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

Photo: Ringo Chiu/Shutterstock

Protecting Workers from COVID-19: Long Overdue Safety Standards Coming Soon from OSHA

, Research Analyst

Workers, their families, and their communities need and deserve strong, enforceable, and science-based protections from COVID-19. Now new leaders at the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) are on the verge of providing those safeguards. It is widely expected that OSHA will soon issue an emergency temporary standard to protect workers from COVID-19. Read more >

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Two USDA researchers looking at a row of vegetables

3 Research Questions Could Hold the Key to Sustainable Eating

, Senior Analyst, Food Systems and Health

Food is more than just nutrition. We also know that food can affect the health of many people before it even reaches our plates. For example, pollution caused by fertilizer runoff from farms have left communities without access to safe drinking water, while many of the people who produce our food don’t earn enough to afford healthy diets themselves. So, is it possible to eat in ways that promote health and produce better outcomes for our collective wellbeing, livelihoods, and natural resources? And what would it take to get us there? These are complex questions, but critical ones—and if the federal government made it a national priority to answer them, we might have a chance at avoiding otherwise devastating consequences. Read more >

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Crop field with runoff
USDA NRCS

To Save Its Soil and Clean Up Its Water, Iowa Needs to Act Fast(er)

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Iowans have long prized their state’s deep, rich soils and its position as an agricultural powerhouse. In the heart of the Corn Belt, its farmers lead the nation in corn acres planted, and come in second in soybean acres. But there’s a dark side to all that: Decades of intensive, industrial-style production of those two crops—and little else—has decimated Iowa’s soil and fouled its waterways, leaving farmers and communities downstream and across the state vulnerable. Among the many issues state legislators are considering this month in Des Moines, soil health and water quality are arguably among the most urgent. And they need to act fast. Read more >

USDA NRCS
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Heart-shaped chicken nuggets on a tray of fast food

Tyson Foods Wants to Be Our Valentine. Thanks, But No Thanks.

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

In the latest weird 2021 moment,* meat and poultry giant Tyson Foods is running a marketing campaign involving chicken nuggets arranged into freakish bouquets for Valentine’s Day. Here at the Union of Concerned Scientists, we have some thoughts about Tyson’s Valentine offering to the nation: Read more >

Pikist
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Secretary Vilsack is no stranger to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Here, he appears at a hearing on the Farm Bill in February, 2015. USDA photo by Bob Nichols/Flickr

Questions for a Once-and-Future Agriculture Secretary

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

The last time the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) got a new leader, I was decidedly unimpressed. Okay, understatement…I was incensed by a secretary who cared little for science and was fully in the pocket of big agribusinesses (looking at you, Dow). After four years of all that, it’s refreshing to see a new administration listening to scientists and pledging to address the multiple crises we face. At the same time, the hill facing us is steep, and bold actions are needed. Read more >

USDA
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