Thursday, October 20, 2016


Ghoulishly good times are back at IHOP® RESTAURANTS with The return of FREE Scary Face Pancakes FOR KIDS ON HALLOWEEN
On October 31st Kids 12 and Under Can Enjoy a Free Scary Face Pancake from 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

To celebrate Halloween, on October 31, kids 12 and under can dig into Scary Face Pancakes for FREE from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. at participating restaurants. IHOP encourages children and families to create a monster masterpiece from a hot-off-the-griddle, world-famous Buttermilk Pancake topped with whipped cream, a strawberry nose and served with a side of OREO® cookies and candy corn.
Participating IHOP Restaurants in the United States.
For close to six decades, IHOP has been the leader in bringing guests a freshly made breakfast served any time of day, every day, as well as unique, made-to-order limited time menu items. Scary Face Pancakes offer families a fun and unique dining experience this Halloween season.
MONDAY, October 31, 2016 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Healthy Food Advocates Launch Petition Telling Safeway to Stop Creating Food Deserts

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The Care2 Petition Takes Aim at Safeway’s Practice of Blocking Other Grocery Stores from Entering Properties it has Vacated
A Care2 petition is demanding Safeway stop its practice of blocking other grocery stores from entering properties it has vacated. The Care2 petition, started by Lauren Ornelas, founder and director of the Food Empowerment Project, has gathered over 7,000 signatures. The campaign comes on the heels of efforts in Washington, D.C. to block grocery chains from keeping out the competition with such deed restrictions.
“When Safeway/Albertsons decides to leave a neighborhood, they sometimes block other grocery stores from opening up in their former locations,” Ornelas writes on her Care2 petition. “This means that when they are the only grocery store around and leave an area such as a downtown location to move to the suburbs, they include a restriction on that property that states that no other grocery store can move in. Some of these restrictions have been for as long as 15 years!”
Safeway uses deed restrictions to block competitors from moving into its former locations. The practice came to light in Vallejo, CA,  in 2011, when Winco was blocked from building a store in a former Safeway location.
The issue has also been documented in Washington, D.C., leading two councilmembers, David Catania and Mary Cheh, to introduce a proposal that would ban the practice.
Ornelas’ Care2 petition targets Safeway/Albertsons' CEO Robert Miller. She says Safeway’s deed restrictions create food deserts.
“Communities of color, the differently-abled, and the elderly already experience barriers to accessing healthy food, and companies like Safeway should not be contributing to the problem,” Ornelas writes. “They could easily change their ways and HELP neighborhoods stay healthy!”

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Report calls for investment and smart regulatory systems to stimulate innovation during a volatile business cycle, as agricultural productivity growth stalls

DES MOINES, Iowa, Oct. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- For the third year in a row, the rate of global agricultural productivity growth has failed to meet its target, says a report by the Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) released today.  GHI's 7th annual Global Agricultural Productivity Report® (2016 GAP Report®): Sustainability in an Uncertain Season warns that unless this trend is reversed, the world may not be able to sustainably provide the food, feed, fiber and biofuels needed for a booming global population.  

Improving agricultural productivity is not just about producing more or achieving higher yields; it allows more to be produced while maximizing the use of and impact on precious natural resources.  Agricultural productivity lowers the cost per unit of output, helping producers succeed in today's competitive business cycle, and supplies food and agriculture products for consumers at lower prices.
  It is part of a comprehensive strategy to sustainably meet global demand for food and agricultural products.  

According to GHI, global agricultural productivity must increase by 1.75 percent annually in order to meet the demands of an estimated 9.7 billion people in 2050.  GHI's annual assessment of global productivity growth – the GAP Index™ – shows the current rate of growth is only 1.73 percent.  The rate of productivity growth for low-income countries is of special concern, as it is stagnating at only 1.3 percent annually, far below that required to meet food and agriculture needs in a sustainable manner.

Global demand for food and agriculture products is skyrocketing, driven by a growing population and middle class, yet in high-income countries, like the U.S., productivity growth rates have slowed and agricultural output has declined to levels not seen since the 1980s.  This downward trend in productivity raises questions about the health of U.S. agriculture, which is a key driver of the economy, providing $2 trillion in revenue annually and employing 19 million people.  
U.S. farmers are concerned about low crop prices, rising land values and higher prices for seeds, fertilizer, crop protection, machinery and storage and are looking for ways to cut costs and manage risk in order to remain competitive.  Uncertainty about regulations make it difficult for farmers and industry to plan for the future and many are worried about the negative reaction of some consumers to their products and production practices.

"We need to ensure that the agricultural value chain is competitive in every phase of the business cycle.  The food price crisis was just 6 years ago; to think that in half a decade we have created systems that will sustainably produce an abundance of food would be to disregard history," said Ben Pratt, Vice President of Corporate Public Affairs for The Mosaic Company and chair of the GHI
Board of Directors.

The GAP Report argues that the best way for farmers to improve their competitiveness is to adopt technologies and practices that make their operations more productive and sustainable.  With precision agriculture, advancements in seed, fertilizer, biotechnologies and animal welfare practices, farmers can manage costs while producing more and protecting their soils, water quality, and animal health.

GHI calls for renewed commitment to public agricultural research and development (R&D) and improvements to regulatory systems to stimulate innovations that will improve productivity and support the development of resilient food and agriculture systems that adapt to and help mitigate climate change.    

"Participants in every part of the value chain need to be able to manage their costs, by investing for innovation and growth," said Dr. Margaret Zeigler, Executive Director of GHI.  "Public sector investments in agricultural R&D coupled with sensible, efficient regulatory systems provide the foundation for innovation and ensure it gets into the hands of the farmers and producers who need it. For farmers who need access to land and finance, new opportunities for partnership are emerging that can expand their options and reduce their risks."

GHI presented the 2016 GAP Report's findings before an audience of farmers and global leaders in science, research, policy and private agriculture industry attending the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa.  The event included a discussion of the importance of agricultural productivity and policies and investments that can help farmers remain competitive while transforming agriculture into a force for mitigating climate change.

Dr. Margaret Zeigler, Executive Director of GHI, was joined by special guest Ambassador Patricia Haslach, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State and former Ambassador to Ethiopia (2013-2016); Mr. Luca Fabbri, Chief Financial Officer, Farmland Partners Inc.; Dr. Keith Fuglie, Economist, Resource and Rural Economics Division, USDA Economic Research Service; Ms. Bonnie McClafferty, Director of Agriculture for Nutrition Global Program, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN); and Mr. Ben Pratt, Vice President, Corporate Public Affairs, The Mosaic Company & GHI Board Chair.

The 2016 GAP Report is presented at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa and the event is streamed live online October 12 from 11:00 AM to noon CDT at
The GAP Report® can be found on