|New flu strain found in Maine, four other states, puts pork industry on alert|
Bangor Daily News - 1/6/2012.By Stephanie Armour, Bloomberg News – Washington: A new flu virus thought to have originated in pigs has agricultural producers on alert two years after a swine flu pandemic caused sales to drop and disrupted U.S. pork exports. Twelve people in five states have been infected, with three hospitalized. At least six reported no recent exposure to pigs, suggesting “limited human-to-human transmission.”
|How big food takes advantage of the poor in developing markets|
The Atlantic - 1/6/2012.By Marion Nestle – Publicly traded companies cannot simply make a profit. They must grow profits and report growth to Wall Street every 90 days. This requirement is tough on all corporations, but especially tough on those selling food. People can only eat so much. To expand sales, food companies desperately seek new markets. Last week, The Guardian and the Wall Street Journal described how food corporations are marketing processed foods to the poorest inhabitants of developing countries.
|The birds and the weeds: A farm conservation love story|
Grist - 1/5/2012.By Heather Smith – Call it the bird tax – or rather, the amount of food that farmers need to set aside in order to get birds to stick around and stop dying. Why put so much effort into attracting birds to farms? Well, the steady decline of most birds in the world and the increase of the human population are related – and, idealism aside, there's only so much that wilderness conservation can do to alter that trajectory.
|The 65-year-old New Hampshire farmer trying to save maple syrup|
The Atlantic - 1/5/2012.Meet Martha Carlson. This maple syrup climate crusader has spent the last three decades farming sugar maples on a 60-acre plot in New Hampshire. In recent years, she has seen some strange things. The trees are changing: They're stressed, she says, and aren't producing like they once were. By 2100, the entire $3 million maple syrup industry in the United States could be wiped out due to climate change.