The prion disease is now in 25 states: Just as hunters have been stalking deer and elk, so, too, has a deadly brain disease been stalking their four-legged quarry. Known as a chronic wasting disease (CWD), it infects deer, elk, and moose. It was first confirmed in Colorado in the 1970s. The disease has been identified in 25 states and is now within miles of the Alabama state line. Are humans who eat deer or elk meat at risk of developing CWD? READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

The Green New Deal and our food system: The overarching goal of the Green New Deal is to develop a carbon-neutral economy. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not coal-fired power plants and automobile tailpipes that emit the majority of greenhouse gases; it’s food production. READ MORE

Dairy program a top priority for USDA: Last week President Trump and Congress agreed to reopen the government, ending a 34-day shutdown. While it’s only a three-week funding extension, USDA is laser focused on farm bill implementation, and the new dairy program is a top priority. READ MORE

Too cold! The dangerous cold temperatures that blanketed the Midwest last week also impacted meat processors and grain elevator operations, as companies worked to protect employees. Wednesday, Tyson Foods canceled shifts at its Iowa pork plant and Hormel Foods Corp. stopped hog slaughter at its Austin, Minn., processing plant. READ MORE

Stockpiling ice cream before BREXIT: Unilever has said it is stockpiling Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and Magnum bars ahead of the UK’s departure from the European Union. The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March but concern is mounting it will exit without a deal. READ MORE

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

‘Goat Fund Me’: They may not eat tin cans like in cartoons from the 19th century, but they are opportunistic grazers, eating all kinds of plants—especially pesky and hardy weeds—that are otherwise difficult to get rid of. One California town wants to make use of that for fire prevention. READ MORE

CYBER SECURITY

The metastasizing global cyber threat: Cyber has quickly become the global threat that knows no borders, nor does it distinguish between the public and private sectors. Corporations and core infrastructure are at risk. READ MORE

HUMANITARIAN CRISES

The politics of food: Any discussion of food in Venezuela is unavoidably political. Each side in the current standoff blames the other for food shortages — and each side accuses the other of manipulating food for political purposes. In a Twitter post, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio accused Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of “weaponizing” hunger. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

Measles update: The measles vaccine was invented in 1963, and by 1968 cases in the U.S. had already dropped. By 2000, the U.S. declared the disease eliminated—rare cases always came from outside the country. But 2019 has begun with some of the worst outbreaks we’ve seen in recent years because we got lax about vaccines. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY

Strawberry tampering: A post-incident report about the strawberry-tampering contamination scare in Australia calls for “centralizing incident coordination functions to encompass all relevant government agencies including police,” as well as improving communication about such incidents. The report by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FANZ) agency also called for better traceability and contingency planning as produce from high-risk horticulture operations moves through a complex supply chain. READ MORE

Vietnamese fish recalled, again: For the second time this week, sheatfish from Vietnam has been recalled for lack of inspection at a U.S. port of entry. Unlike the 1,000 pounds recalled from California retailers earlier this week, the 27 tons of frozen fish recalled yesterday was distributed nationwide. READ MORE

SUSTAINABILITY

Will food and feces provide tomorrow’s fuel? In its quest to find greater efficiencies and reduce reliance on fossil fuels, the University of Illinois found a way to convert wet food waste and animal waste into diesel fuel. The fuel will be mixed with traditional diesel and has the same combustion efficiency and emissions profile.

WEIRD STUFF

There’s a grenade in those potatoes! Factory workers in a Hong Kong potato chip plant recently uncovered a German hand grenade from World War I that had not detonated, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). The “unstable” grenade apparently was imported from France together with other potatoes. The grenade, which was camouflaged with what looked like mud and soil, was likely buried on a WWI battlefield that eventually became a potato farm. READ MORE