Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "food" ...

  • The Meat Racket

    "The Meat Racket" talks about the food industry in America and how it might be affecting our lives and farmers.
  • Growing Influence

    The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill was a two-year process that pitted farm subsidies against food stamps. The 2008 Farm Bill expired in 2012 and was set to be updated but easy passage was thwarted as Congress focused on the $17 billion in federal crop insurance payments issued to farmers that year due to a massive drought; meanwhile, lawmakers also focused on food stamp fraud. Growing Influence highlighted the bill’s impact on taxpayers by uncovering at least 600 companies that helped influence the trillion-dollar 2014 Farm Bill and the murky spending behind it between 2012 and the first quarter of 2014.
  • Michigan prison food privatization gone wrong

    Free Press Lansing bureau chief Paul Egan produced a series of exclusive reports on Michigan’s attempt to privatize prison food service and kept the heat up throughout 2014. His headlines included such stomach-turners as maggots found on meal lines, sex between Aramark employees and inmates, inmates served rotten meat, marijuana smuggling by an Aramark employee, growing inmate unrest -- even an Aramark worker who was suspected of trying to hire an inmate to kill another inmate. The stories prompted widespread revulsion and criticism of the contractor from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder – along with calls from Michigan lawmakers to cancel the three-year, $145 million Aramark contract.
  • Meat re-packing in grocery store

    Radio-Canada's investigation brought to light an illegal practice that had been going on for years and that the agrifood industry was determined to keep under wraps: the systematic altering of packaging dates on meat sold in grocery stores to make consumers believe it was fresher than it actually was. Each morning, store butchers were taking packaged meats from the shelves and relabeling them with a later packaging date.
  • War and Hunger

    Scott Pelley reports from the borders of Jordan, where the United Nations, led by its World Food Programme, has undertaken the huge task of feeding and caring for millions of refugees from Syria's civil war.
  • Buck Fever: Trophy deer, national risk

    An 18-month investigation into the little known captive-deer industry. The investigation revealed that the $1 billion industry contributes to the spread of wildlife diseases, undermines the government’s multibillion-dollar efforts to protect the food supply, costs taxpayers millions and potentially compromises public health.
  • Inmates making insiders wealthy

    Privately owned and operated work-release programs are a new fad in corrections. Work-release programs tend to reduce recidivism rates and inmates are able to save some money while in prison so they don’t re-enter the real world penniless. Privately run programs, according to proponents, are superior to those run by public entities, because private operators take a percentage of inmate wages and are thus incentivized to find the best possible jobs for inmates. However, as The Advocate’s stories have shown, the private companies that get this work tend to be politically connected, and they don’t have any real incentive to provide quality housing or food or to prevent escapes. They chronicled problems with escapes, drug use and even death at one outfit run by friends of the sheriff of St. Tammany Parish, a New Orleans suburb. That facility was shut down after our reporting (which the sheriff called “reckless”). As another direct result of their investigation, the state secretary of the Department of Corrections announced that in the future, work-release programs would only get contracts after undergoing a competitive process.
  • Strings Attached

    One of Tampa’s largest homeless charities, New Beginnings of Tampa, for years made money off its destitute residents through a legally questionable “work therapy” program. Homeless people -- including the mentally ill and addicted -- were required to work unpaid concessions shifts at professional sporting events and concerts, and in construction, telemarketing, and a bevy of other industries in exchange for shelter. While claiming to provide counseling to the homeless sent to the charity by local law enforcement, hospitals, and the courts, the charity employed no one clinically trained to counsel the mentally ill or addicted, and required residents to sign over food stamps, Social Security checks, and any other income. Many former residents said they worked there for months -- and should have earned more than they owed in rent -- but were never paid.
  • Deadly Medicine

    The Wall Street Journal’s alarming revelations about a once common medical procedure had the powerful and lasting impact of saving lives. After nearly a year of Journal reporting, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration imposed strict limits on the device involved in the procedure. Doctors and hospitals curbed or abandoned the practice. Johnson & Johnson, the top manufacturer, pulled the device off the market. And women undergoing surgery were now armed with information that, for many, could determine life or death.
  • Inside Sysco: Where Your Food is Really Coming From

    Sysco Corporation is the world’s largest food distributor. It’s a $43 billion dollar publicly traded corporation that supplies restaurants, hotels, hospitals, schools, and many other food facilities with everything from raw meat and dairy to fruits and vegetables. The company’s motto is “Good Things Come from Sysco.” But this yearlong investigation exposed the company’s widespread practice of storing fresh food in dirty, unrefrigerated, outdoor storage lockers for hours, before it was delivered to unsuspecting customers across Northern California. Employees across the U.S. and Canada later revealed that these sheds were part of the company’s food distribution practices for over a decade. The investigation uncovered a widespread network of sheds in places including Washington, Utah, Illinois, Tennessee, New York, Maryland and the District of Columbia stateside, in addition to Ontario and British Columbia in Canada.