Karen Perry Stillerman

Senior analyst, Food and Environment

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Karen Perry Stillerman is an analyst and advocate for transforming the U.S. agriculture and food system to one that produces affordable, healthful foods for consumers; reduces air and water pollution; and builds healthy soil for the farmers of tomorrow. She holds a master's degree in public affairs and environmental policy. See Karen's full bio.

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Karen's Latest Posts

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Photo: Ruocaled/flickr

On Thanksgiving, Trump, and Cheap Food

Just in time for the most delicious holiday of them all, UCS has launched a new video featuring Mark Bittman in the kitchen. He’s cooking up a tasty whole grain dish with fall favorites—savory butternut squash, fresh cranberries, whole grains, and a touch of maple syrup—and talking about the sorry state of the US food system, and why our new president needs to take action to fix it.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Read more >

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Photo: Karen Perry Stillerman

Food and Farm Progress to be Thankful For

It seems like a million years since October 2008. That’s when author Michael Pollan published his open letter to the next “farmer-in-chief,” calling on the incoming president to take bold steps to transform the nation’s food system. The role of farmer-in-chief has been inhabited ever since by Barack Obama, and as his presidency winds down, some observers—including Pollan—have criticized the administration for not doing enough.

Others have tempered that assessment, arguing that the Obamas accomplished a lot in the food arena under tough circumstances, even though we have a long way to go. Personally, I agree with the latter view: we have quite a bit to be thankful for, in terms of concrete progress over the last eight years toward a healthier, fairer, more vibrant food system. Read more >

Photo: Karen Perry Stillerman
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Plate of the Union—a 2016 Campaign for a Better Food and Farming System

I don’t need to tell you that 2016 hasn’t exactly been the presidential campaign year my colleagues and I imagined when we launched our “Plate of the Union” initiative last fall. The national conversation has taken a few detours (ahem) that have made it challenging to maintain a focus on issues that really matter to American families, like what’s for dinner and how it gets there. Read more >

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On October, Apples, and a Sustainable Food System

October is surely the best month of the year. From my closet emerge beloved boots and sweaters. And from my kitchen cabinets, baking dishes and heavy cast iron pans. With cooler temperatures and a bounty of fresh food in season, I want to cook again. And during this magical month, my kitchen plays host both to late-season tomatoes and okra and to fall crops including acorn squash and cauliflower. And, of course, apples—which is fortunate, because in a new video released today, UCS Fellow Mark Bittman is cooking up something simple but delicious with that October-est of fruits. Read more >

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Organic Farming is Growing (But Not Everywhere)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently released the results of its latest survey of organic farmers, and there’s good news. Organic farming is up nationally, with 12,818 farms generating $6.2 billion in certified organic product sales in 2015, up 13 percent from 2014. But the survey shows that all states aren’t pursuing organic farming equally. And one of the top organic states may surprise you. Read more >

Photo: Lance Cheung, USDA/CC BY 2.0, Flickr
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