It’s raining … RAIN!! Ordinarily I wouldn’t be so excited but it’s been so dry this spring that we really need it up here. It’s also raining – food news (cue sfx of the teletype machine): To The News!!

Jamie Oliver Is Not the Only One:” A study by the group Mission: Readiness (made up of retired military generals, joint chiefs, and admirals) finds that school lunches are making American kids so fat that fewer of them can meet the military’s physical fitness standards. That, in turn, is putting recruitment in jeopardy. “ School Lunch a National Security Issue

A quote from the report: “75% of young Americans are ineligible to serve their country because they have either failed to graduate high school, engaged in criminal activity, or are physically or mentally unfit.”
Mission: Readiness

We Knew This Was Coming: “Food prices jumped by 2.4 percent in March, the most since January 1984. Vegetable prices soared by more than 49 percent, the most in 15 years. A cold snap wiped out much of Florida’s tomato and other vegetable crops at the beginning of this year.”
Food Prices Skyrocket

(they neglect to note in this article that basically because all the Florida crops started to ripen at the same time, depressing prices, farmers are plowing crops under because it costs too much to have them harvested. This is causing a lot of anger in Florida among activists for fresh food for the poor)

A Community Run Grocery Store Grows in Brooklyn: "So far," says Oh, "we have about 150 people who’ve joined our meet-up group and about 40-50 people who have actually attended at least one meeting. We are launching an outreach campaign now, and I’m trying to build some leadership to take over the various aspects of actually getting a food co-op developed." The work to open a food co-op is vast and involves everything from community organizing, logistics, public relations, design, financing, business plan writing, information technology and real estate development."

Oh’s efforts on the once-controversial turf of Crown Heights can serve as a template for others seeking to create both change and community.” New Community Grocery in Brooklyn

House Farm Bill for 2012: Not Status Quo:”.. it seems the House Agriculture Committee is gearing up for a more serious overhaul this time around. Peterson said that he called the Farm Bill hearing Wednesday in order to get a head start on the process, saying "I think it will be very difficult to pass a status-quo farm bill in 2012." As the Environmental Working Group pointed out, Peterson has said that all options will be "on the table" for the planning of this Farm Bill.

Due to budgetary constraints affecting all areas of government, Peterson and his committee will specifically be re-considering the efficiency of direct payments, disaster relief programs, crop insurance and conservation programs.” New Farm Bill Start

This is something we need to keep our eyes on, along with the School Lunch legislation. The bill that came out of Blanche Lincoln’s senate committee is small improvement over what is in place now, mostly dealing with what’s allowable in a vending machine. Woohoo. Still not dealing with what’s going on the trays, Blanche.

USDA updating Farmers Market Directory Site: This week, the USDA announced the launch of its latest campaign to collect information about the nation’s farmers markets and use it to update their interactive site. Since the first directory, listed in 1994, the number of farmers markets has increased to over 5,200 markets. USDA Updates Directory

The farmers market interactive directory can be found here: Farmers Market Interactive Site

Salmonella Outbreak of the Week: “The Hawaii State Department of Health announced yesterday that it has confirmed 10 cases of Salmonella Paratyphi B infection related to the consumption of previously frozen internationally imported raw ahi tuna at various locations on Oahu.” Salmonella This Week

Food Fraud of the Week: “By mistakenly not disclosing wheat starch on the ingredient label, Santa Ana-based Westlake Food Corporation, a California meat processor has been forced to recall 140,000 pounds of fully cooked assorted products.”
Food Fraud of the week

Nice going there on forgetting about the effect of wheat starch on people with gluten sensitivities.

And in ‘so local, I could go check it out in my bunny slippers,’ news: The seedlings have been transferred to the next door raised bed (thank goodness it is raining now) and will be covered with row cover as soon as I can unearth it from the basement (hey, Aunt Toby never said she was really tidy, you know?). The rabbit has been checking it out for the past couple of days; I think he or she is waiting for the seedlings to get a lot bigger, which means that I have about a day before they get nibbled down to stubs. Bug news: I’m already seeing bag worms on some of the trees and shrubs around – early early for us. The chickens are out in their traveling pen enjoying the fresh grass, bugs and sunshine. If I could figure out a way to get them to hunt down and eradicate the deer ticks, I’d definitely train them to do it (actually you know, they should better be called ‘black footed ticks’ since deer are NOT the only hosts they have. They are also found commonly on birds, so don’t think that if you don’t go hiking in the woods or don’t have deer running around on your property that you are somehow ‘safe’ from ticks and Lyme Disease).

Until the next time: Check out the USDA farmers market site and look up all the markets in your area. You might be surprised at what you find.



Snarky housewife from Upstate New York. Into gardening, fiber arts, smallholder farming.