sustainable agriculture


A Better Way for Our Food System

Dr. Liz Carlisle and Dr. M. Jahi Chappell, , UCS

When it comes to problems stemming from the current industrial food system, we need to get beyond cleaning up the mess. At some point, we have to ask: if our food system causes nitrate pollution, climate change, obesity, diabetes, and biodiversity loss—while undermining the very soil quality it depends upon for its own long-term viability—isn’t it time to find a better way? Read more >

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Why Aren’t Presidential Candidates Talking about Food and Agriculture?

, Fellow, Food & Environment Program

With the first Democratic debate a week behind us and the election still over a year away, we’ve entered a long but important window to influence campaign conversation.

In last week’s debate, the candidates spoke for 101 minutes during which gun control was mentioned 40 times. Russia and Syria followed in a tight second with 36 mentions, clocking in above the economy, which got called out 30 times. The health of Americans—or more specifically, healthcare—came up less than half as frequently, but still garnered 13 mentions.

How many times did the candidates mention food or agriculture? Read more >

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Carandale Farm, Oregon, WI: Colleagues from UCS, the Savanna Institute, and I tasting seaberries with farmer, researcher, and owner Dale Secher. Dale researches non-traditional fruit crops that can support more sustainable, local food systems.

The ABCD’s of Agroecology: What Is It All About?

, agroecologist

What makes agroecology so great (as I have said before!) is that it combines the best of two time-tested disciplines, ecology and agriculture, to pursue solutions for a healthier world. The list of experts who have agreed that agroecology can address many major challenges keeps growing, but what is this really all about? Read more >

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Making Big Data Bigger: Sleeker Science to Inspire Water Pollution Solutions

, agroecologist

We live in an era of big data, where anyone with access to a computer has loads of scientific treasures at their fingertips. Yet all too often, these amazing resources find themselves with oh-so-small audiences. I know, I know… not everyone gets as excited about data as I do. But, with the keys to many of our biggest challenges out there to discover, we need more hands on deck. Read more >

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Testifying about Sustainability and the American Diet

, sr. scientist & dir., Climate Research and Analysis

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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