Dan Charles http://ripr.org en Is Foster Farms A Food Safety Pioneer Or A Persistent Offender? http://ripr.org/post/foster-farms-food-safety-pioneer-or-persistent-offender Foster Farms, a chicken producer in California, just can't seem to stop bleeding bad news.<p>On July 3, it <a href="https://fosterfarms.com/about/press/press_release.asp?press_release_id=183">recalled</a> several batches of chicken products because a chicken breast from one of those batches is blamed for poisoning someone with salmonella bacteria. The recall came on top of an <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg-10-13/map.html">outbreak</a> of salmonella that's been going on since October 2013. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:35:00 +0000 Dan Charles 36485 at http://ripr.org Is Foster Farms A Food Safety Pioneer Or A Persistent Offender? Globe-Trotting GMO Bananas Arrive For Their First Test In Iowa http://ripr.org/post/globe-trotting-gmo-bananas-arrive-their-first-test-iowa Somewhere in Iowa, volunteers are earning $900 apiece by providing blood samples after eating bits of a banana kissed with a curious tinge of orange.<p>It's the first human trial of a banana that's been genetically engineered to contain higher levels of beta carotene, the nutrient that our body converts into vitamin A. Tue, 08 Jul 2014 14:34:00 +0000 Dan Charles 36388 at http://ripr.org Globe-Trotting GMO Bananas Arrive For Their First Test In Iowa Big Bucks From Strawberry Genes Lead To Conflict At UC Davis http://ripr.org/post/big-bucks-strawberry-genes-lead-conflict-uc-davis Yesterday, we <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/07/01/327256662/breeding-battle-threatens-key-source-of-california-strawberries">reported</a> on a legal tussle over control of the country's top center of strawberry breeding, at the University of California, Davis. But there's a backstory to that battle. It involves the peculiar nature of the UC Davis strawberry program.<p>Basically, in the world of plant breeding, there are public programs at universities, there are private efforts at companies like DuPont or Monsanto. Wed, 02 Jul 2014 21:37:00 +0000 Dan Charles 36151 at http://ripr.org Breeding Battle Threatens Key Source Of California Strawberries http://ripr.org/post/breeding-battle-threatens-key-source-california-strawberries In California, a legal skirmish has erupted over strawberries — or rather, over strawberry breeding.<p>To be absolutely precise, the battle is about strawberry breeding at the University of California, Davis. This is more important than it might sound. Tue, 01 Jul 2014 21:40:00 +0000 Dan Charles 36090 at http://ripr.org 'Natural' Food Sounds Good But Doesn't Mean Much http://ripr.org/post/natural-food-sounds-good-doesnt-mean-much Some people have had it with "natural" food.<p>For fifteen years, <a href="http://consumersunion.org/experts/urvashi-rangan/">Urvashi Rangan</a>, director of consumer safety and sustainability for Consumer Reports, has been pointing out that "natural" is just about the most misleading label that you'll ever see on a food package. Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:49:00 +0000 Dan Charles 35726 at http://ripr.org 'Natural' Food Sounds Good But Doesn't Mean Much From Organic Pioneers, Son Inherits Passion, Just Not For Farming http://ripr.org/post/organic-pioneers-son-inherits-passion-just-not-farming If you're a listener, you may recognize the name <a href="http://www.newmorningfarm.net/">New Morning Farm</a>. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 20:26:00 +0000 Dan Charles 35544 at http://ripr.org From Organic Pioneers, Son Inherits Passion, Just Not For Farming In The Making Of Megafarms, A Mixture Of Pride And Pain http://ripr.org/post/making-megafarms-few-winners-and-many-losers It seems that everybody, going back at least to <a href="http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/quotations-agriculture">Thomas Jefferson</a>, loves small family farms.<p>Yet those beloved small farms are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Big farms are taking over.<p>According to the <a href="http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/">latest census of American agriculture</a>, released this year, there are two million farms in America. Mon, 16 Jun 2014 21:29:00 +0000 Dan Charles 35286 at http://ripr.org In The Making Of Megafarms, A Mixture Of Pride And Pain Hunting For Alien Bug And Seed Invaders At Baltimore's Port http://ripr.org/post/hunting-alien-bug-and-seed-invaders-baltimores-port Baltimore's <a href="http://www.mpa.maryland.gov/index.php">seaport</a> is a world of big, noisy steel machines: giant cargo ships, cranes and roaring trucks.<p>In the middle of this hubbub, David Ng, an agricultural specialist with <a href="http://www.cbp.gov/">U.S. Customs and Border Protection</a>, tries to find things that are small and alive: snails, moths and weed seeds of all sorts.<p>It's part of a long-running struggle to protect America's fields and forests from exotic insects and weeds. That struggle plays out every day in seaports and airports across the country. Mon, 16 Jun 2014 07:51:00 +0000 Dan Charles 35228 at http://ripr.org Hunting For Alien Bug And Seed Invaders At Baltimore's Port California Farmers Ask: Hey Buddy, Can You Spare Some Water? http://ripr.org/post/california-farmers-ask-hey-buddy-can-you-spare-some-water Imagine if a gallon of milk cost $3 in your town, but 100 miles away it cost $100, or even $200.<p>Something similar is happening right now in California with water that farmers use to irrigate their crops. Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:06:00 +0000 Dan Charles 34894 at http://ripr.org California Farmers Ask: Hey Buddy, Can You Spare Some Water? California's Drought Isn't Making Food Cost More. Here's Why http://ripr.org/post/californias-drought-isnt-making-food-cost-more-heres-why The entire state of California is in a severe drought. Farmers and farmworkers <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/04/22/303726931/fields-and-farm-jobs-dry-up-with-californias-worsening-drought">are hurting</a>.<p>You might expect this to cause food shortages and higher prices across the country. After all, California grows 95 percent of America's broccoli, 81 percent of its carrots and 99 percent of the country's artichokes, almonds and walnuts, among other foods.<p>Yet there's been no sign of a big price shock. What gives?<p>Here are three explanations.<p><strong>1. Fri, 23 May 2014 20:46:00 +0000 Dan Charles 34074 at http://ripr.org California's Drought Isn't Making Food Cost More. Here's Why