A growing number of states are reimbursing schools for buying locally grown and produced foods in an effort to improve children's diets while supporting local farmers. Before the pandemic, eight states and the District of Columbia had programs that subsidize local food purchases at schools — seven more states have added these programs since 2020.
An effort is underway in upstate New York to bring back a native run of landlocked salmon, according to FERN’s latest story, with Adirondack Life magazine. The story, by Paul Greenberg, focuses on the work of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife specialist to stock the Boquet River in New York with salmon that will then spawn and migrate into Lake Champlain, which straddles the border of New York and Vermont.
Food stamp recipients in New York State will be able to use EBT cards, without interruption, at farmers markets throughout New York for the rest of the market season, announced Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
High-tech, indoor, urban agriculture is growing in places like New York, but so is controversy around them, according to FERN's latest story, produced in partnership with Edible Brooklyn magazine. The story, by Rene Ebersole, points to one indoor company that produces high-end specialty greens for restaurants called Farm.One. "In a town of eight million, Farm.One is part of a rising movement to cultivate produce where large numbers of people live by using high-tech systems and smart greenhouses placed at grocery stores, in basements and even inside cargo vessels."
Ten states on the East and West Coasts sued the EPA for its decision to delay until 2020 a clean water rule issued during the Obama era, saying the suspension was hurried into effect "with inadequate public notice, insufficient record support and outside their statutory authority." The original rule was a prominent part of President Trump's campaign for regulatory relief.
The USDA has approved the first open-air trial of a genetically modified non-sterile insect, male diamondback moths that pass along a gene during mating that prevents female offspring from reaching adulthood. The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York said it "believes in the strongest terms that this action should trigger a full environmental review" by state officials, rather than a rubber-stamp approval.
A coalition of seven states from California to New York states filed a challenge that asks the EPA to end the use of the insecticide chlorpyrifos, widely used in agriculture but criticized as a risk to children and farm workers. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt denied in March a petition by environmental groups to ban the chemical and said his decision was based on sound science.
Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled the New York State Grown & Certified program and launched a $20 million food hub in the Bronx to increase access to locally-grown farm produce, the governor’s office said.
Water tests found minute levels of drug residues, industrial chemicals, caffeine and the insect repellent DEET in a 128-mile stretch of the Hudson river, with the strongest concentrations near wastewater treatment plants, according to two Cornell University scientists quoted by WAMC radio in Albany, N.Y.
Vermont will stand alone among states when its first-in-the-nation GMO-food-labeling law takes effect on July 1. Some food companies already have changed their labels nationwide to assure compliance with the Vermont law and a spokeswoman for Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts said, "We hope to have something ready very soon" to preempt state labeling.
A bill for mandatory labeling of GMO foods advanced to the Rules Committee in the New York Assembly, the lower house of the state legislature. The group GMO Free NY said it was up to Speaker Carl Heastie "to move the bill forward to a floor vote or let it die even though there are 82 of 150 Assemblymembers as cosponsors of the bill."
The Codes Committee of the New York Assembly, the lower house of the state legislature, approved a GMO food labeling bill on a 12-9 vote with less than two weeks left in the session. Lawmakers said the committee vote was a sign the labeling bill, which now needs approval by the Ways and Means Committee, has strength to pass this year.
Medical marijuana producers are carving out a niche market with kosher weed, now that rabbis have agreed to inspect their facilities, says the New York Times. “There’s no question that the number of patients that desire kosher products, coupled with battling the stigma associated with medical marijuana, made this a wise economic investment,” says Ari Hoffnung, chief executive at Vireo Health, which became the first medical marijuana company in the U.S. to receive a kosher certification this January.
Eight years ago, Hillary Clinton won two-thirds of the rural vote in the New York primary. This time, she lost the state's rural and small-city vote by 20 points, says the Daily Yonder.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city's Health Commission unveiled a plan that would require restaurant chains and movie theaters to label items as "high in sodium" if they contain more than 2,300 milligrams of salt, says the Fooducate blog of the New York Times.
California is the No. 1 dairy state, but the popularity of Greek-style yogurt has turned New York into the top state for yogurt production, with more than 40 producers including Chobani, says the Los Angeles Times.
There are a lot of small farms in the United States and 200,000-300,000 large-scale operations that dominate production of the major row crops.
"The race for the U.S. Senate seat from Kansas is about to get nastier," says the Kansas City Star in a story headlined, "With a week to go, U.S. Senate candidates in Kansas still haven't closed the sale."