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USDA Dietary Guidelines Topics for Public Comment

foodThe U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) are looking to the public for help. In creating the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, they are reaching out to the community to conduct their research.

Every 5 years, the USDA updates their guidelines to match current research and to keep the public knowledgeable on the best nutritional information. For the 2020-2025 edition, the USDA has begun to conduct new research through the public, asking for public comments and questions on topics supporting scientific questions to help with the development of the next publication.

This new approach is meant to provide the public with more transparency and opportunities to participate. This is a new step in the Dietary Guidelines process; the USDA is looking for public comments and questions on the proposed topics, to get a better understanding for what the public thinks of current dietary research, what they do or do not already know, and what they would like to know in the future. This window of opportunity will be open to the public for 30 days, beginning February 28 of this year and ending March 30.

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines topics the USDA and HHS are proposing are based on four criteria:

Relevance – This topic is within scope of the Dietary Guidelines and its focus on food-based recommendations, not clinical guidelines for medical treatment.

Importance – This topic for which there is new, relevant data and represents an area of substantial public health concern, uncertainty, and/or knowledge gap.

Potential Federal Impact – The probability that guidance on the topic would inform Federal food and nutrition policies and programs.

Avoiding Duplication – This topic is not currently addressed through existing evidence-based Federal guidance (other than the Dietary Guidelines).

One of the main focuses of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines is a “life stages approach”, which focuses on scientific questions from birth through young toddlers. The 2014 Farm Bill mandated that starting with this edition, the Dietary Guideline is required to give guidance for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers up to 24 months. This approach is also hoping to get a better understanding on the patterns of what the public eats and drinks on average, as well as over longer periods of time.

The USDA and the HHS are looking for both supportive and opposing comments on the topics they have provided, so that they can further understand what the public is thinking. All of the public comments will be considered equally in creating the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines.

This press release is presented without editing for your information. MOTHER EARTH NEWS does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.

Rustic Vegetable Bean Soup and Early Spring Gratitude


Jamie covered a patch of parsley last autumn with a plastic row cover, which kept it from completely dying off during the winter months. Overwintered parsley in Zone 5 is very hardy and has a strong flavor; you can see in the photo how the leaves are deeper green and compact. Now that we've had several mild days, I was pleased to see the parsley has already begun to sprout new leaves.

We have a lovely patch of broccoli rabe showing new growth. Jamie planted it last fall - it became established before winter set in and should provide an excellent early spring crop. Our sage and thyme patches have also overwintered and should be waking up soon. Oh, and there are still carrots under cover. Jamie has been chiseling carrots by the dozen out of the partially frozen ground all winter. Carrots are always sweeter if picked after a frost - these beauties have been exceptionally sweet and flavorful! I used them in this recipe and photo.

Meanwhile, in the greenhouse there are patches of arugula, yokatta-na, and mache that have reseeded. Surprisingly, six leeks are growing, which is odd because Jamie hasn't grown them in the greenhouse for many years! Evidently leek seeds have been sitting in the soil waiting for conditions to be just right for them to germinate and grow.

I'm always so excited and grateful when these springtime gifts arrive, providing us with early spring edibles . . . a taste of what's to come!


Rustic Vegetable Bean Soup


2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
2 medium carrots, chopped small
2 stalks of celery, chopped small
4 garlic cloves, chopped small
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teas dry
32 oz low-sodium vegetable broth, preferably homemade
32 oz jarred or canned whole tomatoes (can also use crushed, diced, or puree)
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white beans such as cannellini or great northern, drained and rinsed
8 oz dry pasta, small size such as ditalini or elbow
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish


1. In a soup pot, heat coconut oil over medium-low heat; add a bit of chopped onion.

2. When onion begins to sizzle add rest of chopped vegetables, salt and herbs; sauté for about 8 minutes, stirring often.

