Dan Charles http://wkms.org en Can You Trust That Organic Label On Imported Food? http://wkms.org/post/can-you-trust-organic-label-imported-food Maybe you've wondered, while looking at the price tag on some organic produce, whether that label is telling the truth.<p><a href="http://peterlaufer.com/">Peter Laufer</a>, a writer and professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, doesn't just wonder. He's an outright skeptic, especially because the organic label seems to him like a license to raise prices. And also because those products are arriving through supply chains that stretch to far corners of the world.<p>The U.S. imports organic soybeans from China, spices from India, and dried fruits from Turkey. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 22:15:00 +0000 Dan Charles 42330 at http://wkms.org Can You Trust That Organic Label On Imported Food? Are Organic Vegetables More Nutritious After All? http://wkms.org/post/are-organic-vegetables-more-nutritious-after-all There may never be an end to arguments over whether organic food is more nutritious. But a new <a href="http://csanr.wsu.edu/program-areas/m2m/research-areas/nutritional-quality/bjn-2014/">study</a> is the most ambitious attempt so far to resolve the issue — and it concludes that organic fruit and vegetables offer a key benefit.<p>It's a scientific reply to an <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/09/04/160395259/why-organic-food-may-not-be-healthier-for-you">analysis</a> that some researchers at Stanford University published two years ago. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 22:39:00 +0000 Dan Charles 42019 at http://wkms.org Breeding Battle Threatens Key Source Of California Strawberries http://wkms.org/post/breeding-battle-threatens-key-source-california-strawberries In California, a legal skirmish has erupted over strawberries — or rather, over strawberry breeding.<p>To be absolutely precise, the battle is about strawberry breeding at the University of California, Davis. This is more important than it might sound. Tue, 01 Jul 2014 21:40:00 +0000 Dan Charles 41745 at http://wkms.org In The Making Of Megafarms, A Mixture Of Pride And Pain http://wkms.org/post/making-megafarms-few-winners-and-many-losers It seems that everybody, going back at least to <a href="http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/quotations-agriculture">Thomas Jefferson</a>, loves small family farms.<p>Yet those beloved small farms are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Big farms are taking over.<p>According to the <a href="http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/">latest census of American agriculture</a>, released this year, there are two million farms in America. Mon, 16 Jun 2014 21:29:00 +0000 Dan Charles 41344 at http://wkms.org In The Making Of Megafarms, A Mixture Of Pride And Pain Double Trouble For Coffee: Drought And Disease Send Prices Up http://wkms.org/post/double-trouble-coffee-drought-and-disease-send-prices If you're drinking a cup of coffee right now, treasure it. The global supply of coffee beans may soon shrink because of problems in coffee-growing areas of Brazil and Central America.<p>With supply threatened and demand strong, prices are <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-22/coffee-surges-to-highest-in-26-months-on-global-supply-outlook.html">taking flight</a>. Wed, 21 May 2014 16:35:28 +0000 Dan Charles 40725 at http://wkms.org Double Trouble For Coffee: Drought And Disease Send Prices Up For Many, Farming Is A Labor Of Love, Not A Living http://wkms.org/post/many-farming-labor-love-not-living Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture carries out a census of farmers: who they are, and what they are doing on their farms.<p>The agency just released the <a href="http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/">latest one</a>, and it's a feast for all ag geeks. And here's the very first, most basic piece of new information: There are 2,109,303 farmers in this country.<p>But look a little closer at that number, and you can see that it's not quite what it seems. Most of those farmers are not actually making a living by farming.<p>Bill Miller is a typical example. Wed, 07 May 2014 20:50:52 +0000 Dan Charles 40408 at http://wkms.org For Many, Farming Is A Labor Of Love, Not A Living No More Bromine: Coke, Pepsi Drop Controversial Ingredient http://wkms.org/post/no-more-bromine-coke-pepsi-drop-controversial-ingredient Chalk up another win for citizen activists. Coke and Pepsi <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/05/coke-pepsi-dropping-bvo-from-all-drinks/8736657/">announced</a> this week that they will no longer use brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, in their soft drinks.<p>BVO is an emulsifier; it helps to keep other ingredients, like flavors and colors, nicely mixed together. Tue, 06 May 2014 18:57:56 +0000 Dan Charles 40371 at http://wkms.org No More Bromine: Coke, Pepsi Drop Controversial Ingredient Can Fish Farms Thrive In The USA? http://wkms.org/post/future-clean-green-fish-farming-could-be-indoor-factories Why hasn't fish farming taken off in the United States?<p>It's certainly not for lack of demand for the fish. Slowly but surely, seafood that's grown in aquaculture is taking over the seafood section at your supermarket, and the vast majority is imported. The shrimp and tilapia typically come from warm-water ponds in southeast Asia and Latin America. Mon, 07 Apr 2014 22:07:00 +0000 Dan Charles 39753 at http://wkms.org Can Fish Farms Thrive In The USA? Chickens That Lay Organic Eggs Eat Imported Food, And It's Pricey http://wkms.org/post/chickens-laying-organic-eggs-eat-imported-food-and-its-pricey The other morning, I found myself staring at something strange and unfamiliar: empty grocery shelves with the word "eggs" above them. The store, a Whole Foods Market in Washington, D.C., blamed, in another sign, the dearth on "increased demand for organic eggs."<p>This scene is unfolding in grocery stores across the country. But Whole Foods' sign wasn't telling the whole truth. Thu, 27 Feb 2014 21:40:00 +0000 Dan Charles 38965 at http://wkms.org Chickens That Lay Organic Eggs Eat Imported Food, And It's Pricey Is Tyson Foods' Chicken Empire A 'Meat Racket'? http://wkms.org/post/tyson-foods-chicken-empire-meat-racket Christopher Leonard's new exposé on the chicken industry, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Meat-Racket-Takeover-Americas/dp/1451645813/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392403784&sr=8-1&keywords=meat+racket">The Meat Racket</a>, doesn't devote much ink to the physical object on our plate, the chicken meat itself.<p>Instead, Leonard focuses on the economic machinery that delivers the meat to us, or, as he puts it, "the hidden power structure that has quietly reshaped U.S. Wed, 19 Feb 2014 14:40:20 +0000 Dan Charles 38784 at http://wkms.org Is Tyson Foods' Chicken Empire A 'Meat Racket'?