Paula Crossfield

Paula Crossfield is the managing editor of Civil Eats. She is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and is a contributing producer at The Leonard Lopate Show on New York Public Radio where she focuses on food issues. You can follow her on Twitter for the latest food policy news. She tends a vegetable garden on her rooftop in New York City.


Why laying off ag reporter Philip Brasher is bad for food

Reporter Philip Brasher was recently let go by the Des Moines Register. Here's why you should be concerned about the future of food in this country.

Growing bolder

The (not so) New Agtivist: Joan Gussow, mother of the sustainable food movement

For more than 30 years, Joan Gussow has been writing, teaching, and speaking about our unsustainable food system and how to fix it. Here she tells how growing her own food and reducing her consumption have given her freedom from despair in the face of climate change and other calamities.

Tower of strength

New Agtivist: Jenga Mwendo grows community in New Orleans

In 2007, searching for a way to rebuild her hurricane-devastated neighborhood in New Orleans, Jenga Mwendo reached for seeds and a shovel and became an urban-agriculture community organizer.

For sale: Ivory tower, needs new foundation

The 'Troubled Waters' of Big Ag’s academic influence

Under pressure from Big Ag, the University of Minnesota postponed the release of a film about agriculture's effect on U.S. waterways. The story of Troubled Waters has developed into a critical debate on academic freedom and the role a university’s donors should play in its research priorities.

Aerie faerie

New Agtivist: Urban farmer Annie Novak aims sky high

From her rooftop perch at Eagle Street Farm, urban farmer Annie Novak is on a mission to inspire New Yorkers to grow, cook, and eat good food. She shares what motivates her and what advice she offers for potential farmers in Grist's "Feeding the City" series.

Pen and stink

‘CAFO Reader’ editor Daniel Imhoff on the ills of factory ‘farms’

The CAFO Reader — a new book featuring essays by farmers Wendell Berry, Becky Weed, and Fred Kirschenmann, Republican speech writer Matthew Scully, journalist Michael Pollan, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., among many others — gives a full picture of the environmental, social, and ethical implications of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO), and includes a section of essays on “Putting the CAFO Out to Pasture.” A CAFO is an Environmental Protection Agency designation for a farming facility that keeps numerous animals raised for food in close confinement, with the potential to pollute. These facilities often produce extreme amounts of waste, …

Vilsack in Copenhagen

Getting at the roots of unsustainable U.S. ag policy

Cross-posted from Civil Eats. Around one third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the way we produce, process, distribute, and consume the food we eat according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Meanwhile, farmers the world over will be the most affected by climate change, as higher carbon in the atmosphere and higher temperatures increase erratic weather patterns, pests, and disease occurrence, while decreasing water availability, disrupting relationships with pollinators and lowering yield and the efficacy of herbicides like glyphosate (aka Round-Up) — all detailed in a revealing new report from the USDA called The Effects of …

A new direction on research at the USDA?

Last week, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack gave a speech on the role of research at the USDA at the launch of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the research arm of that agency formerly referred to as the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES). Vilsack had this to say in his kick-off speech: The opportunity to truly transform a field of science happens at best once a generation. Right now, I am convinced, is USDA’s opportunity to work with the Congress, the other science agencies, and with our partners in industry, academia, and the nonprofit …

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