While sun and rain might be free, tomato farmers have to carefully weigh everything else they put in to growing their crop. Research and the development of new tools – from novel seed varieties resistant to diseases to additional fertilizers – has changed the input costs for growers.
Insects can be a great source of protein, and in many parts of the world, people gobble them up. But here in the U.S., a certain “ick factor” has kept consumers from eating crickets, locusts and mealworms. To combat the ickiness and convert skeptical consumers, bug-food advocates are trying a specific marketing tactic: be clever and cute.
The same technology used at crime scenes to link a stray hair to a suspect can also find medications in milk and meat. And the use of sophisticated testing is becoming increasingly available for livestock producers, who stand to lose lots of money if their products are tainted.
With local food hot on restaurant menus, many chefs are going beyond the grocery store and getting acquainted with where food is really produced - the farm. At one Chef Camp in Illinois, a dozen chefs got a first-hand look.
To the makers of the new activist documentary “Fed Up,” the blame for the nation's obesity epidemic lies with a simple substance poured into our diets every day: sugar. And the pushers of what the film calls a drug are the food industry and the U.S. government.
The USDA wants to green light a proposal that would allow imports of fresh beef from certain sections of Brazil, despite the South American country’s history of outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, a highly contagious pathogen that cripples cattle.
The Local Food Challenge, part 2: Farm stands and farmers markets remain really important for many local farmers. But to create viable, sustainabile businesses, many of them are also trying to crack in to the big institutional markets such as cafeterias, schools and hospitals.
The Local Food Challenge, part 1: Nationwide, the popularity of local food has skyrocketed over the last two decades. But, as advocates in northeast Iowa and around the country can attest, it’s hard to make local food work. Creating a system with both public and private support is seen as crucial.