Austin-based Whole Foods Market takes top place for seafood sustainability

How’s your favorite grocery doing when it comes to selling only sustainable seafood? Greenpeace puts out a report every year so you can see how well Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Tom Thumb, Trader Joe’s and many more are doing. Check out who’s received top marks for helping oceans, and who’s lagging.

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.

How we can cultivate a better food system in 2013

s we start 2013, many people will be thinking about plans and promises to improve their diet and health. But we think a broader collection of farmers, policy-makers, and eaters need new, bigger resolutions for fixing the food system – real changes with long-term impacts in fields, boardrooms, and on plates all over the world. These are resolutions that the world can’t afford to break with nearly one billion still hungry and more than one billion suffering from the effects of being overweight and obese. We have the tools—let’s use them in 2013!

Scientists criticize French study of GMO corn

Research by French scientists showing that rats fed GMO corn developed tumors and died prematurely has prompted the French government to continue its ban on genetically engineered crops.

But the study came in for criticism from scientists in other countries shortly after it was published Wednesday in Food and Chemical Toxicology.

A side of heavy metal with your sloppy joe?

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Oh for the days when all we had to worry about was a little pesticide residue on our apples. This past week brought two reminders that what we don’t know is in our food can hurt us.

The peanut butter snack recalls continued flying off the conveyor belt, noteworthy for the sheer number of products potentially tainted with salmonella — more than 400 at last count. All that contamination from one little ole peanut processing plant in Georgia. Best to heed the advice of the Food and Drug Administration’s Dr. Stephen Sundlof, “If you don’t know the source of the food that contains peanuts, don’t eat it.” At the same time, the FDA has declared that “national name brand peanut butter” sold in jars at retail has not been contaminated.

We also learned last week that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), that controversial, cheap and ubiquitous sweetener might contain more than just the empty calories blamed for our flourishing flab. A study by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) reported finding traces of mercury in 17 of 55 tested foods made with HFCS.

Waste News

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Ever on the look out for signs of the times, we noticed the other day that “Waste News,” a trade publication covering the waste, salvage and recycling industries, has changed its name to “Waste & Recycling News“.

While we’ll miss the unintentional double entendre of the previous name, we welcome the signal that the world can’t just consider its waste to be just waste anymore. Today, “scrap” or recyclables — stuff that could be re-crafted into something new, or turned into biofuel or compost or PETE plastic parkas — is the new waste. This is a good thing.

And while we’re thinking about tossing less, let’s also consider our food and how much we well-fed Americans send to the waste bin — nearly 100 billion pounds of food annually, according to one report.

Food indulgence in America: How attitudes weigh us down

By Paula Minahan
Green Right Now

Piles of cracked and broken shells. Gnawed bones pushed aside. Remnants of what tempted with shameless excess. And in the background, a young Army recruit observes, “This is what we fight for, you know. Not so you can waste food, but so you can have plenty.”

It’s just another day at one of Sin City’s copious casino buffets as depicted in the award-winning documentary, Buffet: All You Can Eat Las Vegas. The film, shown on PBS and at indie festivals nationwide, is MIT cultural anthropology professor and filmmaker Dr. Natasha Dow Schüll’s sometimes humorous, often outrageous look at American indulgence.

“Las Vegas is a great exemplification of things that are shared, that are afoot in American culture in a very extreme way,” says Schüll. “All over America, the buffet amplifies things endemic to our society. It doesn’t surprise me this kind of waste, which is celebrated as a public ritual at the buffet, is carrying over to the more private domain of the household. It’s very OK to throw out food.”