Where’s the local, greener beef? It’s about to get taxed in Texas

Texas ranchers are about to get hit with a tax that’s being portrayed as a benefit for the beef industry. But the money fails to help local producers when it’s put into a fund advertising meat that could come from anywhere, according to the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance. The group is urging ranchers to act quickly to vote this proposal down.

Joel Salatin, farmer on a mission

Joel Salatin, local food advocate, author and owner of Polyface Farms in Virginia, has spent the last several years telling people what they must do to build local, healthful food networks that support farmers and bring fresh, quality foods to customers. Here he offers a sampling of his philosophy at a Texas appearance.

Farm Kings will make you feel guiltier than The Biggest Loser, but you also may get inspired

Cops. Lawyers. Doctors. Even ice road truck drivers have all received their due on TV, either in fictional or “true life” series. It was about time farmers got some exposure. Meet the inordinately attractive and active King family of Freedom Farms in western Pennsylvania. They’ll get you learning about CSAs, family farms, and as a bonus, show what biceps look like when they’re used every day. Indeed, you may get healthier just watching this show on Great American Country TV.

Why the FDA’s plan to reel in antibiotics for livestock puts Americans at risk

Antibiotic-resistant diseases are depriving Americans of good health every year, with 23,000 people dying from diseases that were untreatable because antibiotics failed to work.

This week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sprang into action – 30 or so years into this growing problem — to take aim at a major culprit, perhaps the major culprit, the livestock producers who routinely administer antibiotics to make animals…

How Russia may force the US to produce healthier meat

The USDA allows livestock to be fed controversial growth enhancers that are banned in the European Union. This year Russia joined the countries that won’t accept meat that was raised with beta agonists, forcing US authorities to come up with some quick answers if they want to recover this large export market. A collateral effect could be that Americans get meat that’s free of growth hormones, or not.

The secret life of GM sweet corn

Monsanto’s new GM sweet corn is either a boon to farmers that will help them feed the planet or an ominous new edible in a line up of genetically modified foods that consumers are being force fed. Actually, it could be both, or parts of each. We don’t really know, because there’s not a lot of information on GM sweet corn, or maybe there’s enough information. Take a ride with us through the corn maze to try to find out.

Bees get a break in Europe

The European Union votes to give honey bees a reprieve from a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, long suspected of triggering massive bee deaths that threaten agriculture worldwide. The pesticides are still be allowed in the United States.

Livestock falling ill in fracking regions, raising concerns about food

In the midst of the domestic energy boom, livestock on farms near oil-and-gas drilling operations nationwide have been quietly falling sick and dying. While scientists have yet to isolate cause and effect, many suspect chemicals used in drilling and hydrofracking (or “fracking”) operations are poisoning animals through the air, water, or soil.

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