Dispatches from the front lines of food and farming

Enjoy some of our best work from over the years and support our independent, non-profit reporting efforts at the same time! We’ve gathered our most compelling stories of the past year into a series of elegant magazines with great writing, gorgeous photography.

The Dirt 2021 – monthly $5 / one-time $50
The Dirt 2017 – 2021 – monthly $15 / one-time $150

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Our Writers

We want to keep investigating, explaining and exploring. But we can’t do it without you. Get up to five editions of The Dirt now and dive deep into the most critical issues facing the food system today.

A Taste of What’s Inside

Photo by Luisa Döerr

“In the Amazon, farming the forest to save the forest” by Brian Barth and Flávia Milhorance for National Geographic tells the story of a group of farmers in remote northwestern Brazil who have set up a co-op that plants native fruit trees on exhausted former ranchland. In the process, the farmers are not only reforesting the area in a way that mimics the natural habitat, but they’re also earning about five times more per acre from their agroforestry plots annually than local ranchers are earning by clearing the forest to graze their cattle.

Photo by Sully Sullivan.

“The battle to control America’s ‘most destructive’ species: feral pigs” by Stephen R. Miller, for National Geographic, details the feral pig problem in the U.S. But most people don’t realize that the current USDA estimate for crop damage from them is, according to our story, about $2.5 billion — every year.

Workers clear weeds from rows of lettuce in Dome Valley, AZ. Photo by Esther Honig.

“Farmworkers face a life-and-death commute to Arizona’s lettuce fields” by Esther Honig for The Nation. Everyday, from November through April, thousands of people wait hours to pass through a congested border crossing on their way to pick produce in Yuma County. If they don’t get across in time, they risk losing their jobs. Fights and stampedes are common and now, Covid-19 has turned a dangerous commute into a potentially deadly one.