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

From Academia to Advocacy and Back: The Importance of Translating Research into Policy

, food systems & health analyst

Sadly, this will be my last post as an analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).  I came to UCS in Washington, DC immediately after obtaining my PhD in 2014. Two years later, I’m coming full circle, returning to the world of academia—with a new understanding and appreciation for how my research can have an impact in the policy world.

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Beef and the Paris Agreement: Changing What We Eat to Stop Causing Climate Change

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

On Earth Day two weeks ago, 171 countries officially signed the Paris Agreement on climate change. In doing so, they agreed to the long term goal of ending humanity’s damage to the climate—that is, reducing our emissions of global warming pollution to zero—in the second half of this century. One encouraging part of the ongoing scientific discussion about how to achieve this ambitious goal, is that we’re finally starting to take seriously the impact of what people eat. Three recent studies show that it makes a big difference, to the climate as well as to our health.

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Sugar Cuts in Day Care Meals: A Public Health Victory

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

The Child and Adult Food Care Program (CACFP) is one of the nutrition safety net programs run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service and state agencies, and serves over 4 million eligible children every day. The program reimburses day care centers for nutritious meals and snacks (largely following the Dietary Guidelines) for children from low-income households. However, the guidelines hadn’t been revised to reflect changes in nutrition science since 1968, lagging behind the national school lunch and breakfast programs which made sweeping positive changes back in 2010. Read more >

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Why Would Congress Vote to Keep Carrots Out of Corner Stores?

, food systems & health analyst

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a new requirement for retailers that redeem federal SNAP (formerly food stamp) benefits: they should carry more nutritious foods in their stores. Read more >

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Corn Belt Farmers Managing Weather-Related Risks Through Greater Soil Stewardship

Gabrielle Roesch-McNally, Ph.D. Sustainable Agriculture and Sociology, , UCS

Spring planting season in the Corn Belt reminds those of us living in the region that soil erosion is still a serious concern as we gear up for another year of intensive corn and soybean cultivation. For example, the Environmental Working Group, with the Iowa Daily Erosion Project, estimate that millions of acres of Iowa farmland are losing dangerous amounts of soil through wind and water erosion at levels far exceeding the so-called tolerable rate of soil loss (5 tons per acre). This has serious impacts on water quality via sedimentation and carries an economic cost to farmers and to society. Read more >

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