Food and Agriculture

We need to fix our broken food system—and science can help us do it. UCS food experts highlight solutions to ensure that every American has access to healthy, green, fair, affordable food.

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Latest Food and Agriculture Posts

The Land Sector in INDCs: What We Have and What We Need as Paris Climate Talks Begin

, sr. scientist & dir., Climate Research and Analysis

As the world’s political leaders come to Paris for the international climate negotiations (COP21), how do things look with respect to the land sector (agriculture and forests), which is responsible for nearly ¼ of global greenhouse gas emissions? Over the past year, the Union of Concerned Scientists has been analyzing how countries included the land sector in their “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs). What are their plans and how could they be made better?

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The Wonderful World of Plants, Soil, and Bugs (Or, Why I Love Agroecology)

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

I’ve been thinking a lot about plants, soil, and bugs this week, while geeking out with more than 7,000 scientists in Minneapolis. The joint annual meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, the Soil Science Society of America, and the Entomology Society of America (whew!) has been a fantastic opportunity to meet and hear from scientists who are looking for new answers to the food, farming, and sustainability challenges our world faces.

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A Better Way for Our Food System

, UCS Science Network

When it comes to problems stemming from the current industrial food system, we need to get beyond cleaning up the mess. At some point, we have to ask: if our food system causes nitrate pollution, climate change, obesity, diabetes, and biodiversity loss—while undermining the very soil quality it depends upon for its own long-term viability—isn’t it time to find a better way? Read more >

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World Diabetes Day and the Rise of Diabetes in the United States

, food systems & health analyst

Around the world, diabetes affects approximately 370 million adults. In the United States, diabetes rates among adults have more than tripled since the 1980s and approximately 11 percent of adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. If this trend continues, nearly 30 percent of adults could have diabetes by 2050, with communities of color being disproportionately affected. In 2012, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. was $245 billion. People diagnosed with diabetes have medical expenditures approximately 3 times higher than people without diabetes. Read more >

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5 Steps to Understanding Our New Study on the Need for More Public Funds for Agroecology

, agroecologist

In a new study, my colleagues Liz Carlisle and Albie Miles and I took on the challenge of finding the answer to a (surprisingly) unanswered question: how much federal money is invested for agroecology research? You can get the technical details in the journal article (or an overview in our fact sheet and website), but here I’d like to walk you through some other pieces of the story: what inspired this project, why we did what we did, how our results should (and shouldn’t!) be interpreted, and what we hope comes next. Read more >

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