Friday Feed by Eva Perroni: an Australian-based researcher and writer reporting on the frontline of food and farming issues

Friday Feed

This week: Australia’s live export regulation review, farming and agriculture in the age of Trump, the environmental impact of Brexit and can the ocean really be cleaned up?


Live Export Review Implementation Has Some Graziers Saying They’re Being ‘Regulated out of Existence’
ABC Rural
Big changes to the regulation of live sheep and cattle export voyages signalled this week in the release of a comprehensive Federal Government review have drawn mixed reactions from industry and animal welfare groups.

How Will Australia Feed Our Growing Population?
The Age
In broad-ranging conversation, a special panel line-up explored food waste, genetically modified crops, veganism, obesity, a sugar tax, organic farming – and a host of other issues. Whose job it is to ensure we grow the right foods sustainably in Australia?

Plastic Pollution: Can the Ocean Really Be Cleaned Up?
The Guardian
While the ultimate goal is to stop plastics from entering the water in the first place, cleanup projects play an important role.

Salmonella Egg Recall a Reminder About Hygiene but Not Cause for Panic, Scientist Says
ABC Rural
The recall of hundreds of thousands of eggs due to the detection of salmonella should not prompt panic, but should serve as a reminder for Australians to adopt proper food hygiene practices, according to a researcher.


Farming and Agriculture in the Age of Trump
The American Interest
As is the case elsewhere these days, corporate interests are in, worker safety, environmental stewardship, fairness, common sense, and facts are out.

The Environmental Impact of Brexit
The Ecologist
With two-thirds of EU regulatory environmental protections already enshrined in UK law, is farming really in danger from Brexit?

Asia Prepares for Crop Battle with Fall Armyworm
UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization warns pest is “here to stay” – but it can be managed to limit damage.

Weedkiller Glyphosate a ‘Substantial’ Cancer Factor
BBC News
A US jury has found that one of the world’s most widely-used weedkillers was a “substantial factor” in causing a man’s cancer.

In Ethiopia, Women and Faith Drive Effort to Restore Biodiversity
Firewood and charcoal make up nearly 90 percent of household energy consumption in Ethiopia, where the reliance on fuelwood has endured despite negative environmental impacts and unsustainable growth.

Eva Perroni is an Australian-based researcher and writer reporting on the frontline of food and farming issues.

Friday Feed

This week: Could Australia’s first Modern Slavery Act help stamp out slave labour from seafood supply chains, saving Japan’s seed heritage, and the impact of targeted vegan campaigns on livestock farmers’ mental health.


A Warning for Wine-Lovers: Climate Change Is Messing with Your Favourite Tipple’s Timing
The Conversation
Record-breaking daily maximum temperatures, warmer than average overnight temperatures, and increasingly erratic weather patterns are playing havoc with the way wine grapes grow and ripen.

Dairy Industry Welcomes NSW Election Commitments but Warn of Ongoing ‘Deregulation Disaster’
ABC Rural
Dairy farmers have welcomed a commitment from both sides of politics ahead of the NSW election, but some fear it will not be enough to address “systemic problems” they say were caused by industry deregulation.

Fish Sold in Australia Being Caught by Modern-Day Slaves Who Are Forced to Spend Months at Sea
ABC Rural
Australian fishmongers and academics are hoping the introduction of Australia’s first Modern Slavery Act will help stamp out slave labour from our seafood supply chains.

Lab-Grown Meat and Ancient Grains – What Will Be on the Menu in 2050?
Sydney Morning Herald
By 2050, Australians will be eating less of the classic meat-and-three-veg and more foods produced to suit our rapidly changing world – such as lab-grown meat, rooftop-grown tomatoes and fermented soy products rich in protein.


Online Abuse and Farm Protests: The Vegans Impacting on Farmers’ Mental Health
Sustainable Food Trust
As part of an ongoing series exploring the debate around what constitutes a healthy and sustainable diet in which we are featuring different outside perspectives, Jessica Brown looks at the impact targeted vegan campaigns are having on individual livestock farmers.

How America’s Food Giants Swallowed the Family Farms
The Guardian
Across the midwest, the rise of factory farming is destroying rural communities. And the massive corporations behind this devastation are now eyeing a post-Brexit UK market.

