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Jenny Splitter

Food and Agriculture Writer

Location icon United States

Jenny is a D.C.-based writer and regular contributor to Forbes covering the intersections of food, agriculture and technology. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, Slate, Salon, Forbes, Vice, New York Magazine, Parents and Mental Floss. She's the devising playwright and Story Director for the immersive experience company, TBD Immersive, and a founding member and Managing Editor for SciMoms. Her public speaking appearances include events hosted by the National Academies of Science's LabX, the International Food Information Council, the Museum of Science Fiction and the Center For Inquiry (scroll down for clips). In her spare time, she carves ice sculptures and grows heirloom wheat. Just kidding, she has two kids. You can reach her at jenny@jennysplitter.com.

Portfolio
Forbes
A Tale Of Two Apples: How 'GMO' Shapes The Fate Of Your Food

The Opal apple is the Arctic apple's naturally low-browning non-GMO counterpart, only the two apples have a very different story. When fruit and vegetable breeders create new foods, the methods they use can affect everything that comes next: regulation, labeling, marketing-even consumer perception.

Forbes
This Sustainable Technology Could Save America's Dairy Farms

Craigs Station Creamery looks like a typical small dairy, the kind of farm that was once ubiquitous across rural New York state. Chris Noble, whose farm is one of the eight that makes up the creamery joint venture, hopes the business can be different enough to succeed where other dairy farms today are struggling.

Forbes
Want Sustainable Farming? Look To High-Tech Farms

Sustainable and high-tech farming can go hand in hand, as more growers and producers rely on data-gathering technology like sensors and robotic milking machines and the analytic platforms that help them take those huge swaths of data and turn them into action.

Forbes
What Can Blockchain Really Do For The Food Industry?

Blockchain technology could transform the entire food industry, some bullish tech prospectors say, by increasing efficiency, transparency and collaboration throughout the food system. Consumers could be able to trace the source of their lettuce in seconds. Shippers could see if a truck is full before they schedule a delivery.

Forbes
How Zest Labs Is Cutting Down On Valentine's Day Food Waste

Strawberries are a popular food for Valentine's Day but, as fresh produce, they're also more vulnerable to food waste. Fortunately, Zest Labs has been working closely with strawberry growers to reduce waste throughout the supply chain so that more strawberries end up eaten than tossed.

Forbes
How To Rank Agtech's Top 50, According to SVG-THRIVE

The agtech landscape is littered with disruptors, but when "everyone is either disrupting or being disrupted," as Jill Lepore wrote in a 2014 New Yorker piece entitled "The Disruption Machine," how can you tell the difference between hype and a company that could bring about real change?

Forbes
That New Organic Study Doesn't Really Show Lower Pesticide Levels

A new study claims an organic diet can significantly reduce pesticide levels, but the research doesn't hold up. Published February 12 in the journal Environmental Research , the authors of the study tested pesticide levels in the urine of 16 study participants, before and after switching to an organic diet, and found pesticide levels decreased after the switch.

Forbes
CRISPR's Future In Food Depends On Consumers

"This is a critical year for CRISPR," says Rodolphe Barrangou, a " CRISPR pioneer" and one of the scientists who first identified the bacteria in yogurt as a researcher for Danisco in 2007. He now leads the CRISPR lab at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. "We know it works.

Forbes
What The Ugly Produce Debate Gets Wrong And What It Gets Right

The fight against food waste is big business. Last year, more than $125 million went to startups looking to address waste in the system. But the debate about the ugly produce movement is raising new questions about the business of food waste, with consumers left wondering how to tell the difference between clever marketing and a true food waste solution.

Forbes
There's No Need To Panic Over Weedkiller In Beer And Wine

The consumer advocacy group U.S. PIRG has tested 20 brands of beer and wine, finding trace levels of glyphosate in all but one. These trace amounts are well below EPA tolerance levels: an adult would have to drink more than 140 glasses of wine or beer daily to cause a health risk.

