Local Government

Opinion: Proponents of urban homesteaders' backyard slaughter rights engage in exaggeration, omissions, other techniques similar to those used by industrial agriculture

By James E. McWilliams

The Atlantic 2011-10-12

Sewage causes coral die-off in Florida Keys, researcher learns; culprit is bacterium called Serratia marcescens, which often causes hospital-acquired infections

By Richard Harris

National Public Radio/ All Things Considered 2011-08-17

Stung by criticism after goose kill left tons of meat in landfills, NY to have 2011 geese sent to PA food banks; goose said to be tastier than most species of duck

By Andy Newman

The New York Times 2011-06-15

After LAPD reveals crime-fighting plans, Dodger officials rethink plan to serve half-price alcohol, vow to look at prices and serving sizes for alcohol, as well as when to stop serving

By Joel Rubin and Bill Shaikin

Los Angeles Times 2011-04-09

Atlanta residents demand answers about hundreds, even thousands of dollars in monthly spikes in their water bills; problems arose with installation of new, automated water meters

By Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips

CNN 2011-03-01

Someone who touched communion wafers distributed at Christmas Day services at New York church was infected with hepatitis A; virus is spread by ingestion so vaccinations urged

By Paul Vitello

The New York Times 2011-01-04

Chicago officials propose new rules they say will nourish urban agriculture, but some of city's top urban farmers believe they will stunt growth of grass-roots projects

By Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune 2011-01-03

In Colorado town where food stamps applications have grown 88 percent over two years, voters OK hike in property taxes to hire caseworkers, support food, shelter efforts

By Laura Snider

Daily Camera (Boulder, CO) 2010-12-07

FoodWorks provides blueprint for every phase of NYC food system - from agricultural production, processing, distribution, consumption and post-consumption

The New York City Council 2010-11-22

San Francisco board overrides mayor's veto; Happy Meals and other fast food with toys now must meet new nutritional standards or else be removed from menus

By Michael Martinez

CNN 2010-11-23

NYC role in food system is subject of report for City Council; Food Works' contributors have high hopes for environmental, economic, legislative and health goals

By Elizabeth A. Harris

The New York Times 2010-11-22

As obesity epidemic grew, Cathleen Black, now NYC schools' chancellor in waiting, sat on Coke board and panel with focus on obesity and selling soda to children; she holds $3.3 million in company stock

By Michael Barbaro ad Anemona Hartocollis

The New York Times 2010-11-16

Fast-food lobbyists fight L.A. plan to tighten restrictions on allowing new eateries in obesity-prone areas by arguing that McDonald's, Burger King bring jobs, opportunities to disadvantaged people

By Sharon Bernstein

Los Angeles Times 2010-11-11

San Francisco mayor vetoes legislation prohibiting toy giveaway with fast-food meals that don't meet nutritional standards, but board has votes sufficient to override

By Rachel Gordon

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-11-13

San Francisco supervisors OK alcohol fee to help cover costs to care for inebriants, but mayor vows veto; fee idea has drawn wrath of alcohol, hospitality industries

By Rachel Gordon

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-09-15

Opinion: As manicured lawns become less politically correct, local governing groups begin rethinking rules on front yards and aesthetics of vegetables that might grow there

The editors

Chicago Tribune 2010-08-30

Chicago, Walgreens partner to bring fresh produce to city's food deserts; redesigned store will also sell frozen meat and fish, pasta, rice, beans, eggs, whole-grain cereals

By John Byrne

Chicago Tribune 2010-08-11

Opinion: San Francisco supervisor's "charge for harm" alcohol fee bill focuses on serious problem, targets $15 million in annual costs, and could make difference

By C.W. Nevius

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-07-01

D.C. Council OKs "gold standard" for school meals, minus strict calorie standards below USDA minimum; soda tax might foot bill

By Tim Craig

The Washington Post 2010-05-05

DC council launching "gold standard" wellness regimen that limits sodium, fat, refined items in school meals, increases P.E. time; soda tax mulled

By Tim Craig

The Washington Post 2010-05-02

Water-rationing program and its uneven pipe pressure caused water main breaks around LA last year, report says

