Friday Feed by Eva Perroni. Bringing you the latest food and farming news, research and feelgood features from Australia and across the globe.

Friday Feed

This week: Australian Labor Party plan to review Murray-Darling Basin Plan, calls for a ‘food production zone’ in Melbourne, Britain’s widespread loss of pollinating insects and reducing the environmental footprint of rice production.

Australia

Murray-Darling Basin Plan to Be Reviewed If Labor Elected
ABC Rural
Federal Labor has signalled it will withdraw support for a major part of Murray-Darling Basin Plan, if elected.

Calls for Dedicated ‘Food Production Zone’ to Preserve Farming Areas in Melbourne’s Food Bowl
ABC News
Melbourne’s food bowl is at serious risk of disappearing to housing development unless significant changes are made, according to a new report.

‘Common Sense’: Littleproud Backs Victoria Plan to Earn Carbon Credits by Forest Conservation
The Guardian
The agriculture minister, David Littleproud, is breaking ranks on federal forest policy and backing a long-stalled proposal for Victoria to earn carbon credits through native forest conservation – a move which suggests curbing logging.

8 Aussie Teachers and Students Explain Their Passion for Agriculture
Weekly Times
Teachers and students explain why they are passionate about agriculture, why it deserves more prominence in schools and what needs to be done to improve education about the industry.

Abroad

New Consortium to Reduce Environmental Footprint of Rice Production
UN Environment
A new global consortium, the Sustainable Rice Landscapes Initiative, will bring together expertise from international organizations, research institutions and business groups to tackle the enormous environmental footprint of rice production.

Widespread Losses of Pollinating Insects Revealed Across Britain
The Guardian
A widespread loss of pollinating insects in recent decades has been revealed by the first national survey in Britain, which scientists say “highlights a fundamental deterioration” in nature.

In Indonesia, a Company Intimidates, Evicts and Plants Oil Palm Without Permits
Mongabay
A state-owned plantation company is evicting farmers to make room for an oil palm estate on the eastern Indonesian island of Sulawesi. The case is one of thousands of land disputes simmering across Indonesia, as President Joko Widodo attempts to carry out an ambitious land reform program.

Desert Green: Jordanians on Frontline of Climate Change Turn to Permaculture
Middle East Eye
Facing drought and rising temperatures, Jordan is on the frontline of climate change. Abu ElHajj’s mission is to green the desert in Jordan.

Photo Essay: Puerto Rico’s Small Farmers Rebuild, with Help from Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen
Civil Eats
A year and a half after Hurricane María struck the island, grants from World Central Kitchen are helping dozens of small farmers start fresh.

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

Friday Feed

This week: More than 50 Australian plant species are facing extinction, NSW farmers lop trees to feed cattle, Japan set to resume commercial whaling and National Geographic’s running list of action on plastic pollution.

Australia

NSW Farmers Take up Tree Lopping to Feed Drought-Stricken Cattle
ABC Rural
Farmers in the north-west of New South Wales are lopping hundreds of kurrajong trees in an effort to feed their cattle the trees’ leaves before the trees drop their leaves and reshoot.

More Than 50 Australian Plant Species Face Extinction Within Decade
The Guardian
More than 50 Australian plant species are under threat of extinction within the next decade, according to a major study of the country’s threatened flora.

Hemp Seed Demand Growing but More Education Needed About Difference to Cannabis, Experts Say
ABC Rural
The Australian industrial hemp market is steadily growing, but industry leaders in Queensland say the public needs to be better educated about the difference between cannabis and hemp, for the industry to really excel.

Life on the Land with the Lama Lama Rangers – a Picture Essay
The Guardian
The Indigenous rangers in this Cape York national park are driven by their love of country and deep satisfaction to be finally back on their homelands

Abroad

A Running List of Action on Plastic Pollution
National Geographic
The world is waking up to a crisis of ocean plastic—and National Geographic are tracking the developments and solutions as they happen.

Mexico’s Ten-Year Effort to Overturn the Dolphin Safe Tuna Label Ends in Defeat
Earth Island Journal
The World Trade Organization issued a final ruling last week on the long-running dispute between the US and Mexico over the US Dolphin Safe tuna label, declaring that the label does not “discriminate” against the Mexican tuna industry and is fully consistent with WTO rules.

Japan Confirms It Will Quit IWC to Resume Commercial Whaling
The Guardian
Japan is facing international condemnation after confirming it will resuming commercial whaling for the first time in more than 30 years.

US Livestock Farms No Longer Report Their Air Emissions
The New Food Economy
Recent actions by the GOP-controlled Congress and the Trump administration have exempted big livestock farms from reporting air emissions.

Ten Feelgood Environment Stories You May Have Missed in 2018
The Conversation
Here are ten upbeat environmental stories from this year that prove it’s not all doom and gloom.

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

Friday Feed

This week: A state-by-state snapshot of Australian soils, new research shows the seafood Australians eat (and what we should be eating), Indian farmers take to the street to protest plunging produce prices and the 2018 Global Nutrition Report reveals the current state of global nutrition.

