Food historian Rachel Laudan looks at the cultural appropriation of food through a historical lens, providing crucial context for a thorny set of issues.
Kevin Folta of the University of Florida explains why molecular biologists and plant breeders must play a role in Climate Smart Agriculture.
Breeding nitrogen-efficient plants could boost crop productivity and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions while reducing fertilizer use.
Food Evolution film makers Scott Hamilton Kennedy and Trace Sheehan sit down with the Food and Farm Discussion Lab community for a free wheeling chat about making the film, the state of the GMO debate, and doing science communication well.
Reporting on two new papers on neocotinoids and bee health single out the pesticides, but a closer look at the data doesn’t support that angle.
Once seen as too remote to harm, the deep sea is facing new pressures from mining, pollution, overfishing and more.
The water that made the San Joaquin Valley an agricultural powerhouse also spelled its doom. Because most water contains salt, irrigating adds salt to soil over time.
What happens when you combine the principles of ecomodernism with the tools of scientific skepticism? Agromodernism: A pragmatic path to sustainable food production.
Despite the fact that the protein gap theory has been thoroughly debunked, the focus on protein deficiency still persists in many minds.
Lets’ start this by saying I deplore the use of fear-based imagery in marketing and education. That’s represented in the aforementioned post. But I have also recently called out ‘agvocate’ voices for using hyperbole or bad reasoning in their arguments. When we take sides first and ask questions later, we risk falling on sloppy arguments ourselves. Painting any issue as black or white is a dangerous proposition.
Debunking too often tends to be a team sport and just because it’s inevitable, doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. In food and farm issues, only biotech drives more debunking than the Organic vs Conventional debate. When you are responding to misinformation the “other” side has already defined the terms of the debate and it’s hard to bust out of those frames. Often that means the big picture gets lost.
Recent reporting on organic dairy production in the Washington Post underscores a preoccupation with the aesthetic appeal of organics and little interest in the environmental impacts.
Terence Bradshaw, Director of the UVM Horticulture Research and Education Center tries to bring some sanity and context to the use of protective gear when applying pesticides in both organic and conventional systems.
The Farmer Fair Practice Rules consist of one interim final rule and two proposed rules. The interim final rule deals with competitive injury disputes for contract growers. Currently, contract poultry growers must prove harm for the entire $48 billion chicken industry rather than harm to themselves when seeking relief from poultry companies for abusive contract practices. This outrageous interpretation of the Packers and Stockyards Act not only places undue burden on individual growers – it also allows the meatpacking industries to continue abusive practices largely free of consequences. The interim final rule eliminates that burden, thereby taking some power from the multinational meatpackers and placing it with the individual farmers.
National Farmer’s Union president Roger Johnson on why Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement will be bad for farmers.
NutrientStar, which assesses fertilizer management products and tools using field trials and in-depth scientific reviews, was a game changer for farmers. Prior to the launch of the program last year, there was no expert review program to help farmers determine what tools would work as advertised.
The only downside of the program was its limited utility. Farmers had no easy way to extrapolate results from the relatively few number of field trials performed thus far to their own locations. Now, a new geospatial feature called the Technology Extrapolation Domain (TED) framework will make NutrientStar accessible to tens of thousands of additional farmers across the Corn Belt.
I like to think of it as NutrientStar on steroids.
Kevin Folta explains why it’s important to use the scientifically accurate term “genetically engineered” to refer to biotech crops and animals rather than the sloppy and baggage laden “GMO”.
In Peru, as yellow rust disease has devastated top quality coffee harvests, coca for cocaine is filling for farmers who need to bolster sagging incomes.