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

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 by Eva Perroni - Feed your mind with the latest food and farming news, research and feelgood features from Australia and across the globe.

Friday Feed

This week: New Climate Council report details Australia’s water security in a changing climate, the 94 year-old WA farmer still at it, hunger and obesity continue to increase in Latin America and artist captures California’s forgotten Black farmworkers.

Australia

Still Working: 94-Year-Old Farmer Dick Vincent Says His Job Keeps Him Alive
ABC Rural
At age 94, Western Australian cattle farmer and self-described horse ‘tragic’ Dick Vincent is still working every day on the stud and says it keeps him alive.

Why Is Everyone Talking About Natural Sequence Farming?
The Conversation
There are plenty of anecdotes but little published science around the effectiveness of natural sequence farming. At present, there is not the standard of evidence to support this farming method as a panacea for drought relief, as proposed by the deputy prime minister.

Farming Together: How Primary Producers Are Preparing for a Challenging Future
ABC Rural
Innovation, technology and engagement with ethical consumers are the keys to the future of food production, according to the head of a national sustainability program, Farming Together.

New Report: Deluge & Drought: Australia’s Water Security in a Changing Climate
Climate Council
The Climate Council’s latest report shows how Australia’s water security has already been significantly influenced by climate change. Rainfall patterns are shifting and the severity of floods and droughts has increased.

Abroad

Tree Planting in UK ‘Must Double to Tackle Climate Change’
The Guardian
Tree planting must double by 2020 as part of radical changes to land use in the UK, according to the government’s advisers on climate change.

Oreo Maker Linked to Destruction of Orangutan Habitat in Indonesia
Mongabay
Mondelēz International, the company behind Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers, continues to source palm oil linked to deforestation in Indonesia, according to a Greenpeace report.

Coral Reefs Can’t Wait for World to Take Action, Urges Un, as Biodiversity Conference Gets Underway
UN News
A new coalition of organisations, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), was launched on Wednesday in Egypt during the UN Biodiversity Conference, to galvanize global leadership to protect coral reefs before it is too late.

Hunger and Obesity on the Rise in Latin America for Third Year in a Row
The Wire
While serious food insecurity affects 47.1 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean, at the same time one in four adults in the region are obese and some 250 million people are overweight.

Black Migrants: Photographs of California’s Forgotten Agricultural Past
Civil Eats
An exhibition at the Fresno Museum of Art called Black Migrants features never-before-seen photographs by Ernest Lowe that provide a glimpse of a story largely left out of California’s agricultural memory.