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

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visits and serves bacon cheeseburgers for lunch to some of the Discovery Elementary School students, in Arlington, VA, during National School Lunch Week, October 15-19, 2018. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

From School Lunch to SNAP, New Attacks on Kids’ Health and Nutrition

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Life comes at you fast, and so does the Trump administration’s ongoing assault on children’s health. Over the last many months, my colleagues in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy have been hard at work rounding up stories of action or inaction, at agencies from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and beyond, that put the nation’s children in greater danger. Their report and related not-really-for-kids-storybook came out last week, and I encourage you to read them both.

But sadly, the tally is already a bit out of date. Even as our report was in press, the administration was jumping on a few more opportunities to put kids at risk.

Read more >

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On Valentine’s Day, a Love Letter to Legumes

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

Dear Legumes, I know I shouldn’t wait for a corporate holiday to say it—and apparently Hallmark doesn’t make cards for crops anyhow—but I can’t let today go by without telling you what I feel for you. It’s a soul-feeding, life-changing, makes-the-world-a-better-place kind of love, and I want to tell you why. Read more >

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Njeri Mwangi/Reuters

East African Locust Crisis Shows how Climate Change Threatens Food Security

, Policy Director and Lead Economist, Climate & Energy

Huge swarms of desert locusts are advancing across the Horn of Africa, threatening crops that millions of people depend on for food. UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Director-General Qu Dongyu has called this “a situation of international dimensions that threatens the food security of the entire subregion.” The unprecedented scale of this infestation has been fueled by climate change, which has contributed to ocean conditions favorable for the unusually high number of cyclones (8 in 2019) and extreme rainfall in the region, creating ideal breeding conditions for locusts. Read more >

Njeri Mwangi/Reuters
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5 Quotes Capturing the Debate Over Dietary Guidelines

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

Last week in Houston, a federal advisory committee convened for the fourth time to deliberate the science that will shape the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Revised every five years to reflect current science, these guidelines are the nation’s leading set of evidence-based nutrition recommendations, and they influence the food choices made by millions of people every day. Read more >

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President Trump, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and other department heads participate in a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. Official White House photo by Tia Dufour on Flickr

Secretary Perdue and the Trump Administration See Environmental Regulation as a Weapon. That’s Not Just Dumb, It’s Dangerous.

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

In the latest assault on science and the nation’s health and safety, the Trump administration recently proposed a rule that would upend the way federal agencies work to assess and minimize the harm their actions can do to the environment we all depend upon. The move threatens to turn back decades of progress and would shock the architects of the law, including a professor I knew many years ago.

So of course, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is all for it. Read more >

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