- Read the label: Campbell Soup Company calls for federal legislation mandating a nationwide standard for GMO labeling. Read more here.
- It’s what’s for dinner: New dietary guidelines from the U.S. government urge Americans to eat less sugar and salt, but critics say recommendations on limiting meat consumption were nixed by lobbyists. Read more here.
- Hive health: The EPA released a report indicating the neonicotinoid insecticide imidacloprid poses a threat to the health of bee hives when used on crops including cotton and citrus. Read more here.
- Found food: Good news for urban harvesters, as recent research shows low lead levels in foraged fruits. Read more here.
- Telling the truth: Micheal Twitty’s talk on revisionism in the history of Southern food. Read (and watch) more here.
Food of the week: miner’s lettuce
Claytonia perfoliata, also known as miner’s lettuce, is a winter annual that germinates in the fall, grows through the colder months, and dies off when the weather turns warm. Gardener and author Barbara Damrosch writes in the Washington Post that though claytonia is a common weed, it’s often a welcome one:
It’s the kind of weed you like to have. Also known as miner’s lettuce, the plant is native to California, where it flourishes in winter or early spring when greenery is scarce. It fortified prospectors in the Gold Rush days with ample vitamin C as protection against scurvy. It also feeds wildlife in winter, covers and stabilizes disturbed soil, and is one of the first things to heal the land after fire.
Claytonia can be found at North Carolina farmers markets as a specialty green, or grown at home from seed. Several related plants, including the Carolina Spring Beauty and the Virginia Spring Beauty, can be harvested from the wild. You can read more on foraging Spring Beauties here.