Food

Don't be corny

A bad idea, plus lots of cash

What’s that in your gas tank?This is a blog post about the intersection of a bad idea and lots of cash–your cash. The bad idea is this: growing crops to ferment and distill them into …

Larder starter

The non-survivalist’s guide to stocking up for hard times

Dear Lou,As a resident of South Mississippi, I think it is officially time to stock my swine flu/tornado/hurricane/foreign invasion pantry. How do I do this without filling it with a bunch of processed crap, but …

Change we can devour

Vilsack’s USDA shakes things up

I know some are still reeling from the recent Obama administration announcement on biofuels and its implication that it remains a bit too much in thrall to the concerns of Big Ag. And Tom Vilsack’s …

Farm team

In the lush dirt of Iowa, community grows alongside veggies

ZJ Farms: Everyone’s a farmhandI had the pleasure the other day of visiting ZJ Farms, the anchor of Local Harvest CSA, which is one of the biggest in the area. Farmer (and pillar of the …

Swine flew

A terrific NYT piece on Smithfield and the globalization of pork

On Wednesday, The New York Times ran a terrific, long article — one that reporters had clearly worked on for a long time — on Smithfield Foods’ rapid transformation of hog farming in Eastern Europe. …

The genius of self-regulation

Smithfield: don’t worry, we’re testing our Mexican hogs for swine flu

For a lobbyist working the Hill on behalf of an industry, the gold standard is self-regulation. No need to send in inspectors — we’ll test our process to ensure that it doesn’t pollute. Trust us! …

Ethanol's Big Day

Barack gives biofuels the big thumbs up

[Update: While some may think this decision was a win for corn ethanol, House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson clearly does not. In fact, he is seriously ticked off about it. According to CongressDaily, Peterson …

On what grounds

Stimulating coffee lectures in Seattle focus on sustainability

Ever wonder exactly what goes into your morning coffee (aside from milk and sugar, of course)? A series of lectures this spring at the University of Washington attempts to answer just that question. The UW …

Poop + Marketing = Biosolids

Sludge, farmer’s friend or toxic slime?

Should what we put down our sewers ultimately wind up back on our plates?Marc Samsom via Flickr Urine, feces, menstrual blood, hair, fingernails, vomit, dead skin cells. Industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, soaps, shampoos, solvents, pesticides, household …