Top Food and Agriculture News

In their own words: Oral histories of California farmworkers.

Journalist Gabriel Thompson collected the stories of 17 farmworkers who share the day-to-day struggles of life in the fields. Civil Eats

Deepening drought hits Ethiopia herders as millions go hungry.

Eastern and southern Africa were hit hard last year by drought exacerbated by El Niño that wilted crops, slowed economic growth and drove food prices higher. Reuters

Records show EPA efforts to slow herbicide review came in coordination with Monsanto.

Newly released government email communications show a persistent effort by multiple officials within the Environmental Protection Agency to slow a separate federal agency’s safety review of Monsanto’s top-selling herbicide. HuffPost

Our Reporting on Food

More news from EHN

Controversy, questions surround California’s listing of weed killer as cancer cause.

As California moves forward with glyphosate listing, debate over warning labels, exposure limits continue. Environmental Health News

Of mice, Monsanto and a mysterious tumor.

It’s been 34 years since Monsanto Co. presented U.S. regulators with a seemingly routine study analyzing the effects the company’s best-selling herbicide might have on rodents. Now, that study is once again under the microscope. Environmental Health News

Pete Myers: Inconvenient data buried as 'confidential business information.'

After the European Parliament obtains the release of Monsanto's data, a very different picture emerges about the safety of its product. Environmental Health News

Editor comments: We've got almost 300 stories in our archives about Europe's effort to regulate glyphosate. Find them here. -DF

Editorials

Tainted eggs.

The egg contamination crisis exposes a problem caused by a combination of government laxity and the lack of professional ethics on the part of farmers. A bigger cause for concern is that the egg industry might not be the only one with such a problem. more…

Little players have big role in farming.

There should be little doubt lingering about how crucial bees are to the natural world – and to human food production. more…

Food security

How to help 55 million people out of food deserts.

Programs provide easier access to fresh, healthful foods to low-income neighbors. Yes! Magazine

Kale power: Water for crops gives women in Kenya's drylands a voice.

"I can take my children to school, cook balanced meals for my family and I have gained recognition in my community" Thomson Reuters Foundation

"Hidden" hunger crisis in Congo pushing it closer to famine.

Hunger in the Democratic Republic of Congo has soared in the last year, leaving 7.7 million people in urgent need of food aid and pushing the country closer to famine than it has been in a decade, food security experts said on Monday. Thomson Reuters Foundation

Climate extremes, policy confuse crop choices for Malawi farmers.

Faced with climate change, uncertain markets and government policies they see as unhelpful, many of Malawi's farmers feel ill-equipped to decide how much of which crop to plant and when. Reuters

Cooking gas shortages force Venezuelans to turn to firewood.

Venezuelan homemaker Carmen Rondon lives in the country with the world's largest oil reserves, but has spent weeks cooking with firewood due to a chronic shortage of home cooking gas - leaving her hoarse from breathing smoke. Reuters

PODCAST: Access denied.

The indigenous people of northern Canada are suffering from food access challenges, leading to both poor diets and poor health outcomes. They need policy makers' help to find land-based food solutions. But if food access improves, will dietary choice follow suit? The Forum

Opinions

Revitalize the world’s countryside.

Cities and villages are an organic whole. Both must be developed sustainably to support each other. more…

Cheese powder and other hobgoblins: A double standard in risk reporting.

When a company claims its products are safe, journalists are rightly skeptical. Why do alarmist claims from environmental groups get a free pass? more…

Soil

A soil app aims to get kids deep into dirt.

The Center for Ecoliteracy has developed a new tool to help kids understand where their food comes from. Civil Eats

Can big money fix a broken food system?

Financial services firms are increasingly directing investor dollars into regenerative agriculture and other systemic food projects. Civil Eats

Troubled Water: Farming activity contaminates water despite best practices.

Farming communities had thousands of violations of nitrate contamination over the last 10 years. Farmers are trying to contain the issue, but a lack of regulation hinders progress. News21

Soil carbon scheme a world-first for South Australian and Victorian farmers.

