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.
The weed management issue in Sherman County has been resolved but it still sheds light on three groups of stakeholders.
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture has had it’s funding cut by the state of Iowa. A big chunk of sustainable agriculture research capacity will be lost.
As I was at the Portland, OR March for Science today, I walked past a woman who had cornered me at a March Against Monsanto rally a few years back. She had very misinformed, conspiratorial views about biotech in agriculture and when she spied my I ♥ GMOs sticker on my shirt today, she gave me a side eye and I could see her trying to decide whether to challenge me again. It was a little jarring, but not at all surprising to bump into someone who I knew rejected the scientific consensus on more than one issue at a March for Science. This essay looks at why that’s the case and how to process that fact and try to put it to some productive use.
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”.
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
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?
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. “
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.
Do you feel like the person on the other end of a conversation about GMOs isn’t playing fair? Recognize three common strategies for moving the goal posts on the subject and keep the conversation on point. You may not change anyone’s mind but you’ll feel a lot more sane.
A key danger of charity food aid is the de-politicisation of hunger. As the charity sector mobilises to meet this need, there is less pressure on the government to address the root causes of food poverty, which are essentially income related.
Jayson Lusk has researched and written extensively on the impact of the Farm Bill and agricultural subsidies. Jayson joined the FAFDL community last fall for a Q&A on ag economics.
In the organic/conventional debate, you’d think that organic production made up a significant portion of sales and production. In spite of the column inches devoted to discussing organic farming, it only accounts for about 5% of grocery sales, despite two decades of rapid growth. But even that masks how little organic production actually accounts for in the overall scheme of things.
A new paper shows that when organic farmers employ the conservation agriculture techniques of diverse rotations and growing in polycultures, we see the gap closes to around 9 percent. However, when conventional farmers also employ the same conservation techniques that boost organic yields, the gap widens to over 20 percent. So, why didn’t the authors promote this finding?