Forbes
Are Consumers Ready For Genetically Engineered Animals? Depends How You Ask

Since the first genetically modified tomato hit the U.S. market in 1994, consumers have been suspicious of scientific tinkering with their food. Back then, genetically modified animals seemed particularly ominous, with images like fishy tomatoes and frankenfood capturing the public's imagination. But real-life examples of genetically engineered animals aren't so cartoonish.

Forbes
Kin Euphorics Promises Benefits Of Booze With No Hangover

Kin Euphorics is looking to disrupt the alcohol industry, but what exactly is a euphoric? Part adaptogen, part nootropic, the drink promises to "elevate your state, connect with others, and take back our morning afters." But what do the claims hold up?

Forbes
2019 Could Be A Turning Point For Plant-Based And Cultured Meats

It's been a big year for plant-based and lab grown meats, but next year could be a turning point. Sales grew over 23% in the last year, exceeding $760 million. In 2019, look for plant-based and cultured meat companies to navigate new partnerships, new markets and an evolving regulatory landscape.

Forbes
Eat Less Meat? Ready Or Not, Welcome To The Great Food Transformation

The EAT-Lancet Commission, a three-year project of 37 experts across different disciplines, is calling for sweeping food system changes to grow food that is healthy and good for the planet. The Commission calls for more sustainable intensification and less consumption of meat and animal products.

Mentalfloss
08/20/2018
Everything You Need to Know About Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is everywhere. Touted in alternative health circles as a versatile treatment for almost anything that ails you, its proponents claim that it clears up your acne, treats inflammation caused by " toxic mold," draws out the venom from a snake bite, eases a hangover, halts your farts, removes "toxins" from your body, and brightens your pearly whites.

Forbes
FDA And Leafy Greens Growers Agree: Romaine Lettuce Will Now Be Labeled

As the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control continue investigating last month's E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce that has, to date, infected 43 Americans and 22 Canadians, the FDA has now announced a new voluntary leafy greens industry labeling plan aimed at mitigating the outbreak's impact.

The Cut
03/16/2018
The Science of How Your Diet Affects Your Mental Health

Telling people to eat their way to a different outlook is nothing new. Think of religious fasting. Or John Harvey Kellogg's anti-masturbation cornflake diet. In 17th-century England, a "hot and moist diet" was even thought to provide a cure for melancholy.

Thrillist
10/10/2017
Here's Why American Have Been Drinking Milk Wrong for Centuries

ilk is stuck in a time warp in America. We might be game for goat's milk Brie or Key lime pie-flavored yogurt, but milk? Don't mess with milk. Americans grow up drinking milk. Milk and cookies are our first comfort food. Milk is what we rush to the store for during storms, even if we don't understand why.

Healthline
07/10/2018
How Long Can You Safely Store Meat?

How long you can keep that steak in the fridge? Is that can of tuna still good enough for your casserole? We've got you covered. From freezer and fridge to canned foods, we've outlined the rules for safe food storage of beef, pork, poultry, and fish, all in time for your next set of leftovers.

SELF
How Worried Do You Need to Be About Those Cancer Warnings for Your Coffee?

For many of us, coffee is an essential part of our daily ritual. The smell, the taste, that boost of alertness-these are perks that many of us can't (or don't want to) live without. But what if, when waiting in line for a cup of coffee, you noticed a warning in big bold letters that its contents were known to cause cancer?

Forbes
Midwest Corn Farmers Put New Fertilizer Alternative To The Test

Synthetic fertilizer comes with environmental drawbacks like water pollution. Pivot Bio is one of the synthetic biology companies working on a microbial alternative, and has now completed field trials with over 11,000 Midwest farmers, bringing the company one step closer to commercialization.

Mentalfloss
05/10/2018
What Is a Calorie?

Vaccines have long been hailed as one of our greatest public health achievements. They can be made to protect us from infections with either viral or bacterial microbes. Measles and smallpox, for example, are viruses; Streptococcus pneumoniae is a bacterium that causes a range of diseases, including pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, and meningitis.

Curiosity.com
How Do They Make Meat-Like Burgers from Plants?

