Industrial Agriculture

Disappearing American bats are worth up to $53 billion

Bats eat a lot of bugs. Here are some living under a bridge in Austin, Texas that eat millions of pounds of pests every season. What happens if those bats are wiped out in a …

Industrial Agriculture

Should some pesticides be banned to protect bees? A USDA scientist dances around the question

Photo: Maury McCownAs I reported in January, the USDA’s top bee researcher, Jeffrey Pettis, has publicly revealed that he has completed research showing that Bayer’s blockbuster neonicotinoid pesticides, used on million of acres of crops …

Industrial Agriculture

Monsanto cash helped fund bill to stifle whistleblowers in Iowa

Monsanto: See no evil, speak no evil in Iowa’s factory farms.Speaking of Monsanto, it turns out they are playing a role in Iowa’s proposed anti-whistleblower bill — a bill focused primarily on agriculture. Should the bill pass, …

Industrial Agriculture

The American diet in one chart, with lots of fats and sugars

This is a non-interactive version of the chart. Also check out the interactive version, by Civil Eats and the UC-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism News21 course.Over on Civil Eats, Andrea Jezovit has put together a …

Industrial Agriculture

Will the U.S. hog industry ever kick its reliance on low-dose antibiotics?

The editors of Scientific American recently encouraged U.S. hog farmers to “follow Denmark and stop giving farm animals low-dose antibiotics.” Sixteen years ago, in order to reduce the threat of increased development of antibiotic resistant …

Farm Bill

Budget fight threatens to turn Farm Bill into Industrial Ag Bill

Will eco-friendly and people-friendly farm programs get steamrolled?Will the next Farm Bill, scheduled for passage in 2012, put public policy in service of a food system that works for farmers, eaters, and the environment? Well, …

Industrial Agriculture

Startling new report shines light on farm labor conditions — and they ain’t good

Like a factory in the field, except for the wage protections, benefits, and union. Photo: Vera ChangMost corporations involved in the food business quietly benefit from the invisibility of U.S. farmworkers. Bon Appetit Management Co., …

Pollution

Anti-EPA House votes to let agribusiness dump pesticides in our water

Cross-posted from Wonk Room. The Tea Party Congress doesn’t just hate EPA rules that protect against industry destroying our country with greenhouse-gas pollution, mercury, coal ash, and mountaintop removal. By a veto-proof margin, the U.S. …

Farmers in U.S. running out of land

Despite planting record amounts of corn and soybeans this year, U.S. farmers are sitting on unexpectedly small stockpiles of both crops. Meanwhile, the demand for corn is crowding out use of land for other crops, …

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