Sunday, December 28, 2008

Leftover pecan pie and top headlines of Dec. 29

The soon coming end of the holiday break is palpable, with our oldest already heading back to Washington state and our other two kids leaving at the end of this week. The time has been a mixture of gift giving, festive holiday meals, scrabble games, lots of togetherness and leftover pecan pie. In the end, it was a fun and memorable time, though not free of the typical relationship tensions and newly felt concessions to the reality of a more frugal Christmas. Now, back to the world of produce and politics, of recession and retailers, of apples and asparagus.

Organic farms unknowingly used synthetic fertilizer Big story from the Sacramento Bee about company that sold organic fertilizer that was spiked with a synthetic version. The company controlled about a third of the market in 2006, story says. No farm expected to lose organic certification, new rumblings whether other fertilizer brands sold were also spiked

Rough year for farmers Coverage from southwest Michigan

Employers busted by Ariz. hiring law: 0 so far landmark law difficult to enforce

USDA office of ecosystem services to facilitate future carbon trading to mitigate climate change

Homegrown food trendy When times are tough, the tough start vegetable gardening.

Coke rejects FDA regulation on labeling Issue of the word "plus" on diet coke product that has vitamins and minerals

Food labels made easy Chicago Trib story about reading food labels quickly, including a reference to the 5 and 20 rule.

DHS sued over e-verify U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others sue DHS because E-Verify program, by statute, is meant to be voluntary for companies...

State wage laws also protecting illegal workers Story about "Fish man" in Boston who sued supermarket for overtime he was never paid and won the case, despite his status. From the story:

At Super 88, the fish man said, he was paid both by check and in cash. The check made it appear that he worked normal hours and was paid overtime. In reality, he worked 14-hour shifts six days a week - for a flat rate of $6 an hour. The cash made up the difference.

Recession slices into Vegas
October stats show lower numbers of visitors, hotel occupancy and conventions.

Biodiesel project in Chile
First commercial cultivation of jatropha trees in Chile, to produce oil for biodiesel.

25th murder of year for Salinas a record for the city

Mexican officer accused of working with cartels

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