Category: Local Food

Earth Day in Food Policy

Prominent voices have been talking about the sustainability of agricultural practices in recent weeks. Earth Day brought with it new sets of commitments from major companies and organizations and a new report suggested a decrease in meat consumption. Read about these moves and more in this edition of Influence Feed.

N.C. “Ag-Gag” and S.F. Sugar Labels

Two pieces of legislation recently approved in different parts of the country are testing the boundaries of what is considered protection in the food and agriculture industry. And influencers are reacting. In North Carolina, a new law gives civil protection to companies when someone gains access to record and publicize information about its operations. In San Francisco, a health warning on sugary beverages aims to protect consumer health. See why influencers are speaking out about the measures in this edition of Influence Feed.

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Rights and Regulation

Government regulation gave influencers plenty to discuss in recent weeks. Consider the issues raised by U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro. The Connecticut Democrat not only questioned changes in poultry food safety inspection, but also took aim at sugary beverages by introducing a tax on sweeteners used in them, vowing to combat the “dual epidemic of obesity and diabetes.”

Other widely-discussed topics included the government’s stance against Salmonella; a U.S. appeals court decision that supports country of origin labeling on meat; and the impact of the Russian ban on food imports. There was also the narrow vote supporting the right to farm in Missouri, which one university professor interpreted as “the agricultural establishment trying to build a firewall against growing consumer concerns.”

The ensuing debates focused on whether the government is doing too much or not enough in its oversight of the nation’s food industry. Read more about these issues and others in this digest of influential voices in food and agriculture.

Global Concern, Local Debate

In recent weeks, influencers were fired up by issues as widespread as the global climate and as local as food labeling rules. The Obama administration’s National Climate Assessment, which outlined its position on climate change, attracted the most buzz among influencers. They were quick to relate the issue to the food supply. Worldwide antimicrobial resistance continued to attract influencer coverage as well. Nationally, the Census of Agriculture was released, with influencers finding reasons to celebrate and scour the new data. The agriculture community also debated the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed new rule related to the 1972 Clean Water Act.

On a local level, the new farmers market season prompted lively discussion about trends in purchasing local foods. Also, as expected, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the first law of its kind requiring labels for foods with genetically modified ingredients. Meanwhile, school districts grappled with increased restrictions in school lunch programs for the upcoming year. Read more about the topics, local and far-reaching, that influencers weighed in on.