We welcome the beginning of June, the bridge between spring and summer where the days are long and not yet too hot. It’s a busy time as you strive to produce wholesome food and fiber for the masses. Just don’t expect them to be appreciative. Thanks to the internet and constant media warnings, consumers are cautious – like the one who writes to Grist asking“is it safe to eat veggies grown near a busy city street?”

Never mind that there’s plenty of safe veggies down at the local grocery. But if you’re vegetarian you lament the fact your chosen lifestyle is a hindrance to your lifestyle, as Business Insider writer Lisa Ryan discovered when she spent five days living as a vegan.

“By Wednesday, being vegan was getting annoying,” she wrote. “By midday Friday, I was sick of constantly having to Google foods and ask waiters or store clerks about vegan options.” Yes, quite annoying. But wait! That problem has been solved by some folks who promise to “make your life a whole lot easier.” They’ve launched vegi.style, a search engine specifically for vegans. (You know, because Google and Bing are not organic, range-free search engines.)

The folks at vegi.style claim it has the ability to “turn your internet search into a well-focused cruelty-free experience.” Sigh.

 

A New Breed Of Rancher

Arizona rancher Paul Schwennesen’s ranch abuts one mile of the San Pedro River, and, as an irrigator, his pumping of groundwater contributes to the depletion of the river’s base flow, the current that keeps the river wet and connected during the dry season. But, according to a National Geographic profile of Schwennesen, he wants to be made to care how much groundwater he pumps. A decade ago, he took over operations at the Double Check from his father, who now raises cattle in the high country near the Arizona-New Mexico border. Schwennesen is a successful rancher and businessman, but cares about the river, too. In his mind, free water is no friend to the river or the long-term health of the community, and he wants to see water better valued. “I am a free-market devotee,” Schwennesen said. “Markets are the best way to allocate scarce resources. We’d love to see a market established for water.”

 

Friday Funnies

Fun stories we’ve stumbled upon while composing this week’s GTN.

 

Why We Must Think Globally

U.S. beef is not as dependent on the outside world as other meats like pork or poultry, butexports still command beef industry attention. CattleFax estimates those sales add $240 to each fed steer sold, and multiplied by 24 or 25 million fed cattle each year, that’s nearly $6 billion coming into the U.S. from outside our borders.