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Rethinking farming

Agriculture can be environmentally damaging — yet there are alternatives. From adjusting our avocado consumption, to a sustainable (and underrated) crop of the future: beans.

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Toxics

6 of the most sustainable meat alternatives

The industry is associated with poor working conditions and is damaging the climate. So what other high-protein options are there?

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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Toxics

Did Monsanto ignore evidence linking its weed killer to cancer?

This could be the company’s “Big Tobacco” moment.

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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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Food

On superior farmlands, limited appetite for local food.

In hyper-fertile Central Illinois, sustainable farmers seek local support, but end up trekking their wares to Chicago.

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Toxics

Scientists found a gnarly pesticide in 75 percent of global honey samples.

The last taste of honey you enjoyed likely came from bees exposes to neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used class of insecticides.

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Iowa Farm Bureau
Water

Report: Iowa drainage districts key to reducing nitrate pollution.

Drainage districts, one of the lowest tiers of Iowa government, could play a big role in addressing nitrate pollution that threatens water quality, according to a new report from an Iowa think tank.

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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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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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Climate

How the coffee industry is about to get roasted by climate change.

Fall is always a good time to create new habits, and coffee chains know it.

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Water

Clean water vs. farm profits at heart of fertilizer-rule debate.

By Josephine Marcotty Star Tribune OCTOBER 9, 2017 — 10:24PM

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Toxics

Complaints surge about weed killer dicamba’s damage to oak trees.

As soybean and cotton farmers across the Midwest and South continue to see their crops ravaged from the weed killer dicamba, new complaints have pointed to the herbicide as a factor in widespread damage to oak trees.

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Food

School food hero Betti Wiggins takes on Houston’s public schools.

Betti Wiggins has been working to feed urban children—consistently, systematically, and healthfully—for going on 30 years. She’s credited most recently with turning around Detroit’s inefficient public school food program as director of the district’s office of school nutrition. About four month before Hurricane Harvey wrought unprecedented destruction on the Gulf Coast, Wiggins started a position as the Houston school district’s officer of nutrition services, where she planned to continue her decades-long mission.

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From our Newsroom

Researchers, doctors call for regulators to reassess safety of taking acetaminophen during pregnancy

The painkiller, taken by half of pregnant women worldwide, could be contributing to rising rates of reproductive system problems and neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD and autism.

LISTEN: Azmal Hossan on the sociology of climate crises in South Asia

"If we look at the rate of carbon emissions, most is emitted by the developed and industrialized countries, but the problem is poor countries like Bangladesh are the main sufferers."

Op-ed: We don’t have time for another fossil fuel bridge

Those holding up carbon capture and hydrogen as new climate solutions are leading us down the wrong path.

Climate storytelling: Creativity and imagination in the face of bleak realities

Working with youth writers on a climate-fiction screenplay has opened my eyes to the power of the arts in confronting environmental crises.

Ocean plastic pollution

Too much plastic is ending up in the ocean — and making its way back onto our dinner plates.

Peter Dykstra: Protected by an alphabet soup of acronyms

CITES, CCAMLR, LDC, MBTA, CBD, Ramsar, LWCF ... they may make your eyes glaze over, but they protect our health and planet.

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