In the midst of the domestic energy boom, livestock on farms near oil-and-gas drilling operations nationwide have been quietly falling sick and dying. While scientists have yet to isolate cause and effect, many suspect chemicals used in drilling and hydrofracking (or “fracking”) operations are poisoning animals through the air, water, or soil. Earlier this year, […]
Quinoa–a resilient and highly nutritious grain–is increasingly popular worldwide and could be a solution to hunger. But the seeds are not free to adapt to other climates. Lisa Hamilton reports from Bolivia for the May issue of Harper's.
California is currently positioned to become the next hub of hydraulic fracturing—also known as “fracking.” Reporter Barry Yeoman explains that the practice’s demand for water and its environmental impact in other states has locals who live atop the 1,750-square-mile, oil-rich Monterey Shale asking questions. You can read the full report here.
In a Brooklyn winery on a sultry July evening, an elegant crowd sips rosé and nibbles trout plucked from the gin-clear streams of upstate New York. The diners are here, with their checkbooks, to support a group called Chefs for the Marcellus, which works to protect the foodshed upon which hundreds of regional farm-to-fork restaurants […]
In March 2010, Michelle Obama stood on a stage in Washington and leveled a challenge at the food industry’s biggest players. “We need you all to step it up,” she told a meeting of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Just a month earlier, she’d launched the Let’s Move campaign, the Obama administration’s flagship anti-obesity program, which […]
One summer day two years ago, Danny and Laura Jenkins’ black Labrador retriever Casey returned from a swim in Ohio’s Grand Lake St. Marys carpeted in thick green slime and reeking. Danny washed the dog off and, at some point, got some of the gunk in his left eye. A few weeks later, Danny […]
In the fields of California, wage theft is how agribusiness is done.
Photographs by David Bacon “As Common as Dirt” has won the 2013 James Beard Award in the Politics/Policy/Environment category. The award is the highest honor for food journalism. One morning earlier this year, in the borderland town of Brawley, California, 75-year-old Ignacio Villalobos perched on a chair in his trailer, removed a plastic bag from […]
(Updates story with state and federal study on hatcheries) After years of going begging, Northern California is awash in salmon. Charter boats are booked up to two weeks in advance, and anglers claim to be bagging their limits before noon. The smell of gurry and the glimmer of scales are back at San Francisco’s Pier […]
For nearly 50 million Americans living in poverty – the highest in more than half a century – getting a meal on the table isn’t easy. One-in-seven now receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (better known as food stamps) but that barely covers the necessities, especially when assistance runs thin at the end of the […]
The American Farm Bureau, with its six million “member families” and carefully cultivated grassroots image, talks a good game. In the pitched battle over US farm policy—with agribusiness giants on one side, and small family farmers, organic and local food advocates, and environmentalists on the other—the Farm Bureau positions itself as the voice of the […]
Adrienne LeBeouf recognized the symptoms when they started. The burning and the urge to head to the bathroom signaled a urinary tract infection, a painful but everyday annoyance that afflicts up to 8 million U.S. women a year. LeBeouf, who is 29 and works as a medical assistant, headed to her doctor, assuming that a […]
Here’s a deal few businesses would refuse: Buy an insurance policy to protect against losses – even falling prices — and the government will foot most of the bill. That’s how crop insurance works. The program doesn’t just help out farmers, however. The federal government also subsidizes the insurance companies that write the policies. If their losses grow too big, taxpayers […]
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