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 […]
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) […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Antibiotics in Your Food: What’s Causing the Rise in Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Our Food Supply
Last fall I flew halfway across the country to go grocery shopping with Everly Macario. We set out from her second-story apartment in Hyde Park near the University of Chicago and walked to the supermarket to buy a couple of rib steaks that Macario planned to serve to her husband and two children, ages 7 and 13. Macario, […]
In the ice-cold cargo hold of a pirate tuna vessel in the Pacific, I have somehow lost my shoe. Frozen tuna fins slice my unshod foot as I fumble around on all fours, reaching into the gigantic, frigid pile. I had boarded the pirate ship Heng Xing 1 with the crew of a Greenpeace vessel, theEsperanza, which […]
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