Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Food

Comments

The continuing quest to find something, anything to bash Gore with

People magazine reports that Al Gore's daughter Sarah just got married, revealing in the course of the article that Chilean sea bass was served at the rehearsal dinner. In the Daily Telegraph, Australian Humane Society Rebecca Keeble writes that "only one week after Live Earth, Al Gore's green credentials slipped." Why? Because Chilean sea bass is endangered. ABC politics columnist Jake Tapper, smelling the kind of vapid, gimmicky story upon which his profession thrives, asks, "could this be seen as the environmentalist version of Sen. David Vitter's public sanctimony/private enjoyment of love with a red-lit glow?" Blogger Digby points out, …

Read more: Food

Comments

Deader Than Ever

Biofuels could contribute to historically big Gulf of Mexico dead zone Still think corn-based biofuels will save the world? Here's another piece of the no-they-won't puzzle: Researchers say more intensive farming of more land in the Midwestern U.S. -- in part a result of the push for more corn production -- could contribute to the largest-ever "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico this summer. The zone is created when fertilizer and other runoff find their way down the Mississippi River and into the gulf, encouraging algae to grow. The algae's decay process sucks up all the available oxygen, leaving …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Food

Comments

A scary/funny post from China

I found this in my Google Reader feed this morning, a post from a British blogger named Charlie living in Beijing. Three weeks after it was reported that the Chinese government convinced the World Bank to suppress a report that over 700,000 Chinese citizens die every year of pollution-related ailments, due to the fact that it may lead to revolution social unrest among the populace, Charlie's post reads like a bittersweet valentine to the city he's lived in for four years: I woke up this morning and ate some baozi. They were disgusting! I'm sure I they were made of …

Read more: Food, Living

Comments

Thanks in part to that ‘green’ fuel, corn-based ethanol

U.S. farmers planted 92.9 million acres of corn this spring, a 15 percent-plus jump from last year. If you lumped all that land together -- not too hard to imagine, given that corn ag is highly concentrated in the Midwest -- you'd have a monocropped land mass nearly equal in size to the state of California. The jump in corn acreage is excellent news if you own shares in mega meat-processing firms like Tyson and Smithfield. These firms have been complaining bitterly that the price of corn, driven up by the government-induced ethanol boom, will eat into their profits. (Corn …

Read more: Food

Comments

How legislators can help the rural

In a recent trip through the small town of Walthill, Nebraska, the phrase "rural revitalization" took on a whole new meaning. In this case, it was the lack of any kind of prosperity that made it obvious to me why rural communities are in need of revitalization. Main Street looked painfully deserted, with two recent arsons adding fresh scars to the once-active storefronts. As we drove around the residential area, most houses looked to be in some state of disrepair -- so much so that it was difficult to really tell which were homes and which had already been abandoned. …

Read more: Cities, Food, Politics

Comments

Airing on the Side of Caution

Chemical dangers to air-breathing animals overlooked, researchers say A new study in Science says regulators have overlooked the effects that thousands of chemicals could have on air-breathing organisms. Such as, for instance, people. In general, regulators study how chemicals accumulate in aquatic-based food chains; they look at how toxics dissolve in water and fat, but not at how easily they're expelled from lungs. Canadian researchers say that's a problemo: as many as a third of the roughly 12,000 chemicals under review in Canada could accumulate in air-breathing animals. The pesticide lindane, for example, doesn't build up in fish -- but …

Read more: Food, Living

Comments

A guest essay from ED’s Scott Faber

The following is a guest post from Scott Faber, Farm Bill campaign director for Environmental Defense. (Scott also has a blog.) --- Congress is in serious negotiations over the next version of the Farm Bill. The debate is fertile ground for food policy myths and misconceptions. Perhaps the best (or worst) example is that old chestnut that farm subsidies keep food prices low. Here's why that's just a myth. Most of the corn and soybeans grown in America end up in either a pig (as pig food) or a pump (as biofuel). So if farm subsidies really lead to cheaper …

Read more: Food, Politics

Comments

All you need for summer seafood splendor

As you might imagine, people often ask me what species of fish are the best to eat in terms of environmental and health concerns. I usually respond by saying, "OK, how much free time do you have? Are you sitting down? Do you have access to the internet? Do you have a cold compress for your forehead? Are next-of-kin present and available to care for you if you keel over from information overload and/or frustration?" Grills just wanna have fun. Photo: iStockphoto If the answer to all of the above questions is yes, then it's time to play "Do You …

Read more: Food, Living

Comments

A new study puts the old canard to rest

One of the most common arguments against organic farming is that it can't possibly provide enough food to feed the planet's burgeoning population. Low yields and lack of organically acceptable nitrogen sources, it's been said, will always confine its production scale to the realms of specialty groceries and farmer's markets. Now researchers at the University of Michigan have decided to examine these claims with some scientific scrutiny. Their findings? "Organic farming can yield up to three times as much food as conventional farming on the same amount of land." If this is surprising, the authors say it's because many people …

Read more: Food

Comments

Sounds Perfecto to Us

Organic farming can yield more food than conventional ag, says analysis In developed countries, organic farming can yield nearly as much food as pesticide-heavy agriculture, and in developing countries can produce up to three times as much chow, says a new analysis of 293 published studies on organic yields. "My hope is that we can finally put a nail in the coffin of the idea that you can't produce enough food through organic agriculture," says researcher Ivette Perfecto. Let us get this straight: Organic farming is efficient. Organic food doesn't have poisons on it. Organic fruits and veggies could be …

Read more: Food