Currently Browsing: Iowa

Down (and out) on the farm: When even the good years don’t look so good

In late 2006, I was driving by corn fields in eastern Iowa when Tom Ashbrook's  NPR show "On Point" came on the radio. The topic was ethanol. Among the commentators was an ag economist from Iowa State -- which seems to produce ag economists at a rate close to that at which Iowa produces corn -- who...

Sustainable Pork Smackdown, Pt. 1: Why Bay Area residents should choose Midwestern pork

By Samin Nosrat | Illustration by Marcos Sorenson Read Pt. 2: Why Bay Area residents should choose local pork Before Edible San Francisco readers start lobbing flaming Molotov pigtails at me, let me say that as a cook, I was brought up in the Chez Panisse kitchen. And as a writer, I've studied with...

Animal behavior: Crackdowns on meatpacking workers give new meaning to ‘inhumane’

Mainstream media and many of the blogs covered the raid of the Agriprocessors, Inc. meatpacking plant in Postville, IA when it took place back in May. It was the largest immigration raid of a single site by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) in history: Nearly 400 immigrant workers were...

Calamity cowboys: On Iowa, obesity, and earthquakes

Living directly on top of the Hayward Fault, which seismologists claim is overdue for a major earthquake, I'm pretty familiar with the idea that there are losers (of which I may be one) and winners in moments of human tragedy. Here, the winner category is largely comprised of developers, who must feel a...

Donate to Iowa Farm Aid fund, including via Edible San Francisco

The vast disaster in Iowa has inspired an Iowa-based coalition of sustainable-ag folks to partner with Farm Aid to develop the Family Farm Disaster Fund specifically for small and independent farmers, including an Iowa-targeted sub-fund. Willie Nelson is coming to Iowa this weekend to kick off the program,...

One nation, underinformed (and one state underwater)

We've been slow to report on the flooding that has turned Iowa, golden icon of the Corn Belt, into an underwater nightmare. If I may speak for the group, it's just pretty damn overwhelming. As of this writing, some 36,000 Iowans have been evacuated from their homes; according to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, one...

YERT goes to Iowa: All-corn, many-corn, and no-corn challenges

2007 is shaping up to be the Year of the Ear. Check out this corny segment from our acquaintances on Your Environmental Road Trip (YERT), who took a highly entertaining detour into Iowa's maze of maize....

Digest: Iowa’s gamble, Quebec ponders GM labeling, animal IDs are COOL

"Fueling Iowa's Future": An informative new series launched today in preparation of the 2008 Iowa caucuses. A number of articles and graphics highlight the state's opportunities — and the serious challenges — as Iowa attempts to become an alternative energy leader for the nation. Des Moines Register Quebec...

Digest: Mergers, monopolies, thieves, imposters, and rats

Bad seed: A proposed merger between Monsanto (the world's largest seed company) and the nation's largest cottonseed seller could mean bad news for organic cotton growers, says the Center for Food Safety, which is seeking to block the deal. Wired News Monopoly's not just a game: Same merger threatens the...