Defending animal agriculture: Saving the family farm: My colleague Mike Wilson over at Farm Futures has done a four-part series this week, explaining the Broshears situation I mentioned here last week. It's a great look at a raw deal, at what a young farm family is willing to do to succeed, and what agriculture needs to do to help them. Give it a read; I promise it's worth your time.
Our Farm is More Than Monsanto: Tomorrow (Saturday) is the annual March Against Monsanto, organized by people who oppose Monsanto and anything tangentially related to it. It's a little nuts. My friend, Katie Pratt, wrote a great blog in response to the whole thing. If you're looking for something to share on your Facebook or Twitter feeds, this is a good one. My fave line: "When Saturday’s marchers take to the streets, farmers and ranchers will take to their fields and pastures raising the food to feed those that rant against them."
Consumer Reports should stick to advice about cars and toilets: Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports? If so, take a look at what your subscription dollars are funding. This Forbes op ed takes a hard look at their claims and compares them to science. Spoiler alert: Consumer Reports gets an F in science.
Is It Time to Table Farm-to-Table? I'll be honest: it was the cartoon image that drew me into this story. The hipster beard, the purple hair, the neck tattoo. And sure enough, it's a Vanity Fair piece written by a food critic, who's suggesting the phrase "farm-to-table" has come, gone and need not come back. His main gripe: Companies like Monsanto and McDonalds and Chipotle co-opted it. But he also doesn't like how trite and intricate the descriptions have become. He writes, "Farm-to-table has honorable origins. When Alice Waters started listing the names of farms on the menu of Chez Panisse, it was to remind people that food really did grow on farms. Waters wanted to re-establish the link between the seasons of the year and the food she served, and she wanted to credit everyone who produced every part of the meal. Those good intentions went amok when chefs around the country started to outdo one another with menus that took on the name-clotted length of petitions: 'Treviso grown by Warren Weber in Bolinas in the third row of the radicchio plot at Star Route Farms.'" Read this for a look at how urban foodies view farm sourcing. This may be the next phase.
My understanding of farmers changed after I met farmers: The headline says it all. This blog was written for the Illinois Farm Families website. Good stuff.