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Tag: Agriculture


Science Finds New Routes to Energy

Scientists in the U.S. have found new ways to make biofuel, increase crop yields and exploit carbon dioxide through novel applications of familiar materials.

Posted on Apr 17, 2014 READ MORE


Voluntary GMO Labeling

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Posted on Apr 8, 2014 READ MORE



California Goes Nuts for Water

Farmers in California are being badly affected by the record drought now ravaging the state, and the lucrative nut industry is in serious trouble.

Posted on Mar 28, 2014 READ MORE


World in the Grip of Big Agri-Food

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Posted on Mar 25, 2014 READ MORE


An Apple a Day

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Posted on Mar 24, 2014 READ MORE



Radical U.N. Report Promotes Democratic Control of Food and an End to Corporate Domination

A new report submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council on the “Right to Food” took aim at the entire basis on which food is produced and distributed on a global scale.

Posted on Mar 20, 2014 READ MORE



Private Equity Eyeing Half of U.S. Farmland

“An estimated 400 million acres of farmland in the United States will likely change hands over the coming two decades as older farmers retire,” with the financial industry seeing an opportunity to profit from rising food prices and biofuels, the Inter Press Service reports.

Posted on Feb 23, 2014 READ MORE



Climate Change Is Destroying California, Obama Promises to Help

Look at a satellite photo of the continental United States these past couple of months and you’ll quickly notice that the country has an identity crisis.

Posted on Feb 14, 2014 READ MORE


Agribiz

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Posted on Feb 6, 2014 READ MORE



Congress Converges on $800 Million Cuts to Annual Food Stamp Funding

Warring factions in the House and Senate have reached an agreement about how much money to funnel into the federal food stamp program, and the news isn’t good for Americans relying on government assistance to stay fed.

Posted on Jan 28, 2014 READ MORE



Moyan_Brenn (CC BY 2.0)

Cheap Chicken Is Making You Sick

Chicken is a staple food in most American homes and is by far the most popular meat purchased in the country. And yet, when nearly 50 million people fall ill each year due to tainted food, poultry tends to be the main culprit.

Posted on Dec 19, 2013 READ MORE



helmuthess (CC BY 2.0)

Climate Change to Cut Global Food Production, Increase Water Demand

Scientists and other experts are now taking an even dimmer view of the effects of global warming, and believe it will decrease worldwide food production even as demand from an expanding population increases. At the same time, climate change will increase the competition for potable water. And some changes are already occurring.

Posted on Nov 3, 2013 READ MORE



samantha celera (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Say Goodbye to Your Antibiotics

We’ve reached the limits of medicine’s effectiveness. Thanks to overmedication and the abuse of antibiotics in the agriculture industry, there are infections that can no longer be treated with antibiotics. And there’s nothing left to do except maybe hope for the best.

Posted on Oct 26, 2013 READ MORE


Big Agribusiness Land Grab

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Posted on Oct 22, 2013 READ MORE



Patrick Hoesly (CC BY 2.0)

CDC Sounds the Alarm on How Medicine and Agriculture Are Killing Us

Drug-resistant bacteria are causing the deaths of at least 23,000 Americans a year, a problem exacerbated by injudicious use of antibiotics in treatment of patients—and their pervasive use in agriculture.

Posted on Sep 19, 2013 READ MORE


Monsanto

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Posted on Aug 7, 2013 READ MORE



Say Hello to the ‘Super Rich’

The 0.001% of the world comprise a class all of their own, spanning several nations and holding 40% of global wealth; some activists are turning away from industrial agriculture and back to the Native Americans’ approach to harvesting; meanwhile, in an age flooded with tweets, videos and blogs, how are readers expected to wade through the news? These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Jun 17, 2013 READ MORE



CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Amazon ‘May Lose 65% of Land Biomass by 2060’

Making more land in the Amazon available for farming and ranching means felling more trees to make space, and that risks less production, because of deforestation’s effect on the climate.

Posted on May 10, 2013 READ MORE



Dirty Bunny (CC-BY)

Livestock Antibiotics and FDA Inaction: A Look Back

We learned back in the mid-1970s that livestock antibiotics increase the presence of drug-resistant bacteria in farmworkers. Since then, meat and poultry production has nearly tripled while business, government and public advocates have battled over industry regulation. ProPublica charts that battle’s history.

Posted on Apr 5, 2012 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / PiccoloNamek (CC-BY-SA)

Scientists Find Potential Clue to Bee Mystery

It might seem somewhat obvious, but scientists looking for reasons why bumblebees have been dying in waves in recent years are pointing to pesticides as a possible cause, as the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Posted on Mar 30, 2012 READ MORE



Would You Like Sugar and Fat With That?

