Three bits of heartening news I read today:
- San Francisco is the first city in the nation to outlaw regular plastic bags at large supermarkets. Apparently the petroleum-based ones are difficult to recycle and are taking up all sorts of landfill space, but stores can instead (albeit at a higher cost) use compostable bags made from corn starch (of course, readers of Omnivore's Dilemma will immediately see this as a dastardly conspiracy led by the corn lobby, but i digress), or stick exclusively with paper bags. I'm curious, and hopeful, to see how this turns out.
- Wolfgang Puck has announced that he will stop serving foie gras, and that his veal and eggs will only come from cage-free animals. It's actually a pretty big deal: according to the article, in addition to Puck's handful of high-end restaurants around the country, he's got "more than 80 Gourmet Express locations and 43 catering venues across the country as well as the licensed food division." The decision to clean up the animal act seems to be mostly business-related, but this, to me, is a good thing: it means that we, as a nation, are making our voice known through our wallets. Yay us.
- Burger King has announced its own slew of strides towards more humanely treated chicken (and eggs) and pork -- specifically ones that aren't confined in crates and cages, and in the case of chickens, ones for whom the practices surrounding slaughter are more humane. Granted this only affects 2% of their eggs and 10% of their pork for the time being, but nonetheless this is a huge step. As we learned in Fast Food Nation, the fast food industry has a sweeping influence -- over commerce, over government, over the whole country's farming practices. And with Burger King being "the world's second-largest hamburger chain", well, you do the math.