A grassroots push to save vanishing birds and bees forces change on Germany’s farms

When Norbert Schäffer was a child growing up in Bavaria, gray partridges picked through his parents’ garden, wetlands teemed with newts and toads, and birds like skylarks and lapwings were common over the fields. But when Schäffer moved back to the area in 2014 after nearly two decades of conservation work in Britain, those touchstones… » Read More

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In the jungles of Borneo a novel approach to end deforestation — and the spread of disease

In the early 1990s, Kinari Webb took a year off college to join a Harvard researcher studying orangutans in Indonesia’s rainforested Gunung Palung National Park. As the aspiring primatologist dissected dung samples to determine the animals’ feeding habits, the buzz of chainsaws and the thwuuuump of falling dipterocarp trees—some of the tallest species in the… » Read More

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How did Europe avoid the Covid-19 catastrophe ravaging U.S. meatpacking plants?

BERGERAC, France — In late April, around the time that President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring U.S. meatpacking plants to be “critical infrastructure” in an effort to keep them open after they emerged as coronavirus hotspots, Germany’s slaughterhouses reported their first cases of the virus. In the ensuing weeks, as the number of… » Read More

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Feeding refugees on the U.S.-Mexico border was always a challenge. Now there’s Covid-19. 

Since 2019, a crisis has been unfolding directly across the U.S.-Mexico border from Brownsville, Texas. About 2,000 refugees, largely from Central America, have been stranded in a riverside encampment, wholly dependent on humanitarian groups for food and other basic needs. Feeding them before Covid-19 was a daunting task for the aid groups. The pandemic has… » Read More

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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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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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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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