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How Discarded Orange Peels Transformed a Barren Landscape Into a Lush Forest

By Marlene Cimons

Orange isn't just the new black. It's also the new green. Twenty years ago, an orange juice producer dumped thousands of tons of orange peels and pulp onto a barren section of a Costa Rican national park, which has since transformed into a lush, vine-laden woodland. The shift is a dramatic illustration of how agricultural waste can regenerate a forest and sequester vast sums of carbon—for free.

Even more remarkable, it was an accident.

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Meeting Paris Goals Means Dealing With Climate Impacts of Eating Meat

By Ashley Braun

Environmental groups place a lot of attention on trying to stop new oil, gas and coal development since current fossil fuel projects would likely already blow us past the less-than 2°C upper limit for warming laid out in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. In fact, there's a whole movement, known as "Keep It in the Ground," predicated on this idea.

But when faced with a resurgence of support for fossil fuels from the White House, perhaps just as important is talking about how to "Keep It in the Cow," according to some reports. Right now, experts predict agriculture is set to eat up half the greenhouse gas emissions the world can release by 2050 and still stay below 2°C (3.6°F) of warming.

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Agencja Fotograficzna Caro / Alamy Stock Photo

World’s Soils Have Lost 133bn Tonnes of Carbon Since the Dawn of Agriculture

By Daisy Dunne

The world's soils have lost a total of 133bn tonnes of carbon since humans first started farming the land around 12,000 years ago, new research suggests. And the rate of carbon loss has increased dramatically since the start of the industrial revolution.

The study, which maps where soil carbon has been lost and gained since 10,000 BC, shows that crop production and cattle grazing have contributed almost equally to global losses.

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Pruitt's EPA Cedes Pesticide Oversight to Agriculture Department

Internal U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) documents show that Administrator Scott Pruitt has effectively relinquished the EPA's oversight of pesticide safety to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), said Scott Faber, the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) senior vice president of government affairs.

More than 700 pages of emails and other records show that Pruitt and other EPA officials consulted closely with agribusiness interests and top officials at the USDA on the decision not to ban chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxic pesticide that has been shown to harm children's brains at even very low levels, according to The New York Times.

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Is Sam Clovis a Scientist? A Racist? 9 Questions the Senate Should Ask

By Karen Perry Stillerman

Things are not going so well for President Trump's nominee for the position of undersecretary for research, education and economics (REE) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This job has responsibility for scientific integrity at the USDA, as well as oversight of the department's various research arms and multi-billion dollar annual investments in agricultural research and education that are essential to farmers and eaters alike.

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New Drone Footage Exposes the Horrors of Factory Farming

By Mark Devries

The animal agriculture industry spends millions on deceptive advertising to persuade consumers that farmed animals roam freely on bucolic pastures. But I've been piloting drones over animal agriculture facilities for several years, and the video I've captured tells a far different story. Nearly all animals raised and slaughtered for food in the U.S. live in factory farms—facilities that treat animals as mere production units and show little regard for the natural environment or public health. Instead of creating widgets, these factories confine, mutilate and disassemble animals who feel pain and pleasure just like our dogs and cats.

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Chard grown in Ouroboros's aquaponics system reveals its colorful roots. Ouroboros Farm

6 Innovative Farmers That Will Change Your Perception of What It Means to Grow Food

By Tracie McMillan

How do you feed a hotter, drier, more inequitable world? A new generation of American farmers are coming up with answers that rarely resemble the cornstalks and cattle pens of mainstream agriculture.

Today's American farmers are less white. They're also increasingly experimental. Even as our biggest farms get bigger, small producers are innovating in countless ways as they grapple with the serious questions that face our food system. Some prioritize making high-quality food affordable to folks on minimum wage and accessible in places where fresh produce is scarce; others are learning how to farm with far less water on drought-prone fields. They may be discovering hidden super fruits, reinvigorating coal country or bringing urban farming to the mountains. Here are six who will change your mind about what it means to farm.

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Biomimicry = Return on Inspiration

By Janine Benyus

It seems so obvious now: Innovators are turning to nature for inspiration in building, chemistry, agriculture, energy, health, transportation, computing–even the design of organizations and cities. Biomimicry is taught from kindergarten to university and practiced in all scales of enterprise.

But it wasn't always this way. When Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature first came out, none of the people featured in the book knew one another, nor was there a name for their nature-inspired approach. Wes Jackson was mimicking prairies to breed a new agriculture and Tom Graedel was coding forest design principles into industrial ecology, but their parallel paths never crossed.

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Tinker Creek filled with sudsy water following chemical spill. WSLS 10 reporter Rob Manch/ Twitter

Chemical Spill in Virginia ​Kills Tens of Thousands of Fish

About 165 gallons of an agricultural-use chemical leaked into a Roanoke-area creek over the weekend, resulting in fish kill estimated in the tens of thousands, Virginia officials announced Monday.

The chemical was identified as Termix 5301, a type of surfactant (detergent-like substance) added to herbicide and pesticide products before application, according to the Virginia's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

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