3. Add jarred or canned whole tomatoes to pot; crush tomatoes with clean hand.

4. Add vegetable broth; bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

5. In the meantime, cook pasta in plenty of water; cook for 2 minutes less time than package directions.

6. Drain pasta and return to pot it was cooked in.

7. Drizzle pasta with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder and salt; stir and cover.

8. Keep pasta separate until serving.

To Serve: Fill bowl with 1 scant scoop of pasta and 2 scoops of soup. Drizzle soup with a bit of olive oil (optional). Garnish with parsley.

Judy DeLorenzo is a holistic health practitioner, garden foodie, and daycare founder. She has a deep understanding that food is medicine and "we are what we eat" so we should treat our bodies with respect by eating pure, whole, super nutritious foods. She loves to grow and shop for food, create recipes, cook, take food photos, and share the process with clients, her social media audience, family, and friends. You can learn more about Judy's healing practice at Biofield Healing and enjoy her blog posts at A Life Well PlantedRead all of Judy's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.



Leaving on a Jet Plane with Sourdough Starter, Krautchi, and a Head of Cabbage

Foods checked from home 

When my mother asked me to fly out for a visit, the first thing that went through my mind was how I was going to package and mail all the foods that I wanted to share while there. I envisioned dining with my mead, krautchi, various canned goods, and perhaps cooking fresh breads with sourdough starter. Having sent care packages to our children in the past, I knew the postage was not going to be cheap and I worried that the starter and krautchi might show the wear and tear of three days in the care of the postal service.

I doubted that much of what I wanted to take with me would work in my carry-ons due to current restraints (nothing liquid over 4 oz, etc) but I wasn’t sure about checked baggage. A quick glance at the rules and regulations eased my mind. While I usually never check any luggage, I decided doing so this time might enable me to take the things I wanted to for about the same price mailing would have been.

I knew I was going to see an aunt, uncle, sister, niece, sister-in-law, our daughter and her sweetie besides my mother and wanted to share tastings with each of them. My space was still limited since I wanted to avoid checking a bag on the way back. Thankfully, my puzzle-loving brain took on the challenge with vigor.

I happened to have two batches of krautchi coming ready for refrigeration during my planning phase and I decided to delay them just a couple of weeks. The day before I left, I moved parts of the batches into the fridge and loaded up a couple of Ziplocs for the suitcase. Just to make sure, I triple-bagged the lot. After all, no one wants a lingering kraut smell in their luggage and I really didn’t want to leave a trail of sour drippings along the way!

I used bubblewrap around the bottles of non-carbonated mead, then put them into a protected box in the center of the suitcase. The whole box was nestled in a 13 gallon trash bag, just in case. I also bubblewrapped the jars of preserves that I took for my daughter. She and her beloved wanted me to teach them how to make krautchi so I decided to take along some ginger and mustard seed to show them how I make mustard as well. Bonus! I ended up coming home with another recipe for mustard since my mom’s pantry is somewhat different from my own.

The sourdough starter was my biggest worry as I wanted to be able to use it right away due to the scheduling of guests and I didn’t want to have a delay. I needn’t have worried as the hold of the plane acted as a refrigeration unit and everything checked was still cold when I unpacked in warm, sunny Palm Springs. The biggest shock, temperature-wise, was my own. I left snow and temperatures in the 30s, clothed in my long undies and layered outfit (jacket included) and deplaned to low 80s in a mostly outdoor airport. I flexed easily and happily adjusted.

That first night I fed the starter after taking out a bit to make up pizza dough for cooking the second day. The next day’s starter discard became sweet rolls for the following morning… and so the first week of my trip continued. I repeated pizza and sweet rolls for my daughter. Her boyfriend is gluten-free but after a detailed discussion sharing some of my findings he decided to try some of the baked goods. We even made a lovely boule of sourdough bread and they took the rest of my starter home along with the krautchi and some of the mustard we made.

sourdough boule

Everyone got to taste the mead and krautchis that I’d brought with me. Oh, and that head of cabbage mentioned in the title? That was a last minute addition. It went into my carry-on and only raised one eyebrow just the teensiest bit. I wanted my daughter to be able to make her krautchi with something from my garden. We also threw some of the cabbage around a pork roast for my aunt and uncle.

