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Don’t look, but a couple of mega-companies are about to take over your food supply

A rumored marriage between two ag behemoths could make life tough for farmers in a whole new way.
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Food

How a grain and legume farmer harvests nutrition from the soil

Larry Kandarian grows legumes alongside ancient grains on his California farm, producing a polyculture that benefits both the health of the land and his own.
Climate

How a seed bank, almost lost in Syria's war, could help feed a warming planet.

TERBOL, Lebanon — Ali Shehadeh, a seed hunter, opened the folders with the greatest of care. Inside each was a carefully dried and pressed seed pod: a sweet clover from Egypt, a wild wheat found only in northern Syria, an ancient variety of bread wheat. He had thousands of these folders stacked neatly in a windowless office, a precious herbarium, containing seeds foraged from across the hot, arid and increasingly inhospitable region known as the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of farming.

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Climate

Fall armyworm arrives in Africa on the heels of climate change.

Tobias Okwara is a farmer in Kayoro Parish in southeastern Uganda. In the midst of a long drought that began in May 2016, he and his neighbors got together to discuss what to do. Food was becoming scarce, and they hoped to recover quickly once the rains started again. They decided they would pool their meagre resources and plant a large communal field of maize. By spring 2017, the rains had finally returned, and their maize was thriving.

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Energy

Enbridge argues Line 3 oil pipeline needed for Minnesota, region.

Enbridge Energy is arguing its proposed $2 billion Line 3 oil pipeline is critical to serve oil refineries in Minnesota and throughout the region.

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Climate

Everyone knew Houston’s reservoirs would flood — except for the people who bought homes inside them.

by Neena Satija, The Texas Tribune and Reveal, Kiah Collier, The Texas Tribune, and Al Shaw, ProPublica, October 12, 2017

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Food

Don’t penalize farmers for Delhi’s air pollution.

As farmers seek monetary help, and have openly flouted the ban imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on burning of paddy straw, a direct confrontation between the agitating farmers and the government is on the anvil.

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Water

If you’re concerned about food waste, try this beer.

A third of all food produced globally—approximately 1.3 billion tons worth—is wasted every year, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

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The White House
Climate

It’s not regulation that’s a threat to jobs, it’s climate change.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP and Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt have a go-to argument they lean on when pushing for repeal of the Clean Power Plan or other government regulation: The red tape is costing America jobs.

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Food

Can we trust the sustainable meat we order online?

The best way to know where your beef comes from is to order directly from a farmer. But not everyone can afford to pay farmers’ market prices or to front hundreds of dollars for a cow share and then try to fit all the vacuum-sealed meat into their freezer. For this reason, a host of online resources are now available to ship the most sustainable meats directly from family farms to consumers’ doors. All in manageable quantities at a reasonable price.

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Water

In the mountains of Puerto Rico, hurricane recovery is slower.

TRUJILLO ALTO, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - In the lowlands of Trujillo Alto, a sprawling suburb of San Juan, clean water once again flows in the homes of most residents. But in the mountainous part of the city, which is largely poor and semi-rural, finding clean water remains a daily struggle.

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Toxics

Agent Orange, exposed: How U.S. chemical warfare in Vietnam unleashed a slow-moving disaster.

In the end, the military campaign was called Operation Ranch Hand, but it originally went by a more appropriately hellish appellation: Operation Hades. As part of this Vietnam War effort, from 1961 to 1971, the United States sprayed over 73 million liters of chemical agents on the country to strip away the vegetation that provided cover for Vietcong troops in “enemy territory.”

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Island Press
Originals

Weed killer for breakfast.

For many people, a toasted bagel topped with honey might sound like a healthy breakfast choice. Others might prefer a bowl of oatmeal or cornflakes or a hot plate of scrambled eggs. Few would likely welcome a dose of weed killer that has been linked to cancer in their morning meal.

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Our plastic planet

While climate change remains environmental issue #1, the worries over plastic in our water, soil, food, and bodies continue to grow.

Disinfection dangers: How to avoid viruses without exposing yourself to toxics

COVID-19 has all of us cleaning more—but the products designed to kill viruses and bacteria can have dangerous health impacts. Here's how to scrub safely.

Building a library of American environmental classics (Part Two)

More recommendations for your home eco-library.

Microplastics in farm soils: A growing concern

Researchers say that more microplastics pollution is getting into farm soil than oceans—and these tiny bits are showing up in our fruits, veggies, and bodies.

Cutting edge of science

An exclusive look at important research just over the horizon that promises to impact our health and the environment

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