Food and Farming

Raise the Sub-Minimum Wage

Raise the Sub-Minimum Wage

As the fast food workers' minimum wage campaign gains momentum, another group of workers is expanding the fight to address one of the least-known economic outrages. You may not realize it, but the measly $7.25 an hour McDonald's and other fast-food giants pay their...

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Bossing the Poor Around

Bossing the Poor Around

I spent a few months on food stamps this year. As a single woman in San Diego, I qualified for $70 a month — less than a dollar per meal. But I'm lucky and I'm unusual because many of my friends are farmers and gardeners and I know how to forage wild foods. Determined...

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Squeezing More Profits from Crummy Tomatoes

Squeezing More Profits from Crummy Tomatoes

"I'm 98 percent confident we can make a tomato that tastes substantially better," Professor Harry Klee recently exulted to The New York Times. Hmmm. Excuse me, professor, but "substantially better" than what? One of Momma Nature's own heirloom varieties perhaps? No,...

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The USDA’s Reckless Plan

The USDA’s Reckless Plan

My friend Jim, a farmer, jokes about bringing a bowl of manure and a spoon to the farmers' markets where he sells his beef. "My beef has no manure in it, but you can add some," he'd like to tell his customers. I'm sure you'd pass on manure as a condiment. But unless...

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Back to School Lunch

Back to School Lunch

"It tastes like…" my six-year-old friend paused to search for a word disgusting enough to describe school lunch. "Throw up," she concluded. Her sister, a fifth grader, nodded in agreement. Really? I've heard fantastic reviews of the cafeteria director there. No doubt,...

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Razing the Garden of Eden

Razing the Garden of Eden

The Bible tells us that the Garden of Eden was heaven on Earth — until Adam ate that apple. Then all Hell broke loose. Now, Arlington, Texas, has updated this tale. At about 7:30 in the morning of August 2, a SWAT team of armed police agents, code enforcement...

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The Fake Thing

The Fake Thing

New rule (as Bill Maher would say): If you make billions of dollars a year selling unhealthy food, you don't get to tell us to work out. It was one thing when Cookie Monster began telling kids to eat vegetables. Cookie Monster doesn't earn a living by selling cookies,...

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The Food Stamp Fracas

The Food Stamp Fracas

"Stop the moochers!" shouted a flock of GOP budget whackers in the House of Representatives. It was back in July, before they flapped away for their five-week long summer break. This was the battle cry of conservative House lawmakers as they ripped all food stamp...

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Hold the Pomposity

Hold the Pomposity

Ruth Bourdain of Twitter fame has been revealed! If you're like me, you had no idea there ever was someone named Ruth Bourdain on Twitter, or that she was a satirical character made up by an anonymous — but very funny — prankster. Now that "her" identity was exposed...

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Coke’s Green Lipstick

Coke’s Green Lipstick

Coke's going green. Or, at least, it wants you to think it is. There's no denying that part of Coca-Cola has gone green: the label — in one South American country. In Argentina, the world's No. 1 soft drink company now sells a new product called Coca-Cola Life with a...

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