food system


Strawberry pickers in Salinas, CA. Farmworkers typically wear long-sleeve shirts year-round in order to protect themselves from sun, insects, and pesticides.

It’s National Heat Awareness Day—Let’s Protect Farmworkers from Extreme Heat

, Scientist, Food and Environment

The last Friday in May is National Heat Awareness Day. For those of us in parts of the country where summer has already arrived like a sack of bricks, you might be thinking “Don’t remind me!” I know that here in DC, my short morning commute is starting to feel like a steamy tropical hike. Read more >

Holger Hubbs
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¿Por qué es político el sistema agroalimentario?

, Director, Food & Environment

Grato sería disfrutar un bocado sin molestarnos con consideraciones mayores al sabor y el agrado de nuestros platillos favoritos. Sin embargo, el sistema alimentario funciona de manera tal que la gran mayoría de nosotros lo repudiaríamos si comprendiéramos lo que hace con nuestro aval, el cual concedemos cada vez que pedimos algo de la carta de un restaurante, o nos paseamos llenando nuestro carrito en el supermercado. Read more >

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Photo courtesy flickr/Marco Verch

Shopping for Change: A Virtual Trip to the Supermarket, and 4 Key Takeaways

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

The average US supermarket carries more than 30,000 items. With all that choice, you’d think it would be easy to make day-to-day food-buying decisions that are good for people, animals, and the planet. But a trip to a virtual supermarket in a new online feature shows why that isn’t necessarily true, and what it will take to make real change in our food and farming system. Read more >

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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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What Our 50-State Scorecard Says About Farming and Water Pollution (and What the Farm Bill Should Do About It)

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Last week, my colleagues and I launched a super-cool data tool on the UCS website. The 50-State Food System Scorecard compiles loads of publicly available data dealing with the health and sustainability of food and farming, and ranks the states on their performance in various data categories and overall.

Finding and evaluating a critical mass of data to say something reasonably comprehensive about each state’s food system—from farm to fork—was a big project, and its lead scientist Marcia DeLonge summarized how we did it and why we bothered in a post last week. So today, I want to home in on just one of the aspects we looked at.

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Photo: Tim McCable, USDA/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)
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