Food

Urban farming gets its day in the sun

Amid climate crisis and rising costs, big media discovers city-grown food

Back in 2006, a Los Angeles developer, Ralph Hurwitz, bull-dozed a highly productive 13-acre farm in the city’s South Central neighborhood. In its place, he …

Whole Foods tries to shake its elitist reputation

Whole Foods Market, with its gleaming displays of organic produce, antibiotic-free meat, and vegan baked goods, has long branded itself as a high-quality grocery retailer …

Dumpster diver

Trash becomes treasure for this freegan

We’ve written about freegans many times before, but this video shows exactly what kind of treasures are sometimes thrown out with the trash:

Author Claire Hope Cummings dishes the dirt on genetically modified food

One of the most encouraging things about the sustainable-food movement is how effortlessly it crosses traditional political-party, religious, ethnic, and other lines. The right to …

Good news for modern farm animals

From New Jersey, bad news for factory farms

Thomas Hobbes famously described life in a “state of nature” as “nasty, brutish, and short.” The U.S. meat industry appears to have taken Hobbes’ statement …

Biofuel bombshell

World Bank finally releases ‘secret’ report on biofuels and the food crisis

Remember a few weeks ago, when The Guardian leaked word of a “secret” World Bank report that essentially blames U.S. and (to a lesser extent) …

More on 'lazy locavorism'

Edible landscapes can outgrow the elite

Monday's New York Times had a great opinion piece about My Farm's Trevor Paque -- the same guy recently profiled in the Times' Style section. In fact, I had to look twice to make sure it was the same T. Paque because the two articles emphasized such different aspects of the urban CSA mission. Kim Severson, in the style piece, describes it thus: Call them the lazy locavores -- city dwellers who insist on eating food grown close to home but have no inclination to get their hands dirty. Mr. Paque is typical of a new breed of business owner serving their needs. She devotes so much time and script to the eco-chic aspect that I, like Tom Philpott, was initially put off by the idea of armchair gardening. But just like Tom, who later posted that he was "too hard" on it, I softened after reading Allison Arieff's opinion piece. She writes:

Getting to the meat of the matter with Boston chef Jamie Bissonnette

Jamie Bissonnette. In my most recent article, I described my experience attending a hog-butchering workshop led by Boston chef Jamie Bissonnette. He mentioned during the …

Sustainable biotech crops -- solution or oxymoron?

Industry report touts potential for biotech crops to combat climate change

I am always a sucker for a catchy sounding report -- like the one the World Business Council for Sustainable Development released last week: "Agricultural Ecosystems: Facts and Trends." It had it all: the noble sounding "Council," the association between agriculture and ecosystems, and the appeal to my inner science-geek with words like "facts" and "trends." I printed it out enthusiastically and got out my highlighter, ready to read all of the fascinating new insights into agriculture, food, and the environment. I was intrigued by the beginning section on consumer patterns which detailed the increased demand for meat in developing countries and the impact this might have worldwide. One section focused on the role of animal production in climate change. I skipped along to the climate section nodding my head in agreement the entire time: converting grasslands to agriculture is a huge source of carbon dioxide emissions; conventional agriculture can threaten biodiversity; and agricultural greenhouse gas emissions can be mitigated by integrated crop management and minimum tillage. I balked a bit when they cited that agriculture produced 14 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2000 (since then the United Nations has stated that animal production alone produces 18 percent of our global greenhouse gas emissions), but I still felt confident that the report might be worth something. Maybe I set my expectations a bit high.