GRACE Notes – Fighting Factory Farms

Fighting Factory Farms in North Carolina

In North Carolina, a state where at least 9 million hogs are raised in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), lagoons full of fecal waste are causing major problems for the neighbors.

North Carolinians have been taking action to fight these CAFOs and the giant corporations behind them. We wrote last month about how the first lawsuit in North Carolina initially awarded families $50 million in damages by a jury, though the amount was later drastically reduced.

More cases and more verdicts are coming down: another North Carolina family was awarded damages — to the tune of $25 million — in the second nuisance suit brought against CAFO owner Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of Smithfield. Then, North Carolina’s state legislature quickly passed a bill called “The Farm Act” to protect CAFO corporations from these types of lawsuits. The North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper, vetoed the bill, but the legislature overruled the veto showing the power that these giant corporations can have in local politics.

We’ll continue to follow the story and keep you up to date. If you’d like to follow the play-by-play of this story and others like it, join our conversation on Twitter at @eatsustainable.

Celebrate Summer and Local Farms with Seasonal Food

July is the perfect time to spend the morning at the market and the afternoon in the shade with watermelon juice running down your chin. Sure, food that’s in season just tastes better, but there are plenty of additional reasons to indulge in the best of the farmers’ market.

Buying seasonally at the market helps hardworking, local farmers. And when you buy directly from growers, you can ask how your food was grown and maybe learn a recipe or two. This fuels regional food economies and keeps your cash going to people who care about stewarding the land with their growing practices. Which we’d say is sweeter than a sun-ripened watermelon!

Want to know exactly what’s in season at your farmers’ market? Check out the Seasonal Food Guide.

Reducing Food Waste 101

Cook Like a Chef to Cut Food Waste

If you love watching chefs when searching for meal inspiration, why not look to them for ways to reduce food waste? After all, making sure almost nothing goes to waste is a big part of what it takes to run a successful restaurant.