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Posts Tagged ‘sustainable agriculture’

Testifying about Sustainability and the American Diet

The day before yesterday, together with my UCS colleagues Lindsey Haynes-Maslow and Deborah Bailin, I went to the National Institutes of Health to testify on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. This report, prepared by a committee of experts every five years, provides the basic information for federal food programs such as school lunches and SNAP (formerly called food stamps), and is used to create the official U.S. Dietary Guidelines that are the basis for the MyPlate graphics.

Lindsey, Deborah and I testified about different aspects of the DGAC report, and they have already put their testimony up on their blogs. Here is mine, which focuses on food sustainability issues such as the climate impacts of the American diet.
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Regardless of the Groundhog’s Shadow, Farmers and Scientists are Planning for Spring

With much of the country blanketed in snow, Groundhog Day comes around routinely as a happy reminder that spring is around the corner, plus or minus a few weeks. Even though Punxsutawney Phil predicted that we have more winter ahead of us this year, farmers and agricultural researchers are already busy planning for green pastures and fruitful fields. Read More

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You Are What You Eat—And What It Eats Too

Guest Bogger

Liz Carlisle
Fellow, Center for Diversified Farming Systems

Berkeley, CA

A dozen years ago, a New York Times Magazine article titled “Power Steer” changed the way Americans thought about meat. “We are what we eat, it is often said,” wrote author Michael Pollan, “but of course that is only part of the story. We are what what we eat eats too.” Read More

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Groundbreaking Study Shows How Sustainable Farming Practices Can Improve Yields

As the human population rises, so too does the anxiety about whether there will be enough food for all. Many have suggested that sustainable agriculture methods, such as organic production, are not suited to large scale adoption as a means of providing a reliable food source. Yet considering that our industrial agricultural system generates a plethora of environmental and public health problems, we have a real conundrum. How can we possibly secure sufficient food quantities without sacrificing the quality of our health or our planet’s? Read More

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Agriculture + Ecology: No Matter What You Call It, the Science of “Agroecology” Adds Up

As a child of America’s Dairyland and conservationist Aldo Leopold’s home (yes, that would be Wisconsin), I always loved how agriculture and ecology dominated the scenery. Driving through the state, though, I usually only spotted those two vistas out opposite windows. Read More

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Why Does Good Produce Cost So Much?

During the summer of 2012, I was hard at work finishing data collection for my doctoral dissertation. While pursuing my degree in Health Policy and Management, I had just spent the last year traveling around North Carolina asking lower-income women what their thoughts were on access to healthy food. Not surprisingly, produce prices were always the first topic to come up. Read More

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Yes, Actually There Is a Bright Way Forward for Midwestern Agriculture

Picture this bright future: Farmers large and small, commodity groups, conservationists, government agencies, university researchers, federal funders and private philanthropies all agreeing on one thing. And that one thing is how you can practice agriculture while reducing environmental impact, improving water quality, protecting wildlife and producing alternative energy. Read More

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Scientists Say “Yes” to Investment in Sustainable Agriculture

Suspense. In early July, UCS launched a statement from 36 leading agricultural scientists calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Congress, and the nation’s agricultural universities to shift their focus and research priorities toward a redefinition of the nation’s agricultural vision. These three dozen science heavyweights outlined the benefits of the modern science of agroecology, and called for greater investment of public resources in our nation’s long term interest. But would other experts join them? Read More

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Now What? Scientists Call for a Better Way to Invest in the Future of Agriculture

Iowa State University, April 2005. I stood at the front of the classroom, a veteran of 25 years of teaching at one of the nation’s front-line agricultural institutions, and I was trying hard not to show my disbelief. The young man who had just spoken was a superstar student and, like most agriculture students in Iowa, came from a farm. He’d just heard a team of fellow students report on the grass-fed beef system of the Argentine pampas, and his first reaction was to ask: “Cattle can really eat grass?” 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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