The Friday Five: Spring Edition

My Generation

Food and education, of all kinds: here are five links to catch you up on the week in food and agriculture.

Published on: March 21, 2014

It's supposed to be a glorious 67 degrees in central Illinois today and the people said Amen! With that, five things I've read this week that were both thought-provoking and share-worthy.

General Mills Turns To 'Raja Of The Country Of World Peace' To Certify Its Costlier, Non-GMO Cheerios: This opinion piece from Forbes smartly and tightly dissects the unintended consequence when General Mills and Post slayed their flagship formulations of Cheerios and Post in favor of a non-GMO variety. Among them: new non-GMO versions have more saturated fat, less vitamins A, D, B12 and Riboflavin. And you just get less; the 24-ounce box of Grape Nuts in its new non-GMO state also shrank to 20.5 ounces. For the same price. Noted the editorial writers, "It will be illuminating to see if consumers, even loyal ones, will be happy to pay a 12-15% price increase for a nutritionally inferior product."

GMO-free Cheerios arent as good for you as GMO Cheerios. Wait. What? {See first link}
GMO-free Cheerios aren't as good for you as GMO Cheerios. Wait. What? {See first link}

How Chicken Beat Beef and Pork: My colleague at Dakota Farmer, Lon Tonneson, recently read Christopher Leonard's book, "The Meat Racket – the Secret Takeover of America's Food Business," and he's been blogging about it. In this post, he shares a great story about Don Tyson, McDonald's takeout, and how the McNugget came to be. I was a child when the McNugget came out and I loved them, and this is a fascinating story.  

College Isn't for Everyone. Let's Stop Pretending It Is: So, maybe you've figured out the premise of this piece already...that perhaps we should stop looking down at kids who aren't "college material" and instead train them for solid, meaningful careers in a variety of  industries. This makes a lot of sense to me. And it reminds me of a comment I heard at last week's Hearts at Home conference in Bloomington, Ill.; child psychologist Kathy Koch made mention in a workshop that there may well come a day when a majority of us don't go to college but instead get on-the-job apprenticeships and learn that way. Because college is too expensive and it doesn't make sense to leave college with tens of thousands of dollars of college debt. That makes sense, too, and raises a lot of questions.

Chipotle's "Farmed and Dangerous" Series Misinforms Consumers Under the Veil of Social Change: Check out what one of the Illinois Farm Families Field Moms had to say about Chipotle's new series. I love Amina. She saw it pretty clearly, I'd say.

Understand Exposure in Under 10 Minutes: Definitely not about ag, but if you're someone who wishes you understood your camera better, this is the link for you. It's a simple explanation of light and what a camera does with it.