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”.
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.
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.
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
As rents rise and independent businesses in Minneapolis lose their leases to large national chains, a first-of-its-kind co-op found a solution. They created the economic space for a cooperative brewery and brewpub and other co-ops in their neighborhood.
Worker-ownership economics catch on in Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina.
Global trade has made it easier to buy things. But our consumption habits often fuel threats to biodiversity — such as deforestation, overhunting and overfishing — thousands of miles away.
Now, scientists have mapped how major consuming countries drive threats to endangered species elsewhere. Such maps could be useful for finding the most efficient ways to protect critical areas important for biodiversity, the researchers suggest in a new study.
The Obama administration White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) recently released an intriguing report on how the United States can transition to a low-carbon economy by 2050 while continuing economic growth. The report gives a starring role in this job to agricultural lands.
“Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization” outlines a 3-pronged strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent while accelerating job-creating innovation. Calling each strategy “critical,” CEQ first lists the familiar call to transition to renewable and low carbon forms of energy.
The second key strategy, however, is less often discussed: the potential of cropland and grassland soils, as well as forests, to store and sequester hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 annually. The report – informed by decades of scientific research – describes the opportunities to explore in this area.
It’s nearly impossible to argue that switching from the GMO sugar beets that currently make up the bulk of the US sugar supply to sugarcane is in any way a net benefit to the environment. Sugarcane is an environmentally intensive crop. It requires large amounts of water and often threatens local aquifers. It is a tropical crop which requires the deforestation of vital, biodiverse habitat to allow for new production.