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Food and Agriculture

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Successes in Reducing Deforestation and the Global Warming Pollution it Causes

I’m now in Bonn at the United Nations climate negotiations, where the big news is that in the last week the world’s two biggest emitters – China and the United States – have announced important actions to cut their carbon pollution, especially from the coal that they burn. These steps are welcome, but they are plans, not accomplishments, and they come late compared to other countries that have already acted to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.

Ironically, most of these successes are in tropical developing countries, where countries’ reductions in rates of deforestation and in some cases their reforestation of cleared land have cut their net emissions of global warming pollution. Their actions have already accomplished more for the climate than the actions of many developed nations have.

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Fed Up and Sugared Out with the Food Fight over Facts

A calorie is not a calorie,” explained Dr. Robert Lustig, pediatric endocrinologist and advisory board member for the new film Fed Up. As he spoke, Lustig sliced into a juicy steak, accompanied by a green salad and a glass of red wine. “However,” he quipped in reference to food industry sniping against public health advocates’ sugar intake recommendations, “I am not the food police! By all means, order dessert!” Read More

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How Monsanto Supersized a Problem in Under Three Minutes

Well actually, it took about 5 years for our friends at the Monsanto Company to start turning regular old weeds into a crisis of “superweeds.” But they did it, and another decade on, farmers everywhere are paying the price. Now, using the magic of speed-drawing, we’ve taken this age-old tale of weedy villains and chemical “superheroes” (with fatal flaws), and boiled it down to just 2:29. Read More

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Fed Up about Food? New Film Highlights Concerns around Sugar, Science, and Democracy

Today, a new documentary entitled Fed Up premieres in 19 cities. Different from other films that detail the problems that plague our food system, Fed Up focuses on a single entity that is responsible for widespread health impacts in the United States: sugar. Read More

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Are You Swallowing Sugar-coated Science—All for a Good Cause?

National parks conservation. Getting kids to read. Breast cancer awareness. These are all great causes, and it can be worth applauding when corporations donate a portion of their profits to supporting them.

But corporate social responsibility by food companies should be scrutinized carefully. Read More

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Farms, Forests, and Climate Change: Few Opportunities, Many Challenges

Farmers and foresters already face a great deal of uncertainty in their professions. All it takes is a few weeks of intense drought, a single hailstorm, or an uncontrolled wildfire to destroy the results of their labors, and with it, their livelihoods. Read More

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Blind Faith vs. Insight: Employing Media Literacy to Reject Policies that Harm Human Health

Guest Bogger

Melinda Hemmelgarn, Registered Dietitian
Food Sleuth Radio, KOPN

Columbia, MO

As a dietitian who attempts to connect the dots between food, health and agriculture, my first job is to help my audiences think ecologically—to understand ripple effects—or how one influences others. Read More

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Sugar-coating Science: How the Food Industry Misleads Consumers on Sugar

When I was growing up, my parents strictly limited the amount of sugar I was allowed to eat. I remember one day throwing a tantrum in the grocery store—I must have been 4 or 5—because my mother wouldn’t buy me Froot Loops. I shook the box up and down, transfixed by the big, colorful cartoon bird on the front, and wailed, “But I waaaaant it!” She snatched the box, “No way! The first ingredient is SUGAR.” Read More

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More Herbicide, or More Innovative, Sustainable Farming?

As another growing season begins, production agriculture is confronted with important choices. Among them is whether the farming community and policy makers will heed the clear warnings from herbicide-resistant weeds that industrial monoculture farming methods are not sustainable. Read More

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Global Agriculture As Part of the Climate Solution

For quite a while, agriculture was dismissed as a possible way to mitigate climate change, because it’s where our food comes from, and we can’t live without food. From this obvious fact came the misinterpretation that we couldn’t cut agricultural greenhouse gas emissions without threatening food security. Read More

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