Even though I pared my luggage down on the way home by one sizable bag, I was still able to fly home with five grapefruit, six lemons, a passel of rocks, and the now-empty mead bottles as carry-on. Regulations have become much more restrictive than they were in my youth but I was happy to be able to travel with all the goodies that I wanted to.

foods brought home

Simple reminders include: Check the current regulations. Prepare to be stopped and searched by the TSA. Triple bag everything along with bubblewrap where needed. With a little planning, creativity in cooking can travel right along with you.

Blythe Pelham is an artist that aims to enable others to find their grounding through energy work. She is in the midst of writing a cookbook and will occasionally share bits in her blogging here. She writes, gardens and cooks in Ohio. Find her online at Humings and Being Blythe, and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Have Pumpkins? Have Cake!

pumpkins in 3 sister method

Pumpkins just make me smile so, I love having them in the garden!  When we first decided to grow pumpkins for a farm crop we tried to decide which variety would be best.

Deciding Which Variety to Grow

We decided on two; Sugar Pie and Snack Jack. Sugar Pie is an Heirloom variety and we try to use as many Heirloom seeds as possible. We are seed savers here on the farm! Sugar Pie is also small and full of flavor which makes a good seller to restaurants. The seeds are also good for eating.

Snack Jack is great for the seeds! It is considered 'hulless''s really not but has a thin membrane over the seeds instead of a thick covering. You don't have to spend hours trying to crack the hull to get to that seed! The flesh of the Snack Jack is very edible and is also good in pies. These are also good sellers to restaurants because they can use the flesh and seeds!

When and How to Plant the Pumpkins Seeds

We like to plant the pumpkins with our Bloody Butcher corn and 'dry' beans...the three sisters method...where everything can be harvested in the Fall.

Since I love seeing pumpkins I do scatter some throughout our garden spaces! You can sow the seeds and get them started in organic material/soil and set them out in spaces when you're ready for them. In our area which is Zone 7, we do direct sowing of the seeds after the soil reaches 60 degrees. This is usually anywhere after May 10th.

If I'm planting pumpkins in the three sisters method, I like to have the corn and beans already established in the ground with a good root system started before I plant my pumpkin plant, either beside or in front of the corn stalk.

pumpkins in 3 sister method

growing pumpkins

Storing and Using your Harvested Pumpkins

Make sure the pumpkins are mature when you harvest. They should have developed good color and the stem drying.

harvesting pumpkins

Put the pumpkins in a dry area to store. A canhouse or cellar are ideal. If you don't have storage space you can cook/roast the pumpkins and freeze the flesh for later use. Save the seeds for re-planting and/or eating!


Pumpkin Cake Recipe:


cooked pumpkin, pureed 1 1/4 cups
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
refined sugar 1-1 1/2 cups
olive/grapeseed oil 1 cup
3 eggs
plain flour 1 cup
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use pink Himalayan)

I just mix all ingredients together with spoon and pour into cake tins.


Option: You can make this into a chocolate pumpkin cake by adding 6 Tbsp. powdered cocoa to the batter. Also, garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds!

Bake cupcakes about 13-15 minutes and cake about 20-25 minutes. (350 degrees)

I frost with simple cream cheese frosting (pkg. cream cheese softened and just enough powdered sugar to sweeten).  Sometimes I add maple syrup if it is 'maple sapping time'.


Susan Tipton-Fox presents on-farm workshops in Yancey County, North Carolina, and growing her on-farm agritourism by promoting "workshop stays" on the farm (extending the farm experience).

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Boost your Sales: Five Insider Tips from a Farmers' Market Manager

Trevor Hayle at farmers market booth for Smij Spicery

Farmers’ markets can be an easy on-ramp to start selling your fresh produce, pastured meats or cottage food products, but how can you ensure your items stand out?  Catt Fields White, San Diego Farmers’ Market Manager at several farmers’ markets, has seen it all and offers some advice to get you on the fast track to market success. 

“Remember you are, bottom line, selling you:  your farm, your personality and what makes you unique,” shares White, a powerhouse of insight into what makes a successful farmers’ market and a profitable vendor. She currently manages three markets in the San Diego area, including the Saturday morning market in Little Italy and a Thursday evening market at North Park.

