In honor of Earth Day, I thought it would be a good opportunity to gather together some of our most salient pieces on the environment and the food system. The pieces are grouped into three main sections: agriculture, food waste, and oceans. – MB
Food historian Rachel Laudan unpacks the historical differences between gardening and farming and the important roles they have played in different cultures. The “digging stick” vs the “plough”.
Kevin Folta unpacks the problems with Wild Turkey’s decision to source non-GMO corn. It increases the environmental impact of the popular whiskey, while playing on an ignorant health claim for … whiskey of all things.
Whoever thought that France and organic agriculture would be world leaders for the introduction of GE (genetically engineered) wheat? A stretch? Not as much as it might seem. What follows is the story of how plant breeders engineered a unlikely new crop through a series of sophisticated “conventional” techniques to move a use gene from a wild plant into wheat, despite the fact that the two plants could not be naturally crossbred.
With shifting political winds and poor commodity prices, farmers may now be willing to consider new ways of generating income by adopting environmentally friendly practices, such as planting cover crops, extending crop rotations or eliminating tillage. Many farmers are already using these practices on a small scale. To combat climate change and stabilize incomes, farmers should look to policy to tackle both in tandem.
Neuroscientist Alison Bernstein sorts out some of the issues around acute and chronic toxicity and then compares chronic toxicity of glyphosate and caffeine with our exposures to those to compounds.
Some 705,000 tons of fishing gear are lost or discarded in the ocean every year, and each year this gear captures and kills, among other things, an estimated 136,000 seals, sea lions and whales. A few companies and harbor masters are taking steps to address that.
When Cargill announced on Twitter that they had partnered with the Non GMO Project all hell broke lose in the agvocacy community in a way that seemed out of proportion to the crime. The problem may stem from a breach of trust within a coalition than the real world impacts.
Historically, agriculture has always moved forward through technological innovation. The current moment is no different. Look for remote sensing, genetic engineering and CRISPR, robotics, and drones to continue to push agricultural productivity forward in 2017.
Suzy Friedman, Senior Director of Agricultural Sustainability for the Environmental Defense Fund lays some basic principles for bring farmers and environmentalists into partnership.
Despite contributions made by African Americans, the most recent Census of Agriculture found that of the 2.2 million farms in the United States, 83 percent have white males as principal operators; African Americans constitute only 1.4 percent of principal farm operators
If cash transfers replace in kind contributions in development, will essential services be lost? Can the development community transition to a fee for service model?
Reagan Waskom, Director, Colorado Water Institute and David Cooper, of Colorado State University discuss the ins and outs of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule change and what it means for agriculture.
This is a recipe I use a lot so that I have tasty chunks of tofu to toss in anything from lo mein to kung pao tofu to cold peanut noodles to a bean burrito. It works anywhere that you might use chunks of chicken (except maybe for chicken salad). It’s super easy, so calling it a ‘recipe’ is probably a stretch.
” I farm about 55ha (136 acres) of good ground. I am in a partnership with my mother, Kathleen, and my father, Ned. We have a 10-unit Dairymaster parlour for milking. We have 90 cows milking at the moment. They are a mix of Norwegian Red, Jerseys, Montbéliarde X and pedigree Holsteins. “
Kevin Folta explains how a report on pesticides from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food inadvertently makes the case for modernizing agriculture in the developing world.
Environmental Defense Fund’s David Festa lays out why a steady, consistent approach to environmental regulation is better for the economy and an expression of democratic values.
Stuart Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Plant Biochemistry at the University of Westminster lays four key challenges to global food security: drought, emerging diseases, salty soils, and fertilizer dependence.
Stuart Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Plant Biochemistry at the University of Westminster lays out three areas; disease resistance, improved photosynthesis, and improved nutrition; where breakthroughs in biotech crop breeding could go a long way to improving the impact of agriculture.
The dysfunction of Uganda seed markets and aid efforts gives a number of lessons on ways that markets, regulation, and aid efforts fall into familiar traps over and over. They also point the way past those traps.