The Seattle Times
When McDonald’s and other fast-food chains said last month that “pink slime” was no longer being used in their burgers, some believed the product, beef trimmings partially treated with ammonium hydroxide, had disappeared from the nation’s food supply once and for all. But a new report in the Daily tablet newspaper suggests the slime will appear in school lunches this spring, 7 million pounds of it.

Don’t blame food deserts for obesity
Washington Post (blog)
Roland Sturm, an economist at RAND Corporation, analyzed the food environments of 13,000 adolescents in California, looking at how many fast-food restaurants and supermarkets were within a 1.5-mile radius of their homes and schools. He then looked at how much fast food, fresh fruits and other foods the kids consumed. And his study found no correlation between what food sources kids lived near, what the kids ate and how much they weighed.

More foods going to pouch packaging
Chicago Tribune
Packaged food makers are thinking outside the bottle and can. More to the point, they’re increasingly partial to pouches. Kitchen staples from Campbell Soup Co. and H.J. Heinz Co. will be joining other consumer products in pouches this year. The trend is being driven by savings on packaging and shipping costs as well as aesthetics — an upscale pouch sporting elaborate graphics offers a modern look and premium appeal, marketers say.

FoodHub makes second trip to White House
Sustainable Business Oregon
The Ecotrust’s FoodHub program had its second cameo at the White House Monday when Amanda Oborne, acting director, participated with some 60 other industry leaders in a conversation about the importance of local food. Oborne was the first speaker called to the microphone by U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan during a well-tweeted and Web-broadcasted summit on local food.

USDA begins tweeting state-specific food call alerts
Washington Post
Anyone with a Twitter account can now be among the first to know about food recalls with a new service the Department of Agriculture is rolling out. The USDA says state-specific food safety alerts for meat, poultry, and processed egg products are included as well as information on how to protect food during severe weather events. Up until now recalls have been announced in news releases and on a general USDA Twitter feed. (more…)

News from the Hub – Week of February 27, 2012

Friday, March 2nd, 2012 by

Fresh Picks – Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

Bill seeks to reimburse farmers for organic certification
North Bay Business Journal
Recently introduced legislation in Sacramento would reimburse farmers for costs associated with transitioning land to certified organic production. Called the California Transition to Organics Act of 2012, the bill would create a new state Transition to Organics Fund administered by the state Food and Agriculture Department. The fund would reimburse 25 percent of certification costs, including inspection, certification and registration fees.

Wasted food on campus put to good use at PEAS farm
Montana Kaimin
Though there is still snow on the ground, many a green thumb is beginning to itch around Missoula. Just north of campus in the Rattlesnake Valley, the Program in Ecological Agriculture and Society (PEAS) Farm has been humming with activity in preparation for the growing season. But there’s a lot to be done before any work goes into those fields.

Bay Area Hospitals Aggregate Demand to Push the Market for Certified-Humane, Cage-Free Eggs
A team of San Francisco Bay Area hospitals recently secured a contract for certified-humane, cage-free eggs from Wilcox Farms through U.S. Foodservice, one of the major food distributors serving the health care sector. The University of California San Francisco Medical Center and John Muir Health are now purchasing 100% of their liquid eggs from Wilcox Farms.

New face in cooking: Latina chefs make it big in food industry, especially on television
Washington Post
A decade after Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez helped Latin music explode into the mainstream, Latina chefs are doing the same for food. From Food Network’s Marcela Valladolid and Evette Rios on ABC’s “The Chew” to uber-restaurateur Michelle Bernstein and cookbook author Lourdes Castro, these senoritas are proving to be the new face in cooking — especially on television.

Food hubs link local growers, wholesalers
The Packer
When it comes to finding locally grown produce, don’t automatically head to the farmers’ market. In fact, many local growers would rather focus on wholesale and are banding together in co-ops, or “food hubs” to give them more marketing muscle. “Farmer’s markets are not the right solution for many local growers,” said Jim Crawford, owner of Hustontown, Pa.-based New Morning Farm and president of the Tuscarora Organic Growers co-op. (more…)

News from the Hub – Week of February 13, 2012

Friday, February 17th, 2012 by

Fresh Picks: Top 5 Stories Worth Reading

Central Valley reps bill would upend water rights
San Francisco Chronicle
Representatives from the Central Valley pushed legislation through a House committee Thursday that would upend the state’s system of water rights, deploying the federal government to extract water from Northern California farms, fisheries and cities to send to farmers in the valley. The action by the House Natural Resources Committee came the same day that the House voted to require the federal government to usurp California’s governance of its coastline by requiring offshore leasing for oil and gas drilling.

Chicago restaurants move toward hyper-local food production
Medill Reports: Chicago
More and more restaurants in Chicago are producing their own ingredients – up on the roof.  These restaurants are converting standard urban rooftops to green gardens to help reduce their environmental impact and support local food production. Tomatoes and basil for a caprese salad?  Just a quick walk up the stairs to the roof.

Farmers Ending Hunger receives Walmart grant
Statesman Journal
Farmers Ending Hunger has received a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to support its Farm to Food Box program. The funds will supplement the organization’s efforts to collect and transport almost 2 million pounds of crops and meats from farms to processors then to the Oregon Food Bank Network. Farmers Ending Hunger works with farmers and ranchers, who donate a portion of their harvest, to provide access to high-quality food.

USA, EU get on same page for organic farms
USA Today
For the first time, organic foods certified in the United States will be able to be sold in Europe and vice versa under a historic agreement to be signed today. The pact makes the world’s two largest organic markets, $26.7 billion in the United States and $26 billion in the European Union, functionally equivalent. It will save organic farmers from having to deal with two different, and sometimes contradictory, sets of rules.

Trader Joe’s Signs Fair Food Agreement On Tomatoes With Immokalee Workers
Huffington Post
Trader Joe’s relented this week and signed a Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a community-based organization of mainly Latino, Mayan Indian and Haitian immigrants employed in low-wage jobs in Florida. The agreement requires the grocery store to pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes and to ensure better working conditions for tomato workers. (more…)