January 4, 2012–The USDA says the number of winter farmers markets rose 38% from 2010 to 2011; 17% the year before. Coverage can include local foods, family-owned vs. corporate enterprises, validity of claims about being family-owned and/or local, food inspections, quality control, state, FDA and USDA regulations, immigration, unemployment, and career changes.
September 28, 2011–Use the data to report for communities directly affected by fishing or, at a larger scale, as a hook to report on several other related issues. Also, research another hot topic drawing attention — mislabeling of fish species.
May 25, 2011–USDA evaluated numerous factors for 65,000 census tracts (clickable on the mapping tool), and found that about 10% of them, home to about 13.5 million people, are food deserts where many residents have no access to a large grocery store, due to distance, lack of a vehicle, and/or low income.
February 16, 2011–Down about 85% from their levels around 130 years ago, according to researchers from the US, China, Italy, Uruguay, and Australia, the decimation of native oysters — a contributor to healthy ecosystems and an indicator of ecosystem health — has largely been caused by overharvesting, disease, and introduction of exotic species.
February 2, 2011–Much of your audience likely considers food a minor issue since they see it as generally available, affordable, healthy, environmentally benign, and unrelated to issues such as national security. You can help paint a more realistic picture for them, from the global to the local.
December 22, 2010–The US Dept. of Agriculture says that 898 of these markets are open during some or all of the winter, even in many northern states. The USDA inventory is searchable by state and city, and considerable detail is provided for each market.
October 27, 2010–Arizona State University researchers find a major shift in top fish predators in 36 North American waterways, resulting in reduced availability of fish caught for food or sport, and long-term changes in riparian ecology that affect both people and the rest of the environment, sometimes in unpredictable ways.
July 21, 2010–Journalism about farm and food is often a key part of the environment beat. To help reporters quickly find sources and resources that can help them cover farm and food, SEJ has compiled on its website a list of some of the best.
April 14, 2010–The case, Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farms, focuses on genetically engineered alfalfa. One of the concerns is that GE alfalfa can cross-contaminate, rendering organic alfalfa noncompliant with federal standards, and precluding export.