When we announced that we were looking for a new editor, we were blown away by the caliber of applicants. If we had the budget of a mainstream publication, we could hire so many amazing writers and really build the Civil Eats empire. Until then, we’ve just added one more stellar member to our team: Anna Roth, SF Weekly’s former food & drink editor, who joins us as our new senior editor.
Devastating crop losses, over-heated cows, and major changes to farm infrastructure. According to a new report from the Risky Business Project, these are just a few of the problems that will arise in the coming decades as the climate warms.
“It [was] a total girl-power year around here,” says Janet Whalen Zeller, co-founder and co-director of Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture and Education Project, which oversees two farms totaling 56 acres. In fact, during the past few years the majority of apprenticeship applicants at the farm have been women.
With its millions of acres of farmland, Iowa is a crucial part of our country’s food landscape. Almost a third of all pork sold in the United States is raised in Iowa, along with two billion bushels of corn, half a billion bushels of soybeans, and 13.8 billion eggs. The majority of this food isn’t produced by independent family farmers, but rather on large-scale commercial farms and in a growing number of concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs.
Every year farmers plant corn on close to 80 million acres of land throughout the United States. This much-critiqued staple of American agriculture is incredibly resource intensive. To produce 200 bushels, an acre of corn requires 160 pounds of nitrogen and 600,000 gallons of water. And these “inputs,” as they are called, have consequences.
Monarch butterflies are in trouble. These popular insects, which have captured the public imagination with their several-thousand mile migrations, have been steadily disappearing for the past 20 years. Now, Monsanto says it wants to help turn the tide. Can the seed and pesticide giant seen by many as responsible for the monarchs’ decline make a difference for these pollinators? Or will its next batch of genetically engineered (GE) crops make matters worse?
Since 2009, Civil Eats has produced thousands of stories from a stable of hundreds of contributors and broken news on underreported stories. From state and federal policy to agroecology to urban farming and school lunch to food stamps, Civil Eats’ have reported on the most important food and agriculture stories of our time, profiled hundreds of innovative models, and provided a steady stream of insightful commentary and analysis.
At New Orleans’ Recirculating Farms Coalition (RFC), vegetables grow in an intricate system of recirculating aquaculture systems and raised garden beds. Founded in 2009, the nonprofit organization trains urban farmers in both soil-based farming and fish farming—a combination that provides food for the local community.
Now, thanks to a federal grant, RFC has received $500,000 to create a more robust free training program for budding urban farmers, specifically targeting its outreach and support to new farmers in some of the most low-income and underserved communities in New Orleans: Central City, Algiers, New Orleans East, the Seventh Ward, and the Ninth Ward.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been just inundated by people sending me this link showing “school lunches around the world” and how poorly America’s lunches fare by comparison. Like this:
In the opening scene of the film After Winter, Spring a French farmer name Guy spots the stony edges of an ancient farm tool peeking up through the ground in his field. He holds the tool in his hand, proof that people have cultivated the Périgord region in southwest France for more than 4000 years.
“That does something to you, to know we’re a speck of dust to all that has come before,” he says.