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Articles by Anna Lappe

Anna Lappé is a national bestselling author, sustainable food advocate, and mom. The founding principal of the Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund, her latest book is Diet for a Hot Planet.

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  • An interview with Mia MacDonald on China's growing appetite for U.S.-style meat production

    Mia MacDonald
    Mia MacDonald.
    Photo: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    Old MacDonald had a farm -- one resounding with oinks and moos and squawks. By today's standards, the old man's farm would count as a model of biodiversity. Researcher Mia MacDonald points out that across the planet, old ways of farming are giving way to the environmentally devastating factory farms we've pioneered in the West -- typically housing a single species of animal, confined by the thousands in conditions that would be alien to Old MacDonald's pigs and cows and chickens. For modern industrial-scale animal farms, the proper literary form is the scathing environmental report, not the children's ditty.

    At Brighter Green, an action think tank that helps advocacy groups take informed action through research and analysis, MacDonald is currently at work on a series of case studies on the spread of factory-style farming across the globe. She's cutting straight to the chase: China, the world's biggest nation, is the subject of the first case study.

    I caught up with Mia to discuss Brighter Green's new report, "Skillful Means: The Challenges of China's Encounter with Factory Farming" [PDF], which delves into China, meat, and the connection with our climate.

  • Roni Neff explains how the media miss the story on food’s connection to climate change

    In 2006, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization published a 390-page report called “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” The dense document came to a startling conclusion: Livestock production — including land-use changes for pasture and crop production — contributes more to global warming than every single car, train, and plane on the planet. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of […]

  • With food riots raging, let’s open the books on the finances of Big Ag

    When we talk about the crisis in food prices, we should scrape below the surface to explore who's actually benefiting from the crisis.

    Unless you've had your head stuck in the freezer at Dean & Deluca, you've heard about the food crisis across the planet.

    A recent Financial Times displayed this staggering map of the globe: Black dots marked each of the countries were food riots have been sparked in outrage against the rising prices of food. Thirty dots in all. A recent CNN report noted that "Riots, instability spread as food prices skyrocket." These surging costs, warns World Bank President Robert Zoellick, "could mean 'seven lost years' in the fight against worldwide poverty."

    With the food crisis as front page news, I couldn't help but notice which agribusiness company has just reported an 86 percent jump in its quarterly earnings.