McDonalds says no to genetically modified potato

Sound the fryer timer. The potato wars have begun. Last week a new genetically modified potato designed to produce less of a carcinogenic byproduct when fried won approval from the USDA. This week, McDonalds says, naw, probably not going to use it. Food activists are elated. It’s starchy. It’s complicated. Read on.

The five roadblocks to labeling GE foods in the US

When polled, the vast majority of Americans favor requiring food companies to label genetically modified foods. Yet the public has been thwarted on this front, leaving the world’s largest democracy to stand alone among advanced (and emerging) nations in keeping consumers in the dark about GMOs. What happened to transparency and consumer choice in America? Let’s take a look.

Happy Earth Day 2013 . . . Americans are turning activist

I remember 2007, when we started this website. People were tip-toeing toward greener behaviors. Activists were writing kids’ books explaining the greenhouse effect and urging tots to turn off the faucet while brushing their teeth. Scholars had assembled tomes, politely pointing out that we’d be running out of oil pretty soon. How things have changed on this Earth Day 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.

Grape news: researchers develop another pesticide-resistant food

By Barbara Kessler

Apparently conventional farming techniques aren’t too grape for vineyard keepers in the Midwest. Their tender fruit withers when it comes into contact with a commonly used herbicide, called 2, 4-D that is spread on corn and other field crops to control broadleaf weeds.

So researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new grape that can stand up to 2, 4-D (or R2D2 if you’re playing Star Wars).

This new improved grape – imperially named “Improved Chancellor” — does not die when confronted with 2, 4-D (the D stands for Dicholorophenoxyacetic) because it has been genetically altered with an added bacterium that breaks down the herbicide, according to an Environmental News Service release.

Ten reasons to buy local food

Brenton Johnson, who hosted a recent local-food gourmet dinner on his organic farm, Johnson’s Backyard Garden, just east of Austin, Texas, represents a new breed of young, organic farmer whose philosophy is to live in harmony with the land and bring back the sustainable ways. Naturally (no pun intended), he advocates buying local food.

In between tending his turnips and perusing the potatoes, Brenton penned this wise, authoritative list, which he agreed to share with us. (We couldn’t write it any better.)

This isn’t just about helping the local farmer, it’s about preserving our planet (and eatin’ better, too!).