Dan Charles http://weku.fm en Relax, Folks. It Really Is Honey After All http://weku.fm/post/relax-folks-it-really-honey-after-all Maybe we're too inclined to believe the worst about supermarket food.<p>How else to explain the reaction to <a href="http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/tests-show-most-store-honey-isnt-honey/">a recent report</a> about honey on the web site <a href="http://www.foodsafetynews.com/">Food Safety News</a>? Food Safety News is published by a lawyer who represents plaintiffs in lawsuits against food manufacturers and processors.<p>The post, by journalist Andrew Schneider, claimed that most honey on supermarket shelves isn't really honey. Fri, 25 Nov 2011 13:00:00 +0000 Dan Charles 16882 at http://weku.fm Relax, Folks. It Really Is Honey After All Newbie Farmers Find That Dirt Isn't Cheap http://weku.fm/post/newbie-farmers-find-dirt-isnt-cheap <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/11/14/142306970/local-food-is-no-small-potatoes-farmers-rake-in-almost-5-billion">Local food </a>is fashionable. Customers are swarming <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113484871">farmers' markets</a>. Organic vegetables sell at a premium. So what's to keep a young, smart, enthusiastic would-be farmer from getting into this business and making a good living?<p>The lack of hard, cold cash for land and farm equipment, apparently. Tue, 15 Nov 2011 15:27:00 +0000 Dan Charles 16276 at http://weku.fm Newbie Farmers Find That Dirt Isn't Cheap When Taking The Pollen Out Of Honey Makes A Sticky Mess http://weku.fm/post/when-taking-pollen-out-honey-makes-sticky-mess Allegedly, there's a tsunami washing up on American shores. It originates in Chinese beehives and the American beekeepers who've spotted it are hopping mad.<p>The American Honey Producers Association <a href="http://www.americanhoneyproducers.org/Members/Tsunami%20of%20Indian.pdf">claims</a> that Chinese companies are evading American trade restrictions on Chinese honey by sending it first to other Asian countries, especially India and Vietnam, which have free access to the American market. Mon, 07 Nov 2011 20:53:00 +0000 Dan Charles 15781 at http://weku.fm When Taking The Pollen Out Of Honey Makes A Sticky Mess A Food Security Expert On When 200,000 Tons Of Rice Went Missing http://weku.fm/post/food-security-expert-when-200000-tons-rice-went-missing In 2008, food prices around the world surged and awakened fears – which <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/06/22/137324767/volatile-food-prices-grab-g-20s-full-attention">continue to this day</a> — that the world could re-live the disastrous food shortages of the early 1970s.<p>Harvard economics professor emeritus <a href="http://www.cgdev.org/content/expert/detail/2720">Peter Timmer's</a> life and career was shaped by that food crisis in the 70s. Sun, 06 Nov 2011 09:55:00 +0000 Dan Charles 15703 at http://weku.fm A Food Security Expert On When 200,000 Tons Of Rice Went Missing How Fear Drove World Rice Markets Insane http://weku.fm/post/how-fear-drove-world-rice-markets-insane Nothing is more basic and simple than food. Yet it comes to us courtesy of a long, complicated supply chain that spans the globe.<p>That chain delivers food cheaply — but it can break. Four years ago, it blew up in most spectacular fashion, affecting hundreds of millions of people who rely on rice for sustenance. Wed, 02 Nov 2011 15:30:00 +0000 Dan Charles 15486 at http://weku.fm New Varieties Haven't Taken The Nutrition Out Of Broccoli http://weku.fm/post/new-varieties-havent-taken-nutrition-out-broccoli Quick question: Are vegetables less nutritious than they used to be?<p>You're free to argue about this, because scientists haven't managed to come up with a clear answer.<p>There's <a href="https://www.crops.org/publications/cs/abstracts/51/6/2721">some new data</a> out this week in the journal <em>Crop Science</em>, and at least for broccoli, the answer seems to be no. But keep reading, because the story gets a little more complicated.<p>Scientists at the U.S. Fri, 21 Oct 2011 16:19:00 +0000 Dan Charles 14773 at http://weku.fm New Varieties Haven't Taken The Nutrition Out Of Broccoli Farm Subsidies Birds And Fish Would Choose http://weku.fm/post/farm-subsidies-birds-and-fish-would-choose <em>With the 2012 farm bill coming up fast, we're taking </em><em>a closer look at what it is and how it shapes food policy and land use in an occasional series. This is part three.