Karen 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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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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A Labor Day Recipe for a Fairer Food System

Labor day is meant to honor the contributions of workers to our collective prosperity and well-being. So what about the nation’s contribution to the well-being of workers, particularly food and farm workers? A new video from food writer and UCS Fellow Mark Bittman sheds light on the plight of these workers. Read more >

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A Look at Iceland’s Food and Farming System (Or, What I Ate on My Summer Vacation)

As a food lover and an agriculture geek, I frequently plan vacations around what there is to eat. This summer, I traveled to Iceland, ostensibly to admire its breathtaking scenery and ride its tough little horses. As a bonus, I escaped a couple weeks of DC’s stifling heat. But of course, I also took the opportunity to see (and taste) this unique country’s equally unique food and agriculture system up close. Read more >

Photo: Karen Perry Stillerman
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Photo: Iowa State University/Lisa Schulte Moore Photo: Iowa State University/Lisa Schulte Moore

How US Farm Subsidies Make Taxpayers Pay Twice (And How We Could Change That)

Usually, when you buy something, you pay for it just once. But if you’re a US taxpayer, you’re paying twice for the food system you’re “buying” with your hard-earned tax dollars. An example: today’s massive federal farm subsidies encourage farming practices that lead to toxic algae blooms, drinking water pollution, and other costly problems we have to pay for again downstream. By contrast, modest investment in just one proven alternative farming system would achieve annual savings—in the form of water pollution averted—of $850 million. Read more >

Photo: Iowa State University/Lisa Schulte Moore
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Photo: US Department of Agriculture/flickr

Trapped in an Endless Cycle of Corn, Farmers Need Better Choices

Another July 4 has come and gone, and that old saying about a farmer’s corn this time of year (“knee high by the Fourth of July”) is a thing of the past too. Nowadays, the corn plants in many fields around the country are more like waist-high (or even taller!) in early July, and growing fast. But while a bumper harvest of corn seems like a good thing, the dirty little secret in corn country is that a glut of the stuff is wreaking havoc on farm families, on rural economies, and on all of us as taxpayers. Read more >

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