This Week in Eco News - February 17, 2017

Video of the Week

Give Your Food Waste a New Beginning
Composting your food scraps is a great way to help prevent food waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions - and it's easy. This video shows you how it's done. [Seattle Public Utilities] 

News From Around the Web

Frederick Douglass on How Slave Owners Used Food as a Weapon of Control
Today, when one thinks of Frederick Douglass, the image that springs to mind is of a distinguished, gray-haired man in a double-breasted suit. It is difficult to imagine him as a half-starved boy garbed in nothing but a coarse, knee-length shirt, sleeping on the floor in a corn sack he had stolen. His memoirs bring alive the immoral mechanics of slavery and its weapons of control. Chief among them: food. [NPR]

Instagram Could Be Fueling Food Waste Epidemic, Study Says
Millennials' desire to cook the latest foodie trend or experiment with exotic ingredients at home just to get a great photograph for Instagram could be one of the reasons why household food waste is higher than ever, according to a survey commissioned by the UK supermarket Sainsburys. But critics say the study ignored the real systemic causes of food waste. [Food Navigator]

To Save the Planet, Give Cows Better Pasture
To reduce the large greenhouse gas emissions from beef and dairy cattle, especially in tropical developing countries, ranchers could grow more nutritious grass, legumes and other forage that increase efficiency and speed up their growth. In the end, this means cattle ranchers must look at pasture like crop-farming. [NPR] 

Sanderson Farm Shareholders Agree With Board: Don't Stop Antibiotic Use
Most large poultry producers have been moving away from antibiotic use. Not Sanderson Farms. This week the company's shareholders voted against phasing out antibiotics in their poultry production. Experts around the world have said antibiotic resistance is a public health crisis. Yet Sanderson Farms, the third largest poultry producer in the US, has publicly said it disputes this belief and even created an ad campaign this summer to promote antibiotic use in poultry production. [Food Drive]

How Chocolate Became a Sweet (but Not So Innocent) Consort to Valentine's Day
From at least the time of the Aztecs, chocolate has been seen as an aphrodisiac. So, it's reasonable to assume that it has been connected to love's dedicated day of celebration for many centuries. But, that isn't the case. The roots of Valentine's Day are ancient but far from clear, and likely originated in the pagan Roman fertility festival. [NPR]

A New Generation of Farmers Rents to Cope With Soaring American Cropland Prices
Fewer US farms in the hands of fewer landowners means that many younger farmers interested in implementing sustainable practices are hesitant to act because they lease, rather than own, the expensive land. One researcher describes the circumstances as a "neo-feudal system" where "[w]ealthy landowners reap private long-term benefits with an underclass of semi-permanent farm operators." [Bloomberg]

Saving Energy and Doubling Worldwide Water Supplies - One Drip at a Time
Israel leads the world in agricultural water efficiency and technology by getting the most crop-per-drop, mainly by widely deploying drip irrigation. Not only does drip irrigation have the potential shrink water use, it can also reduce fertilizer and energy use, both of which can spare more water for other crucial needs, like city drinking water. [Energy Exchange] 
90 Percent Of Fish We Use For Fishmeal Could Be Used To Feed Humans Instead
Almost all of the smaller fish diverted to fishmeal for higher value seafood can be eaten directly by humans, a new study concludes. Greater human consumption of feeder fish is more efficient and would aid in worldwide food security by boosting supply, but it requires a wholesale change in mentality and taste. [NPR]

Indoor Farming Takes Root at California Startup
Plenty United is growing vegetables 'for people, not trucks'; the marketability remains a question mark. [Wall Street Journal]

News From Monday Campaigns

Meatless Monday to Hold Panel Discussion at International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York
The Monday Campaigns, the nonprofit public health organization behind the global Meatless Monday movement, will hold a panel discussion at the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York. The panel discussion is one of the key offerings of the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum that provides practical and relevant insights on trends and best practices that benefit restaurant and food service professionals. [Restaurant News]


NAMI Mobile App Offers Guide for Meat Shoppers
In an effort to teach Millennials about how to make better meat purchases, the North American Meat Institute is going to where they spend a significant amount of their time - on their smartphones. [Super Market News]

An Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System: Fourth Edition
This annotated bibliography provides food system practitioners, researchers and educators with a current list of research and outreach on structural racism in the US food system. [Michigan State University]

Eco News contributed by Gabrielle Blavatsky; Kai Olson-SawyerJames Rose and Robin Madel. 

Image "Newspapers B&W" by Jon S on Flickr used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license.