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Greg Martin Grape Growers Struggling & Salmon In Question
by Greg Martin, click here for bio

Program: Northwest Report
Date: September 21, 2010

Grape Growers Struggling & Salmon In Question plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Weekend rain was nice for those that don’t have crops ready to be harvested but grape growers in the northwest have been trying hard to recover. Wine grape growers across the northwest are working to retain some of their hard earned profit as the cool, damp weather has the grape harvest anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks late in some areas. Vicky Scharlau, Executive Director of the Washington Associate of Wine Grape Growers says things are finally getting into gear.

SCHARLAU: It has started in many areas. Everything from Chelan to the Puget Sound to Walla Walla to Spokane to all the way through the Columbia Valley we’re starting to see some specific varieties starting to be picked. Last week actually started picking and this week we’ll see it in a little bit more earnest.

The Food and Drug Administration has started two days of hearings on whether genetically engineered salmon should be sold in a store near you. If the answer is yes, this type of salmon could become the first genetically engineered animal approved for human consumption. The agency has already said the salmon, which grows twice as fast as conventional salmon, is as safe to eat as the traditional variety. If approved it could open the door to other genetically engineered foods.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

There aren’t many who haven’t heard of the man who ate nothing but fast food for a month, put on an outrageous amount of weight, and nearly ruined his physical health in the process. The Washington Potato Commission executive director has decided to do the same type of extended diet experimentation with potatoes only with an interesting twist; his diet will consist of eating nothing but potatoes every day, but no sour cream, gravy, butter, or cheese, only potatoes for two months in order to prove how nutritious potatoes really are. All this came about due to the USDA dropping potatoes this year from the federal food voucher program for women and children. Potatoes actually surpass many vegetables in vitamin and mineral content. It’s what we add to potatoes as condiments that can cause weight gain issues. Potatoes on their own, garnished with natural herbs and seasonings are a healthy addition to any daily diet. It will definitely be interesting to see the final outcome of this experimental potato diet. My guess is he’ll maintain his current weight, or even have a slight weight loss, and his over all physical health will have improved.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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