Assorted Links

  • This NYT article by Stephanie Strom discusses an interesting fault line in the organic movement: whether hydroponic crops (which are not grown in soil) can be called organic. 
  • A couple days ago, the USDA Economic Research Service put out this "chart of of note" showing trends in private and public spending on agricultural research.  As the chart shows, public spending has been falling, although private spending has increased.
  • The USDA-AMS has started putting out what appears to be a relatively new monthly report on production and prices of cage free and organic eggs. 
  • The Journal of Economic Psychology has released a special issue I co-edited with Marco Perugini on food consumption behavior.  There are 11 articles on a whole host of interesting topics from organic, food labeling, school lunches, nutrition, "fairness", food security, and more.
  • More controversy over chicken pricing, this time from the Washington Post.  I spoke to some industry folks about this a few days ago, and one thing they highlighted is that the type of chicken priced by the Georgia Dock is quite different (higher quality - contracted in advance) than what is being priced by other indices like the Uner-Barry (chicken parts - in spot markets).  Thus, a lot is being made of an apples-to-oranges comparison (even if the apple price report is flawed). 
  • One of my former students, Brandon McFadden, has a new article in PloS ONE looking at the factors that drive a wedge between public and scientific option about climate change and genetically engineered food.  He's got some cool graphs showing people's joint beliefs about climate change and genetically engineered foods, and he explores how those beliefs are affected by cognitive ability, illusionary correlations, objective knowledge, and political party affiliation.