Because Voracious has been feeling mighty cranky all week, this week's news roundup is devoted to stories that warm our hearts.
First off, the Seattle Times has two interesting articles:
Linda Mapes writes that while European honeybees, the species most used by farmers to pollinate, are still dying off in significant numbers, Northwest bees are still working away. One of the things farmers can do to help native pollinators out, say ag scientists, is to incorporate strips of plants that bees love amid monoculture plots.
Marc Ramirez writes about City Fruit, a local organization that sends volunteers to back yards around the city to harvest overabundant fruit trees and pass the ripe fruit on to food banks, shelters, and other local groups. (Full disclosure: I have volunteered with this organization in the past.)
Local writer Kim O'Donnel writes in the Huffington Post about Canning Across America (aka Canvolution), the series of home-canning classes and events that she and a host of Seattle people organized through Twitter. The Canvolution begins this week. Here's the schedule of official classes and demonstrations.Speaking of bringing fresh produce to low-income people, the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program is finally going to allow low-income mothers to use their monthly WIC checks to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you haven't been following the whole Whole Foods brouhaha, it continues to heat up: John Mackey, the founder and CEO of Whole Foods, who got in trouble a few years back for anonymously commenting about his competitor on blogs and bulletin boards, published a strikingly conservative op-ed in the Wall Street Journal two weeks ago dismissing what we now call "the public option" in healthcare reform. Some people are calling for a boycott of Whole Foods. Now a union-backed investing firm (it's not clear whether the firm owns stock in Whole Foods) is calling for Mackey to be fired, claiming he's damaging the grocery chain's rep with its latte liberal base. The schadenfreude meter on this story edges ever upward...heart-warming indeed.