Good morning and welcome to the second day of September! We provide some key stories for you to read as you begin your work day. On the menu, in no particular order:
So sue me. Two reads. Battle of the grocery chains. Pacific Northwest grocery retailer Haggen is suing Albertsons for $1B, citing unfair competition. Earlier in 2015, Haggen acquired nearly 150 Albertsons grocery stores in the Western United States. Albertsons was required to sell these stores to receive federal approval to merge with Safeway. Haggen hoped to expand its operations into California, Arizona and Nevada. But Haggen’s efforts have stumbled: the retailer has shuttered nearly 1/5th of the stores it purchased from Albertsons and has laid off hundreds of employees. This piece appeared in the Ventura County Star. Also making national news: Chipotle is being sued over its “Anti-GMO” advertising. And some think the company had it coming. This perspective piece by Alison Griswold (@alisongriswold) appears in Slate (MoneyBox blog about business and economics).
Where do people around here get their groceries? Food policy council guru Mark Winnie writes a blog about food access and security in rural New Mexico. “It may be glib to say that rural America contains less of the good things and more of the bad things, but the numbers often suggest that story.”
Opinion: Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) scrutiny can be hostile. An important public/private partnership is under attack. Steven Savage shares the story of land grant university researcher Kevin Folta, whose work in biotechnology has come under scrutiny by those seeking to prove “ties to the industry.” Savage explores a complex issue in this perspective piece, which appears in Forbes. The subject – Kevin Folta (@talkingbiotech and @kevinfolta) – hosts a podcast called “Talking Biotech: A Science-Based Discussion of Medical and Agricultural Biotechnology.”
Politics: Farmers say Trump is “terrible for agriculture.” His position on immigration is cited. Bill Tomson (@BillTomson4) reports for Politico.
Food and culture: two stories. Rainforest cowboys: UC Santa Barbara anthropologist Jeffrey Hoelle explores cattle raising, deforestation and the ongoing tension between development and conservation in the Amazon. Andrea Estrada reports. Seafood Capital: Biloxi, Mississippi is mostly known these days as a casino community recovering from Hurricane Katrina. (And the casinos came in the aftermath of an earlier hurricane, Camille, which struck with ferocity in the summer of 1969). But for a long time, Biloxi was known as “The Seafood Capital of the World.” Waves of immigrants came to Biloxi to work in the seafood industry: Polish, Croatian, Cajun and Vietnamese. Each group has helped shape the city’s culture…and its cuisine. Southern Foodways Alliance has put together a series of oral histories; listen to stories from members of these communities.
Have a great day!