News Roundup

By on February 5, 2010

newsroundup11Each week we’ll round up the latest N.C. agricultural headlines from newspapers across the state and country, as well as excerpts from the stories. Click on the links to go straight to each paper’s full story.

  • “N.C. puts its weight behind gluten-free cause,” News & Observer: When state officials sought to shut down a Durham food company last month for marketing bread as gluten-free that tested positive for gluten, cheers went up across the country among those suffering from celiac disease. “What North Carolina did enforcing gluten-free claims is say, ‘We’re going to take the health of North Carolinians seriously,” said Alice Bast, executive director of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, a nonprofit based outside Philadelphia. …
  • “Bread seller arrested on fraud charges, “ News & Observer: A Superior Court judge ordered a Durham company to temporarily stop selling food products after a Tuesday hearing into allegations that the company, Great Specialty Products, marketed bread as gluten-free that had gluten and made people sick. Moments after the court hearing ended, the company’s owner, Paul Evan Seelig was arrested by state Department of Agriculture police. Seelig, 47, of Durham, was charged with six counts of obtaining property by false pretenses. …
  • “Farm shares sell like hotcakes”, Charlotte Observer: After restaurant sales drop, Waxhaw farmer finds eager customers for his local food. Waxhaw farmer Sammy Koenigsberg did something unusual this year: He added new shares for his CSA – where customers sign up and pay in advance for a share in a farm’s vegetables. For most farms, that wouldn’t be unusual. Community Supported Agriculture programs have taken off in the last few years as a way for fans of local food to have a stake in local farms. The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association now lists 70 CSA farms, up from 40 in 2006. But for Koenigsberg’s New Town Farms, it was almost unprecedented.  …
  • “Innovation improves cotton profitability,” Southeast Farm Press: Some of his neighbors said it was innovative; others said it was insane, but regardless of what you call it planting conventional, non-transgenic cotton on marginal land paid off nicely in 2009 for Garysburg, N.C., grower David Grant. Tiptonville, Tenn., grower John Lindamood got a similar response when he talked about going low tech with basic GPS equipment to develop management zones to reduce input costs on his cotton crop. Though he continues to tweak the system, it remains low tech and it remains profitable.  …
  • “Slow economic recovery predicted,” Durham Herald Sun: North Carolina’s economy, like the country’s, appears to have bottomed out and is poised for what’s likely to be a slow recovery from the recession, an N.C. State University economist said Wednesday. Employment should starting picking up soon, but the state “will be lucky” to add 40,000 jobs in 2010, economics professor Michael Walden told city and county managers from around the state in Durham Wednesday for an annual seminar. The recovery of a consumer-driven economy is likely to be slow-paced because families will devote more of their money over the next couple years to paying down the debts they incurred while they could borrow against rising home values, Walden said. …
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