Who should profit from Mexico’s nitrogen-fixing corn?

In a 1979 visit to Totontepec, a small town in Oaxaca, Mexico, naturalist Thomas Boone Hallberg marveled at the local maize. The plants grew nearly 20 feet high in nutrient-poor soil, even though local farmers did not apply any fertilizer. The maize had aerial roots that grew a mucous-like gel just before harvest season. It… » Read More

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One man is trying to save the world from climate change by mobilizing an unlikely team: Iowa’s farmers

In early March, just a week before the Midwest was inundated by catastrophic flooding, a dozen farmers gathered at the First Presbyterian Church in Grinnell, Iowa, for an event billed as a conversation about “Faith, Farmers, and Climate Action.” “How is God calling you to use your farm to improve the world?” asked the evening’s… » Read More

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An unhealthy alliance between almonds and honeybees

In January, with the almond bloom in California’s orchards a month away, beekeepers across the country were fretting over their hives. A lot of their bees were dead, or sick. Beekeepers reported losing as much as half their hives over the winter.  Jack Brumley, a California beekeeper, said he’d heard of people losing 80 percent… » Read More

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Organic farming has a plastic problem. One solution is controversial.

Drew and Joan Norman have been producing organic vegetables on 60 acres just north of Baltimore since 1983. On a recent spring day, signs of another new season at One Straw Farm were everywhere: seedlings in the greenhouse waiting to be transplanted, asparagus ready to be picked, tiny leaves of red- and green-leaf lettuce sprouting out… » Read More

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Fifty years later, a daunting cleanup of Vietnam’s toxic legacy

In the thriving industrial city of Bien Hoa, about 20 miles east of Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, there is a large air base, just beyond a sweeping bend in the Dong Nai River. During the American war in Vietnam, it was said to be the busiest airport in the world. Since the… » Read More

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The Loophole: How American forests fuel the EU’s appetite for ‘green’ energy

The smoke billows like cream in coffee off Lebanon Church road, above the pine stands and winter fallow, a sharp palette of blue and green and white. Heavy with trees and scraps from the surrounding forests of Northampton County, the trucks come and go all day long, downshifting here just before the Methodist  church and… » Read More

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As oceans heat up, the types of seafood we eat will change

There is no better place to ogle California seafood, in all its bizarre bounty, than the Santa Barbara harbor on a Saturday morning. Vendors line City Pier alongside bobbing boats with names like New Hazard and Fishin’ Mission, their booths thronged by customers speaking a half-dozen languages. The wares at this fishermen’s market are as… » Read More

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    EatingWell

Toronto restaurant fights food waste by chopping menu prices till all the dishes are gone

It’s 3:51 p.m., and Chef Ashley MacNeil is busy planning how to run out of food. Sunday brunch service has ended at Toronto’s Farmhouse Tavern, and she has already cubed and deep-fried the morning’s excess biscuits into croutons to adorn tonight’s house salad. Now she’s fretting over an excess of shaved Brussels sprouts, which aren’t… » Read More

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The herbicide dicamba is sparking a civil war in farm country

In November 2018, FERN, in partnership with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, published Liza Gross’s story of how the Environmental Protection Agency ignored decades of independent science in deciding to approve new and expanded uses of the weedkiller dicamba on soybeans. Now we have the next installment of our dicamba story, a radio… » Read More

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