Tag Archives: NY Times

NY Times admits Stanford organic study was flawed and misleading

From Lisa Garber at Natural Society.com:

Image via Natural Society.com

“We broke the story of Stanford’s ridiculous organic food study the very night of its publication. Now, a month later, the media is catching on to the study’s flaws; New York Times Opinion columnist Mark Bittman apologized for hoping—in vain—that the study would have little impact on the media.

“That was dumb of me,” he says, “and I’m sorry.”

Narrow Definitions and Egregious Oversights

The study suggests that organic animal and plant products are no healthier than conventionally grown varieties. Bittman puts it beautifully: “By providing ‘useful’ and ‘counterintuitive’ information about organic food, [the study authors] played right into the hands of the news hungry while conveniently obscuring important features of organic agriculture.” Continue reading

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How the NY Times went too far…

From Tom Philpott, on Mother Jones:

“In a much-discussed feature that led the Sunday New York Times business section, Stephanie Strom reignites the long-simmering debate about whether the organic label has been essentially bought out and drained of meaning by gigantic corporations. She paraphrases Michael Potter, founder and CEO of one of the last independently owned organic companies, Eden Foods, like this: “He calls the certified-organic label a fraud and refuses to put it on Eden’s products.”

A fraud, huh? Strom’s story raises many important points that need to be thought through and debated. But it misses a key one: The organic label, for all the untoward influence of Big Food players like dairy giant Dean Foods, still means something. If you buy food labeled organic, you can be reasonably sure it was grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, without genetically modified seeds, without (in the case of dairy, meat, and eggs) antibiotics and other dodgy pharmaceuticals, and on farms required to have a plan for crop rotation and (quoting straight from federal organic code) to “manage plant and animal materials to maintain or improve soil organic matter content.” (For a primer on why I find the latter bit so impressive, go here.) Even the most processed certified-organic item on the supermarket shelf contains raw plant and/or animal material that was raised in ways fundamentally different than nonorganic fare. Continue reading

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Animation provokes big ag PR offensive

From Tom Laskawy on Grist.org

“During the broadcast of this year’s Grammys, Chipotle “stole the show” when it ran this animated ad to illustrate the company’s support for less-intensive sustainable livestock agriculture.

The animation itself has been online since last August, but thanks to Chipotle, it was seen by millions of people that night. It also got the attention of Big Ag, which expects to be the one doing all the expensive ad buys when it comes to agriculture. Continue reading

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Rawsome raw milk raid in the NY Times

From Ian Lovett, in the New York Times:

Demonstrators and media representatives focus on a speaker at a rally outside the Los Angeles courthouse Thursday where two Rawesome associates were later arraigned on charges related to illiegal sale of raw milk. About 100 people demonstrated on behalf of Rawesome. (Photo by Andrew Ward, via David E. Gumpert's The Complete Patient blog, click on image above to go there)

“LOS ANGELES — Raw food enthusiasts fit right in here, in the earthy, health-conscious beach communities of Venice and Santa Monica, along with the farmers’ markets, health food stores and vegan restaurants.

But this week, the police cleared the shelves of Rawesome, an establishment in Venice Beach, loading $70,000 of raw, organic produce and dairy products on the back of a flatbed truck. Continue reading

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D.I.Y. Cooking — what a concept!

Julia Moskin, from the New York Times:

Illustration by Andrew Rae, from the NY Times website.

“If you live in an apartment, or tend to let surplus vegetables die in the crisper drawer, you may think that the do-it-yourself food movement does not apply to you. Not so. Making some of your own staples — and a few luxuries, like chocolate-hazelnut paste or better-than-balsamic maple vinegar — is possible, and enormously gratifying. Continue reading

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“Waiter, there’s soup in my bugs”

Jeff Gordinier writes, in the NY Times, about dining on insects: (after all, one can’t be banging on about raw milk ALL the time)

Illustration from the New York Times story

“SOMETHING happened when Kisha Moorehead looked into the bowl of live worms. Continue reading

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“…all our eggs in one basket?” — REAL health dangers posed by industrial food

An excerpt from a recent thought-provoking article on The Ethicurean blog by Elanor, about industrial concentration vs local choice:

Data mining infographic from 2004 shows sector by sector concentration of ownership of the food industry -- via The Ethicurean blog. See the Ethicurean for a larger version of this image.

“On Friday, New York Times op-ed contributor Steven Budiansky challenged local food advocates to rethink their math, mainly about food miles. As it happens, I was already doing some food calculations that day — but not of the sort Budiansky discussed.

My numbers included the following: As of Friday, 450 million eggs originating from two Iowa egg operations — both of which buy feed and chicks from the same company — had been recalled from stores in 14 states for salmonella contamination. Continue reading

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