A billion pounds of chemicals are used on U.S. crops each year. Designed to protect them, they can also leave residue on foods we eat and enter the waterways we drink from. Reporter’s Toolbox has some key data sources for journalists, whether they’re looking at the big picture or are drilling down locally around issues of pesticide use and human or ecological health.
"Adding oats to a farm’s rotation can improve soil health and reduce fossil fuels, but the crop has all but disappeared in the U.S. Now, a nascent movement fueled by oat milk’s popularity may help reverse the trend."
"Twila Cassadore hopes teaching Western Apache traditional foodways can aid mental, emotional and spiritual health".
"Consumer groups are condemning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allowing plastic containers made with toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” to continue being distributed across the economy – even though the agency is suing a top manufacturer over the dangerous compounds leaching into containers’ contents, such as food or personal care products."
"Food workers who clock in when sick cause a significant share of food-borne illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a new report, and many establishments don’t have adequate policies to prevent employees from working while contagious."
"If it seems like your seasonal allergies are getting worse over time, you're probably not wrong. Estimates are that 30 to 40% of the world's population now have some form of allergy, and medical anthropologist Theresa MacPhail says allergic reactions — including everything from hay fever to eczema and asthma — are growing in the U.S. and around the world."
"After more than two years of cost increases, Americans are finally feeling relief at the grocery store as food inflation cooled off for the first time in March and then again in April." "Corporate food companies have made record profits these last few years, and they’re hoping it stays that way."
Sometimes the challenge for environmental reporters is a mess of data. But sometimes it’s just less data. That’s the case with confined animal feed operations, which have been the subject of a years-long political tug of war over tracking emissions harmful to humans and the environment. The latest Reporter’s Toolbox explains, then offers alternate sources for CAFO data.
"A staple seafood species caught by East Coast fishers for centuries is experiencing overfishing, and regulators have cut catch quotas by more than 80% to prevent the fish’s population from collapse. Haddock are one of the most popular Atlantic fish, and a favorite for fish and chips and other New England seafood dishes."