Currently Browsing: Health and Sustainability

The manurification of America

A perfect shitstorm: On some farms, animal manure can be a valuable asset, a way to improve the soil in the fields. But for today's massive factory farms — and, increasingly, the nation's air and waterways — manure is a huge liability, reports the Post's David A. Fahrenthold. Decomposing manure from factory...

Fertilizer overuse can acidify soil

Another reason to dislike the N-word: Fertilizer overuse creates many problems, like aquatic dead zones, resource depletion and blue-baby syndrome. One impact that has been mostly out of sight is soil acidification. A group of scientists from China, the UK and the US has been examining soil in China, where...

What’s P-Cresol and why is it in my food? “Don’t Eat That” iPhone app will tell you

A simple little iPhone app launched a few days ago that demystifies the ingredient lists of processed food. Called "Don't Eat That" (link to App Store), it's a database of information on more than 1,500 food additives and ingredients, broken out into red-lettered lists for those that are believed to be...

What does asthma have to do with farm animals — or food?

When government officials hear the words "backyard livestock," they tend to worry about disease outbreaks and sanitation crises. And for good reason, as improperly managed animals — including dogs and cats — can be the source of all sorts of public health problems. When it comes to asthma, however, recent...

Out of conservation, back to production

Good soil deed about to be uprooted: Millions of acres of environmentally sensitive lands are being pushed out of the federal Conservation Reserve Program and, most likely, back into production. The program was created to stabilize commodity prices while saving topsoil, improving water quality and creating...

Report scrutinizes ties between Big Food, health organizations

Ignore the man behind the curtain: Reporters Rick Montgomery and Alan Bavley examine the “marriages of convenience” between unhealthy food producers and organizations aimed at promoting health, such as the newly announced alliance between Coca Cola and the American Academy of Family Physicians. (Kansas City...

Doctors take a stand on Coca-Cola funding for physicians’ website

Kicking the Coke habit: Nearly 20 doctors have resigned from the American Academy of Family Physicians after it accepted a grant from Coca-Cola to fund nutritional education content on its website. The lead protester pointed out that  consumption of soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks has been linked...

Dispatch from Germany No. 2: Visiting three small but innovative farm-to-table enterprises

By Renee Ciulla As I wrote in my first post for Ethicurean, I’m a graduate student learning about Sustainable Agriculture in Europe who recently spent a semester at the University of Kassel in Germany. Its international organic agriculture program is located in the quaint village of Witzenhausen, surrounded...

Meet your greens, part 3: Taking the stand against the veggilantes

This is the third in a series about the USDA hearings on an industry proposal for a food-safety marketing agreement for leafy green vegetables. My first post describes what marketing agreements are and do; my second covers the first day of testimony, which was dominated by industry supporters of the...

Meet your greens, part 2: Industry seeks to outfox FDA

This is the second in a series of posts on my week in Monterey, CA, where I attended the first of seven USDA hearings around the country on an industry proposal to create a national marketing agreement on the safety of leafy greens. (Marketing agreements are explained in my first post, here.) It’s not...

Flat world, fat world: Report from the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Symposium, part 1

By Nicole de Beaufort On September 21, 2009 in Minneapolis, a crowd of 300 people representing more than 30 disciplines gathered for a symposium hosted by the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute to discuss critical issues in research and policy related to food and health. They also ate very, very well....

Dairy runoff in our tap water

Big dairies, big problems: Reporter Charles Duhigg of the New York Times has been on the rampage these past few weeks with a series of great articles highlighting the need for better government regulation, oversight and enforcement of clean water laws. The latest installment covers the dairy industry in...

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