The growth of farmers’ markets continuing to boom nationally, from just under 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,600 markets currently registered in the USDA Farmers Market Directory.  So, it’s important to think strategically about your marketing and booth presence so you can stand out and attract a loyal customer base to keep your weekly sales rolling in. 

White launched the Little Italy market in 2008, which has grown into the largest market in the region with over 22,000 weekly shoppers on average. How did she do it? A steadfast commitment to prioritize farmers and a realization that committed vendors will drive growth. “I first worked on convincing one high quality, long standing farmer to come, try it out and see the potential. He then invited his farmer friends and we quickly developed a track record for great product, which grew customers to where we are today.”

With roots in the restaurant and retail industries along with now over a decade managing farmers’ markets, White’s background gives farmers a unique perspective into using this sales venue to add to your bottom line. Here are five of her key tips:

Market your Booth

“A good farmers’ market manager will bring customers to the overall market, but remember, it’s then your job to get them to your booth,” advises White. Post photos of your display to social media as soon as you are set up and tag the market. Mention anything you might be bringing to the market for the first time as special “first of the season” items. Also note anything you might have in peak abundance for those canners and food preservers.

“Remember, by promoting your own booth you are also helping the whole market and supporting other vendors,” she adds. “By creating an image for the market as the place to be with lots going on, it’s a win-win for everyone.” 

Collaborative marketing roots in the heart of White’s farmers’ market success strategy as she knows supporting each other’s businesses cross-pollinates. Area chefs and bakers like Joanne Sherif of Cardamom Café come to the market to share recipes. At face value, this may seem like an odd strategy. Why would you want to “give away” what your business produces? But as I write about in Soil Sisters, the women farmer and food entrepreneur community realize by sharing our authentic stories, customers appreciate what we produce even more. All our businesses succeed.

Don’t Run Out of Product

“When a vendor tells me that they keep running out of product before the market ends, I first suggest they increase their prices,” White shares. “It may not be that you don’t have enough product, but rather your price point is too low. Slowly adjust things higher till you have a balance of sales that last through the market and you’ll end up with more income overall.”

Of course, your inventory will still decrease in volume over the course of the market. As this happens, pull your produce and wares together and consolidate in the middle of the table, rather than spread it out with gaps. “People always want to see abundance. Sure, it’s great that you are selling, but folks want to feel like they are still buying your best items, not your leftovers.”

Change Your Display Weekly

It’s the same rule as in retail:  Mix things up regularly to give the appearance of newness. Shoppers, especially your loyal weekly customers, will naturally stop seeing things if they are always in the same place. Move items from one side to another every week and change your display to engage attendees more.

One way to vary your market display is bringing a variety of cottage food products, non-hazardous food items you make in your home kitchen under your state’s cottage food law. It’s an easy way to bring different seasonal items such as zucchini muffins in July and pumpkin bread in October. Our Homemade for Sale book provides you with the key information to get started out of your home kitchen, without the investment of a commercial kitchen.

 Tahnohn Hayes at farmers market stand for Nut Frusion

Stand and Smile

In her informational materials that White sends to new market vendors, there is one thing missing in her “list of things to bring”: a chair. “Stand up behind your table and greet folks directly with a warm smile from the beginning of the market till the end and your sales will add up,” recommends White. Create every reason and opportunity for someone to come and talk to you. Skip the sunglasses, too. Even if you are squinting, it’s a much warmer welcome to look someone in the eye than be behind shades, observes White.

Learn and Share at InTents Conference

White amplifies the collaborative learning model through launching a new conference, now in its second year, called InTents, held in San Diego, California. The next InTents Conference is February 26 and 27, 2018. This one-of-a-kind event focuses on farmers’ market businesses, from vendors to managers. Conference panels feature farmers sharing their success stories and expert led sessions, like Charlotte Smith of Champoeg Creamery and 3 Cow Marketing in Oregon, who offers first-hand advice on do’s and don’ts for market success. 

