"Roy Derrick maneuvered his forklift with a pallet of neatly boxed expired produce and flowers and dropped it into an industrial compactor at Safeway's cavernous return center in Upper Marlboro. As the compactor hummed, compressed food and floral scraps spilled through a chute into a 40-foot trailer, one of five that would make the weekly trip to composting centers in Delaware or Virginia."
"The unrelenting drought gripping key farming states in the U.S. Plains shows no signs of abating, and it will take a deluge of snow or rain to restore critical moisture to farmland before spring planting of new crops, a climate expert said on Thursday."
"Did you have a nasty case of food poisoning this year? Chances are that fruit or vegetables were the culprit."
"Pesticides blamed for killing bees have been removed from the shelves of Britain's biggest gardening chains, prompting calls for similar chemicals widely-used on farms to be banned completely."
"ESTREMOZ, PORTUGAL — We spent Christmas in a cabin on a hillside in the cork oak forest that clothes much of southern and central Portugal. We hiked along streams awakened by the winter rains. After dinner we walked under shockingly bright stars, undimmed by light pollution, listening to owls and the tinkle of bells from goats."
"'Can vegans stomach the unpalatable truth about quinoa?,' thunders the headline of a recent Guardian piece. Hard to say, but reality check: It isn't just vegans who enjoy quinoa. Like many occasional meat eaters I know, I've been eating it for years. Quinoa is also big among gluten-intolerant omnivores. So quinoa's truth—unpalatable or not—isn't just for its vegan fans to bear."
"As world food and energy demands grow, nations and some corporations increasingly are looking to acquire quality agricultural land for food production. Some nations are gaining land by buying up property -- and accompanying water resources -- in other, generally less wealthy countries."
"A new method for monitoring the decline in bee populations may prove a useful tool in much-needed conservation efforts. It requires only a few hundred pan traps: bright shallow bowls partly filled with soapy water or propylene glycol."
"A carcinogenic mold, its growth exacerbated by the warming climate, reached record highs in 2012."
"The government declared much of the central and southern Wheat Belt a natural disaster area on Wednesday due to persistent drought that imperils this year's winter wheat harvest."