To get to the root of the obesity epidemic, one Canadian reporter went in search of a junk food farm. There were no fields of Dorito bags waving in the breeze. "What you do see are vast operations growing the raw materials for junk food: soybeans and corn."
Right now, America's Bread Basket relies on an aquifer that's nearly drained. And, many say, it will dry up if farmers keep pumping water from it at the current rate. The Environment Report's Devin Browne reports the government plans to pay farmers as one way to get them to cut water use.
"If you've been waiting all season for that quintessential taste of summer -- a juicy, ripe tomato from the garden -- you might be disappointed. This year a tomato blight has swept across the Northeast and is moving into Midwestern gardens and farms."
The Local Food Hub in the Charlottesville, Va., area is an example of a new trend: nonprofit distribution enterprises that aggregate food produced by small-scale local farmers and move it quickly to local customers such as restaurants, schools, and retirement homes.
The locations of conflicts in New Mexico and Arizona between livestock and Mexican gray wolves, which were reintroduced in 1998, will now be made public in hopes of identifying problem areas and taking preventive steps.
"Milk may have a wholesome commercial image, but the dairies that produce most of the nation's supply aren't always healthy places to work. Dairy workers are injured at a much higher rate than other workers in the U.S." Most of the West's 50,000 dairy workers are immigrants with families to feed, many undocumented. Government rules to protect them are as weak as skim milk.
"Recently, six states have changed their laws to require better conditions for farm animals. But there’s a battle brewing in one state that’s putting a new spin on the debate."
"The United Farm Workers union sued California’s occupational health and safety agency on Thursday, accusing it of doing too little to prevent farm laborers’ deaths from heat illness."
In one handy spot, you'll find hundreds of rarely visited Web pages published by a vast variety of federal offices and programs doing science on environmental and other topics.
"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has quietly approved a new genetically engineered corn with eight different insect- and weed-fighting traits, but farmer and environmental groups in Canada say the approval was rushed and environmental risks ignored."