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.

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?

Australia

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.

Abroad

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
ReliefWeb
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
Mongabay
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.

Australia

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.

Abroad

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

Friday Feed

It’s admittedly been a while between drinks. But Friday Feed is back for 2019 with a weekly dose of the latest food and farming research, news and feelgood features from Australia and around the globe.

This week: National Regenerative Agriculture Day launches in Australia, why we need to build awareness of native and indigenous Australian food, new study finds that just four crops are dominating farms globally and how does the EAT-Lancet diet pan out in practice?

Australia

The Big Dry: Feeding the Future – National Regenerative Agriculture Day
Illawarra Mercury
A nationwide challenge has begun to spend Valentine’s Day sending love to farmers with a regenerative twist. It’s called National Regenerative Agriculture Day and it’s hijacking February 14.

Shark Bay: A World Heritage Site at Catastrophic Risk
The Conversation
Everyone knows the Great Barrier Reef is in peril. But a continent away, Western Australia’s Shark Bay is also threatened by marine heatwaves that could alter this World Heritage ecosystem forever.

Cream of the Crop: Innovation and Resilience a Key Crop in the Future Generation of Farmers
ABC Rural
If adaptation is the key to evolution, our next generation of farmers could be up to the challenge. These four young regional famers are already tackling some big challenges through innovation and adaptation.

Aboriginal Foodways: Towards a Return of Native Food in Australia
Sustainable Food Trust
In Australia, as a ‘foodie’, cosmopolitan and multicultural society that wholeheartedly embraces ethnic cuisines from around the world, Australians remain surprisingly unaware about what is native and indigenous Australian food.

Abroad

Why Are Insects in Decline, and Can We Do Anything About It?
The Guardian
Answers to key questions about the global insect collapse.

Italian Farmers Destroy Milk in Protest Over Falling Prices
EuroNews
Farmers and shepherds on the Italian island of Sardinia have been pouring their milk away, saying they would rather destroy it than sell it for next to nothing.

A Very Small Number of Crops Are Dominating Globally: That’s Bad News for Sustainable Agriculture
Science Daily
A new study finds that globally we are growing more of the same kinds of crops, and this presents major challenges for agricultural sustainability on a global scale.

To Fight Deforestation First Tackle Inequality, Study Says
Mongabay
The world is losing its tropical forests at an alarming rate, despite increased efforts to save them. A recent study now shows that the best way to tackle deforestation, at least in Latin America, is to reduce inequality.

Eat-Lancet Says You Can Save the Planet on Its Diet. I Tried It for a Week
The New Food Economy

We know the broad strokes: Less meat, more beans. But true sustainability also means considering the practical realities of eating.

 

Photo courtesy of Future Feeders

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.