It's an all too common scenario for vegetarians: there you are, sadly chewing away at your dry veggie patty while the carnivores around you enjoy their smoky, juicy burgers. Well, take heart: a better burger is here.

Forbes
Ripe.io And Its 'Blockchain Of Food' Secures 2.4 Million In Funding

Ripe.io wants to use blockchain technology to transform the food industry, and it just received a major influx of cash to do it. The agritech startup just secured $2.4 million in financing from investors like Maersk Growth, the capital venture arm of the Danish shipping container conglomerate Maersk, and Relish Works, a Chicago-based food innovation hub.

Mentalfloss
11/13/2017
What Is a GMO?

If you've followed the debate about GMOs with any sort of regularity, there's a strong chance you've come across a picture of a tomato stabbed by a giant syringe. That image, though a complete fiction, seems to perfectly capture what's preventing public acceptance of these foods: We don't really know what makes something a GMO.

Thebreakthrough
Better Living Through Technology -- Why Feedlot Cows Might Be Happier Cows

appy cows come from California." So reads the tagline of a famous ad campaign run by the California Milk Advisory Board, featuring cows casually chatting in a wide-open field. Cows from California, the thinking goes, must be like everyone else from California: happy and laid back. But what makes a cow happy?

The Cut
10/10/2017
'Processed Food' Gets an Unfair Bad Rap

"Eat real food" is simple-seeming dietary advice that's actually anything but. On the one hand, it sounds easy enough: Unlike some Goop-approved detox, it's a guideline that appears to leave room for most food groups. On the other hand, though, "real food" is a slippery concept, one without any single established definition.

Washington Post
10/10/2017
Perspective | I was determined to have a VBAC, but in the end, it didn't matter

I was in a drugged out, hazy blur the day my son was born. Two days before, I had been diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, and learned I would need to deliver him eight weeks early, by Caesarean section. During the delivery, the combination of shock, magnesium drip and anesthesia made me feel dazed, disconnected and barely present.

Science of Us
05/17/2017
Whole Foods Would Look a Lot Different If It Were Science-Based

Whole Foods used to be my idea of grocery heaven. Once upon a time, I shopped at the California Street location in San Francisco - it was light and airy with produce for miles. I knew the cheesemonger. I had philosophical conversations with the butcher. I stared longingly at the Le Creuset bakeware.

The Outline
Why are we still debating GMOs?

When I saw the new documentary Food Evolution at the D.C. Environmental Film Festival in March, I was surprised to see Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle, two giants of food advocacy, take a clear stance in favor of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, since the two have previously been critical of these controversial foods.

Scientific American Blog Network
Allergy-Free Peanuts? Not So Fast

My husband and I discovered our daughter's peanut allergy while we were 35,000 feet in the air over Denver. Even though we knew she was allergic to eggs, our allergist had told us there was no reason to avoid any other foods, and so the week before I'd given her a bit of peanut butter and chalked up the slight rash she developed to eczema.

Refinery29
The Truth About These Major GMO Myths

When it comes to diet decisions, there are few things more divisive than the issue of genetically modified organisms, a.k.a. GMOs. These crops, which include ubiquitous ingredients in our food supply, such as corn and soy, make news regularly whenever yet another food company decides to take a stand against them: Chipotle, Del Monte, and Hershey Foods are among the biggest names that have bowed to consumer pressure to offer non-GMO products.

Slate Magazine
08/03/2016
Could We Label GMOs With Pride Instead of Contempt?

It's hard to imagine a food more polarizing than Soylent, the meal replacement drink created by a 23-year-old engineer who was tired of ramen and dirty dishes. Depending on whom you ask, this "food of the future" is either "sperm-esque" fuel for tech bros or the solution to global hunger.

Parents
04/05/2017
Why I Don't Worry About Feeding My Family Organic Food

I used to think organic food was best for my kids, but here's why I changed my mind. I grew up the kid of California health-nut parents, especially my dad who could never figure out why two caring hippies like Ben and Jerry could feed people so much butterfat.