By David Zahniser and Phil Willon

Los Angeles Times 2010-04-13

Chicago public schools revamp nutritional standards of meals to add dark green or orange vegetables, whole grains, generally meeting Institute of Medicine standards

By Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune 2010-03-23

San Francisco offers restaurants savings on sewer bill in exchange for installing machines that divert food for composting, grease for biofuel

By Rachel Gordon

San Francisco Chronicle 2010-03-18

Taxpayers spend $1 million on legal bills to defend neighborhood leaders in contaminated drinking water case

By Michael Hawthorne

Chicago Tribune 2010-02-14

Environmentalist leads charge to redo nation's decrepit water, sewer systems but faces resistance from politicians, consumers

By Charles Duhigg

The New York Times 2010-03-15

In France, children learn the rules before they can hold a knife: sit down, take your time, because food is serious business

By Vivienne Walt

Time magazine 2010-02-23

Los Angeles uses stimulus money for new worker training program in management, maintenance of gardens using drought-tolerant plants, rainwater

By Susan Carpenter

Los Angeles Times 2010-03-09

Concerned for their child's future, California couple replaces water-guzzling grass with wood chips, drought-tolerant plants - and is sued by city

By Amina Khan

Los Angeles Times 2010-03-02

Industrial agriculture fights as rural Americans band together, use "local control" ordinances, historic designations to limit big pig farms

By Lauren Etter

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-03-03

"Blue Zones" project persuades town to make sidewalks, dig gardens, ban school snacking - and see health-care claims for city, school employees fall by 32 percent over 10 months

By Walter C. Willett and Anne Underwood

Newsweek magazine 2010-02-05

Citing health, environment, Chicago alderman proposes citywide ban on foam food containers in restaurants, school cafeterias

By Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune 2010-02-17

Profit-minded urban gardeners challenging City Halls to rewrite garden ordinances; expert suggests towns create one-stop-shop

By Raquel Maria Dillon

The Associated Press; The Christian Science Monitor 2010-02-16

Citing lack of proper licensing, inspectors destroy hundreds of pounds of pastry chef's fruit puree at Kitchen Chicago

By Monica Eng

Chicago Tribune 2010-02-05

Torrential rains prove that much of needed water falls from sky - trick is catching it

By Susan Carpenter

Los Angeles Times 2010-01-23

NYC mayor plans initiative urging food makers, chain restaurants to cut salt

By William Neuman

The New York Times 2010-01-11

California town looks to reduce landfill use by 30 percent with food waste composting program

By Clark Mason

The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, CA) 2009-12-30

Pennsylvania town launches food waste composting project

WJACTV 2010-01-06

Opinion: New tax on bags at grocery, drug, liquor stores is creative way to cut pollution

The editors

The Washington Post 2009-12-30

Serious food safety violations common at airport eateries, probe shows

By Alison Young

USA Today 2009-12-23

After decades-long exposure to toxic tap water, Chicago area residents still waiting for results of cancer study

By Michael Hawthorne

Chicago Tribune 2009-12-30

Residents suspect toxic dump, pesticides, water, traffic exhaust in birth defects spike

By Noaki Schwartz

The Associated Press; The Spokesman-Review 2010-12-22

Kellogg to remove immunity-boosting banner on cereal boxes

Kellogg to remove immunity-boosting banner on cereal boxes


Tension builds between food companies putting more health claims on packages and governments looking to validate those claims. Kellogg drops claim of immunity building for its Cocoa Krispies boxed cereal after San Francisco city attorney writes company, asking for substantiation of the immunity claim (and also citing the H1N1 flu pandemic).

By Jacob Goldstein

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2009-11-05

City, with Great Lakes tap, may offer discount water for jobs

At a time when regions from metro Atlanta to American southwest face acute water shortages, Milwaukee plans to offer discounted water to new companies that create jobs. Milwaukee Water Works utility operates at only a third of its capacity, draws off Great Lakes, which have a fifth of planet's surface supply of freshwater. And: EPA bid to cut ship emissions sets off furious battle in Great Lakes region beset by economic woes (click 'See also').

