Battling Drought on a California Farm

On a warm March afternoon, farmer Cannon Michael walks alongside wheat fields adjacent to his house in Los Banos, in California’s Central Valley. Most of these fields won’t be watered again this year. “Wheat’s not a glamorous crop, but it makes a lot of bread,” Michael quips. This wheat, though, won’t return much money, Michael… » Read More

The Fisherman’s Dilemma

Off the coast of California, a radical experiment has closed hundreds of miles of ocean to fishing. Will it lead to better catches for years to come?

  • 700K Monthly Readership
  • California Sunday Magazine

Photographs by Corey Arnold. “So, a little orientation,” my scuba guide told me on the beach at Monterey Bay.“First thing, don’t mess with the sea otters. “I don’t want to mess with the sea otters.” “Exactly,” said the guide, “because the sea otter is basically a 60-pound weasel. Mess with the sea otter and the… » Read More

Climate Change Poses Serious Threats to Food Distribution

The risks of a highly centralized food system

By now there has been a steady stream of news about climate change’s impacts on food production. Heat waves, drought, and wildfire are damaging harvests in California, Australia and Brazil. Warming and acidifying oceans threaten seafood stocks. Rising temperatures are causing declines in crops as different as wheat and cherries, while extreme precipitation and floods… » Read More

The Lethal Legacy of the Vietnam War

Fifty years after the first US troops came ashore at Da Nang, the Vietnamese are still coping with unexploded bombs and Agent Orange.

  • 1.3 Million Monthly Readership
  • The Nation

On a mild, sunny morning last November, Chuck Searcy and I drove out along a spur of the old Ho Chi Minh Trail to the former Marine base at Khe Sanh, which sits in a bowl of green mountains and coffee plantations in Vietnam’s Quang Tri province, hard on the border with Laos. The seventy-seven-day… » Read More

Unraveling The Gluten-Free Trend

The gluten-free trend is growing, but is it all just hype?

  • 4.1 Million Monthly Readership
  • Eating Well

A few years ago, when I began writing a book about grains and bread, the first question I usually got when I mentioned the project was: “Why are so many people having problems with wheat?” In many ways the question encapsulated the current anxiety around bread and wheat, which has gyrated from a source of sustenance for… » Read More