India is awash in palm oil, and health takes a hit

Dr. Anoop Misra drew back the flimsy curtain in his office, and the patient stepped down from the exam table, gently tugging the bottom of his shirt so as to obscure a considerable midsection. “I’m not here to give you sweet words,” said the soft-spoken endocrinologist, who, in addition to seeing patients six days a… » Read More

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Can farming save Puerto Rico’s future?

Our climate is changing, and our approaches to activism and politics have to change with it. That’s why FERN, in partnership with The Nation,  is launching Taking Heat, a series of dispatches from the front lines of the climate justice movement by journalist Audrea Lim. Lim will explore the ways the communities that stand to lose the… » Read More

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African Americans have lost untold acres of farmland over the last century

Driving the long, flat roads of Hilton Head island is hypnotic. One bike-rental shop blends into another; countless villa-style office complexes advertise real-estate agents and banks. Tourists meander to their cars wearing all white, carrying brightly colored smoothies. Rows of palm trees wave slowly over the crawling traffic. A waterfront hotel looms on the horizon.… » Read More

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Slow food nation

Carlos Monteiro got his start in medicine in the 1970s as a pediatrician working in poor villages and slums in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. His patients were hungry, and it was written on their bodies: Many were anemic, underweight, and stunted. Today, Monteiro is a professor of nutrition at the University of São Paulo’s… » Read More

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A new study suggests that even the toughest pesticide regulations aren’t nearly tough enough

California officials have long touted their pesticide regulations as the toughest in the nation. But a new report from the University of California, Los Angeles, reveals a major flaw in the state’s approach to evaluating safety, one that has broad implications for the way pesticides are regulated nationally: Regulators assess pesticide safety one product at… » Read More

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Fields of Toxic Pesticides Surround the Schools of Ventura County

When Dayane Zuñiga started running for Oxnard High School’s track team a few years ago, she often noticed an odd odor coming from the strawberry fields on her route. A farming community between the beach towns of Santa Barbara and Malibu, California, Oxnard is among the largest strawberry-growing regions in the nation. At first, Zuñiga… » Read More

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The Lethal Legacy of the Vietnam War

On a mild, sunny morning last November, Chuck Searcy and I drove out along a spur of the old Ho Chi Minh Trail to the former Marine base at Khe Sanh, which sits in a bowl of green mountains and coffee plantations in Vietnam’s Quang Tri province, hard on the border with Laos. The seventy-seven-day… » Read More

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Warning Signs: How Pesticides Harm the Young Brain

Danger Sign

Driving along highway 101 through California’s Salinas Valley, it’s hard to miss the fact that you are traveling through one of the most bountiful farm belts in the country. No matter the time of year, it seems, green fields unfurl toward the mountains that flank the valley, and crews of workers are stooped in the… » Read More

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