New York Post
05/02/2017
The everyday chemicals you actually need to worry about

Demand for products marketed "organic" and "chemical-free" is surging these days, as cautious consumers are worried about chemicals in everything from apples to wrinkle removers. But does "chemical-free" actually mean something is safer? Neuroscientist Alison Bernstein, PhD, says no. "People say 'chemical-free but it's really meaningless since everything, technically speaking, is a chemical."

Slate Magazine
07/12/2016
Patagonia's New Sustainable Food Film Ignores the Company's Anti-Science GMO Policy

Outdoor gear giant Patagonia has a long history of effectively (if bizarrely) pairing environmentalism with commerce-its famous "don't buy this jacket" campaign led into two years of increased annual sales. One of their more recent ventures is a sustainable food line, which it officially launched in the fall of 2013.

Grounded Parents
06/28/2016
Everybody Calm The Fuck Down About Your Sunscreen

I was hoping this summer would be a quiet one for sunscreen. Yes, the Environmental Working Group published its annual sunscreen guide, but I figured the staggering amount of criticism the EWG receives might finally persuade everyone in the media to ignore it. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

Medium
06/29/2016
Eating GMOs, and Loving Every Bite - Serious Eats - Medium

If you pay attention only to the loudest voices sounding off about our agricultural system, you might assume that traditional foodies and fans of food made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are two very separate groups. But I'm a food lover and a GMO advocate, so to me, the lines have never felt so neatly drawn.

Parents
02/08/2017
5 Lessons From a Reformed Sleep Training Fanatic

I remember the moment I became a sleep training fanatic. My son was a year old, and after many failed attempts at straight "CIO," or cry it out, we'd finally found sleep training success with the Ferber method-a controlled crying method where, starting between 3 to 5 months, you teach your baby to soothe himself to sleep (checking in at regular intervals).

Ravishly
02/21/2017
Finding Refuge In Judaism As A Feminist Atheist

My childhood synagogue in Santa Cruz, California was the quintessential lefty feminist Jewish experience: our Cantor was a woman who played the guitar, we observed the feminist-revived ritual of Rosh Chodesh, and girls studied Hebrew just the same as boys. I live in Washington, D.C.

Fitness Reloaded
10/09/2015
8 Reasons Why Breastfeeding is Overhyped.

I met plenty of moms who despite their efforts couldn't breastfeed, wracked with guilt over their "failure" to give their baby the best start in life. Seeing their pain and grief made me wonder -- is all of this pressure worth it? I began to look more closely at the evidence and what I found surprised me.

Ravishly
12/21/2016
My Mom's Doctor Said She Was "Just Stressed Out." She Had Cancer.

My mom was in her late forties when she began to develop headaches and stomachaches so severe she sometimes couldn't get out of bed. For months, her doctor kept telling her it was probably just stress, that she needed to relax and take a vacation.

Washington City Paper
Top of The Hour: ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar

Where: ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar, 300 Florida Ave. NW; (202) 986-3795; anxodc.com Hours: 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays Drink specials: Half-off select cider, wine, beer, and vermouth Food specials: Half-off all pintxos (Basque-style bite-sized snacks) Pros: If you've been wanting to give cider a try, ANXO's happy hour is the place to do it.

Washington City Paper
A Different Kind of Food Delivery Connects Diners with Immigrant Chefs

Noobstaa Phillip Vang missed his mother's cooking. He had just moved to D.C. from Minnesota to attend Georgetown's MBA program, and craved the Northern Vietnamese Hmong food that his mom and aunt used to cook at home. Uber and Airbnb were taking off at the time, and Vang wondered if he could connect people with chefs in a similar way.

Washington City Paper
Urban Agriculture Shifts Tactics Under Trump

Advocates for urban agriculture are nervous these days. President Donald Trump has said little about his agriculture policy plans, his Agriculture Secretary nominee Sonny Perdue is a longtime ally to traditional rural agribusiness interests, and Trump's proposed budget slashes funding for many of the agencies upon which urban residents depend.

Speaking and Media Appearances

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