Is Singapore’s Decades-Long Shift Away from Agriculture About to Take a U-Turn?
Channel NewsAsia
More calls for renascent food production and processing sector in Singapore have been made to encourage increased production for food security but also as a potential value-adding sector which could foster new livelihoods.

How Farm Policy and Big Ag Impact Farmers in the U.S. and Abroad
Civil Eats

In his new book, Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Battle for the Future of Food, Wise explores the ways in which U.S. food and agricultural policies can distort global markets and impact communities around the world.

Long form: Saving Japan’s Seed Heritage from “Free Trade”
A broad “Coalition to Protect Japanese Seeds” has been formed by food coops, citizens’ groups, NGOs and farmers to issue ordinances that protect Japan’s native seeds, in the absence of adequate national laws.


Image courtesy of Future Feeders

Friday Feed: the latest food and farming news, research and feelgood features from Australia and across the globe on

Friday Feed

This week: The rise of Australia’s food movement, how drought impacts the insect kingdom, not enough fruits and veggies are grown to healthily feed the planet and Regenerative Sourcing Verification hits U.S. shelves.


Working to reclaim and rebuild our food systems from the ground up
The Conversation
Separated more by time and capacity than ideological approach, groups and communities working for a better food system are mobilising across Australia. Our food system is ripe for repairing, reclaiming and revisioning.

Drought makes Aussie bees weak at the knees
ABC Rural
While the word drought conjures images of cattle skulls and withered crops, few consider the effect a drought can have upon the insect kingdom.

Victoria’s biggest solar farm under construction amid debate over lost agricultural land
ABC News
As work begins on Victoria’s biggest solar farm project, in the Mallee district in the north-west of the state, there is growing concern over the future of prime agricultural land in the heart of the country’s food bowl.

Protecting Australia’s diverse soils and landscapes
Sustainable Food Trust
Australia’s soils are one of its most valuable natural assets, critical to sustainable food production, biodiversity conservation, water quality and human health – but they are also among the most degraded, nutrient poor and unproductive in the world.

Opinion: New EU rules will force Australian farmers to choose between treatment or trade
New EU rules insist that veterinary medicines cannot be used any differently outside of the bloc if farmers want to export their produce to European countries – even if it is legally compliant with their native regulations.


Soy destruction in Argentina leads straight to our dinner plates
The Guardian
Argentina’s Gran Chaco forest is being razed for soya, ending up in Europe as animal feed, and on our plates. It’s the backbone of Argentina’s fragile economy, but has come at a price for the indigenous people who live there.

Not Enough Fruits, Vegetables Grown to Feed the Planet, Study Reveals
University of Guelph
If everyone on the planet wanted to eat a healthy diet, there wouldn’t be enough fruit and vegetables to go around, according to a new University of Guelph study.

Half the population of Yemen at risk of famine: UN emergency relief chief
UN News
Around 14 million people in Yemen, or half the total population of the country, are facing “pre-famine conditions,” said the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, in a briefing to the Security Council.

Regenerative Sourcing Verification hits the shelves with ‘Epic’ product
Environmental Leader
A product from Epic Provisions is the first in the world to carry the Land to Market Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV) seal for sustainable sourcing. Developed by The Savory Institute, Land to Market is a program to verify regenerative sourcing for the food and fibre industries.

Series: America cannot eat without immigrant food workers. These are their stories.
New Food Economy
The New Food Economy is launching “The Hands that Feed Us,” a series telling the stories of immigrant food workers in their own words – because the true story of America’s food cannot be told without the stories of immigrants.


Photo courtesy of Future Feeders

Friday Feed by Eva Perroni bringing you the latest food and farming news from Australia and abroad.

Friday Feed

This week: ⅕ Australian honey samples prove fake, France adopts a “field-to-fork” law, Brazil protects 13,000 square kms from destructive bottom trawling and global indigenous peoples make their voices heard at the Global Climate Action Summit.


Almost One in Five Australian Honey Samples Found to Be Fake
ABC News
Almost one in five Australian honey samples, including some expensive boutique honey, are fake, according to a ground-breaking study that tested samples of local and international branded honey.

Backpackers Share Australian Farm Horror Stories
ABC News
In order to stay a second year in Australia, backpackers need to do 88 days of work either on a farm, in construction or in mining. Some have horror stories to tell.

