Category Archives: Food And Agriculture

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The New Food Economy: How Innovation is Transforming Agriculture

Field of sugar beets

Data analysis and computational technologies are giving farmers the ability to monitor their land better, to make decisions that can lower costs and increase crop yields, and allow them to access information quickly through their smartphones. Nanette Byrnes, writer for the MIT Technology Review, calls this the “new food economy.” “By combining this information with data generated by soil sensors and weather reports, farmers could find ways to use water, seed, and fertilizer more efficiently, Read More >

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Oregon County Decisively Votes Down GE Crop Ban Ballot Measure

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Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson famously said “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” On Tuesday, the strategy of Oregon anti-GMO groups to convince residents in various counties to approve ballot initiatives banning the cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) crops was dropped to the canvas when the voters of Benton County overwhelming rejected Measure 2-89, the so-called Benton County Local Food Ordinance. Named after U.S. Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Read More >

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The White House Releases its Strategy for Restoring Pollinator Habitats

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Today, The White House released its National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, calling for the restoration or enhancement of 7 million acres of land for pollinators over the next five years through federal actions and public/private partnerships. AgriPulse covered the announcement: Other goals of the strategy are to reduce honey bee colony losses during the winter months to no more than 15 percent within 10 years, and to increase the Read More >

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Is a National Fund to Promote Organic Produce a Good Idea?

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Slate recently posted an interesting discussion about the Organic Trade Associations’ requested check-off program. “Checkoff” programs are essentially taxes that farmers pay to a national fund, the revenue from which is used to promote (“market”) the consumption of commodities like pork, beef, eggs, and milk. Checkoff programs’ activities can take the form of generic advertising campaigns, or they can look more like political lobbying. According to Slate, this tax may now be extended to the organic Read More >

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GMO Answers and Ben & Jerry’s Face-Off at the 2015 SXSW

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At SXSW Interactive 2015, Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission Activism Manager Chris Miller and (former) Executive Director of the Council for Biotechnology Information Cathy Enright addressed the question “Can Common Food Goals Find Common Ground?” In an hour long discussion, Enright and Miller addressed transparency in our food system, sustainability in agriculture and the notion of the consumer’s right to know what’s in their food. The panel was moderated by Tamar Haspel of The Washington Post. This Read More >

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