Food & Farm News
February 26, 2014
Looking for snow
Little good news is expected when state snow surveyors return to the Sierra this week. They have a pretty good idea what they will find, because electronic readings measure the snowpack at only 22 percent of average for the date. There’s hope that this week’s reading may get a boost from expected rain and snow storms during the next few days, but officials caution the state remains in the grip of severe drought.
Honeybees feel drought impacts
Wildflowers and crop plants will both be in shorter supply because of the California drought, and that has implications for bees and beekeepers. The drought means bees will have less access to sources of forage. It will also reduce pollination demand. Bees are now pollinating almond trees throughout the Central Valley, but some farmers have reduced their demand for bees or removed orchards altogether because of water shortages.
Demand for produce expected to rise
Both imports and exports of fresh produce are expected to rise during the next 10 years, according to an economic study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Use of domestic and imported fruits, vegetables and nuts will expand by an average of just more than 1 percent a year through 2023. The study attributes the increase to projected economic growth around the world, especially in developing countries.
Much food goes uneaten
How much food do you throw away, uneaten? According to a new report, 31 percent of the available food supply in the United States went uneaten in 2010. The government study showed that two-thirds of the food loss came at the consumer level. The top food groups that comprise the loss include meat, poultry and fish, vegetables and dairy products. The total amount of food loss represented 387 billion calories.