</em><p>Capitol Hill is a scrum of lobbyists fighting over a shrinking budget these days, and farm subsidies are <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/63988.html">under attack</a> as never before. Some of those subsidies appear <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2011/10/04/141047164/farm-bill-direct-payments-to-farmers-may-dry-up-in-2012">likely to die</a>.<p>I hear cheering. Mon, 17 Oct 2011 18:22:00 +0000 Dan Charles 14461 at http://weku.fm Farm Subsidies Birds And Fish Would Choose Facing Planetary Enemy No. 1: Agriculture http://weku.fm/post/facing-planetary-enemy-number-one-agriculture For the past 200 years, ever since Thomas Malthus published his <a href="http://www.econlib.org/library/Malthus/malPop.html"><em>Essay on the Principle of Population</em></a>, big thinkers have been wondering whether Earth-dwellers will eventually run out of food.<p>Today, a global group of scientists released a <a href="http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2011/UR_CONTENT_358824.html">fresh look</a> at the question. They add a different, environmental twist to it. Wed, 12 Oct 2011 20:56:00 +0000 Dan Charles 14182 at http://weku.fm Facing Planetary Enemy No. 1: Agriculture Why 158 Acres Of Corn Costs $1.5 Million http://weku.fm/post/why-158-acres-corn-costs-15-million I went looking for a bubble the other day. I'd heard that prices for American farmland were spiking – up thirty percent over the past year, and double what people were paying five or six years ago. It sounded like irrational exuberance.<p>I flew to Iowa, drove to the town of Colo, an hour north of Des Moines, and dropped in on a land auction. Thu, 06 Oct 2011 20:49:00 +0000 Dan Charles 13836 at http://weku.fm Why 158 Acres Of Corn Costs $1.5 Million Today's King Corn Can Thank A Jumping Gene http://weku.fm/post/todays-king-corn-can-thank-jumping-gene Ever wonder where your food came from? No, I mean where it <em>really</em> came from — as in, where did humans first find the plants that we now depend on for survival, like potatoes or wheat or corn, and what made those plants such generous providers of food, anyway?<p>Last week, the world's <a href="http://teosinte.wisc.edu/">leading experts</a> on the origins of corn at the <a href="http://www.wisc.edu/">University of Wisconson-Madison</a>, added a new twist to King Corn's still-evolving story. Mon, 03 Oct 2011 14:52:00 +0000 Dan Charles 13581 at http://weku.fm Today's King Corn Can Thank A Jumping Gene Water, Water, Everywhere, But Not Enough To Waste http://weku.fm/post/water-water-everywhere-not-enough-waste Here's a fact worth pondering: Farming accounts for 70 percent of all the water that's used for any purpose, worldwide. And demand for it is growing, along with the planet's population and our increasing appetite for meat. That's according to the UN's <a href="http://www.fao.org/">Food and Agriculture Organization</a> (FAO), which recently published this poster and others in a <a href="http://www.fao.org/nr/water/promotionalPRINT.html">striking series</a> on the vital role of water in growing our food.<p><p>But what if that water runs out, leaving fields wilted and stomachs empty? Wed, 28 Sep 2011 11:07:00 +0000 Dan Charles 13269 at http://weku.fm Vermont Town's Food Focus Still A Growing Concept http://weku.fm/post/vermont-towns-food-focus-still-growing-concept The town of Hardwick, Vt., has been celebrated as the scene of a local food revival. In recent years, lots of small farms have started up nearby.<p>Tom Stearns, president of a local organic seed company called High Mowing Seeds, says there are more organic farms per capita within 10 miles of Hardwick than anywhere else in the world. Fri, 15 Jul 2011 04:01:00 +0000 Dan Charles 8613 at http://weku.fm Vermont Town's Food Focus Still A Growing Concept In Heart Of Amazon, A Natural Lab To Study Diseases http://weku.fm/post/heart-amazon-natural-lab-study-diseases It's summer and mosquitoes are back. We mostly consider these insects merely annoying, but they also can transmit disease, such as West Nile virus. In fact, in parts of Latin America and Asia — and even, to a lesser extent, in the U.S. — mosquito-borne diseases are growing more common.<p>The city of Iquitos, Peru, in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, has become a giant, open-air laboratory to study the spread of one such disease: dengue fever. Scientists are also using this city-size experiment to find out what works best to stop it. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Thu, 09 Jun 2011 04:01:00 +0000 Dan Charles 5929 at http://weku.fm In Heart Of Amazon, A Natural Lab To Study Diseases