By John Schmid

Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI) 2009-11-02

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Cocoa Krispies 'child's immunity' support claims challenged

San Francisco city attorney demands substantiation from Kellogg for claim on boxes of Cocoa Krispies that cereal 'now helps support your child's immunity.' And: Growing number of health and nutrition experts, fed up with misleading marketing ploys, say health claims on foods should be banned (click 'See also').

By Heather Knight

San Francisco Chronicle 2009-10-28

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Victor awards garbage disposal certificate after election

After Republican wins North Carolina town's city council seat, he fulfills promise to give gift certificate for garbage disposal. Challenger set up raffle to mock effort by incumbent to ban garbage disposals in Raleigh. And: To cut down on sewer back-ups and resulting environmental damage to streams from food scraps, grease, Raleigh City Council in 2008 prohibited new garbage disposals from being installed or connected to municipal sewer system (click 'See also').

By Sarah Ovaska

The News & Observer (NC) 2009-10-10

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Luring supermarkets to underserved areas of New York

Luring supermarkets to underserved areas of New York

With blend of zoning and tax incentives, New York officials hope to lure new supermarkets to areas where fresh produce is scarce and where poverty, obesity and diabetes run high. Plan, adapted from successful Pennsylvania program (click 'See also'), targets large swaths of northern Manhattan, central Brooklyn and the South Bronx, as well as downtown Jamaica in Queens.

By Diane Cardwell

The New York Times 2009-09-24

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Citing state's obesity bill, mayor wants fee from stores that sell sugary drinks

San Francisco mayor plans bill that would charge fee to retailers that sell sugary beverages. Motivation is UCLA study that links soda, obesity in California. Adults who drink at least one soft drink daily are 27 percent more likely to be obese than those who don't, researchers say, and soda consumption is fueling state's $41 billion annual obesity bill. San Francisco would be first city to levy fee on soda if, as expected, it is approved. And: Tax of penny per ounce on such drinks would raise $14.9 billion in its first year (click 'See also').

By Heather Knight

San Francisco Chronicle 2009-09-18

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School plans meal deliveries in case of flu-related closing

If H1N1/swine flu closes North Carolina city school system, workers will deliver lunches and snacks to children eligible for free and reduced-price lunches - nearly half of Asheville students. Child nutrition director hopes that planning for flu crisis will smooth way to summer meal delivery. And: Nationally, at least 18.5 million low-income students expected for school lunches, 8.5 million-plus expected for breakfast (click 'See also').

By Ashley Wilson

Citizen-Times (Asheville, NC) 2009-09-04

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White House farmers' market begins this fall

New open-air farmers' market near White House will sell food raised by about 17 farms in Chesapeake Bay watershed. Organizers say market will underscore value of good nutrition espoused by president, first lady. A fresh produce market last stood nearby during administration of Thomas Jefferson. Vermont Avenue block, which carries 4,600 cars on average day, will be closed to traffic each Thursday afternoon and evening through Oct. 29.

By Jane Black and Ashley Halsey III

The Washington Post 2009-09-11

Monsanto plans price hike for GMO corn, soybean seed

Monsanto plans to increase cost of genetically modified corn, soybean seed as much as 42 percent, effectively splitting expected profits of increased yields. New biotech SmartStax corn seed expected to be planted on up to 4 million acres in 2010, with national potential for 65 million acres; Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybean seeds were planted on 1.5 million acres this year, with potential of 55 million acres, Monsanto said. And: After residents' opposition, Boulder county postpones decision on whether to allow farmers to grow Monsanto GMO beets on county open space; GMO corn has been permitted since 2003 (click 'See also').

By Jack Kaskey

Bloomberg.com 2009-09-13

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Re-imagining Detroit's vacant lots as agrarian paradise

Detroit, with its 103,000 vacant lots, fertile soil, ample water, willing labor and desperation for decent food, can redefine urban economics. It can move away from factory-town model to economically diverse, self-sufficient, rural/urban community sustained by agriculture. All that's needed is political and community will. And: City may revise codes to allow for large-scale agriculture farms, commercial bee farms (click 'See also').

