Organic farmers in California face unique issues in this devastating drought, leading some to bow out … or sell cows for hamburger meat San Joaquin Valley organic dairy farmer Tony Azevedo’s business has dried up—literally. Because of the record-breaking California drought, he has nothing to feed his cows except what he has stored, and he […]
Known for being one of the world’s most ecologically responsible countries, Costa Rica still faces problems with a banned fishing practice–shark finning. This is the topic of our latest report by reporter Shannon Service for PRI's The World. Listen to the full report here.
Some farmers around the nation are starting to turn away from genetically modified seeds as their productivity flags. As our latest report by Elizabeth Royte reveals, they are planting conventionally bred seeds instead, feeding a small, but growing market for these crops. Read the full report here.
Cocos Island, an "underwater Serengeti" off Costa Rica, lures adventurous divers--and ruthless shark poachers. Maria Finn reports from the shark-finning capital of Central America. Read our full report for the San Francisco Chronicle.
If you want to learn how to smuggle shark fins into Costa Rica, ask Captain Jose Calderon in the Pacific port of Puntarenas. “When the inspector came to check the freezers,” Calderon says with a chuckle, “they’d never check the engine room. So we’d hide all the fins in the engine room.” Shark finning — […]
One mainstream farmer is returning to conventional seed — and he’s not alone As an invulnerable tween, Chris Huegerich, the child of a prosperous farming family, wiped out on his motorcycle in tiny Breda, Iowa. Forty years on, folks still call Huegerich “Crash.” And though he eventually went down a conventional path (married, divorced) and […]
Cocos Island lures adventurous divers and ruthless shark poachers
The scent of diesel, rusting anchors and fish slurry hung in the humid air of the harbor. I was in Puntarenas on the western shore of Costa Rica, waiting to leave on a scuba-diving trip to Cocos Island – often called an “underwater Serengeti” because of the many species found there, especially the schools of […]
After 85 years, antibiotics are growing impotent. So what will medicine, agriculture and everyday life look like if we lose these drugs entirely? A few years ago, I started looking online to fill in chapters of my family history that no one had ever spoken of. I registered on Ancestry.com, plugged in the little I knew, […]
Research shows the much-maligned aid to the poor buys broad economic and public health gains. In September, just two days after a Census Bureau report showed that food stamps helped keep 4 million Americans out of poverty last year, the US House of Representatives approved a $39 billion cut to the program (known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) […]
An agricultural economist has proven just how much more fruits and vegetables can help make America healthier
We’ve all pretty much accepted the advice that eating more fruit and vegetables will make us healthier. But few of us have succeeded at piling half our plates with plant matter at every meal, as recommended. Well, here’s some news that might give you the incentive you need to make that change: Agricultural economist Jeffrey […]
Many lawmakers think food stamps should be used only for healthy choices. Anti-hunger groups disagree. Here’s why.
Last winter a delegation of high-profile nutritionists made the rounds of D.C. lawmakers to discuss ways to improve the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, aka food stamps. One of their proposals: Could SNAP explore limiting the types of food that recipients can buy with their federal benefits? A state or city might ban chips or cookies, […]
The proposed $4.7 billion sale of Smithfield Foods, America’s largest pork producer, to China’s biggest meat processing company comes amid significant trade friction between the two countries over meat and livestock. China bans ractopamine, a controversial growth-promoting drug that is widely used by U.S. livestock producers. Russia also bans the feed additive and both countries […]
Everyone agrees that the only way to fix the Gulf of Mexico dead zone —the largest off the United States— is to fix the Mississippi, but not everyone agrees how.
To get an idea of how American coastal waters might look just before they succumb to all the degradations they have suffered these past five centuries, it would be worth taking a July trip to Mobile Bay, an Alabama inlet that feeds into the Gulf of Mexico. If the air is still and hot, an […]
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