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Billy Metcalf Photography/Flickr

Reviving the Gulf Dead Zone Is Worth it: Our New Report Shows the Benefits of Action  

, Economist

Earlier this month, NOAA forecast that this summer in the Gulf of Mexico an area the size of Delaware and Connecticut combined would have so little oxygen that marine life flees from it or dies in it. In 2017, this “dead zone” was the size of New Jersey, the largest one ever recorded. Read more >

Billy Metcalf Photography/Flickr
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Record 2019 Precipitation in Midwest Financially Crushed Farmers

, Climate Vulnerability Social Scientist

This blog post was co-authored by Shana Udvardy.

 

The year 2019 has been one of climate extremes.

A brutal Memorial Day weekend heat wave broke triple-digit records in many places, 6,000-plus wildfires burned nearly 200,000 acres in California, an “ultra-intense” Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas (as well as other slow-moving destructive storms). To cap this, there were mind-boggling amounts of precipitation dumped on many parts of the United States. Among the hardest-hit areas were the Midwest and South-Central United States, which experienced record flooding that severely hurt agriculture there.  Read more >

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Adrian V. Floyd/flickr

How Cereal Companies and Consumers Can Make Breakfast Better

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

What’s for breakfast? Maybe it’s a bagel and cream cheese, or toast and coffee, or eggs (or not). For millions of Americans, though, cereal is a breakfast mainstay. There’s a mind-boggling array of ready-to-eat cereal brands on offer, and everyone has their favorites.

But what really goes into your cereal of choice? What impact does that have on the planet? What can cereal-makers—and those of us who buy their products—do to lessen that impact? These are questions UCS asked in a new report, Champions of Breakfast: How Cereal-Makers Can Help Save Our Soil, Support Farmers, and Take a Bite out of Climate Change.

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Photo: dvs/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)

The Midwest’s Food System is Failing. Here’s Why.

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

If you’ve perused the new UCS 50-State Food System Scorecard, you’ve probably noticed a seeming contradiction. As shown on the map below, the heavily agricultural states in the middle of the country aren’t exactly knocking it out of the park when it comes to the overall health and sustainability of their food and farming systems. On the contrary, most of the leading farm states of the Midwest reside in the basement of our overall ranking.

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Photo: Kristin & Jordan Hayman/flickr

Even Without an Agriculture Secretary, Trump’s Cabinet Says Plenty about Food and Water Plans

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

It’s official. This week’s Veterans Affairs nomination leaves the Trump administration’s Secretary of Agriculture position as the last cabinet slot to be filled. With his inauguration just 7 days away, the president-elect still hasn’t announced his pick for this vital position that touches every American’s life at least three times a day.

But while we wait (and wait, and wait) to see who will run the department that shapes our nation’s food and farm system, it may be instructive to take a look at what some of his other personnel choices say about his intentions in this realm. And particularly, what the Trump team could mean for two of our most basic human needs—food and water. Read more >

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