By Mark Dowie

Guernica 2009-08-01

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Council says no to biotech sugar beets on public open space

After 47 of 58 speakers show opposition, Colorado county's food policy council considers that it represents taxpayers, votes against recommending GMO sugar beets for planting in open space land. Dilemma for group was balancing economic well-being of six farmers with community. Genetically modified corn already is allowed on public land. And: Because public acceptance of biotechnology in Europe is lower than in U.S., all Kellogg products sold in Europe are free of any biotech ingredients (click 'See also').

By Laura Snider

Daily Camera (CO) 2009-07-31

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Utility turns food waste to energy, compost

Utility uses food waste from San Francisco, Contra Costa County restaurants, commercial food processors to produce green renewable energy, compost. Organic waste is single largest single component of urban municipal solid waste; in U.S., more than 30 million tons of food waste - 18 percent of waste stream - are sent to landfills annually; less than three percent of food waste is diverted from landfills. And: Buying food simply to chuck it is waste of land, water, energy put into growing, processing and transporting it (click 'See also').

Environment News Service 2009-07-15

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Bacteria in hospital water blamed for death of two infants

Common, deadly bacteria infecting hospital water supply blamed in deaths of two premature infants, sickness of a third in Miami. Hospital urged to initiate monthly checks of water quality, train staff in infection control, closely monitor chlorine levels and use county's twice-yearly chlorine purge. And: Company develops DNA detection system for water-borne pathogens (click 'See also').

By Fred Tasker

The Miami Herald 2009-06-10

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New sewage-to-fertilizer ovens not needed, officials say

As final tests begin on pricey sewage-to-fertilizer plant, Chicago area officials say it's not needed. Stickney plant is one of world's largest treatment facilities for human, industrial waste, producing 150,000-plus tons of sludge (industry calls it 'biosolids') annually. And: Early on, 'Black Box' project was seen as alternative to sluicing use of 1 billion-plus gallons of water daily (click 'See also').

By Michael Hawthorne

Chicago Tribune 2009-05-27

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Urban homesteading with T. Boone Chickens, Fluffy Bottom

Urban homesteading with T. Boone Chickens, Fluffy Bottom

Kelley Newsome/Backyard Poultry

The Dominique hen is a steady, reliable layer - of brown eggs.

Raising backyard poultry is as chic as growing your own vegetables. It's part of back-to-the-land movement whose proponents want to save on grocery bills, take control of their food supply, reduce carbon footprint of industrial agriculture. Poultry is natural next step in sustainable back yard; chickens produce eggs, devour kitchen scraps, add manure to compost pile. But some town officials are...chicken. And: A poultry magazine (click 'See also').

By Adrian Higgins

The Washington Post 2009-05-14

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Hormone disruptor increases in volunteers drinking from bottles

After drinking cold beverages from polycarbonate baby bottles, 77 volunteers showed nearly 70 percent increase of bisphenol A (BPA) in their urine, CDC/Harvard study shows. BPA, a plastics component and synthetic estrogen, is linked to reproductive problems, heart damage, diabetes, obesity. Made by petrochemical giant Sunoco, chemical shown in 2007 to have leached into more than half the canned foods, beverages, canned liquid infant formula tested. And: Chicago bans BPA in baby bottles, sippy cups (click 'See also').

Environmental Working Group 2009-05-13

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Determined mother uncovers trail to polluted drinking water

After Illinois mother refuses to stop asking questions about her teenage son's leukemia during toddler time, state officials and newspaper learn that for 20-plus years, town frequently, secretly, turned valve to draw water from well polluted with dry-cleaning chemicals. State EPA shut well in December 2007, after testing water for first time in 20-plus years. Update: Federal agents raid Crestwood Village Hall, cart documents away for criminal investigation; senator asks feds to look for links between water, illnesses (click 'See also').

By Michael Hawthorne

Chicago Tribune 2009-04-19

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Costco takes NYC tax credits, but not food stamps from neighbors

With eligibility for millions in tax credits and New York city pension funds holding about $65 million of company's stock, Costco sets up shop in city, wins permission for its tractor-trailers to drive on residential streets in East Harlem between midnight and 5 a.m. But its no-food-stamp policy cuts off 30,000-plus of those neighbors in East Harlem, as well as the rest of the 1.4 million city residents who received the aid in April.

