We never thought this day would come. A blog that was started for friends and family has reached a level that we couldn’t have anticipated. This whole project has climbed to a place that we didn’t intend it to, and we want to thank you for including us in the growing conversation about food, economics, and all the strands that are woven between the two.
This past week there was much to consider in the public arena concerning these issues. While Obama is speaking here in California today, there are millions who don’t have the luxury of hearing our president’s call to come together in the trenches to make this nation stronger. These folks are too busy trying to stay afloat. Trying to feed their children, and themselves.
On Saturday, President Obama nominated Margaret Hamburg as the commisioner to the Food and Drug Administration, and in the same day made it illegal to let agribusiness slaughter “downer” cows for human consumption. These are the cows who are too sick to stand or walk, and whose slaughter increases the risk of spreading mad cow disease. Yet, the eating of these animals isn’t the only health risk that consumers should be concerned about.
In his Sunday op-ed piece, Pulitzer prize winning author Nicholas Kristoff discussed the pathogens in pork; the result of pumping pigs full of antibiotics in order to make sure they survive the terrible conditions of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs).
That same day, Alice Waters, credited as the founder of the slow foods movement, appeared on 60 Minutes to discuss the importance of teaching school children how to grow their own vegetables, and cook the fruits of their labor.
Meanwhile, grocery stores are duking it out with food producers over the prices of products, which is turning out to be a win for grocery stores, who are seeing an increase in the sales of store brand items. However, the amount Americans spend on food, as part of their overall household budget, remains difficult to determine according to an article by Eileen Connelly of the Associated Press. Estimates range from 9.8 percent of the family budget according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to as much as 20 percent. It just depends on where you look. Either way, the article points out that the United States Department of Agriculture predicts another 3.5 percent increase in food costs for this year.
In order to help you cope with this, many daily papers, including the Chicago Sun-Times and the San Diego Union Tribune, have printed articles to make things a little eaiser. For our vegan readers, try this.
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Here’s to you, you’re one in a million!