Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’

Herbicides

July 11, 2022

“More than 80% of urine samples drawn from children and adults in a US health study contained a weedkilling chemical linked to cancer, a finding scientists have called ‘disturbing’ and ‘concerning.’

The report by a unit of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that out of 2,310 urine samples, taken from a group of Americans intended to be representative of the US population, 1,885 were laced with detectable traces of glyphosate. This is the active ingredient in herbicides sold around the world, including the widely used Roundup brand. Almost a third of the participants were children ranging from six to 18.”

— “‘Disturbing’: weedkiller ingredient tied to cancer found in 80% of US urine samples,” Carey Gillam, The Guardian

A previous study found the herbicide 2,4-D in a third of US blood samples. If the science won’t convince Red State farmers to cool it with these chemicals, maybe Susan Werner‘s song (above) will give them pause.

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Permaculture

April 25, 2022

Agriculture accounts for 17 percent of worldwide CO2 emissions, but permaculture – growing vegetables in a circular, self-sustaining system — without artificial pesticides or fertilizer, could cut that. a DW video reported by Kiyo Dörrer.

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Mexican Avocado Scare Rocks the Guac Out of USA

February 22, 2022

After a week-long pause, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allowed imports of Mexican avocados to resume on Saturday, replenishing US guacamole reserves exhausted by Super Bowl parties. Imports ceased after a Mexico-based avocado inspector from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) was threatened by crime cartels anxious to pass off Jalisco ‘cados as Michoacán-grown, the only ones currently allowed into the States.

With $3 billion in annual avocado exports, Mexican crime cartels have targeted another US drug of choice, guacamole. Mexico’s avocado growers face cartel extortion and hijackings. The boom crop is also responsible for drought, deforestation, and violence.

While the US has agreed to begin importing avocados from additional Mexican states as their crops are declared pest-free, those harvests will never be crime free.

More:

“United States lifts Mexican avocado ban — averting what could have been a costly crisis,” By María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post

“How the Avocado Became Key to Mexican Drug Cartel Turf War,” Khaleda Rahman, Newsweek

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Image (“There Goes the Neighborhood”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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100 Billion Cranberries In 6 Weeks

October 15, 2021

100 billion cranberries are harvested in 6 weeks. Here’s how. A Business Insider video.

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Wheat: Endangered

September 16, 2021

Wheat is consumed by billions of people worldwide. A virulent crop fungus now threatens their food supply. From Undark Magazine.

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Climate Change is Coming for Your Cup of Coffee

October 15, 2020

Coffee is grown by nearly 125 million farmers, from Latin America to Africa to Asia. As man-made climate change warms the atmosphere in places like Colombia, experts estimate the amount of land that can sustain coffee will fall 50 percent by 2050. It’s a crisis for consumers and cultivators alike. A Vox video.

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Future crops

November 12, 2019

By 2050 there’ll be nearly 10 billion people on our planet. Agricultural demand is predicted to rise by 70 per cent. An Oxford Sparks video.

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Why is chicken so cheap?

May 29, 2019

“Humans gobble so many chickens that the birds now count for 23 billion of the 30 billion land animals living on farms.”

A video by The Economist

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Food Will Win the War

March 2, 2019

“Food Will Win the War,” a Walt Disney Studios production for the USDA, 1942. Directed by Hamilton Luske, and narrated by Fred Shields. This WWII theatrical cartoon was for the home front, but Disney produced or contributed to hundreds of military training and propaganda films during World War II.

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The Great American Cheese Glut

July 3, 2018

The Great American Cheese Glut

The U.S. has the largest stockpile of cheese in 100 years,1.39 billion-pounds of coagulated dairy fat. Is this a great country or what? Milk production is booming, but Americans are drinking less moo juice, so dairy producers are storing the surplus as cheese. The summer closure of chocolate-milk– and cheese-happy school cafeterias adds to the dilemma:

“The 1.39 billion-pound stockpile, tallied by the Agriculture Department last week, represents a 6 percent increase over this time last year and a 16 percent increase since an earlier surplus prompted a federal cheese buy-up in 2016.

Analysts say commercial warehouse stocks have swelled because processors have too much milk on their hands, and milk is more easily stored as cheese. Demand has also fallen as school cafeterias close for the summer and restaurants wind down the cheesy specials they offer in the winter and early spring.

Some have grown concerned that stockpiles will build further yet if trade tensions with China and Mexico cut into cheese exports. Cheese prices have fallen sharply, they say, eroding dairy farmers’ already thin margins.”

— “America’s cheese stockpile just hit an all-time high,” Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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