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By Elizabeth Henderson
For almost five decades, organic farming associations like the Northeast Organic Farming Association, the Maine Organic Farming and Gardening Association and others across the country have been dedicated to supporting and expanding the community of farmers, homesteaders and conscious eaters who build their lives and livelihoods through agroecology — growing and consuming food, forage and other crops in as much harmony with natural processes and rhythms as we can muster.
Ivory Coast's rainforests have been decimated by cocoa production and what is left is put in peril by a new law that will remove legal protections for thousands of square miles of forests, according to The Guardian.
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By Jessica Corbett
In an open letter to Brazilian society and right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, a group of experts warned that a "genocide is underway" against uncontacted tribes because of Bolsonaro's efforts to strip away Indigenous peoples' rights and lands and open up more of the Amazon rainforest to agribusiness and mining.
By Daisy Simmons
Food may be a universal language — but in these record-breaking hot days, so too is climate change. With July clocking in as the hottest month on Earth in recorded history and extreme weather ramping up globally, farmers are facing the brunt of climate change in croplands and pastures around the world.
When heavy rain falls in northwest Wisconsin, fertilizer and manure can wash off farm fields into nearby waterways. This pollution contains phosphorus, which can cause algal blooms and foul surface water.
"We know we're going to see increased precipitation events. We know we're going to have more severe precipitation events," says Erin Houghton of NEW Water, Green Bay's wastewater utility.
State regulations require the utility to reduce phosphorus in the water it discharges. But instead of building a $100 million treatment plant, NEW Water decided to tackle the problem at its source.
The utility worked with crop and soil experts and farmers to minimize runoff. They experimented with planting cover crops, tilling the soil less, and planting grass buffers alongside fields.
Houghton says the goal is "keeping those nutrients and soil where they need to be, and on those fields, and really working for that farmer."
She says the early results are promising, so NEW Water is expanding the project into a 20-year plan. The utility is confident that by preventing runoff in the first place, it can reduce phosphorus pollution without an expensive new treatment plant.
As the climate warms, the problem could get worse.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Yale Climate Connections.
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By Helen A. Lee
We cook with it. We bathe with it. We use it for mood lighting. Palm oil is an ingredient in processed foods, cosmetics, hygiene products, biofuels and candles; experts estimate it's found in 50 percent of the items on grocery store shelves. Inexpensive to produce, palm oil contains no trans fats, and has a high melting point, making it versatile and easy to spread. The result: increasing demand. In 1996, global production totaled 16 million metric tons. By 2017, it was 60.7 million.
By Dan Nosowitz
A hot-button issue in the UK focuses on something most Americans don't even know about: a particular method of disinfecting raw poultry.
Norway has urged its companies that actively do business in Brazil to make sure that they are not contributing to destruction of the Amazon rainforest, as Reuters reported.
By Aleksandra Arcipowska, Emily Mangan, You Lyu and Richard Waite
Agriculture provides a livelihood for billions of people every day and feeds all of us. Yet food production has significant impacts on the environment through deforestation and water pollution. It's also a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions.
By Anne Schechinger
Over the Fourth of July holiday, many of us love to beat the heat in a favorite lake, pond or river. But this year, vacationers from coast to coast will have to look out for a potentially record-breaking number of algae blooms.