Dawn of the slow chicken?

Shrink-wrapped on Styrofoam trays, fried and tucked into a biscuit or made into sausages and cold cuts, almost all chicken has the same origin: It comes from Cornish Cross chickens—white-feathered, chubby-breasted, docile birds that weigh 5 pounds in as little as 5 weeks. It’s a super-fast growth rate—and it isn’t an accident. Americans eat more… » Read More

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SPOTLIGHT 2019: Stories to watch in food and agriculture

The big decisions on ag will come from the courts Last year, North Carolina residents won case after case against Smithfield food subsidiary Murphy-Brown for its mismanagement of hog waste. Two state ag-gag laws — which sharply restrict reporting and photographing of farms — were overturned through First Amendment lawsuits by coalitions of environmental, animal… » Read More

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How Oakland became a leader in cutting school food waste

The red plum’s presence confounds the third grader. She didn’t want the fruit in the first place, yet there it is. She doesn’t want to eat it, but she knows that tossing it into the garbage at Oakland’s Hoover Elementary School is wrong. Standing before containers for trash, recyclables, compostables, and unopened entrees, milk cartons,… » Read More

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The air they breathe

Rosemary Partridge has lived in Sac County, Iowa, for 40 years. She has watched the state’s agricultural landscape change, with large-scale hog farms taking over nearly all the land surrounding her home. The stink of the neighboring farms is “unbearable,” making her nauseous whenever she is outside. She and her husband, once cattle and crop… » Read More

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    Mother Jones

Is the egg toast?

Years from now, when the human race no longer sources its binding and emulsifying proteins from Gallus gallus domesticus, it may look back on November 6, 2018, as the day the egg cracked. That was the day California voters drove a stake through the heart of the caged-hen industry by easily passing Proposition 12, which… » Read More

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An invasive, elusive 20-pound rodent threatens California agriculture

Wearing chest-high waders, biologist Sean McCain tries to tiptoe to the edge of a marsh in California’s Central Valley. A biologist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, McCain squints as he searches the shoreline. “I don’t think they know we’re here yet,” he whispers. Then, excitedly, he points. “Is that one right there? I… » Read More

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Sea cucumbers are being eaten to death

Two Moroccan divers stood on the rocks an hour before sunrise facing the gray Atlantic. Their wet suits were torn and patched, their flippers held together with tape. Unable to afford proper diving belts, the men wore thick bands of rubber strung with lead weights. Each carried a large black inner tube for floating out… » Read More

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    National Geographic

‘Every Day You Become More Desperate’

José Ramón Campos López, a 40-year-old farmer from San Carlos Lempa, El Salvador, stares out at his two acres of land. It’s August, harvest time. The field should be full of tall, vibrant corn stalks. Instead, it’s full of weeds, but for a small patch of corn on the edge of the plot that managed… » Read More

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    The Weather Channel