Tracie McMillan, author of “The American Way of Eating,” goes undercover in grocery stores, restaurants and the country’s agricultural fields to find out why it’s so hard for us to eat healthy food.

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 READ MORE



Flickr / theunabonger (CC-BY-SA)

U.S. Gov’t May Blend FDA, USDA

Here’s a fun story involving the USDA, the FDA, the GAO—i.e., the United States Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the Government Accountability Office—with the Office of Management and Budget thrown in for good measure.

Posted on Jan 19, 2012 READ MORE


Tomatoes of Wrath

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Posted on Sep 29, 2011 READ MORE    



Illustration by Mr. Fish

Tomatoes of Wrath

One of the most important battles in the history of migrant labor is taking place in the fields of Florida and in the produce section of Trader Joe’s and other grocery stores.

Posted on Sep 26, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / ex_magician

Unaddressed Concerns Over a Pesticide

In 2006, more than 50 scientists and doctors—five nobel laureates among them—wrote an urgent letter to the EPA warning of the dangers of the pesticide methyl iodide. In 2007, the agency approved its use. (more)

Posted on Sep 5, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / Possum1500

Criminal Justice: ‘Normalizing’ Exploitation

After Georgia’s new immigration law chased away many of its farm laborers, the state launched a dubious plan to fill the void with probationers, who lack the experience needed to do harvesting work, especially in the current heat wave. (more)

Posted on Jul 25, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / KevinLallier Some rights reserved

Climate Shift Has Cut Global Wheat Crops, Study Finds

A report in the journal Science links temperature changes to a 5.5 percent decline in wheat production worldwide, with drop-offs occurring even in countries where technological efforts have diminished the impact of climate change on crop yields.

Posted on May 8, 2011 READ MORE



Jorge Andrés Paparoni Bruzual (CC-BY-SA)

Soaring Food Prices Drive Millions Into Poverty

Food prices shot up 36 percent in the last year, according to the World Bank, adding 44 million people to the ranks of the impoverished. For people who spend most of their money on food, it’s devastating when the price of maize, to take one example, goes up 74 percent as it did this year. (more)

Posted on Apr 14, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / joost j. bakker (CC-BY)

The Food Bomb

The world will need 70 percent more food in 2050 than it produced in 2000, but the resources available are plummeting.

Posted on Feb 1, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / The Pug Father (CC-BY)

Farm Animals Hog 80 Percent of U.S. Antibiotics

The overuse of antibiotics can lead to drug-resistant superbugs, so it’s cause for concern to the folks at Johns Hopkins’ Center for a Livable Future that the vast majority of bug-killing drugs aren’t even consumed by sick humans.

Posted on Dec 27, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Pier Paolo Cito

Bracing for a New Food Crisis

The U.N. is warning that the world may be on the cusp of a new major food crisis as the result of a wave of recent environmental disasters (heat waves, floods, wildfires) and capitalist disasters (market speculation, inflation) that are pushing up the price of foodstuffs.

Posted on Sep 25, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / tina negus

Food Safety Bill Stalls

If you need yet another example of how Washington just doesn’t quite work, a bill that aims to curb food contamination has stalled despite having broad bipartisan support, plus backing from President Obama and industry and consumer groups, and the fact that the House passed its version of the legislation more than a year ago.

Posted on Sep 18, 2010 READ MORE



fao.org

U.N. Says Global Hunger Is ‘Unacceptably High’

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has released a new report gauging global hunger in 2010, and the FAO surmised that worldwide undernourishment, although slightly improved from 2009, remains “unacceptably high.” This raises the question: Is there ever an “acceptable” level?

Posted on Sep 14, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

White House Apologizes for Firing ‘Injustice’

After it became painfully obvious that the White House had been played by conservatives, press secretary Robert Gibbs apologized to Shirley Sherrod on behalf of the administration. Sherrod was forced to resign because of a video edited by conservative bloggers to distort her remarks on race.

Posted on Jul 21, 2010 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Alabama Republican’s Campaign Ad = Comedy Gold

Equine enthusiast and budding politician Dale Peterson’s unintentionally hilarious campaign ad, in which he and his horse make their case for why he should become Alabama’s next agriculture commissioner, hardly requires any embellishment to be soundly parodied ... (continued)

Posted on May 25, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / mattdente (CC-BY-SA)

Obama’s USDA Leaves Subsidy Payees More Places to Hide

Yasha Levine, who reported for us on tea party diva Michele Bachmann’s hypocritical penchant for federal farm subsidies, tipped us off that the Obama administration and Congress are making it harder to track the millionaires who hit up Uncle Sam for crop cash.

