Interesting and important Food News from around the web for Seeders, Feeders & Eaters.
News for SEEDERS
Do Organic Farmers Need Special Seeds And Money To Breed Them? [NPR] – The Clif Bar Family Foundation recently announced they would contribute up to $10 million to fund organic breeding endowments at five universities. The first endowment is going to University of Wisconsin – Madison, which was matched by Organic Valley. The money will continue to help organic seed breeders develop more better growing, disease resistant and great tasting varieties of open-pollinated seeds for organic farmers.
CCOF, Whole Foods Market, and Organic Growers Collaborate on Changes to Rating System [CCOF] – A group of organic farmers and the CCOF (California Certified of Organic Farmers) have recently challenged Whole Foods’ “Responsibly Grown” rating program and enrollment process and have been heard. Concerns included that “the scoring is too low, the the presentation is confusing, and the Responsibly Grown “on-boarding” process is too rushed and unfair to small operators”. Whole Foods announced they would begin making changes to the systems immediately, while some will take a year or more to implement.
News for FEEDERS
Anti-Yelp chefs network makes big plans for expansion [San Francisco Business Times] – ChefsFeed, a website and mobile app “to give chefs a voice in the racket of clueless reviewers descending on kitchens everywhere” has relaunched with a new look and expanded from 26 cities to 50 cities. ChefsFeed is a different kind of food reviewer site since only its 1200 chefs can post content and reviews about dishes. The new design also includes more content, including news features, videos and trending dishes. Just 3 years after their initial launch, and over $8 million in funding, ChefsFeed is looking good.
California’s Drought Changes Habits in the Kitchen [NY Times] – California is now in its fourth year of severe drought and this reality is translating to some behavioral changes for residents in their home kitchens as well as chefs in their restaurants. From streamlining tofu & cheesemaking methods and reducing the water in certain recipes to chefs repurposing water in the kitchen and revamping menus to use less water-intensive ingredients and methods. This article talks to chefs like Andrea Nguygen (Author, Viet World Kitchen, Northern California) Melissa Perello (Octavia, San Francisco) and Suzanne Goin (AOC, Lucques, Los Angeles) to see how they’re adjusting in the drought.
News for EATERS
Farm to School Expanded to $4.5 Million for 2015-2017 [Upstream Public Health] – Two important bills passed in the final hours of Oregon’s 2015 legislative session that will provide every school with funding to buy and serve local foods, a national first. Starting this fall, over $4.5 million (a $3.3 million increase) will go to sourcing and serving those ingredients, as well as into food-based, agriculture-based and garden-based education programs.
Bacon Is About to Get More Expensive [Mother Earth News] – Earlier this month, one of the “Big Four” pork packers (JBS) of the US merged with another of the “Big Four” (Cargill), resulting in an even bigger majority, meaning now 71.5% of hogs in the US are slaughtered by one of four major corporations. This means they have even more control over how little they’re paying the farmers and how much they’re charging for the final product, hence the article’s title. It’s all a bit mind boggling and if you need a diagram to understand, just follow the link and check it out for yourself. Chalk up yet another reason to know your farmer and know where your meat comes from.
Growth in Cider Poses ‘Real Threat’ To Wine [Drinks Business] – Cider is on the up and up. It is being consumed on a greater scale, especially in the New World, with US sales tripling since 2012. It’s quite possible that this increase could impact the sales of wine, not just beer, on a global scale.