food system


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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Photo: Preston Keres, USDA

We Ranked All 50 States from Farm to Fork. Why We Bothered—and a Taste of Our Takeaways

, senior scientist

Recently, some fellow data geeks and I spent (quite a lot of) time ranking all 50 states on the health and sustainability of their food systems, from soil to spoon. Read more >

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Farmer Kate Edwards of Wild Woods Farm in Johnson County, Iowa

Investing in the Future Farmers and Stewards of America

, senior scientist

Many of you have probably heard that the average age of the American farmer has been trending up, as the number of farmers in our country has been trending down. As of the last census, US farmers averaged 58.3 years, continuing a steady creep over two decades. Six times as many farmers are over 65 as are under 35. The agricultural industry as a whole has the highest median age of all reported sectors in the US labor force. Who will be the farmers of the future? Read more >

Photo: USDA
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This is Our Moment: Time to Amplify the Energy of the Food Movement

, director, Food & Environment Program

The nomination of our nation’s new Secretary of Agriculture is imminent—likely to occur over the three days prior to Friday’s inauguration, according to Vice-President-elect Mike Pence. As my colleague Nora Gilbert and I recently wrote, we’ll soon know whether the new administration will use this key position to support the rural and farming population that was so instrumental in placing them in power. Read more >

Photo: Michael Fleshman/CC-BY-NC-2.0, Flickr
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Battling Climate Change With Each Bite: 4 Things To Do If You’re Going Bananas About the Story Behind Your Food

, senior scientist

I have a challenge for you. Take a moment, and consider what you ate for breakfast. As routine as it may have felt, dig beneath the surface and I’ll bet you’ll find a story that’s anything but mundane. It might even be magical. Read more >

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