Vanessa Barrington

Vanessa Barrington is a San Francisco based writer and communications consultant specializing in environmental, social, and political issues in the food system.
A Flyover Zone That’s Worth a Linger
A Flyover Zone That’s Worth a Linger

Drawing Inspiration for the future from the corn belt. Q: In what town can you visit a facility that maintains and preserves thousands of varieties of open-pollinated heirloom garden seeds, leave your bike unlocked all night, eat locally grown foods, and marry your same sex partner? A: Decorah, Iowa pop. […]

Your Health Depends on Beneficial Bacteria
Your Health Depends on Beneficial Bacteria

How overuse of antibiotics and germ phobia may contribute to our most serious health problems. We are more bacteria than human. More “other” than ourselves. It’s true. Bacteria cells in our bodies outnumber human cells by 10 to 1. Scientists are just now discovering the role that the beneficial bacteria […]

Ag Industry Leaders Turn to Hollywood to Influence Public Opinion
Ag Industry Leaders Turn to Hollywood to Influence Public Opinion

Agribusiness spinmeisters reach new level of sophistication. I recently received no fewer than three press releases (plus a phone call) regarding a Food Dialogues event to be held in Hollywood. I thought, “Wow, they must really want me to go.” The event was billed as a series of discussions about […]

Label It Yourself Movement Raises Awareness About GMOs
Label It Yourself Movement Raises Awareness About GMOs

In the absence of government action, citizens take on GMO labeling themselves. You know the saying: “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” That’s especially true when change moves at the speed of politics and we need something done now. Label It Yourself is a […]

5 Reasons Why Privatizing Poultry Inspection is a Really Bad Idea
5 Reasons Why Privatizing Poultry Inspection is a Really Bad Idea

Why placing fewer inspectors in poultry plants isn’t likely to result in safer food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing what they’re calling a modernization of chicken and turkey inspection at slaughtering plants. In the world of government regulation, the term “modernization” […]

What the Foie? A Close Look at California’s Ban on Force Feeding Ducks
What the Foie? A Close Look at California’s Ban on Force Feeding Ducks

A look at the people and practices behind California’s foie gras ban. Considering the number of people who have actually eaten foie gras it’s surprising the amount of attention California’s pending ban of the sale and production of foie has generated. Last week a group of big-name chefs made headlines […]

The War On Public Water
The War On Public Water

It’s up to us to say no to corporations buying up our public water and selling it back to us in plastic. In the context of World Water Day on March 22, a report by the World Economic Forum ranked water shortage as one of the top global risks – […]

20 Common Fermented Foods That Are Good For You
20 Common Fermented Foods That Are Good For You

More everyday foods than you think are fermented. One can barely walk down the street these days without tripping over a DIY sauerkrauter, cheesemaker, home brewer, or pickler. Fermented foods are all the rage, but they’re cool for more reasons than fashion. Fermentation is good for the gut, and increases […]