Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
Numbers don’t lie, but they can sometimes tell a misleading story. Three times in the last week, we came across farm statistics that painted a picture not quite backed up by facts on the ground.
The omnibus spending bill approved by the Senate on Thursday night contains language banning funding for USDA inspections of slaughterhouses for horses. That effectively stops plans to restart the slaughter of horses in the U.S. to export meat abroad.
A small Canadian company has created a genetically engineered apple that doesn’t go brown when you slice it. It’s waiting for approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But some apple producers are worried that this new product will taint the apple’s wholesome, all-natural image.
The agency is launching a new coordinated research effort to stop citrus greening, a disease imported from Asia that turns fruit bitter and unmarketable. It first turned up in Florida eight years. Now, it threatens to destroy the nation’s citrus industry.
The federal government is struggling to figure out how to fit fish farms into the National Organic Program, which regulates organic land-based farms. Environmentalists argue that fish farms shouldn’t quality for an organic label if they don’t use organic feed.
Foster Farms, the large California-based chicken processor at the center of a major salmonella outbreak, faces the threat of a USDA closure of three of its facilities by the end of the day Thursday. Some 278 people in multiple states have been sickened in the outbreak.
An estimated 278 people in multiple states have been sickened by an outbreak of antibiotic-resistant salmonella linked to raw chicken. Despite stories suggesting otherwise, USDA says its work on the outbreak hasn’t been hampered by the federal government shutdown. CDC is calling back about 30 furloughed staffers to help with its response.
Artisanal meat producers face a big barrier to getting into the game: They have to come up with a complex food safety plan that can take months of research and tens of thousands of dollars to craft. A new project wants to make it easier for the next charcuterie master to open shop by creating an open-source safety plan that newbies can look to.
The USDA has quietly ended a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The products won’t require a country-of-origin label — which means there’s no way to know whether those chicken nuggets in the freezer aisle came from a country with a spotty food safety reputation.
The mechanical process the meat industry uses to tenderize tough muscle fibers can also introduce dangerous pathogens into beef cuts. The thinking behind the proposed new labels: If you know your cut of meat has been mechanically tenderized, you’ll be inclined to cook it a little longer.
Inspecting seafood for safety hazards is currently the job of the Food and Drug Administration. But U.S. catfish producers want the Department of Agriculture involved, too. Critics say it’s just a crackdown on foreign producers who are taking over the U.S. market.
After years of research, an animal scientist looking for ways to keep inflammation down in cattle came up with a novel approach: feed them flax. The flax in their food helps keep animals healthy and has an added benefit for those who later eat their meat: omega-3 enriched beef.
Culatello. Capocollo. Sopressata. It will soon be legal to import a whole new world of Italian cured pork products, thanks to the USDA’s decision to end a decades-long ban. Every Italian region and province, and even many towns have their own distinctive salumi.