Activists secure public contracts to advance food justice
Food activists released an extensive report on Tuesday showing how reforms in the public food procurement process — from schools to hospitals to municipal governments — could shift the nation’s food system and advance food justice policies. The report, from the Food Chain Workers Alliance and the HEAL Food Alliance, assessed the results of their Good Food Purchasing Program, an ambitious effort by a scrappy network that has helped secure more than $540 million in public contracts.
David “Mas” Matsumoto says he farms with ghosts. On his family’s organic peach, nectarine and grape farm south of Fresno, he points out pruning scars from long-time workers, and walks down rows of trees he planted with his father. He says the labor and lessons of his ancestors are in the soil and the grapevines and orchards, and he’s passing these on to the next generations.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Vote on USDA’s Torres Small: The Senate Agriculture Committee will vote on Wednesday on the nomination of Xochitl Torres Small for Agriculture deputy secretary. Torres Small has been Agriculture undersecretary for rural development since October 2021. (Senate Agriculture)
Bird flu vaccine for condors: The USDA approved emergency use of a bird flu vaccine to inoculate the endangered California condor against the highly pathogenic avian influenza that has killed 13 condors since late March. (APHIS)
Great Salt Lake recovery: Water levels in the Great Salt Lake are more than four feet higher than the low point last November, thanks to heavy winter snows in the Wasatch Range, although the health of the lake remains in peril. (High Country News)
Ag not for the birds: The use of pesticides and fertilizers in intensive agriculture is the biggest cause of the dwindling number of birds in the UK and the rest of Europe. (The Guardian)
Deforestation-free commodities: A new EU law bans deforestation-linked products such as cattle, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soy from the market. (World Resources Institute)
PFAS disparities: Black and Hispanic communities are disproportionately exposed to PFAS chemicals in drinking water, a new study shows. (Axios)