Posted on May 20, 2010 READ MORE


beer
Flickr / Tambako the Jaguar

Primordial Brew: Did Alcohol Inspire the Cultivation of Civilization?

Sure, it behooved our Neolithic ancestors to band together and form proto-civilizations for many reasons, but one main motivation, according to archaeologist Patrick McGovern—who works, and we kid you not, at the University of Pennsylvania Museum’s Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health—was the time-honored pursuit of alcoholic intoxication.

Posted on Jan 21, 2010 READ MORE



cironline.org

Corporate Farmer Calls Upon Sen. Feinstein to Influence Environmental Dispute

Wealthy corporate farmer Stewart Resnick (shown above with wife Lynda) has written check after check to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s campaigns, and when he needed her help, he got quick results.

Posted on Dec 6, 2009 READ MORE



flickr.com / bridgepx

Monsanto Dominance Prompts Antitrust Inquiry

Some 93 percent of soybeans and 80 percent of corn: Those numbers reflect how much of each crop is grown with seeds genetically altered under the patents of agro-giant Monsanto. An antitrust investigation is at hand, as questions about a monopoly status seem not too far off.

Posted on Nov 29, 2009 READ MORE


global hunger
wfp.org

United Nations: 1 Billion Going Hungry Worldwide

Global hunger is a “world emergency” now, if it wasn’t before, with the number of hungry people rising to a record 1 billion, according to the United Nations. Given this scary statistic, it’s not looking good for a goal, set in 2000, to reduce the number of people going hungry worldwide by half by 2015.

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / sarniebill1

We’ll Need 70 Percent More Food

Global population is expected to hit 9.1 billion in the next 40 years, causing demand for food to double. The U.N. says we will need to produce 70 percent more food by 2050 or risk starving hundreds of millions of people.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE


small town flags
Flickr / Sundi_MOZ

‘Rural Brain Drain’ Turns Small Towns Into Ghost Towns

For those die-hard bicoastal types who view much of America’s heartland as flyover territory, the phenomenon of “rural brain drain,” as The Chronicle of Higher Education calls the ongoing migration of younger generations from the country’s small towns, probably doesn’t seem terribly troubling—but the Chronicle makes the case for why this mass exodus may constitute a national crisis.

Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE


Drought
watersecretsblog.com

In Dry Times, India Will Import Food

A dry spell in India’s usual monsoon season has had a dramatic effect on food prices and availability, affecting more than 700 million people in the world’s second most populous country. With its farmers hit hard by the drought, India is forced to begin importing food to make up for the shortages.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 READ MORE


bookcover

Jane Ciabattari on the Delights of the Rural Life

Is the pastoral arcadia of the country life far from derivatives and emissions and the other excreta of our modern cities all that it’s cracked up to be? Two new memoirs give readers who don’t want to stir from their armchairs to take up farming an insider’s look.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Andy Wong

We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction

All efforts to save the planet will be useless if we do not cut population growth. By 2050, the planet will have between 8 billion and 10 billion people, according to a recent U.N. forecast. And yet studies, books and documentaries that deal with various crises fail to discuss the danger of all those billions of hungry people looking for a better life.

Posted on Mar 8, 2009 READ MORE


Smiling Chu
SF Chroncile / Lance Iversen

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

The key word being had: The new secretary of energy, Nobel Prize-winning Steven Chu, is making waves in the policy community with his daunting comments about climate change. Chu warns that the farms of California, the nation’s leading agricultural producer, could vanish by the end of this century if steps to slow global warming are not taken.

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / seiu_international

Cabinet Confirmations: 7 and Counting

Well, Hillary Clinton will have to wait a little longer, but seven others whom President Barack Obama tapped to join his Cabinet had gotten the all-clear from the Senate as of Tuesday afternoon.

Posted on Jan 20, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
nytimes.com

Is This Heaven? No, It’s Team Obama

Doing little to slough the stereotype that Midwestern governors are automatically good at farming, Barack Obama has announced the next nominee to his presidential inner circle: former Iowa governor and presidential candidate Tom Vilsack as agriculture secretary.

Posted on Dec 17, 2008 READ MORE


Hong Kong Protest WTO
flickr.com

Second Wind for WTO Talks?

While supporters of the much troubled Doha Round of the World Trade Organization believe talks may have found their second wind, only the world’s largest economies seem to be breathing. The form of capitalism supported by these countries is resisted by poorer nations, which rightly fear WTO deregulations would disproportionately benefit the wealthy.

Posted on Jul 25, 2008 READ MORE


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