World hunger rate rises quickly as global economy stutters
Nearly one in 10 people worldwide suffer from hunger, an increase of 150 million since the pandemic struck in 2020, and the numbers are sure to worsen, said the annual UN hunger report on Wednesday. “The global price spikes that we are seeing as a result of the crisis in Ukraine threaten to push countries around the world into famine,” said the leader of the World Food Program.
Opinion: Unlike the U.S., Europe is setting ambitious targets for producing more organic food
Recent polls show that a majority of Americans are concerned about climate change and willing to make lifestyle changes to address it. Other surveys show that many U.S. consumers are worried about possible health risks of eating food produced with pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones. One way to address all of these concerns is to expand organic agriculture. Organic production generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional farming, largely because it doesn’t use synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. And it prohibits using synthetic pesticides and giving hormones or antibiotics to livestock. (No paywall)
Presidential election should be followed by a national food strategy, says report
The coronavirus pandemic, which has disrupted food supplies and heightened food insecurity, should be the impetus for unified oversight of the food system, now splintered among dozens of regulatory agencies, said an "urgent call" for action from groups at the Harvard and Vermont law schools on Thursday.
Tom Colicchio, co-founder of Food Policy Action, resigns from its board
Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio has resigned from the board of Food Policy Action, which he co-founded in 2012 as the lobbying arm of the food movement on U.S. food and ag policy. Colicchio said on Instagram that he would “continue to do the work of championing a more just and equitable food system in everything I do and from every platform available to me.”
Food policy group gives Congress failing grade
Congress "is falling short when it comes to food policy, showing little progress" this year, says Food Policy Action, established in 2012 as the food movement's voice in Washington. In releasing its annual scorecard of members of the House and Senate, the group said the average score was 49 percent, down from the 57 percent average of the two-year 114th Congress, which ended in 2016.
GWU lauches a food leadership institute
With an eye to grooming leaders in U.S. food policy, a Washington-based university is launching a one-year program to prepare graduates to take a guiding hand in resolving climate change and food inequalities. Former deputy agriculture secretary Kathleen Merrigan says the Food Policy Leadership Institute will "supercharge" the work of the Food Institute that she leads at George Washington University.
Funding bill calls for USDA action on ‘lunch shaming’
Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a sponsor of a bill to prohibit “lunch shaming” at public schools, is taking a second legislative avenue toward federal action: a directive for the USDA to issue national standards on how schools should handle school-lunch debts.
Soda taxes could cover 40 percent of Americans
Seven U.S. cities, from Philadelphia to San Francisco, have adopted so-called soda taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages since November 2014. Now researchers say they’ve identified three factors for success in such efforts.
With $25 million, Kind’s founder backs research into influence on nutrition policy
Since their first appearance in health-centric stores more than a decade ago, the Kind company’s fruit-and-nut bars have become ubiquitous, occupying an ever-expanding sprawl of shelf space in big box stores and gas stations across the country. The company has thrived on a do-gooder ethos that encourages not just healthy eating, but righteous living. Employees who witness “random acts of kindness” are encouraged to bestow the company’s products on good samaritans. Kind is now a $1-billion company.
Reformers launch ‘Plate of the Union’ to push a national food policy
Four environmental and food groups launched a campaign to make food policy an element of the presidential campaign as a step toward assuring that the next president is committed to reform. "Candidates need to realize that food is a big issue," said food writer Mark Bittman.
After presidential election, time to declare National Food Policy
Four food-policy advocates called on presidential aspirants to spell out their views on a coordinated U.S. food policy with the intention of declaring a National Food Policy within weeks of taking office in January 2017. "Production and consumption of food has a bigger impact on Americans' well-being than any other human activity," write Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, Ricardo Salvador and Olivier De Schutter.
“Mother of organic” Merrigan at work on food policy
Kathleen Merrigan, who helped craft the organic food law in 1990 as a Senate staffer and implement it a decade later at USDA, "is an agricultural policy workhorse who calls the public policy arena her 'playground,'" says a profile story at Greenwire.
Five countries that could play big role in reducing hunger
The International Food Policy Research Institute says five fast-growing, middle-income nations -- Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Mexico -- also are home to nearly half the hungry people of the world.
Merrigan succeeds Hirshberg at AGree farm-policy project
Former deputy agriculture secretary Kathleen Merrigan will become a co-chair of the AGree farm-policy initiative, succeeding Gary Hirshberg, founder of the organic food company Stonyfield Farm. Hirshberg is a leader in the campaign to label GMO foods. As a Senate staff worker, Merrigan had a key role in legislation creating the national organic program in 1990 and in implementing it nearly a decade later at the USDA. She was deputy secretary from 2009-13.
New White House nutrition advisor must be ready to rumble
With the departure of nutrition policy advisor Sam Kass, who also was personal chef for the Obama family, the administration "is set to lose its behind-the-scenes food policy general at the end of the month, right as a Republican Congress plans an assault...
Petition drive is launched for national food policy
Along with an essay in the Washington Post, backers of a national food policy are running a petition campaign on the Internet that calls on President Barack Obama to issue an executive order spelling out a policy. The Union of Concerned Scientists, host of a petition site, says a national policy "will transform our food system to ensure healthy, sustainably grown food for all."
AGree farm-policy project “is pivoting into action”
The three-year-old AGree project on food and agriculture policy "is pivoting into action," said co-chair Gary Hirshberg during a "Future of Food" forum.
Needed: A US food policy, not just a farm policy, says op-ed
In the State of the Union address in January, President Barack Obama "should announce an executive order establishing a national policy for food, health and well-being," write Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, Richardo Salvador and Olivier De Schutter in an essay in the Washington Post.
Urban-rural split is threat to farm and food policy-Glickman
The partisan split between rural and urban America jeopardizes the future of the panoramic bills that meld farm supports, rural economic development, public nutrition and global food security programs into a single bill, says former agriculture secretary Dan Glickman.