Ricardo Salvador

Director, Food & Environment Program

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Ricardo Salvador is an internationally renowned agronomist with more than 20 years of experience working to build a healthier food system. Dr. Salvador directs UCS’s Food and Environment Program. See Ricardo's full bio.

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Students at Dolores González Elementary School in Albuquerque learn traditional corn braiding Photo: Dolores González Elementary School

On Indigenous People’s Day, a Look at the Movement to Revive Native Foodways and How Western Science Might Support—For a Change

“Tribes are not sovereign unless they can feed themselves,” notes Ross Racine, Executive Director of the Intertribal Agriculture Council. This is such a brutal fact that that the destruction of Native foodways was used by the U.S. government to effectively weaken, destroy and remove Native people from their ancestral lands during the period of Western colonization, genocide, expansion and cultural undermining that ran from the 17th into the present century (in the form of “Food Distribution Programs,” largely the food that has made many Native communities both dependent and among the sickest in the world.) Read more >

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Trump’s USDA vs. Science

The United States has a complicated history when it comes to science. The very birth of the nation is bound up with the European Scientific Revolution and Age of Enlightenment, culminating in the notion that reason should inform the self-government of free peoples. President Jefferson wrote that science “is more important in a republic than in any other government.” Decades later, President Lincoln established the National Academy of Sciences to “provide independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology.” Read more >

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Crops and livestock integrated in a regenerative agricultural system. Photo: Farmland LP

Here’s What Agriculture of the Future Looks Like: The Multiple Benefits of Regenerative Agriculture Quantified

At the Union of Concerned Scientists, we have long advocated agricultural systems that are productive and better for the environment, the economy, farmers, farmworkers and eaters than the dominant industrial system. We refer to such a system as our Healthy Farm vision. Based on comprehensive science, we have specified that healthy farm systems must be multifunctional, biodiverse, interconnected and regenerative. Read more >

Photo: Farmland LP
Graphic: Our World In Data.
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A drought-stricken soybean field in Texas

In the Final Stretch of the Farm Bill, Keep an Eye on Crop Insurance. (Crop Insurance?)

You’re not a farmer, but you’re invested in crop insurance.

The chances that you are a farmer are nil. After all, there are only 2.1 million farms in a nation of 323.1 million people. Yet, you are deeply invested in the nation’s farming enterprise. As a taxpayer, you back U.S. agriculture by financing a range of government programs that hover around $20 billion annually. Those tax dollars fund such things as price supports, research, marketing and crop insurance. Read more >

Photo: Bob Nichols, USDA/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)
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This is Our Moment: Time to Amplify the Energy of the Food Movement

The nomination of our nation’s new Secretary of Agriculture is imminent—likely to occur over the three days prior to Friday’s inauguration, according to Vice-President-elect Mike Pence. As my colleague Nora Gilbert and I recently wrote, we’ll soon know whether the new administration will use this key position to support the rural and farming population that was so instrumental in placing them in power. Read more >

Photo: Michael Fleshman/CC-BY-NC-2.0, Flickr
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