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


On October, Apples, and a Sustainable Food System

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

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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Talking Conflicts of Interest, Bias, and Sunshine in the Dietary Guidelines

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

Yesterday, I testified at a meeting of the National Academy of Medicine advisory committee to review the process to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. You might remember that Congress mandated the formation of this committee earlier this year. Their first charge is to write a report with recommendations on how the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) selection process can be improved to provide more transparency, minimize bias, and include committee members with a range of viewpoints. This is a topic we’ve thought a lot about here at the Center for Science and Democracy. Read more >

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Moraine Park Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Partnerships to Protect Fragile Mountain Ecosystems

Aaron Piña and Jill Baron, , UCS

If you are a cow, Colorado is an ideal place to be. Colorado’s climate is sunny and dry, and these characteristics have helped make the state fourth in the nation for numbers of cattle in feedlots. Weld County, just east of the Colorado Front Range mountains, is the fifth most livestock-rich county in the United States—beef and dairy, swine, sheep, chickens—and produces as much waste as 24.5 million people. Read more >

Photo: Frank Schulenberg/CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia
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A Honduran farmer digs irrigation channels in advance of maize planting.
A maize farmer near Alauca, Honduras, digs irrigation channels in advance of maize planting. Photo: Neil Palmer, CIAT/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 - Flickr

Making Agriculture “Climate-Smart” in Latin America and the Caribbean

Sharon Gourdji, , UCS

I recently returned to the United States from Cali, Colombia where I worked for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (or CIAT, its Spanish-language abbreviation) for a couple years. CIAT is part of a global network of 15 agricultural research centers in the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), which have traditionally focused on crop breeding to raise yields of staple crops around the world.  Read more >

Photo: Neil Palmer, CIAT/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, Flickr
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Empty water hole caused by drought.
Empty water holes caused by the drought on Walnut Creek Ranch in CA in 2014. Photo: Cynthia Mendoza, USDA/CC BY 2.0-Flickr

Preparing for Severe Climate Events: a Q+A with Drought Experts

, Kendall Science Fellow

In the most recent days and weeks when stories of floods and hurricanes have dominated the news, it might be easy to miss that 44% of the country is experiencing drought conditions. I am not a meteorologist—just an agricultural scientist obsessed with the weather—so I often wonder what happens in the weather room when there is a severe event, like a hurricane or tornado. Is it total chaos? Flashing lights and buzzing alarms? What about severe climate events that last longer than a few hours, such as drought? Read more >

Photo: Cynthia Mendoza, USDA/CC-BY-2.0, Flickr
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