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

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Book Review: Cowed’s Message is Less but Better Beef

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

There’s a lot to be learned from Cowed, by Denis Hayes and Gail Boyer Hayes. It’s about cows, but the eclectic topics range from the scandalous coverup of mad cow disease, to the origin of modern cattle from the legendary aurochs (i.e. the “Ur-ox”), to the gender politics of the cowboy, to the federal government’s subsidy of beef over-grazing on our public lands, to a visit to a dairy farm run by robots. Yet there’s a serious underlying theme as well—that the U.S. needs a fundamental transformation of its relationship to the cattle industry. Read more >

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Why the Food Industry Can’t Stomach Transparency on Food Labels

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

Back in May, UCS celebrated a huge victory for science-based policy and public health with the FDA’s unveiling of its revisions to the Nutrition Facts label. Among other changes, the rule will require companies to include a separate line for ‘Added Sugars’ and a percent daily value for it on food labels. As my colleague, Pallavi Phartiyal explains, it was not an easy road to victory, thanks to pushback from the powerful food industry since the rule was first proposed, and actually, since the earliest days of the Nutrition Facts label. Read more >

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Some beef cattle are raised in a way that actually helps to protect and manage healthy grassland ecosystems, making good use of grass in areas not well suited for row crops. Here’s an example of one such healthy grassland ecosystem managed by cattle from Nebraska Sand Hills. (Photo: Aaron Price)]

While BBQ Season Sizzles, a Case for Healthy Farms and Better Beef

, agroecologist

Friends and acquaintances often ask me about what to eat (or not eat) if they are concerned about the impacts of their food choices on the world around them. One of the foods that comes up most frequently in this regard is beef, and that’s what I’d like to talk about today. Read more >

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Where Your Brews Come From: A Deeper Dive into Barley for Beer

, Kendall Science Fellow

While the summer is in full swing, a season often full of barbecued food and adult beverages, this is a good time to think about what it takes to make a truly local brew. Michigan is a great case study to understand the challenges of localizing the craft beer supply chain, so in this post I’ll focus on barley grown there. Read more >

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Photo: US Department of Agriculture/flickr

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

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

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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