Farmers in Victoria and South Australia are taking part in a world-first carbon capture scheme to generate a new source of income. ABC News Online, Australia

How Midwestern farmers could help save the Gulf of Mexico.

This cool technique can rescue sea creatures and soil—so why aren’t more farmers using it? Mother Jones

Kenya's herders swap livestock for chillies as drought bites.

Over the past year herders in Kenya's Rift Valley have lost thousands of animals to worsening drought and erratic rainfall. This is causing a growing number of them to switch to farming as a way to supplement their income. Thomson Reuters Foundation

Farming with biochar reduces toxic gas that causes smog and acid rain.

Researchers have identified biochar - agricultural waste repurposed as nutrient-rich cover for crops - as a way to slash agricultural emissions of nitric oxide, a powerful greenhouse gas. Anthropocene Magazine

Solutions and Good News

Groups around the city pitch in to keep your kitchen waste out of landfills.

City-backed projects and grassroots gardens are collaborating on the city’s Zero Waste composting goal. New York City Limits

Bees are bouncing back from colony collapse disorder.

With pesticides and other factors still stressing bees, the overall increase is largely the result of constant replenishment of losses, the study showed. Bloomberg News

A fresh idea to improve food access.

Fresh Truck’s mobile market in Boston fills prescriptions for fresh foods. Civil Eats

Programs filling growing number of jobs created by stormwater rules.

Good career opportunity, plus a chance to do good, attracts trainees. Chesapeake Bay Journal, Pennsylvania

Sustainable British cod on the menu after stocks recover.

A recovery from near total collapse has led North Sea cod stocks to be labelled as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council for the first time in 20 years. The Guardian

The inventor of Roomba has a new robot that sucks up invasive fish.

The Guardian robot collects lionfish so we can eat them—before they destroy ecosystems by chowing down on all the local fish. Fast Company

United States

Cold food, hot air.

EPA helps supermarkets switch to refrigerants that save money and lessen global warming. ClimateWire

Ever wondered how much your pet’s diet impacts the environment?

With an estimated 77.8 million dogs and 85.6 million cats as of 2015, the US has the most pet cats and dogs of any country on Earth — and the meat-based diets of those pets have considerable consequences. Mongabay

Widespread crop damage from dicamba herbicide fuels controversy.

Plant scientists dispute claims by the herbicide’s manufacturers that new formulations can be used safely. Chemical & Engineering News

Excerpt: 'Chasing the Harvest.'

A farmworker family profiled in 'Chasing the Harvest'—Maria Ayala Arroyo, Pedro Ayala Hernandez, and Guadalupe Ayala Arroyo—shares their story. Civil Eats

Ramping up food allergy prevention.

Farmers and food processors receive a briefing on FDA requirements that food be kept clear of undeclared allergens. North Carolina Health News, North Carolina

Will Americans ever become ethical buyers? This state is betting on it.

Alaska is taking significant bets on do-gooder buyers — and the results could be telling for the nation. OZY

World

Egg inspections complete, but safety concerns remain.

Consumer concerns about eggs contaminated with insecticides persisted Friday, as the government announced the results of its inspections on all large-scale egg farms. Korea Herald, South Korea

How Norway is selling out-of-date food to help tackle waste.

Supermarkets selling out-of-date produce and apps that identify food at risk of being binned are part of an ambitious plan to slash the nation’s food waste. The Guardian

Kitchen gardens cultivate bond between refugees, Kenyan hosts.

A project in northern Kenya aims to make refugees self-reliant through farming, while helping them integrate with the local community. Thomson Reuters Foundation

As rural Sri Lanka dries out, young farmers look for new job options.

"When my father was my age, maybe the rains were much more predictable. Now only a fool will bet on the rains" Thomson Reuters Foundation

Queen bees less likely to lay eggs, start colony after insecticide exposure.

Some queen bumblebees exposed to a common insecticide may never lay eggs or start colonies, which would lead to their extinction, researchers say. CBC Canada