Small Farm Success Is Hard Yakka for Beginners, but It Has Its Own Rewards
Newcastle Herald
Anna Featherstone and her husband Andrew Campbell have published two books, Honey Farm Dreaming, a very personal memoir of anecdotes and observations, and Small Farm Success Australia, a combination business and lifestyle guide, that reflect on their decade-plus experience as small farmers.

Event: Women in Environmental Activism: Conversations and Networking, Canberra
Join Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia – WELA and guest speakers Julie Armstrong and Phoebe Howe for a night of insights into their experience of being a woman in the environmental activism sphere.


France Adopts Food Bill, Retailer Says Will Lead to Price Rise
France’s parliament gave final approval this week to a “field-to-fork” law aimed at raising farmers’ income, improving food quality and fighting waste, but opponents say it will push up consumer prices and only benefit retailers.

Victory in Brazil Protects 13,000 Square Kilometers from Destructive Bottom Trawling
The state of Rio Grande do Sul has passed a law to ban bottom trawling in state waters. These new protections extend along the entire length of the state’s 620-kilometre coast and cover a distance out to 12 nautical miles (22.2 km) from shore.

Cleaning up Toxic Soils in China: A Trillion-Dollar Question
International Institute for Sustainable Development
China has enacted a Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Law outlining preventative measures government authorities and land users should take to protect soil from future pollution.

‘We’ve Bred Them to Their Limit’: Death Rates Surge for Female Pigs in the US
The Guardian

With sows producing 23 piglets a year on average, intensive farming is called into question over the rise in animals suffering prolapse.

‘Guardians of the Forest:’ Indigenous Peoples Come Together to Assert Role in Climate Stability
A half mile from the din of the Global Climate Action Summit and its 4,000 attendees in San Francisco, indigenous peoples from around the world came together in a small space for a summit of their own.

Friday Feed by Eva Perroni, bringing you the latest food and agriculture news from Australia and abroad.

Friday Feed

This Week: Strengthening Australia’s environmental protections during drought, Holland’s floating dairy farm (run by robots), New Zealand’s new – and massive – ocean sanctuary and how NAFTA has disrupted Mexican agriculture and foodways.


We Must Strengthen, Not Weaken, Environmental Protections During Drought – or Face Irreversible Loss
The Conversation
Subverting or weakening existing protective conservation management practices and policies will exacerbate the impacts of drought on natural environments and biodiversity.

Push for Women to Consider Career in Dairy Despite Ongoing Drought, Milk Price Pressures
ABC Rural
Women are being encouraged to consider a career on the land despite the industry being in crisis as it continues to struggle through the worst drought in living memory.

Could Green Tea Be Australia’s Next Big Export?
SBS News
Green tea has been part of Japanese culture for centuries. Now, Australian farmers are harvesting the crop to meet Asia’s rising demand.

Building Food Utopias: Amplifying Voices, Dismantling Power
Sydney Environment Institute
As the number of food movement groups promoting different, yet overlapping, food and agriculture solutions continue to increase, it is essential that they include not only the voices of people from diverse backgrounds but their leadership, too.


Malaysia’s Zero Deforestation Pledge: More Greenwashing or a Signal of Real Change?
Earth Island Journal
A new Greenpeace report on clearcutting by palm oil groups underscores how practice persists in tropical forests.

Holland’s ‘Floating Farm’ Showcases Urban Agriculture
Beef Central
A Dutch company is launching the world’s first floating farm to meet demand for local food. The farm, built as an offshore facility in Rotterdam’s Merwehaven harbour will house 40 cows and deliver 800 litres of milk per day collected by robots.

New Zealand’s New Ocean Sanctuary Will Be One of World’s Largest Protected Areas
The Guardian
The Kermadec ocean sanctuary, in the South Pacific and spanning 620,000 sq km, expands an existing reserve surrounding the Kermadec Islands

Evidence of 7,200-Year-Old Cheese-Making Found on the Dalmatian Coast
Science Daily
Analysis of fatty residue in pottery from the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia revealed evidence of fermented dairy products — soft cheeses and yogurts — from about 7,200 years ago.

From Diabetes to Displacement: How NAFTA Disrupted Mexican Agriculture, Food, and Health
The New Food Economy
Alyshia Gálvez, author of Eating NAFTA, took us to La Morada in the Bronx—using the ingredients in a traditional Oaxacan meal to demonstrate how a free trade agreement forever changed Mexican people and cuisine.

Photo courtesy of Future Feeders.