food


Photo: US Department of Agriculture

Why Republican Farm Bill Negotiators Should Think Twice About Attacks on SNAP

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

This September, after Congress returns from its August recess, we can expect to see the first public meeting of the farm bill conference committee.

The committee—currently composed of a healthy 47 appointees (or “conferees”) from the House and nine from the Senate—will have the difficult task of reconciling two vastly different versions of the bill. The House bill received sharp criticism for its proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), including extreme and unjustified work requirements that would reduce or eliminate benefits for millions of people. The Senate, by contrast, passed a bipartisan bill that left the structure of SNAP largely intact and made additional investments in healthy and sustainable food systems.

Based on what we’ve seen so far, it wouldn’t surprise us if House Republican conferees continue to push for changes that will make it harder for people to access SNAP. But based on the data, this strategy seems pretty misguided.

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From Academia to Advocacy and Back: The Importance of Translating Research into Policy

, food systems & health analyst

Sadly, this will be my last post as an analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).  I came to UCS in Washington, DC immediately after obtaining my PhD in 2014. Two years later, I’m coming full circle, returning to the world of academia—with a new understanding and appreciation for how my research can have an impact in the policy world.

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Beef and the Paris Agreement: Changing What We Eat to Stop Causing Climate Change

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

On Earth Day two weeks ago, 171 countries officially signed the Paris Agreement on climate change. In doing so, they agreed to the long term goal of ending humanity’s damage to the climate—that is, reducing our emissions of global warming pollution to zero—in the second half of this century. One encouraging part of the ongoing scientific discussion about how to achieve this ambitious goal, is that we’re finally starting to take seriously the impact of what people eat. Three recent studies show that it makes a big difference, to the climate as well as to our health.

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Humanity’s “Need” for “Food” in 2050

, scientific adviser, Climate and Energy

Perhaps the most viral meme in the discussion about global food and agriculture has been that we will need to produce at least 60% more food in 2050. This statement has been repeated hundreds and perhaps thousands of times in the past decade, often as the introduction to articles, speeches and web postings explaining why it’s necessary to raise agricultural production, whether by using GMOs, clearing forests, or totally revolutionizing the global food system.

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From Baltimore Protests to Food: The Importance of Community Voices

, food systems & health analyst

Two months ago I was in Baltimore for a conference focusing on healthy food access. Before the opening reception I squeezed in a run. With temperatures well below freezing, I ran down to the Harbor where the water was frozen and the cargo ships were still. There was hardly anyone in sight. I was amazed at the quietness blanketing the city. Read more >

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