Lisa Kivirist is a writer, the author of Soil Sisters and founder of the Rural Women’s Project of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service. She is also Senior Fellow, Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems at the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Minnesota. With her husband and photographer, John D. Ivanko, she has co-authored Rural Renaissance, Homemade for Sale, the award-winning ECOpreneuring and Farmstead Chef. They also operate Inn Serendipity B&B and Farm, completely powered by the wind and sun. Both are regular speakers at the Mother Earth News Fairs. As a writer, Kivirist contributes to Mother Earth News, most recently, 9 Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living. They live on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin with their son Liam, millions of ladybugs and a 10 kW Bergey wind turbine.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Iowa State’s New Organic Milk Testing Method

cowFor milk to be considered organic, it is required that the cows producing the milk have outdoor access, and must spend at least 120 days a year outside with fresh grass to eat. However, recently there is reason to believe that this is not always happening, and that farms are finding a way to cheat this system while maintaining their label as an organic product.

The Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey published an exposé, accusing Colorado’s Aurora Dairy company of serious fraud, claiming that the organic company does not let their cows graze outside – at all. The average organic dairy farm has around 100 cows, while larger Aurora Dairy has approximately 15,000 cows. Whoriskey reported that every time visited the property, the fields were empty, which was confirmed by satellite images. Aurora Dairy denied the allegations, stating that the cows “happened” to not be out the day of each “drive-by”. To prove his point, Whoriskey tested the milk; organic milk produces more good fats in the final product, and when Whoriskey tested Aurora’s milk, he found that it was chemically closer to conventional milk.

This is only one example of an organic-labeled dairy that may be cheating the system and charging the more expensive organic price for non-organic milk. While there are methods of discovering the liars among the honest dairy farms, most methods are incredibly time-consuming and costly.

However, an Iowa State study may have found a new and immediate way to test for the real deal amid the organic milks. The Iowa State scientists used Fluorescence Spectroscopy—a method that can be thought of as a kind of molecular fingerprinting, one that involves beaming light at the product and measuring for luminescent signals in response. With this method, the results re visible immediately, saving the time and money it would take to send samples to a lab for testing. Not all foods are able to be tested this easily with this method, but organic cow’s milk should have lingering traces of chlorophyll that have been metabolized by the cow.

“Spectroscopy is easy,” says Jacob Petrich, an ISU biochemist who co-authored the study. “There’s really no sample preparation involved. You just need to shine light on the sample, and there are signatures in the milk that you can see. There’s very little preparation to be done, and you get the answer almost immediately.”

The research team tested their methods using Radiance Dairy, a pasture-based dairy farm where the cows’ diet is comprised of 85 percent pasture grasses, as a control sample. The control samples showed a chlorophyll concentration of about 0.13 to 0.11 micromolar. Store-bought organic milks ranged from 0.09 to 0.07 micromolar, and conventional milks came up in numbers as low as 0.04 to a mere 0.01 micromolar.

Logan Peterman, an agricultural research manager at Organic Valley, the country’s largest organic dairy cooperative, believes that Spectroscopy could level the playing field for dairy farmers, and help make the process behind organic milk more transparent. “Human ingenuity is incredible,” Peterman says. “I would say one of the things human beings are the most gifted at is cheating.” Organic Valley hopes that Spectroscopy could also bring potential finical benefits; if Spectroscopy could help a more transparent, it would also make a new premium market, in which consumers would bring their business to organic milk products that are verified by science, instead of spending money on a fake.

This press release is presented without editing for your information. MOTHER EARTH NEWS does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase. 

Leading 2018 Food and Agriculture News Stories

skyThe Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN) has published their Spotlight 2018: Stories to Watch in Food & Agriculture, an annual survey for top FERN writers, highlighting what food and environment issues they believe will drive food and agriculture coverage this year:

1. Farm Bill Heating Up – In 2013, Conservative House Republicans attempted to impose large cuts on food stamps, and they are likely to make the attempt again this year. Budget hawks and farm-policy reformers will try to shrink federal subsidies of crop insurance, the principal farm support, and farm groups. The 2018 farm bill, which determines five years’ worth of spending, would budget around 90 billion dollars annually on farm subsidies, public nutrition, land stewardship, agriculture research, international food aid, export promotion, and other agricultural programs.

