Family Food Bytes
TROUBLE WITH FOOD STAMPS AT FARMERS MARKETS (NPR’s The Salt) – A change in this year’s federal contracts has left some farmers market operators nervous. The company that has long provided the technology that allows local farmers markets to accept SNAP benefits says it is pulling out of the business, jeopardizing recipients’ access to fresh food.
SAVING CROPS OR WAGING WAR? (NPR’s The Salt) – The Pentagon is working with researchers across the U.S. to find a new way to protect crops from adverse weather events and diseases by infecting insects with genetically modified viruses and allowing them to infect plants. Researchers say their work could help corn survive a drought; critics say the plan sounds a lot like biological warfare research.
CALIFORNIA FIRM TO LAUCH AUTONOMOUS GREENHOUSE (FarmWeek)- A California – based robotics company plans to develop a fully autonomous greenhouse, using software robots to replace human workers, according to Technology Review. Startup company Iron Ox will open an 8,000 square -foot hydroponic facility in San Carlos and grow leafy greens. The anticipated harvest will be 26,000 heads annually. Robotic arms and movers will pluck plants from hydroponic trays, transferring them to new trays as they grow. Large mechanical movers will carry 800 pound water-filled trays.
AG DAY ESSAY CONTEST (FarmWeek) – “Food for Life. How Does Our Nation Lead the Way?” is the name of the theme of the Agriculture Council of America’s 2019 Ag Day Essay Contest. The national competition involves written and video essays. Open to students enrolled in grades nine through 12, contestants must be U.S. citizens and attend school in the U.S. Essays must be submitted by January 31. A complete list of rules and regulations may be found at agday.org/essay-contest. The video and written essay winners will receive $1,000.
NESTLE TAKES PROACTIVE APPROACH TO CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT (FarmWeek) - Nestle, the world’s largest food company, has more than 2000 brands and operates in 189 countries. The company has enacted a responsible sourcing standards program and makes public commitments as it seeks to simplify ingredient lists, partner to promote healthy food environments, improve worker conditions and help assess the needs of farmers. In the U.S., Nestle conducts on – farm assessments that cover animal care, soil erosion and water quality.
NEW FACT BOOK (AFBF) - the American Farm Bureau Federation Foundation for Agriculture has developed a new 12 – page, full – color Food and Farm Facts Junior edition for kindergarten through third grade students. The purpose of the booklet is to explain farming to young learners. Questions include “does chocolate milk come from brown cows?” and “how do farmers use and care for their land?”. The new publication costs three dollars each or two dollars for an order of 25 or more copies. To order, go to bit.ly/FFFJR18
About Family Food Bytes: This is a collection of articles gathered from both mainstream and agriculture media and is designed to keep you informed as a member and leader within the Cook County Farm Bureau organization. The articles summarized above are not intended to represent Cook County Farm Bureau policy or positions, but rather to provide members an idea of what is being reported regionally, nationally, and globally