Los Angeles

In the News… Wednesday, May 21, 2008

† “A Disgraceful Farm Bill”?: So thinks the New York Times, which notes that while the Farm Bill “has some virtues,” it also has flaws aplenty, and big ones: “The bill is an inglorious piece of work tailored to the needs of big agriculture and championed by not only the usual bipartisan farm state legislators but also the Democratic leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.” Read the complete editorial online. Another view is presented in Elanor’s post on The Ethicurean, which highlights that support of the Farm Bill may ultimately depend not on black-and-white positions but on where one falls on a range of grays.

† Disgraceful or not, the Farm Bill’s been vetoed: And by most accounts, Congress has sufficient votes for an override. David Stout reports in the New York Times.

† “Clean Hair or Clean Air?”: Glenn Hurowitz’s opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times looks at the prevalence of palm oil in food and household products, even those claiming to be “green,” and how detrimental the production of palm oil is to the environment.

† Jumping Off the Deep End: To borrow a title from an Ethicurean post of the same name… amidst concerns about the treatment of cows, chickens, and other meat sources, more information about sustainable seafood via Bonnie P., who shares a number of good links in her Ethicurean post.

Also, and not to be missed, an article in the May 19th issue of The New Yorker magazine by Bee Wilson, “The Last Bite,” in which Wilson considers the global food market and how it fosters both scarcity and overconsumption.

† Mark Bittman via the TED network: Mark Bittman, aka The Minimalist, addressed a Los Angeles audience late last year at the EG (Entertainment Gathering) on the subject of “What’s Wrong With What We Eat”:

Is “organic” food now organic in letter rather than spirit? Can we make food more important, and save ourselves by doing so? Bittman presents more arguments for Pollan’s mantra: “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Closely related is Bittman’s article from the January 27, 2008 issue of the New York Times, “Rethinking the Meat Guzzler.” Bittman’s comments will be immediately familiar to anyone who’s read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food.

† Workshop Alerts: Slow Food member Sara Carnochan will be conducting a compost workshop on Saturday, May 31, from 9:00am until 11:00am in the Serenity Garden of Grant High School (13000 Oxnard Street, Valley Glen 90401). The workshop will explain the basics of backyard composting, why composting works, and why it’s a great form of recycling. The cost of the workshop is $25; email info@heartbeetgardening.com for more information or to reserve your place.

Darren Butler, whom many of you may have heard on “Good Food” with Evan Kleiman, will also be conducting two workshops in the coming weeks: Come Home to Ecosystems: Practical Urban Permaculture and Ecofriendly Hillside Gardening and Terracing. Darren’s workshops focus on safe and sustainable growing methods, integrated pest management, and intensive gardening and orcharding. These multi-session workshops often fill quickly, so if you’re interested please follow the links above for more information and registration details.