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

Five Takeaways From the Fourth National Climate Assessment and What They Mean for Food and Farms

, senior scientist

This year’s harvest season has been bittersweet. Interspersed with delightful treats like apple cider and pumpkin pie has been a disheartening stream of news from America’s farmers, many of whom are struggling to stay afloat amidst low crop prices, trade wars, and disasters stretching from east coast hurricanes to west coast wildfires. As if there weren’t enough to worry about, the newly released Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) sends a sobering message that things likely won’t get easier anytime soon. Although, spoiler alert: it’s also clear that farmers have agency on climate change matters, and could play a pivotal role to make things better. Read more >

USDA /Cynthia Mendoza
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The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hears testimony at the confirmation hearing of Agriculture Secretary-nominee Sonny Perdue, March 23, 2017. USDA Photo by Preston Keres.

7 Questions the Senate Should Ask Trump’s New USDA Chief Scientist Nominee

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Back in early August (or roughly two Trump years ago), I wrote about the president’s nomination of Scott Hutchins to head up science at the US Department of Agriculture. In that post, I argued that Hutchins, an entomologist with a 30-year career at pesticide-maker Dow, is the wrong choice for the job.

On November 28, the Senate agriculture committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Hutchins, their chance to interview him for the position of USDA under secretary for research, education, and economics. Following are seven questions I think they should ask. Read more >

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NIFA research team
A team of scientists gathers data for a NIFA research project. Photo: USDA/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)

A Stealth Move to Undermine Science at the US Department of Agriculture

In its latest scheme to undermine science, the Trump administration is brazenly trying to—pun intended—farm out to the hinterlands the most important research arms of the Department of Agriculture. Read more >

Photo: USDA/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)
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Navy-veteran Lenny Evans Miles, Jr. operates Bluestem Farms LLC, in Chestertown, MD. USDA Photo by Preston Keres

On Veterans Day, Why Aren’t Congress and the USDA Looking Out for Those Who Served?

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

This Veterans Day is particularly significant, marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Though US veterans from that long-ago war are gone, some 20 million of their brethren are with us today. Our culture honors them at sporting events and other public venues, but we also have an ugly history of mistreating those who served—from returning Vietnam vets being spat upon to mismanaged healthcare programs and corruption at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

And right now, misguided decisions by the Secretary of Agriculture and members of Congress threaten to reverse progress for service members and veterans who want to work the land and feed their neighbors. Read more >

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Photo: USDA

The Dinner Table is the Latest Battleground for Trump’s Attacks on Immigrant Families

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

From an ill-conceived campaign promise to build a border wall to the recent deployment of thousands of US troops to confront a non-existent “invasion,” radical immigration policy has been a hallmark of the Trump presidency. The administration has introduced a baseless Muslim travel ban; ordered a separation of families at the southern border that landed more than 2,600 children in government shelters; and suggested that children born in the US to noncitizen parents should not be granted citizenship. Now, the administration is working to target immigrant families closer to home—at the dinner table. Read more >

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