Is Your Grass-Fed Beef for Real? Here’s How to Tell and Why it Matters

As demand for grass-fed beef explodes, a range of practices and labels (and a lack of regulation) persists.
Shutterstock.

When you buy a pound of hamburger in the grocery store, you’re likely to be bombarded by an incredible assortment of labels. With all-natural, grass-fed, free-range, pastured, sustainably sourced, and certified organic options to choose from, it’s not easy to parse which beef is actually the best. Read More

5 Things to Know About 2,4-D, the “Possibly” Cancer-Causing Herbicide

Use of the third most popular pesticide in the U.S. is predicted to grow dramatically in the next few years.
Shutterstock.

The majority of America’s farms rely heavily on herbicides—lots of them. So when the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the United States’ most widely used weed-killer, glyphosate, as “probably” carcinogenic to humans three months ago, it was big news.

Now, the same group–the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has concluded that 2,4-D, another commonly used weed killer, is “possibly” carcinogenic to humans. Here’s what you need to know about the decision and the chemical, which is the third most-widely used herbicide in the U.S. Read More

An Urban Farming Renaissance in Our Nation’s Capital

Buttoned-up Washington, D.C. is seeing a surge in free and low-cost classes on digging in the dirt.
dc2

On an April evening in northwest Washington, D.C., 11 gardeners sat at picnic tables watching Eriks and Andrejs Brolis, co-owners of Urban Farm Plans, a landscape design company and urban farm school. Some participants looked as if they’d hurried straight from the office, wearing dresses or button-down shirts; others sported T-shirts and jeans. Read More

The Man Who Brought You the Sugar Snap Pea Has Something New up His Sleeve

Pioneering Idaho botanist Calvin Lamborn is supplying Michelin-starred chefs on both coasts with a new breed of colorful peas
77489_EdibleMarin__peas_edited-1

French Laundry culinary gardener Aaron Keefer knew what he cradled in his hands was special. Even legendary.

When he nestled the pea seeds into the ground just shy of spring this year, he had not only pored over a national magazine cover story lauding their distinctiveness, but The French Laundry’s Chef de Cuisine David Breeden had been pestering him for months to procure them to grow in the showcase garden of this landmark Yountville, California, restaurant. Read More

Searching for Food You Can Believe in? Eat Well Guide’s New App Has You Covered

The website's latest update has mobile-friendly listings for more than 25,000 restaurants, markets, and farms with a focus on sustainability.
shutterstock_228417226

It’s almost impossible to remember Life Before Yelp–that far away time when finding a nearby restaurant or shop required a travel guide, phone book, or recommendation from a friend. Now it’s easy to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for online, whether it’s a budget-friendly pizza place that takes credit cards or a wine bar with small plates and a back patio. Read More

Distillers Join the Fight Against Food Waste

These companies are turning ugly and overripe fruit into high-end spirits like brandy and liqueur
Apples are processed to make spirits at Clear Creek Distillery in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Rachel Inman.

When Moose Koons offered to buy overripe, misshapen, and undersized fruit from farmers in Palisade, Colorado, their reactions were all the same. “They thought we were nuts!” he recalls.

The tattoo-covered skateboarder-turned-distiller convinced local farmers that the peaches, pears, and apples that supermarkets didn’t want were perfect for distilling into artisan spirits. Read More

Can Mission-Driven Food Companies Avoid Selling Out?

Veteran company Equal Exchange says slow, steady growth is ideal—and possible
shutterstock_220855864

The recent sale of Applegate Farms to the giant food conglomerate Hormel came as a surprise to many in the food world who saw Applegate as an important alternative to corporate-run meat production.

But the sale wasn’t unique; in fact, it was part of a much larger pattern. From Kashi to Stonyfield, and Celestial Seasonings to Honest Tea, big food companies, hoping to capitalize on increasing consumer demand for organic and “natural” foods, have been snapping up small operations for years. Read More

How Buying Smaller Fruit Could Save California’s Drought-Stricken Family Farms

Masumoto Family Farm hopes to start a #SmallFruitRevolution
The peaches at Masumoto Family  Farm

Second-generation organic peach grower David “Mas” Masumoto describes the difference between a farming disaster and a crisis this way: A disaster is when he harvests nothing, while a crisis is when he’s not making any money. Four years into California’s worst drought in history, and like many West Coast farmers, he’s in crisis mode. Read More