Saving Grassland, Animal Welfare Labels and More Food News You Need to Read This Week

Civil Eats has created a pesticide cheat sheet for changing EPA regulations:
“While scores of different pesticides—herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides—are used on U.S. food crops, the five the EPA is now reviewing are the ones to watch: atrazine, chlorpyrifos, glyphosate, malathion, and the insecticides known as neonicotinoids.

Between them, these pesticides are used throughout the United States. All but malathion and two of the five neonicotinoids now under review are used in every one of the lower 48 states. All have environmental and health effects that raise serious concerns—enough so that some are banned or severely restricted in the European Union.”

Modern Farmer on the USDA’s attempt to save Oregon’s grasslands:
“The prairie consists of about 330,000 acres of native grassland that once covered 10 million acres stretching across the Pacific Northwest. Today, the prairie is mostly owned by area ranchers and farmers, along with The Nature Conservancy, which owns about 40,000 acres in Wallowa County.

The goal of the project is to create opportunities for private landowners to apply integrated crop and livestock production systems to improve soil health while reducing the use of chemical inputs, increase water efficiency, and prevent the further fragmenting of the native grasslands.”

The Times tells us what to make of animal welfare labels on meat and eggs:
“As the number of consumers concerned about animal welfare grows, such labels, or seals, as they are known in the business, are spreading like kudzu on packages of meat and eggs in the refrigerated cases of grocery stores, to assure shoppers that the cattle, pigs or chickens were treated well.

But the labels may just as easily sow confusion or even mislead shoppers, who probably know little or nothing about the small number of organizations that create most of them and police the food producers that use them.”

Paste features an essay on feeding protesters:
“Do-gooders weren’t just delivering pizzas in New York; they were also sending pies to Dulles in D.C., where the pizza boxes were turned into protest signs once the slices had been eaten. By Sunday, as rallies and marches continued at airports around the country, they were expanding their repertoire. ‘We pull[ed] into the arrivals level of SFO’s international terminal around 1:15 PM,’ wrote protester Christine Wei on Facebook. ‘A spread of water, coffee, sandwiches, and fruit [was] set up curbside right outside an entrance.’ Later in the day, she said, she even saw vegan wraps. The food, which was free, didn’t seem to be supplied by just one group or individual. To Wei, the effort spoke ‘to a spirit of generosity and welcoming. It creates the type of community that protesters are fighting for – one in which everyone sees each other and leans on each other.'”