06 August 2012
"We're not going to make this go away. We're stuck with managing this problem…Instead of making things easier, we've just made corn rootworm management harder and a heck of a lot more expensive.”
Bruce Potter, University of Minnesota professor and pest management specialist, on the resistance of rootworm to genetically modified corn – Minnesota Public Radio – 03 August 2012
Almost a billion go hungry worldwide
An unparalleled number of severe food shortages has added 43 million to the number of people going hungry worldwide this year. And millions of children are now at risk of acute malnutrition, charities are warning. One week ahead of David Cameron's "hunger summit", they say that unless action is taken urgently, many more could fall victim.
The Independent (5 Aug)
School food award
A catering service which supplies school meals to 40 of Havering Borough’s primary school has been awarded the Soil Association’s gold Food for Life Catering Mark. Havering and Thurrock catering service is the first local authority caterer in the London area to achieve the mark, which recognises restaurants and caterers who serve fresh food which is free from controversial additives and better for animal welfare.
Thurrock Gazette (3 Aug)
Read the full story here.
Find out more about the Soil Association Food for Life Catering Mark.
Corn farmers struggle to cope with rootworm resistance
The corn rootworm is called the billion-dollar pest, a rough estimate of how much money U.S. farmers spend annually to keep it at bay. The best weapon they've ever had is a genetically modified corn plant containing a protein that kills the insect. But many bug experts are convinced that rootworms have developed a resistance to the protein, so that they can feast on the plant's roots and survive.
Minnesota Public Radio (3 Aug)
Go organic this September
Europe’s biggest celebration of all things organic will be taking place throughout September. The Soil Association are asking people to discover why organic food is different, in support of the Organic, Naturally Different campaign which aims to increase consumer knowledge about the benefits of organic food.
Vegetarian Living (1 Sept, p.60)
Find out more about Organic September.
Where is your cheese from?
Tesco admitted that most of its Everyday Value Cheddar is cheese sourced in Ireland. But the packet only shows a UK stamp because it was packaged in Great Britain. Retailers vowed to show ‘country of origin’ on foods following the Irish pork scandal when it was revealed that meat from abroad was labelled as ‘British’ if it was packaged in the UK.
The Telegraph (4 Aug)
Soil testing scheme aims to improve yields
A free soil testing scheme which reduces farmers’ costs as well as benefiting the environment is being rolled out across North Wales this autumn by Environment Agency Wales. The simple test evaluates the pH level and the amount of nutrients already in the soil — measurements which indicate the quality of the soil and help work out the amount and type of fertiliser needs.
Farmers Guardian (5 Aug)
Planners reject fast-food bid
A fast-food restaurant has been refused planning permission because the proposed site is too close to a school.
The Herald Scotland (3 Aug)
GM ‘cure’ threatens to be much worse than any agricultural disease
OPINION: Do we go in to battle with nature or choose a path that respects our ecosystem?
Irish Times (3 Aug)
Drought-stricken American corn should feed people, not cars
Jenna Woginrich writes that it is wrong to use scarce corn crops in the US for ethanol, but at least higher food and gas prices may boost sustainable farming.
The Guardian (3 Aug)
Honey shortages as wet weather confines bees to hives
Prolonged periods of rain since April has meant honey bees across the country have been unable to forage during the peak flowering season when they normally gather plentiful supplies of nectar to feed their broods of larvae and produce honey.
Bee keepers are now bracing themselves for some heavy losses in their bee colonies unless they can benefit from a change in the weather.
The Telegraph (5 Aug)
American farmers say livestock numbers will have to fall as the cost of animal feed continues to rise due to the worst drought in decades.Meanwhile livestock farmers in the UK,say their cost of production is unsustainable and they need to make more money from their end product. And why reduced numbers of insects this year could have a damaging effect on fruit and crops.
BBC Radio 4, listen again (6 Aug)
And finally…Animal pictures of the week: 3 August 2012
The Telegraph (3 Aug)