Factory Farms

Industrial Agriculture

How industrial agriculture makes us vulnerable to climate change, Mississippi floods edition

An “ephemeral gulley” that carried soil and agrichemicals from an Iowa farm toward the Gulf of Mexico during a 2010 storm. Photo: Environmental Working GroupNancy Rabalais, marine scientist and executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, is probably our …

Industrial Agriculture

Forget rice, think meat and yogurt: ‘Chinese food’ looking more and more like Western diet

Meating demand: Workers at an industrial meatpacking house in China try to keep up with their nation’s soaring appetite for animal products.Photo: Shreyans BhansaliIt’s Monday, which for many is now a meatless day, so it’s appropriate I think to highlight …

Factory Farms

Two percent of U.S. energy goes to wasted food

The U.S. wastes a stunning amount of food — 40 percent of what we produce, according to Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland. That’s way above the already-staggering global average of one third. That means that 40 percent of the …

Factory Farms

Digging deeper into that NYT Room for Debate on farm-animal cruelty

A horrific scene from a Humane Society undercover video.Photo: Humane Society of the United StatesI was privileged this week to participate in a New York Times Room for Debate discussion on the government’s vs. consumer’s role in “Preventing Cruelty on …

Sustainable Farming

Factory farms the only way to ‘feed the world’? Not so, argues Science paper

To “feed the world” by 2050, we’ll need a massive, global ramp-up of industrial-scale, corporate-led agriculture. At least that’s the conventional wisdom. Even progressive journalists trumpet the idea (see here, here, and here, plus my ripostes here and here). The …

Food

Is Walmart our best hope for food policy reform?

Photo: Code PoetTwo years into the Obama administration, most of the energy around food-policy reform resides in the East Wing, in the form of the first lady’s Let’s Move! campaign. So far, Let’s Move has been about Michelle Obama pursuing …

Factory Farms

Little piggies, crawling in the dirt: Minnesota reps behind ag-gag bill have factory-farm ties

Now that The New York Times editorial page has come out against what are now known as “Ag-gag” laws (thanks, Mark Bittman!), I think we can say this story has truly gone national. These laws, on the books in a …

Corn

Gary Taubes’ sugar article makes an excellent case for diversifying agriculture

In last week’s New York Times Magazine, the science writer Gary Taubes argues forcefully that a range of chronic health problems — heightened rates of obesity, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer — can be blamed on overconsumption …

Factory Farms

Meat Wagon: Undercover video shows sick calves getting brains bashed in with pickax, and more

In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. ——————- A grim ending awaits sick dairy calves on factory farms.Photo: Garrett ZieglerAs I’ve written so many times before, much of the dysfunction in our …