Posts Tagged 'Agriculture'

Study: How climate change threatens mountaintops (and clean water)

Mountains are far more than rocks. About half of the world’s drinking water filters through their high-elevation forests, plants, and soils, among other natural benefits.

Now, a new first-of-its kind study, in the journal Nature, shows how these mountain ecosystems around the globe may be threatened by climate change.

Rising temperatures over the next decades appear likely to “decouple” key nutrient cycles in mountain soils and plants, an international team of sixteen scientists reports. This is expected to disrupt the function of ...

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Victoria Pope – Much of the Cuisine We Now Know, and Think of as Ours, Came to Us by War

The relish on my plate is Sicilian, a tangy blend of sweet and sour flavors. I can pick out some of the ingredients—eggplant, capers, celery—right away. I haven’t a clue, however, about the forces that came together to create this exquisite vegetable dish.

Gaetano Basile, a writer and lecturer on the food and culture of Sicily, does know. He has invited me to Lo Scudiero, a family-run restaurant in Palermo, as a tasty introduction to the island’s food and its history. ...

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GEORGINA GUSTIN – 2017: Agriculture Begins to Tackle Its Role in Climate Change

By allowing countries to decide how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the landmark Paris climate agreement opened the door to new solutions. And over the past year, many countries, particularly in the developing world, decided that an especially effective way to reach those targets is through their farms.

Nearly 80 percent of the countries said they would use agricultural practices to curb climate change, and more than 90 percent said they would use those practices in ...

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Agustina Larrea – ‘Experts call Latin America ‘the world’s scrapyard for pesticides’

Although agrochemical products, pesticides and genetically modified crops are today part of everyday life for those who live in the countryside, they are relatively new in Argentina. Very few people, apart from enviromental activists, question their use. Yet the consequences — in both the short and the long term — of their impact on the health of those living near lands fumigated daily, with products that are forbidden in many countries around the world, are already beginning to emerge.

After years ...

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JESSE FROST – Winter: The Hottest Thing in Farming

Seeing fresh produce on the grocery store shelves throughout winter is nothing new—places like California, Florida, and Mexico have been making it happen for years. What is new, however, is how much of it has started coming from your local farmer, even in the northern half of the country. Because, as it turns out, winter farming is kind of having a moment.

Farmers are finding ways to grow vegetables during the cold months, and they’re doing so with large unheated hoophouses, ...

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Ruth Milka – 2016: The year solar panels became cheaper than fossil fuels

It’s finally happened. The renewable energy future has arrived.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), installing new solar panels is cheaper than a comparable investment in coal, natural gas, or other options. Solar and wind is now the same price or cheaper than fossil fuels in more than 30 countries.

According to Michael Drexler, head of development investing at the WEF, solar is “Not only a commercially viable option, but an outright compelling investment opportunity ...

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How What We Eat Has Changed

Americans eat more chicken and less beef than they used to. They drink less milk – especially whole milk – and eat less ice cream, but they consume way more cheese. Their diets include less sugar than in prior decades but a lot more corn-derived sweeteners. And while the average American eats the equivalent of 1.2 gallons of yogurt a year, he or she also consumes 36 pounds of cooking oils – more than three times as much as in ...

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Colin Todhunter – Entrenching Capitalist Agriculture in India Under the Guise of “Development”

This result has been the creation of food surplus and food deficit areas, of which the latter have become dependent on agricultural imports and strings-attached aid. Food deficits in the Global South mirror food surpluses in the North. Whether through IMF-World Bank structural adjustment programmes, as occurred in Africa, trade agreements like NAFTA and its impact on Mexico or, more generally, deregulated global trade rules, the outcome has been similar: the devastation of traditional, indigenous agriculture for the benefit of ...

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Anuradha Sengupta – They Lost Their Jungles to Plantations, But These Indigenous Women Grew Them Back

It is early morning in Dhepagudi, a sleepy hamlet nestled in the green hills of Odisha, India. Admai Kumruka is sifting millet in a traditional sieve made of bamboo strips. Children mill around, playing on a mud and sand mound. A few huts down, Rello Dindika is sorting through harvested corn. A group of women are chopping fresh pumpkin leaves and flowers for a stir-fry dish. They have finished morning chores and farming work and are now preparing breakfast. Some ...

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Joanna Hoyt – Here’s How Smart Homesteaders Avoid Cleaning Out Manure

Winter is coming, and for those of us who live in snowy climates the task of cleaning our barns and chicken coops is about to get more complicated. One solution is simply to stop cleaning out over the winter and try the deep-litter bedding approach.

You’re probably already covering the floor of your stalls and coops with some kind of high-carbon material like sawdust, shavings, wood chips, leaves, pine needles, hay or straw. Instead of cleaning the bedding out once it’s ...

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