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In the News… Friday, April 11, 2008

Digging out from a few busy weeks and catching up on news of interest to Slow Food members and friends…

† Bill Moyers’ Journal and food policy: Tune in or set the recorder: Bill Moyers will turn his attention to food policy:

As food prices go sky high and millions go hungry in America, why are tax dollars being spent on farmers who don’t farm? Bill Moyers’ Journal teams up with the PBS series Exposé: America’s Investigative Reports to follow the trail of Washington Post reporters who uncovered more than $15 billion in “wasteful, unnecessary, or redundant expenditures” that have flowed from Washington to America’s farmers. Then, the Journal looks at shortages in America’s food banks, and Bill Moyers talks with David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, about challenges of combating hunger and the new farm bill being negotiated in Congress.

Check your local/digital/cable listings for air dates; some information available at pbs.org.

† What’s going on with the Farm Bill?: Dan Imhoff updates us in Thursday’s Los Angeles Times.

† Food policy and the presidential candidates: Thanks to Marion Nestle for sharing a link to Alexandra Lewin’s summary of the candidates’ positions on food policy issues. Food policy questions might rank below climate change on the priority list of candidate questions this election year, so we’re grateful to Ms. Lewin (and to Dr. Nestle) for the information, and we’ll continue to post such summaries or Q&As as they come to our attention.

† “How to be a foodie without breaking the bank”: Novella Carpenter describes one person who demonstrates that how and what we eat is largely a matter of choice and not dependent solely on the size of our bank account.

† “As Prices Rise, Farmers Spurn Conservation Program”: It’s no secret that the federal government pays many farmers not to farm. In the current economic climate, however, some are finding less benefit in such guaranteed payments. The New York Times considers the effects.

† “Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear”: Food policy in Vanity Fair? Yes, at least in the May 2008 issue, where Donald Barlett and James Steele turn a bright light on a dark side of mega-agribiz:

Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination.

† Speaking of toxic contamination…: The testing of samples of Italian buffalo mozzarella has shown elevated levels of dioxin, possibly the result of illegal trash dumping in and near Naples. News such as this underscores the need for environmental approaches to food safety and quality.

† Ending this list on a brighter note…: Thanks to Judi Bikel for reminding us to look at “When Push Comes to Chèvre” in the New York Times’ T Magazine online.

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