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By Monica Stanton

When I sat down to watch The Last Pig, I did so with the slight trepidation of a seasoned environmental filmgoer. But my worries were unfounded. While films about factory farming are known for using gruesome exposé footage to proclaim an ardent animal rights message, director Allison Argo's picturesque, meditative documentary does the opposite. The film gives us idyllic scenes of the relationship between a small-scale pig farmer and his happy herd—and then it gradually unravels the logic of this utopia.

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Christopher Michel / Wikimedia

By Dan Nosowitz

Grown only on the slopes of two volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii, kona remains one of the better-known geographical sources of coffee in the U.S., even as coffee from Central America and East Africa have become trendier. But kona is still extremely expensive—when it's real.

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By Miguel Altieri

During the partial federal shutdown in December 2018 and January 2019, news reports showed furloughed government workers standing in line for donated meals. These images were reminders that for an estimated one out of eight Americans, food insecurity is a near-term risk.

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A busy street produce market in Hong Kong, China. RichLegg / E+ / Getty Images

By Sarah Treleaven

Farmers are starting to re-emerge, supported by a restaurant scene that is wise to the benefits of a fresh local food system and a network of farmers' markets.

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By Dan Nosowitz

"Savor that cup of coffee while you can," reads the first sentence of a recent CNN article.

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Applying nitrogen fertilizer to corn at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, a research site in Michigan. National Science Foundation

By David Kanter

Nitrogen pollution is produced by a number of interlinked compounds, from ammonia to nitrous oxide. While they have both natural and human sources, the latter increased dramatically over the past century as farmers scaled up food production in response to population growth. Once these chemicals are released into the air and water, they contribute to problems that include climate change and "dead zones" in rivers, lakes and coastal areas.

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By Ronnie Cummins

"The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan … Half measures will not work … The time for slow and incremental efforts has long past [sic]." - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, then-candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, Huffington Post, June 26, 2018

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April Joy Farm

By Lauren Turner

April Joy Farm is also the first Clark County farm to be approved by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries to offer an apprenticeship program to train aspiring farmers.

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PeopleImages / DigitalVision / Getty Images

By adopting three practices—no-till farming, cover crops and diverse crop rotations—farmers worldwide can help preserve the world's soils, feed a growing global population, mitigate climate change and protect the environment.

This was the key message of a presentation by David Montgomery, professor of geology at the University of Washington, at the Iowa Organic Conference in November.

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A worker carries a bunch of African oil palm fruit at a plantation in Guatemala. Victor J. Blue / Bloomberg

Palm oil production is exploding in Guatemala and is helping to fuel migration to the U.S. while creating poor labor conditions on the ground, Reuters reports. Palm oil production in Guatemala has exploded nearly sevenfold over the past ten years as subsistence farmers in the forested province of Raxruha are selling their land to palm oil companies—some to help pay for smugglers to help them cross the border into the U.S.

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By Sarah Treleaven

On an expansive property on the gloriously wild Kangaroo Island, near the western shore of the island's Eastern Cove, I stood in the middle of a large garden and practically inhaled a clipping of olearia (also known as wild rosemary). The scent was unmistakable: freshly split, perfectly ripe passion fruit.

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