University of California pledges millions to stop malnutrition on campus
“Four in 10 University of California students do not have a consistent source of high-quality, nutritious food,” says the Los Angeles Times, citing a recent survey of the state’s public university system. Of the 9,000 student respondents, 19 percent said they occasionally went hungry, while another 23 percent said they had enough money to eat, but didn’t always have access to high-quality, nutrient-dense foods.
Dry-farm orchards in California drought
Jutta Thoerner is an outspoken advocate of the age-old practice of dry-farming - relying only on rain water, California's four-year drought notwithstanding, says public broadcaster KQED.
Working families get 38 percent of food-stamp spending
Working families get 38 cents of each $1 in food-stamp benefits, says the UC-Berkeley Center for Labor Research in a research brief, "The high public cost of low wages." The paper says hourly wages for the median American worker "were just 5 percent higher in 2013 than they were in 1979" when adjusted for inflation. For the bottom 10 percent of workers, wages fell by 5 percent from 1979-2013. With low wages, people rely on social-welfare programs; "the taxpayers bear a significant portion of the hidden costs of low-wage work in America," says the report.
Interior-No irrigation water for Central Valley for second year
The Interior Department says there will be no irrigation water for most farmers in California's Central Valley for the second year in a row, calling it "an unprecedented situation."
Organic vs conventional yield gap is smaller than thought
A meta-analysis of 115 studies by UC-Berkeley researchers finds the yield gap between organic and conventional agriculture is smaller than thought, around 19 percent.