Food

Category archives for Food

For many migrant farmworkers, the health risks don’t stop at the end of the workday. After long, arduous hours in the field, many will return to a home that also poses dangers to their well-being. And quite ironically for a group of workers that harvests our nation’s food, one of those housing risks is poor cooking and eating facilities.

After nearly three decades as a USDA food safety inspector, Stan Painter tells me he now feels like “window dressing standing at the end of the line as product whizzes by.”

How will USDA respond to environmental justice concerns for poultry plant workers?

I’m eager to see how USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack responds to the environmental justice concerns raised about the Food Safety Inspection Services’ proposed regulation on poultry plant inspections.

A couple years ago, two public health researchers attended a hearing about the possible expansion of an industrial food animal production facility. During the hearing, a community member stood up to say that if the expansion posed any hazards, the health department would surely be there to protect the people. The two researchers knew that probably wasn’t the case.

Florida farmworkers’ wages: Pick 32 pounds of tomatoes, earn 50 cents, and Senators admit they know it

Subsistence wages, unsafe working and living conditions and hard labor describe the work life of many U.S. farm workers. The Senate’s bi-partisan immigration reform plan may help to change this reality.

USDA’s focus should be food safety, not increasing profit for poultry industry

McClatchy Newspapers’ reporter Lindsay Wise reports in two new articles on a proposed USDA rule to allegedly “modernize” the poultry inspection process. USDA and the poultry industry are having a love fest over the proposal, but food safety and workers’ safety advocates oppose the rule. The White House will soon be deciding the rule’s fate.

Exploring links between working conditions and obesity in low-wage workers

Most current strategies to address the obesity problem in Americans focus on individuals changing their behavior. A new report illuminates why those strategies alone ignore the work environment as a contributor to obesity risk.

Where did the pardoned Thanksgiving turkey come from? Inspector records tell the filthy story

The turkey pardoned by the President was headed for a slaughterhouse with a history of food safety violations such as fecal contamination. Surprisingly, the USDA considers it a model for a modernized, streamlined inspection system.

Is USDA serious? Inspecting a chicken in 1/3 of a second?

An animation created by the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards shows us the speed at which the USDA is proposing for its inspectors to find fecal contamination on poultry carcasses.

The New York Times’ Roger Cohen may dismiss organic agriculture, but new research on the effects of pesticides on developing brains gives a reason to reduce the use of organophosphate pesticides.