USDA Awards Specialty Products Block Grants

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson  The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has announced $55 million in Specialty Crops Block Grants to support 827 projects in the specialty crop industry – people who produce fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops, including flowers. Block grants go to states to fund projects proposed by local entities […]

Fresh Produce for Food Stamps: Good News/Bad News

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Good news first: A federal program intended to boost sales of fresh fruits and vegetables will target low-income families in Hampden County, Massachusetts, in the state’s southwestern corner. Several thousand of the region’s 50,000 food stamp recipients will get a 30% discount off the price of fresh produce that they buy […]

E15, or How to Grow the Dead Zone

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The Environmental Protection Agency decided in December 2009 not to decide until mid-2010 whether to allow a 50% increase in ethanol in gasoline. Gas is currently required to be 10% ethanol (E10). Allowing a maximum of 15% (E15) does not mean 15% will be required, only allowed – at least for […]

A Free Pass for Senate Republicans

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. –William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming” With the help of Democrats in the White House and the Senate “leadership,” Republicans have killed hope for legislation on climate change, or even meaningful energy efficiency, for this year and probably […]

The Future of the Internet is at Stake

Posted by Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I’ve been working on a piece about the Federal Communications Commission’s request for public comment about the future of the Internet. But Wally Bowen’s June 29 article does it so much better than I can that I’m placing it here, in full, except for his illustrations. If you want to […]

Old-Order Amish Meet EPA

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson In Philadelphia’s steamy summers when I was a child, on Thursdays my mother would take me to the Reading Terminal Market, where she bought the week’s produce, eggs, and cheese from the Amish families from the area around Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We rode a trolley car and the Market Street elevated train […]

USDA Posts New Antitrust Rule on Meat Industry

Reproduced in full from http://www.lavidalocavore.org Awesome New USDA Antitrust Rule on Meat Industry by: Jill Richardson Fri Jun 18, 2010 at 21:01:35 PM PDT The USDA has come out with a new proposed rule and – based on the reaction it has gotten thus far – it’s a big fucking deal. In a good way. […]

Old-Order Amish Meet EPA

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson In Philadelphia’s steamy summers when I was a child, on Thursdays my mother would take me to the Reading Terminal Market, where she bought the week’s produce, eggs, and cheese from the Amish families from the area around Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We rode a trolley car and the Market Street elevated train […]

Feedlots, MRSA, and H.R. 1549

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson So far this year, three friends have come down with a serious bacterial infection known as MRSA. The acronym stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It describes forms of the staph bacterium that have evolved to be immune to antibiotics of the penicillin family, which used to be the first line of […]

Twenty-four Gold Stars

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH09), the longest-serving woman in Congress, has filed a bill meant to increase the supply of fresh produce in America’s cities. H.R. 4971, the Greening Food Deserts Act, was filed March 25 with 23 co-sponsors. It’s now on the docket of both the Education and Labor and Agriculture […]