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

Sonny Perdue’s USDA Is in Bed with Big Pork. That’s Really Bad for Everyone Else.

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

In his first year running the US Department of Agriculture, Secretary Sonny Perdue has displayed a curious tendency to say things he really shouldn’t. The most recent example is his striking off-the-cuff comment about a big court judgment won by neighbors of a massive hog farm and its stinking cesspools in North Carolina. Read more >

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SNAP is a boon to urban and rural economies—and small-town stores may not survive cuts

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

In case you missed it, Congress is in the midst of a pretty major food fight. At the center of it is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is the first line of defense against hunger for more than 21 million American households. Going forward, however, an estimated 2 million people stand to lose SNAP benefits if the farm bill proposal passed by the House Agriculture Committee last month becomes law. The bill’s draconian work requirements and eligibility changes threaten to upend the lives of some of the nation’s most vulnerable individuals and families. But it could also deliver a serious blow to the economic vitality of many rural and small-town communities, in an economic domino effect that often starts at the local grocery store.

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The New Farm Bill’s Pesticide Provisions are a Sneak Attack on the Environment

If fish could wail, they would scream over the lethal powers granted to the Environmental Protection Agency in part of the draft farm bill recently rolled out by the House Agriculture Committee. Read more >

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Local produce, sold through direct-to-consumer channels like farmers markets and community supported agriculture programs, is often sold at a price premium. But does that premium impact farmers’ bottom line? Photo: Todd Johnson/ Oklahoma State University.

Do Local Food Markets Support Profitable Farms and Ranches?

Becca B.R. Jablonski, Dawn Thilmany McFadden, Allie Bauman, Dave Shideler, , UCS

How many times have you heard that when you shop locally, farmers win? Families shop at farmers markets, school districts procure locally-grown and raised items, and restaurants curate seasonal menus at least in part because they believe they are supporting the economic viability of local producers. But do we have evidence that these local markets actually provide economic benefits to farmers and ranchers? Read more >

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U.S. Marine Corps veteran Calvin Riggleman holds an oregano seedling and soil on Bigg Riggs farm in Hampshire County, WV
Photo courtesy Flickr/Lance Cheung, USDA

Will Congress Give Farmers the Farm Bill They Want?

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Last week, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee made headlines by unveiling a truly terrible farm bill proposal. In stark contrast, a poll released today shows that farmers across the political spectrum are eager for precisely the kind of tools and incentives House Republicans have firmly turned their backs on. Read more >

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