By Jim Dwyer

The New York TImes 2009-05-12

Radical chef transforming Baltimore's school lunch program

Radical chef transforming Baltimore's school lunch program


Tony Geraci served 82,000 local peaches to Baltimore students on the first day of school last fall; for some children, it was their first taste of a fresh peach.

Tony Geraci runs Baltimore schools food service and campaigns for it, renovating old farm as incubator for gardens he wants at each of 200-plus schools, planning for student-run cafes with goal of involving students in food at every step. Students deserve to eat delicious, healthful meals; those meals help students learn, says chef and former chicken nuggets broker turned radical. About 74 percent of 83,000 students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. And: 'We've lost an entire generation of children to obesity and poor nutrition, and we're about to lose another one if we don't reach our hands into the fire and pull them back out and start doing the right thing,' he says (click 'See also').

By Jane Black

The Washington Post 2009-05-06

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Food deserts must bloom along with Obamas' new White House garden

It's not enough for Michelle Obama to laud the fresh vegetable, and plant a backyard garden. She must use her considerable influence to help bring fresh food to poor, urban neighborhoods, those "food deserts" where there's nary an unfried potato to be found. And: Cities take on their own grocery gaps (click 'See also').

The editors

The New York Times 2009-03-21

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Past lead levels in D.C. tap water may risk children's health

Elevated lead levels in tap water from 2001-2003 could jeopardize health of about 42,000 Washington, D.C. children who then were younger than 2 or in utero, study shows. Parents outraged, Council wants probe to see whether public was misled during water crisis (click 'See also'). Blood lead levels and number of potentially affected children both considerably higher than initially reported by city, federal officials.

By Carol D. Leonnig

The Washington Post 2009-01-27

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Nutrition counts for Philly restaurants in 2010

Philadelphia mayor signs strong menu labeling law that requires most chain restaurants to display calorie, fat, other nutrition information starting in 2010. Most of city's cheesesteak joints are stand-alone shops or small chains and won't be subject to law.

By Maryclaire Dale

The Associated Press; International Herald Tribune 2008-12-18

Linking city to foodshed in far-reaching food policy

Food policy proposals under discussion in San Francisco would decrease use of imported food, strengthen ties to nearby farms and could include new rural-urban accords for water conservation, alternative-energy production. Policy also would increase flow between countryside, which controls energy, food production and land; and city, which controls policy, finance, markets.

By Erin Allday

San Francisco Chronicle 2008-11-29

San Jose says no to temporary ban on new fast food outlets

As fast-food ban sponsor recovers from childbirth, city council panel colleagues nix her proposal, saying one-year ban on new fast-food outlets would stifle economic development and hurt small businesses in San Jose. And: Food zoning as anti-obesity measure is paternalistic and wrong, says columnist (click 'See also').

The Associated Press; The Mercury News (CA) 2008-08-21

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Opinion: With malnutrition on rise, city needs plan

When one in eight families who bring children to Maryland emergency room are undernourished, there's growing need for nutrition programs. Baltimore officials are right to urge physicians to screen young patients for malnutrition and refer families to food pantries. But encouraging families to get help isn't enough; city needs a plan.

The editors

The Baltimore Sun 2008-07-18

Farms face another pest: diesel thieves

California farmers, already weary from concerns with drought, pests, heat and cold, fall victim to thieves who steal diesel fuel to sell to struggling truckers. Heists of fuel follow those of copper in irrigation systems.

By Paul Vercammen

CNN 2008-06-05

Opinion: Oases in the food deserts

New York's mayor, health commissioner and city council deserve credit for withstanding pressure from retail food industry to approve 1,000 more mobile fruit and vegetable stands. The new pushcarts are destined for city's poorest areas, home to disproportionate share of those with diet-related disease.

The editors

The New York Times 2008-03-01

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Tipping to pressure

Food waste recycling pilot plan OK'd after letter-writing campaign by the Ohio EPA and others to Erie county commissioners. Sanitation engineer had wanted county to first study how subtracting garbage would fit into the county's plans for the landfill.

By Tom Jackson

Sandusky Register (OH) 2008-12-28

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Cost of conservation

An inconvenient truth of cutting back for conservation: It adds less money, short-term, to coffers of cash-strapped municipalities that face repairs and replacements for aging infrastructures. Officials in Toronto area reconfigure water rates to make up the difference, and consider charging bottled-water producers extra.