Australia

Australian Soil Snapshot for World Soil Day 2018
Soil Science Australia – Media Release
Soil Science Australia has released a snapshot of some of the major soil-related issues in each State as part of World Soil Day on 5 December 2018.

Canada’s Wayland Group Strikes Medicinal Marijuana Deal in the NT
ABC Rural
A Canadian-based cannabis company is looking to grow medicinal marijuana in the Northern Territory, announcing a multi-million-dollar agreement to buy more than 50 per cent of a newly-formed Darwin-based company called Tropicann.

Here’s the Seafood Australians Eat (And What We Should Be Eating)
CSIRO
For the first time, CSIRO research has investigated the seafood Australians eat in terms of what’s best for us and the planet.

In 100 Years’ Time, Maybe Our Food Won’t Be Grown in Soil
The Conversation
Will we have the technological know-how, and will we be able to afford the infrastructural investment to produce all our food away from natural soil within a century?

Abroad

Thailand Leads Charge to Protect Soil
Bangkok Post
Thailand launched the Centre of Excellence for Soil Research in Asia (Cesra), the world’s first regional hub to promote sustainable soil management, to mark Wednesday’s World Soil Day.

Indian Farmers Take to the Streets in Protest Against Modi Government and Low Food Prices
ABC News
Tens of thousands of Indian farmers and rural workers marched to the Indian Parliament in the capital, New Delhi, in a protest against soaring operating costs and plunging produce prices that have brought misery to many.

Climate Change Is Making Soils Saltier, Forcing Many Farmers to Find New Livelihoods
The Conversation
Rising soil salinity is already influencing agricultural production and internal migration in some locations, and could affect many other coastal areas where farming takes place, from Asia to the U.S. Pacific and Gulf coasts.

Sea of Plenty? Native Alaskans Celebrate Indigenous Whaling Victory
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Even as the Inupiaq people cheer greater control over their whaling practices, they face a new threat: pressure to allow offshore oil drilling.

Report: 2018 Global Nutrition Report
The 2018 Global Nutrition Report shares insights into the current state of global nutrition, highlighting the unacceptably high burden of malnutrition in the world. It identifies areas where progress has been made in recent years but argues that it is too slow and too inconsistent.

Photo courtesy of Future Feeders

Friday Feed by Eva Perroni. Bringing you the latest food and farming news, research and feelgood features from Australia and across the globe.

Friday Feed

This week: More than $1m in lost wages recovered for farmworkers in Australia, fracking threatens Aboriginal land rights, the health benefits of Vietnam’s gấc fruit and is it time to rethink farm-to-table and farmers market ethos?

Australia

More Than $1m in Lost Wages Recovered for 2,500 Fruit Farm Workers
The Guardian
The Fair Work ombudsman’s Harvest Trail inquiry has completed 836 investigations in the past five years, involving 444 growers and 194 labour-hire contractors. More than $1m in lost wages have been recovered for 2,500 horticultural workers.

Tasmanian Meatworks and Abattoir Jobs on the Wane as Livestock Sails to Victoria for Slaughter
ABC Rural
Tasmania’s farmers have raised questions about the sustainability of the red meat industry as hundreds of thousands of their sheep are sent to Victoria for slaughter.

Fracking Threatens Aboriginal Land Rights in Western Australia
Mongabay
The case illustrates the limitations of Aboriginal land rights under Australian law, which recognizes groups’ connection to their ancestral lands but does not grant them legal ownership or the ability to veto development.

A Cautionary Tale of Two Supermarkets
Sustainable Food Trust
A frank discussion needs to be had among Australian supermarkets, their customers and policymakers about the true cost of food as an essential prerequisite for making their operations more sustainable and ethical.

Abroad

US Water Security Falls Short
The Hill
Given how valuable it has been to be able to measure household food insecurity, it is stunning that we can’t do the same for water. It seems that inadequate access to water of acceptable quality and quantity is likely an enormous issue in the United States.

Cancer Killer: Uncovering the Health Benefits of Vietnam’s Gấc Fruit
Mirage News
RMIT researcher Dr Tien Huynh has travelled across south-east Asia to learn about the exceptional health benefits of the Vietnamese gac fruit and its ability to destroy cancer cells.

The Battle for the Future of Farming: What You Need to Know
The Conversation

Most concede that there is an urgent need to radically transform our food systems. But the proposed innovations for more sustainable food systems are drastically different.

A Sharing Economy for Plants: Seed Libraries Are Sprouting Up
The Conversation
For centuries, people in agrarian societies shared seeds to help each other subsist from year to year. Today, thanks to intellectual property rights and often well-intentioned laws, our ability to share seeds is restricted.

It’s Time to Rethink Farm-to-Table, and the Future of ‘Good’ Food
VICE
In an excerpt from her new book ‘A Matter of Taste’ Toronto journalist Rebecca Tucker evaluates the future of being a moral eater.

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

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.

Australia

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
EuroNews
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.

Abroad

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