Corn

Farm Bill

Can the 2012 Farm Bill protect the Ogallala Aquifer?

Kansas wheat.Photo: Brian McGuirkMy father farmed in Kansas and envied those lucky farmers in the wetter states to the east of us, who could grow 200-bushel corn and other lucrative crops like soy beans and sugar beets. He had to satisfy himself with wheat, a drought-tolerant crop first brought to the States from a place in Russia much like ours. There, they called such arid places “steppes.” Here, we called them “plains.” To look at the pale-green buffalo grass that covered the High Plains, you would never suspect that an aquifer holding as much water as Lake Huron lay beneath. …

Pepsi spends $3 million a year so laws don’t come between corn syrup and your kids

Ironically-named food hero Marion Nestle just calculated that PepsiCo, which pumps enough high fructose corn syrup into the American public to turn out one Ghostbusters-size Stay Puft marshmallow man every 18 hours (I made that up; you get the idea), spends $3 million a year lobbying Congress. So what is Pepsi doing dumping all that loot on 1-percenters who supposedly represent the American public on Capital Hill? One motivation, according to the Sunlight Foundation, is the company's effort to stop the government's Interagency Working Group from proposing guidelines on food marketing aimed at kids. As Nestle explains (emphasis mine): As …

Critical List: Funding for climate research drops; USDA approves drought-resistant corn

The federal budget crisis is turning climate denialism into a vicious cycle: Skepticism contributes to lower funding, which means less research, which means less information, which means more skepticism. The USDA approved a drought-resistant corn, developed by Monsanto. Congress is cutting a federal program that helps low-income people with heating costs by about 25 percent. One more piece of evidence that Alberta is entirely in thrall to oil sands: the Canadian province's premier thinks personal vehicular emissions are a bigger problem than the oil industry. The new federal solar project in Arizona will have one-hundredth of the water usage projected …