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A New Argument for the 10,000-Mile Diet: Is Locavorism a Crock?

From economic arguments to environmental impact, a new book argues against eating local.

Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu, a Canadian husband-and-wife team (he's an economic geographer, she's a policy analyst) is out to upend the turnip cart. The local food movement is badly misguided, they say. In their new book, they've outlined what they call the five essential myths of locavorism: the nurture of social capital, a boost to the local economy, a low environmental impact, safer and more nutritious food, and greater food security, and assembled academic arguments they believe punch those "myths" full of holes. Desrochers told the Toronto Star:

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Watch Your Mouth: I Can't Believe That Anti-Margarine Law's Still on the Books Butter vs. Margarine: A Legal and Cultural History

Wisconsin is wrestling with a little law that's a last vestige of a former battle over butter. Here's what that means for fake food everywhere.


After Googling “Stupid Wisconsin Laws” recently, Dale Kooyenga stumbled on a 1973 law prohibiting “colored margarine” from being served at a restaurant unless a customer specifically orders it. The regulation sounds like something straight out of Lake Wobegon, but it remains on the books in real-life Wisconsin.

For Kooyenga, Googling legislative stupidity constitutes work. Kooyenga, a freshman Republican state representative, moved to rectify the dairy state’s reputation by introducing a bill earlier this month to repeal the antiquated anti-margarine law. Because the statute also prevents institutions from serving non-butter butter replacements in prisons, Kooyenga argued that a repeal could save taxpayers money: Real butter is three times as expensive as the tubbed stuff.

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Winners! Redesign the Food Label The Best Nutrition Label Ideas

Behold, four designs for a better food label. Who knows? You might actually read the label if they looked like this.

We're happy to announce the winners of our project to design a better nutrition label. It's about time. For years, the federal Nutrition Facts label—that mandated, black-and-white guide to the calories, fats, and sugars on the backs of all packaged foods—has gotten short shrift from shoppers. So with the help of our friends at the University of California at Berkeley's News21, we asked you to design a food label that consumers might actually want to read.

The Food and Drug Administration will begin work on some possible nutrition label revisions later this year. In the meantime, we recruited four experts to choose the best and brightest of the 60 impressive label designs you submitted. Our panel of judges chose four overall favorites that they thought really deserve our attention—and maybe even the attention of the federal overseers of nutritional labeling. Here they are:

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Since 1995, GOP Congresspeople Have Received More Than $5 Million in Farm Subsidies

Democrats have received less than a tenth of that. But the debate over farm subsidies is complicated.


Farm subsidies are one of the most hotly debated issues in national food policy. Some critics, such as Daniel Griswold of the Cato Institute, call for their complete elimination, others, such as journalists Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman, advocate their radical reform, blaming them for exacerbating our national obesity crisis and encouraging unsustainable industrial agriculture. Still others, including prominent lawmakers, economists, and agribusiness leaders, defend their valuable role in maintaining national security and supporting family farms.

In fact, the only thing that's not up for debate in this whole morass is that the questions of agricultural subsidies is incredibly divisive—it's an issue that can crush the most sanguine observer's dreams of clarity and consensus.

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Organizations are Awesome: On College Campuses, CoFed Replaces Fast Food with Good Food

Research shows that fast food can cause cognitive difficulties that result in lower test scores. So why are college campuses serving it? Enter CoFed.

Last summer we told you about Yonatan Landau, who, as a UC Berkeley undergrad, was successful in mobilizing students to prevent the opening of a Panda Express on campus. Victory led to bigger goals, and Landau went on to co-found CoFed, which trains students to create ethically-sourced, community-run foodservice on college campuses. The youth-led organization has just launched national programs that will incubate student leadership on 20 campuses this summer to create edible classrooms educating their peers about sustainable food.

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Food for Thinkers: Online Advertising, or Where Toaster Strudels and Chez Panisse Meet

Kristen Taylor examines the incongruous side dishes of corporate copywriting that adorn most food blogs.

Kristen Taylor is the founder of Galvanize.us, a mobile app you can use to hide real gifts for your friends, and Culinaesthete, a new magazine of stories and food launching in February 2011. She blogs at kthread.com and has been known to throw elbows on Saturdays at Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket.

For GOOD's Food for Thinkers week, Taylor looked at the incongruous side dishes of corporate copywriting that sit, critically unremarked but—the advertisers hope—not unnoticed, next to many a food blogger's lovingly homemade posts.

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