By Phinjo Gombu

Toronto Star 2008-01-26

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Stemming the tide

Low-income children need abundant access to fresh produce plus safe play space to halt epidemic of childhood obesity, Baltimore task force reports. Plan would involve schools, food stores and churches; much of report details what city schools can do, including more healthful food choices and requiring playgrounds at all elementary schools.

By John Fritze

The Baltimore Sun 2008-01-10

Free lunch?

Canadian province of Alberta spent more than $700,000 on sandwiches and other catering for mostly noontime meetings in 2006, records show, and government critic wonders about reluctance to fund children's school lunches.

By Darcy Henton

The Edmonton Journal (Canada) 2008-01-09

Policing food

Citing increasing level of obesity and diabetes, South Los Angeles governing group moves to ban fast-food restaurants, but others question scope of ordinance and wonder whether menus have been carefully considered.

By Rick Orlov

Daily News (L.A.) 2007-12-11

Opinion: Food waste turf war

Keeping the fully loaded garbage trucks rolling, and the high fees paid for dumping, seems more important to Erie County officials than the private industry pilot program that would compost Ohio restaurants' food waste and help in recycling effort. How could it be that studying composting options is better than actually composting?

The editors

Sandusky Register (OH) 2007-11-28

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Dump here

In recycling effort, Ohio plant nursery volunteers to compost food waste from nearby restaurants and pay $5 a ton for the privilege. Erie County officials lean toward saying no, because less garbage going into the county landfill means less money for the county.

By Tom Jackson

Sandusky Register (OH) 2007-11-23

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Opinion: Promoting health

With 500,000 or more people in Chicago - mostly low-income African-American and Hispanic areas - living in food deserts, it's time for city to attract supermarkets that sell the fresh meat, produce and frozen foods that are essential to a healthy lifestyle.

The editors

Chicago Sun-Times 2007-11-25

Parting gift

Memphis school lunch chief, who resigned after allegations of mismanagement and a one-year program loss of nearly $3.7 million, received nearly $8,800 in severance pay; official said it was the cheap and expedient solution.

By Kristina Goetz

Commercial-Appeal (TN) 2007-10-31

Feed the flu

Poverty will compromise adequate nutrition in case of flu pandemic in Kansas City, report says; many citizens can afford only three-day stockpile of food rather than recommended two-week supply, and if schools close, poor children would be deprived of their only hot meal of the day.

By Dave Helling

The Kansas City Star 2007-10-24

Defenses down

Erythrina gall wasp, an accidental import from Africa, devastates groves of wiliwili trees used as wind shields for crops in Hawaii; desperate officials consider importing a Tanzanian wasp they hope might prey on it, but after mongoose import eschewed pesky rats for native birds, others are wary.

By Tomas Alex Tizon

Los Angeles Times 2007-10-15

Hunger embarrassment

Diary of starving man casts unwelcome light on harshness of Japan's policy on level welfare rates; recipients are expected to depend on relatives and use all savings before taking "shameful handout."

By Norimitsu Onishi

The New York Times 2007-10-12

City harvest:

As Atlanta grows, community garden plots are feeding the burgeoning appetite for locally grown produce and mingling of cultures; advocacy group partners with administration to open parks for communal plots.

By Elizabeth Lee

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 0000-00-00

No dumping:

Grand Forks city council says sugar beet residue won't smell so sweet, and bans its dumping on rented land west of the city; American Crystal Sugar Co., disagrees, saying that the sugar, which causes odor as it decays, will be gone.

The Associated Press; The Bismarck Tribune 0000-00-00

Off the land:

Despite day jobs, couple hunt, fish and gather about a third of the food they eat, using a nearly comprehensive mental map of Seattle foraging spots to relish what they call unbelievably bountiful land.

By Huan Hsu

Seattle Weekly 2007-08-08

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New interactive map allows users to tract proliferation of factory farms by state and county - even number of animals - and it raises questions of whether we pursue the logic of industrialism to its limits, and how badly will it harm the landscape, the people who live in it and democracy itself?

The editors

The New York Times (may require subscription)

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