Industrial Agriculture

Think the German E. coli outbreak couldn’t happen here? Think again

An outbreak of a toxic, possibly novel, strain of E. coli known as O104:H4 continues to rage in Germany. At last count, more than 1,800 people have been infected and 19 have died — and unusually, young women rather than …

E-I-E-I-Oh no: Decades of antibiotics in farm animals lead to deadly superbugs

When cows kill. This article was syndicated with permission from OnEarth. Stuart Levy once kept a flock of chickens on a farm in the rolling countryside west of Boston. No ordinary farmer, Levy is a professor of molecular biology and microbiology and of …

Groups sue FDA to stop Big Ag antibiotic abuse — and it just might work

A growing weight of research links routine antibiotic use on factory farms to the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria — which are showing up in more and more places worldwide (including, according to recent studies, in your local supermarket). Doctor groups, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

How the Feds saved enough water for a whole city with just a little bit of cash

The Department of the Interior's WaterSMART program will save enough water for a smallish city — 400,000 people — yet it cost only $24 million. As Tina Casey reports at CleanTechnica, the program works by going for the low-hanging fruit: …

Not just the facts, ma’am: Why science alone can’t defeat Big Food’s policy stranglehold

Put ’em up, Pepsi.Food-reform advocates like to stick to the facts, believing that if they can just construct a rational, air-tight argument, they’ll convince the public and transform policy around food. But that’s a bit like bringing a butter knife …

Another danger of non-organic farming: Exploding watermelons

People opt for organically-farmed food for all different reasons, but here's one of the more compelling ones we've seen: Agricultural chemicals can make watermelons explode.  Chinese watermelon crops just had an unfortunate run-in with the growth accelerator forchlorfenuron, which makes …