** Calorie Count: The Food and Drug Administration announces a new calorie count rule that affects restaurants and food—from pizza to popcorn to salad bars. It was much easier in the days of Fruit Loops, Dots, and Jelly Beans–as this blog explains: The Sweet and Sour Fructose Debate.
** “Hippies” That Hunt: This article claims that a new generation of hunters is taking locally sourced eating to the next level.
** App Mania: As this article points out, there is an app for just about anything–and this list might be helpful for anyone on the farm or in the agriculture business.
When we started taking on farm jobs, we didn’t have a GPS system to guide our tractors around the fields. We either learned driving skills or we tore out a few rows of young soybean plants while we cultivated. During breaks while baling hay, we didn’t have text messaging to keep us occupied, so we listened to embellished yarns or semi-rude jokes the farmer might come up with when he handed us ice water and homemade cookies. And during evening baseball games, we didn’t even have tweets to read, so we had no idea what our friends were eating at the drive-in or buying at the record shop. We actually had to concentrate on playing the game and interacting with our friends who were there with us in person.
The digital revolution is changing agriculture for the better, but I have a feeling somewhere there is a farmer who walks out of his house unarmed, with no smartphone in hand. He pets his ten-year old collie as he walks to the feedlot to check on the cattle. After getting a few buckets of grain for the new calves, he looks over the farm while standing in the shade of the oak tree that has anchored the place for 130 years. A summer breeze ripples through the tasseling corn, a red-tailed hawk hovers over the back grove looking for mice, and the newly baled hay stacked in the nearby shed still has that intoxicating alfalfa-clover aroma. I doubt if there is an app for that. (by dan gogerty; top photo from ars/usda)
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