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Food Policy Keeps Up; Washington DC Food Tank Summit Inspires; NYC Bodegas Protest; EPA Reports Smudged; Biodiversity Improves Standards

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Civil Eats Describes Food Policy Today

“With policy changes taking place at breakneck speed in Washington, there is no certainty with respect to laws that have made the U.S. food system safer, healthier, and more sustainable. The only certainty is that change—and probably dramatic change—is coming soon. This was on the agenda at a Food Tank Summit in Washington, D.C. last week, where speakers and participants could only speculate about the future of food policy.” – Whitney Pipkin, Civil Eats

Highlights from Food Tank Summit in Washington, DC

Keynote speaker, Ken Cook, President and Co-founder, of Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Chairman of Food Policy Action, provides an uplifting and motivating speech about the way we can move forward the food movement at the 2017 Food Tank.

Secretary of Ag, Tom Vilsack talks about diversity at the Food Tank Summit in WA DC. He is calling himself an advocate for renewable energy, local and regional food systems, and the importance of  (duh!) organics, however his history has been in bed with the bio-tech companies promoting GMO’s and pesticides. Organic food production is without doubt, key to healthy people and a healthy planet. His most recent politics have focused on the critical need for eliminating food waste and solving problems of obesity. In this speech, he also addressed the future of Agriculture, the USDA and concluded with advice to next Secretary of Agriculture.

Great panel discussion about the future of agriculture and a fun display of the future of food by celebrity, Chef Jose Andres, at the 2017 Food Tank. Many agree, eat less meat! Let’s consider the impact of our diets and how we can enact the change for healthier people and a healthier planet. 

NYC Bodegas Protest Trump’s Refugee Ban

It takes courage to close your business while standing up to what seems (or feels) to be an impending doomsday of an administration, but these brave souls did it earlier this week! Immigrants are an integral part of our society, economy, arts, politics, and culture, so it’s time we recognize and embrace our diversity together. 

Join this incredible movement and take action, small or large, simply challenge yourself to step up for others and come together in your community against anti-muslim propaganda and against Trump’s refugee ban! 

After a recent visit from Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who maintains an open position to refugees, Trump still declares battle against refugees from seven Muslim majority countries. 

Protect Children from Chlorpyrifos on Food

In October 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency announced, after years of study, that “it could no longer vouch for the safety of chlorpyrifos”—a pesticide widely used in over 100 countries with six million pounds used each year on U.S. crops, including corn, soybeans, asparagus, peaches, strawberries, apples, broccoli, onions, walnuts and cranberries.

And now, in their most recent report, the EPA cites the hard evidence of these “neurodevelopmental effects in fetuses and children resulting from chlorpyrifos exposure” with studies showing increased risk of delays in mental development, intelligence loss, attention problems and autism spectrum disorder. 

The largest producer of chlorpyrifos products in the United States is Dow AgroSciences, and although the neurotoxic effects of these chemicals are very real and undeniably true, the company maintains strong opposition to the scientific community and the EPA, describing their research as “flawed”. With their power and their money, this is just one example of a corporate entity continuing to manipulate the public, coerce farmers and pressure Congress to uphold and defend the use of this toxic pesticide. YUCK!!!  

Special thanks to Sharon Learner, reporter for the Intercept, and whose article in the NY Times is helping to keep transparency alive and serve public interests when we need it most in this Trump administration.  

To Save the Planet, Give Cows Better Pastures

Typically, in lesser developed countries, cows are grazed solely on grass, which takes more time and ultimately, creates more greenhouse gas emissions. Yet the potential of grazing cows on more diverse grasses could positively impact food production and environmental standards for farmers, including soil enrichment leading to less need for clearing forests to make way for pastures, and also improving the rate at which their cattle grow and in turn yield more milk and beef in shorter lengths of time. 

About Bhavani Jaroff

Bhavani Jaroff is a Natural Foods Chef, Educator, Radio Host, and Food Activist. She has over thirty years experience cooking healthy, fresh organic food. Read More

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