2. The Battle against Antibiotics in Livestock – For the past year, U.S. farmers have had to comply with set limitation on their use of antibiotics in their livestock, as the country’s effort to prevent antibiotic-resistant bacteria from growing. For the past year, growth promoters that cause animals to put on weight have been banned, and veterinarians are required to supervise farmers and write any prescriptions. This upcoming year, these rules in place will be assessed to see if they are working, and it will be decided if more or less regulation is needed in the future.

 3. Nutritional Secrets – Recently, many stories have become known of companies in the food industry bribing the scientific community to lie about the results of their research, convincing the public for decades that certain foods or substances posed no health threats. For example, the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to cast doubt about the link between sugar and diabetes so the sugar industry would not decline. Investigations into bias in nutrition research have just started, but it is a good bet there will be more evidence that the food industry has been causing much of the confusion about the risks of its products.

4. The Deregulation of American Fisheries Laws – First passed in 1976, the Magnuson-Stevens act will come up for re-authorization this year. Alaskan Congressman Don Young is leading the charge to overhaul MSA. Young is proposing a new bill, HR 200, which will relax many of the conservation-minded restrictions set in commercial fishing. Conservation groups say allowing HR 200 to overrule MSA would increase the risk of over fishing, which could destabilize American fisheries and cause oceanic ecosystems to begin collapsing. The bill was previously stalled under the threat of a veto from President Obama, but with a Republican now in office, results could vary this time around.

5. Protecting Public Land from Private Threats – Twice in the last year, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy escaped federal prosecution on charges related to his occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Since 1993, the Bundy’s have allowed their cattle to graze on public lands, which have been closed for grazing for decades to protect the grasses. These lands in question were grazed to dust during the free-range years leading up to the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, and restored with public money, and they are now being grazed without regulation yet again.

6. The Future of Food Waste – Food-scrap recovery in the U.S. has increased by 87 percent in the past 3 years. This will remain a high-profile sustainability story as public pressure mounts to avoid food waste and, where unavoidable, to keep it from dumps, where buried food generates greenhouse gases. However, this closed-loop cycle is not without its problems; large composts generate horrible smells and the amount of food waste available totals about 34 million tons a year.

7. The Fight for Bees – Recent years have hit the bee population hard. Due to mites, habitat loss, and effects of pesticides, the important of scientific research for solutions has grown exponentially, but government cuts have left these environmental research agencies short. Scientists have discovered that a significant percentage of bees fly away rather than to pollinate a specific or particular field consistently. Because of this, scientists are looking for way to reduce this “absconding”, but the Trump administration is looking to cut this research budget by 22 percent.

8. Gene Editing Seeds – The application of synthetic biology techniques, such as gene editing, will usher in a new wave of seeds this season. Scientists behind this project are attempting to avoid the public rejection crises that GMOs experienced by rolling out gene editing technology with careful and targeted messages. The practice also brings into play whether or not farmers should be creating these seeds to be “climate-smart”, which would be relevant in extreme weather conditions, and prevent potential food shortages.

9. Agriculture Consolidation Continues – In 2017, America saw many large corporations take control of major food companies. A potential deal on the table for Bayer and Monsanto in 2018 could further reduce the corporations in charge of agrochemical and seed producers, leaving everything in the hands of just three major corporations. This year, all eyes will be on antitrust regulators, who could decide to intervene in some of the biggest deals ever made in agriculture — or not.

10. Weed-killer remains mired in legal minefield – Legal battles over the world’s most popular weed-killer, Monsanto’s Roundup, continue into 2018. Back in 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer listed glyphosate, the main ingredient of the weed-killer as a probable carcinogen. Since this allegation, more than 200 consumers have come forward and joined a federal suit. These allegations began a series of court battles. While the EU has recently agreed to extend its authorization of glyphosate, the EPA has announced that it is not actually glyphosate.

This press release is presented without editing for your information. MOTHER EARTH NEWS does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.