Cantaloupes were the culprit in a 2011 listeria outbreak that killed more than 30 people.
The Colorado farmers who distributed cantaloupes infected with listeria two years ago pleaded guilty in federal court to criminal charges Tuesday. Jensen Farms, located outside Holly, Colo., was the source of the outbreak that killed 33 people nationwide.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media
Over the last 20 years, the number of sheep in this country has been cut in half. In fact, the number has been declining since the late 1940s, when the American sheep industry hit its peak. Today, the domestic sheep herd is one-tenth the size it was during World War II.
Beef from cattle that have grazed only on pasture is in high demand — much to the surprise of many meat retailers, who didn't traditionally think of grass-fed beef as top-quality.
George Siemon, a founder of Organic Valley, the big organic food supplier, says the push for grass-fed beef started with activists who wanted to challenge a beef industry dominated by factory-scale feedlots. In those feedlots, cattle are fed a corn-heavy diet designed to make the animals gain weight as quickly as possible.
By Robert Holly and Midwest Center For Investigative Reporting
The USDA headquarters in Washington D.C.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture was forced to send home tens of thousands of employees because of Tuesday’s government shutdown. As a result, the agriculture department and its nearly two dozen agencies are operating at limited capacity – or not at all.