UC Food Observer chooses a handful of important stories for you to read as you finish your work week. On the menu, in no particular order: A survey of feedlot dust could have significant implications; the gap between “knowledge” and “perception”; a terrifying story about America’s food safety that plays into newly introduced federal legislation; an organic cereal maker invests in farmland; mead makes a comeback; a pest has decimated Florida’s citrus production; and a reminder about an “Edible Education” opportunity that you won’t want to miss.
1. Survey of feedlot dust; antibiotics, bacteria found. The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance has become a global health threat; it is often linked with the overuse of antibiotics in industrial-scale animal operations. Researchers from Texas Tech have released results of a study documenting the airborne transmission of antibiotic resistant material from an open-air farm setting (in this case, feedlots).
2. A bug in the system: a tale of food borne illness(es) from the New Yorker. Food-borne illness impacts 48 million Americans each year. More than 128,000 are hospitalized, and about 3,000 die. Wyl Hylton has penned a riveting and important piece for The New Yorker; it provides much of the back story of why Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Rosa DeLauro introduced legislation to create a single federal food safety agency.
3. The gap: what scientists know and what the public thinks. FiveThirtyEight weighs in on the gap between what scientists know and what the public thinks about a variety of issues, including GMOs. The biggest gaps between scientists and the public were around issues relating to food.
4. Organic cereal maker invests in farmland. Increasingly, consumers are demanding that food manufacturers and retailers pay careful attention to how food is produced and sourced. A Canadian-based organic cereal manufacturer, Nature’s Path, has launched an innovative crop-sharing model with local farmers. Civil Eats reports.
5. Gaining on microbrews? Mead. UC Davis is known worldwide for its viticulture programs. But mead, the heady beverage of medieval lore? Yes.
6. Imagining a future without Florida oranges. Florida’s citrus industry is in a sharp decline, and it’s causing both economic and cultural angst in the Sunshine State. What does the future hold?
And looking ahead to Monday, Feb. 2, learn more about a live stream “Edible Education 101” course that you won’t want to miss. This week’s guest is Marion Nestle. She joins Mark Bittman, Alice Waters, Michael Pollan and others who are partnering with the UC Berkeley Food Institute to bring this program free-of-charge on Monday evenings beginning January 26th. There are affiliated events that are open to the public and through much of April. Stay tuned.