agroecology


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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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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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Map of the US highlighting the hypoxic "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico and the watershed that feeds it. Photo: NOAA

There’s Nothing Average About This Year’s Dead Zone Forecast

, Kendall Science Fellow

Yesterday, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its annual forecast for the size of the Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” – an area of coastal water where low oxygen is lethal to marine life. They say we should expect an “average year.” That doesn’t sound so bad, but as we wrote last year, the dead zone average is approximately 6,000 square miles, or the size of the state of Connecticut. Average is not normal. Read more >

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Let’s Talk Trash: Berry Good Progress on Food Waste

, agroecologist

As spring charges around the corner, New Year’s resolutions may be a distant memory. However, I said it before and I will say it again—it is never too late to start slimming your food waste. Read more >

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Soils to Reverse Climate Change: “Carbon Farming” and the Untapped Potential in Ecological Approaches

, Kendall Science Fellow

Are there agricultural practices that might offer more potential than the ones commonly discussed in the “carbon farming” conversation? In a companion post, I wrote about what the science tells us about cover cropping and reduced tillage, two practices getting a lot of attention in what I’ve called the “carbon farming” rage. Read more >

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