Food & Farm Policy Issue Update: Parties Break Bread Over Food Safety

Happy Holidays! Last time I focused on some of the more negative aspects of food and farm and this week we are going to try and change that up and focus the good news that has been coming across my desk. Let me know what you think and please send me anything you find on the web that you think is worth covering. You can get me at: [email protected].

  • The Republicans and Democrats were finally able to agree on something! A new Food Safety Modernization Act has been approved by the Senate with a whopping 73 to 25 vote. After eggs, peanut butter, and spinach have sickened thousands, the new overhaul is intended to keep unsafe foods from ever reaching markets and restaurants. The legislation that has been put in place will greatly increase the number of inspections of foods and processing plants. It also grants the FDA new powers to recall tainted foods and demand accountability from food companies. The goal here is to catch any problems at the root unlike the past, when outbreaks of salmonella become a concern only after many Americans are sick.
  • Looking for ideas for your Netflix queue? Well has a piece on five great “Sustainable Food Films” for the holiday. They are, in order: Super Size MeKing CornFood, Inc., Tampopo and, in a tie for fifth place, La Grande Bouffe and the animated Ratatouille. I’ve seen ‘em all and can personally recommend each.
  • Speaking of Super Size Me, its producer and subject Morgan Spurlock sat down with Paul Crossfield from Civil Eats for an unbelievable interview, which touches on all aspects of food, farm, and sustainability. Spurlock gives a classic answer when asked if he could describe how he felt after eating only McDonald’s for 30 days: “Nauseous.”
  • Egg producers should be laying a few less rotten ones from now on. After the recall of 550 million eggs and 1,500 reported illnesses from salmonella-contaminated eggs, the United Egg Producers are developing new safety standards for egg producers. The USDA and FDA will help the UEP by training agricultural department personnel on how to catch potential problems at egg farms. The FDA plans to inspect every major farm in the nation over the next 14 months.

From genetically modified foods to rotten eggs, it’s good to see the government stepping up with the Food Modernization Act. Progress is great to see and hopefully Democrats and Republicans will continue to see eye-to-eye when it comes to keeping tainted foods off of our plates. Until next time, I wish you all a happy holiday and a new year filled with food and music.