Agriculture

"The Great Escape: Gene-Altered Crops Grow Wild"

"Throughout North Dakota, little yellow flowers dot thousands of miles of roadsides. These canola plants, found along most major trucking routes, look harmless. But they are fueling a controversy: They prove that large numbers of genetically modified plants have escaped from farm fields and are now growing wild. About 80 percent of canola growing along roadsides in North Dakota contains genes that have been modified to make the plants resistant to common weed-killers."

Source: EHN, 01/27/2012

"Long Overdue Plant Hardiness Map is a Hothouse"

"The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a long overdue new version of their Plant Hardiness Zone Map yesterday—the first update since 1990."

"How out of date was the 1990 map? It was based on data from 1974 to 1986. That's 26 years ago.

The new map is interactive, which is cool, and based on a much finer data scale than the old one, which is great. And guess what. It shows that things are getting warmer. The USDA managed to pretty much bury that fact in Bureaucratese in their press release ... ."

Source: Mother Jones, 01/27/2012

"Feeding The World Gets Short Shrift In Climate Change Debate"

"Food is getting elbowed out of the discussion on climate change, which could spell disaster for the 1 billion people who will be added to the world's population in the next 15 years. That's the word today from scientists wondering why food and sustainability get such short shrift when it comes to thinking about how humans will adapt to climate change."

Source: The Salt/NPR, 01/24/2012

"Becoming Detroit"

Detroit, one of the birthplaces of American industrial capitalism, has also been in many ways one of its earlier deathplaces -- an urban landscape where many houses and lots are abandoned. A conversation with civil rights legend Grace Lee Boggs and people she inspires offers a key example of how the urban agriculture movement is reclaiming post-industrial America both physically and spiritually.

Source: On Being, 01/23/2012

"Farm Conservation Program 'Under the Gun'"

"The farm bill is a favorite target of budget-cutters and those looking to reduce the size of government, particularly because about 80% of it encompasses food stamps and nutritional programs. However, it also contains some of the most successful conservation programs in our nation’s history, and those are now threatened with the ax, including the popular 1985 Conservation Reserve Program."

Source: LA Times, 01/13/2012

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