Voters in Colorado will decide whether or not they want the state to require labels on foods containing genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs. The 2014 ballot measure highlights a much larger national conversation about the safety and prevalence of genetically modified foods.
If passed, food companies and farmers would need to affix to food a label that reads, "Produced with genetic engineering" if the product contains certain genetically modified crops and their derived oils and sugars that end up in processed foods.
A recent Missouri law meant to protect farmers may be making it harder to report alleged animal abuse, as animal welfare organizations have feared.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on Wednesday asked law enforcement in Mercer County to investigate allegations of abuse at Murphy-Brownâs Badger-Wolf pig-breeding operation in northern Missouri. But PETA says it could not reveal who gave PETA the photos that captured the abuse, as the source of the information âis afraid of reprisals.â
Land in Fulton County, Ill., that was farmed for more than 80 years is being returned to its original wetland state â and the early results are promising for what is now the Emiquon Nature Preserve.
âPeople give us credit for the way this looks now but itâs really Mother Nature that makes it look the way it does,â said Doug Blodgett, director of river conservation for the environmental group the Nature Conservancy.
But across the country, cities, towns and companies are finding food waste doesn't have to be a total loss. In fact, it can be quite valuable â in making fertilizer, electricity or even fuel for cars, trucks and buses.
Lunch time at Harris Bilingual Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colo., displays all the usual trappings of a public school cafeteria: Star Wars lunch boxes, light up tennis shoes, hard plastic trays and chocolate milk cartons with little cartoon cows. Itâs pizza day, the most popular of the week, and kids line up at a salad bar before receiving their slice.
Grocery stores and restaurants serve up more than 400 million pounds of food each year, but nearly a third of it never makes it to a stomach.
With consumers demanding large displays of un-blemished, fresh produce or massive portion sizes, many grocery stores and restaurants end up tossing a mountain of perfectly edible food. Despite efforts to cut down on waste, the consumer end of the food chain still accounts for the largest share of food waste in the U.S. food system. Â
Todd Scherbing, Smithfield Foodsâ senior director of rendering, holds a tray of pituitary glands that are cut from hogs on the line in the Farmland Foods plant in Milan, Mo. Pituitary glands are used to make insulin.
The long line of semi-trucks waiting to get in the gates of the Farmland Foods plant could simply wait around for a few hours to head back, fresh products on board.
The trucks are loaded with hogs from several confinement operations near this factory in Milan, a small town in northeast Missouri. Within just 19 hours, those pigs will be slaughtered, butchered and boxed into cuts that consumers see in the grocery store and in restaurants.
But that effort will use only about half of the animal.
On-farm and post-harvest loss accounts for about 40 percent of food waste in the developing world, according to the U.N. But it is credited with relatively small levels of waste in most industrialized countries.
On a wet, grey day in Grinnell, Iowa, the rain beats a rhythm on the metal roof of a packing shed at Grinnell Heritage Farm. Crew member Whitney Brewer picks big bunches of kale out of a washing tank, lets them drip on a drying table and then packs them into cardboard boxes.Â Â
Pesticide pollution in American streams has dropped over the last 20 years according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey, but scientists say aquatic life is still at risk.
Changes in regulation and the development of less toxic herbicides and insecticides have reduced the risk pesticide pollution poses to humans. However, the pesticide levels in some regions were high enough to cause harm to plants and animals that live in streams.
Local food is no longer just a novelty. Farmers markets are growing nationwide and farms that sell directly to consumers brought in $1.3 billion in 2012, up eight percent from just five years earlier. Despite the demand, making local food work in some places is decidedly more difficult than others. Steamboat Springs, Colo., is one of those places.
You know how sometimes you stumble across a word you've never heard before in your entire life, and then suddenly, the word is everywhere? That happened to me with the pawpaw.
I was born and raised in Missouri, so discovering in my thirties that a random fruit with a made-up-sounding name is considered my state's ownÂ banana?Â That came as a shock (though, to be fair, it's also known as the Indiana banana and the West Virginia banana).Â
Monsanto has agreed to settle some of the lawsuits brought by U.S. farmers who allege they lost money when an Oregon field was discovered to have been contaminated with an experimental genetically modified strain of wheat.
HOOKER, Okla. â Jennifer Brdarâs dream job was to be a meat inspector for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, watching out for unwary consumers and making sure the meat on their dinner tables was clean and disease-free.
After earning an associateâs degree in meat science, Brdar was hired in March as a temporary federal meat inspector at a big beef packing operation just up the road in Liberal, Kan.
She lasted barely a month, walking away in frustration.
The ongoing turmoil in Ukraine could impact the worldâs wheat supply and with reports that fighting is edging closer to a key Black Sea trading port, farmers and commodity brokers are paying attention.
Â Â Pro-Russian rebels appear to be pushing closer to the Ukranian city of Mariupol, a strategic port city. As Ukraine is one of the worldâs largest exporters of wheat, any disruption in the harvest or transport of the countryâs wheat crop could put a kink in global supply lines and could raise grain prices across the world.
Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 10:33 pm
Opponents are seeking a recount of the statewide vote for Missouriâs âRight to Farmâ constitutional amendment. The measure officially known as Amendment 1 narrowly passed in the Aug. 5 election.
The Missouri secretary of stateâs office has confirmed that two recount requests have been filed regarding Amendment 1. One is from former state Sen. Wes Shoemyer, D-Clarence, on behalf of Missouri's Food for America, one of the groups that had campaigned against the amendment.
In fact, the USDA predicts the $113 billion earned in 2014 will be the lowest amount of net farm income in five years. Thatâs equal to about a 14 percent fall from last yearâs record amount, thanks mostly to a massive drop in crop prices.
Organic Alternatives Manager Maka KalaĂ holds a card with cannabis safety tips. The cards were developed by the Cannabis Business Alliance and are handed out with every purchase at the Fort Collins, Colo., store.
Â Â When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use earlier this year, it also opened up the sale of food products infused with the drug to anyone over the age of 21. That means a whole set of bakers and food companies have to ensure their products arenât contaminated with foodborne pathogens, and that theyâre not falling in to the hands of children or too potent to eat.
Every year on my birthday I know thereâs a thin, flat package waiting for me to open. Itâs wrapped with neat corner folds and held together perfectly with just three pieces of tape â nothing wasted.
I always knock on the front and hear the crisp, deep thud of a hardcover book. I know itâs a book. And I know who itâs from.
Late summer in the Midwest is tomato season. For tomato growers around that country, itâs time to pick their bounty and calculate their earnings.
While sun and rain might be free, tomato farmers have to carefully weigh everything else they put in to growing their crop. Research and the development of new tools â from novel seed varieties resistant to diseases to additional fertilizers â has changed the input costs for growers.
Farmers are used to waking up with the roosterâs crow. But having grown up a suburban kid, John Curtis was used to a more conventional alarm clock.
As a Peace Corps volunteer in the Caribbean, he managed a farm for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). A long way from his Wisconsin home, he found a love for the most Midwestern job â that of a farmer.
âI loved walking out on the landscape and finding things I could eat,â Curtis said. âI found agriculture to be fascinating.â
An independent journalist says heâs found a way around the so-called âag-gagâ laws â flying drones over large livestock operations to document animal welfare problems and pollution.
Will Potter, a Washington D.C.-based environmental blogger, raised $75,000 on Kickstarter to buy drones and other equipment to do investigative work tracking animal abuse and pollution problems on large livestock operations.