Do Corn Subsidies Really Make Us Fat?

“The Plate,” National Geographic • July 12, 2016

Bad health can be linked to wheat, corn, dairy and meat—and a range of foods currently subsidized by the government. That was the catchy finding that researchers announced last week with a study showing a correlation between an increased consumption of subsidized foods and health problems like obesity and high cholesterol. But is it actually the farm subsidies that make people eat those foods?

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World Food Prize Winners: Why Sweet Potato Color Matters

“The Plate,” National Geographic • June 28, 2016

A handful of scientists have spent the last 15 years convincing Africans to swap white sweet potatoes for their more colorful and vitamin-packed cousins, orange sweet potatoes. But if a tuber associated with holiday excess in the U.S. sounds like a strange focus for science, consider this: Those scientists are receiving the world’s most prestigious prize for agricultural research, the $250,000 World Food Prize, which celebrates agricultural efforts that combat food insecurity.

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6 Ways Food Is Immigration’s Biggest Success Story

“The Plate,” National Geographic • June 9, 2016

Anyone who’s pondered the fact that Italian tomato sauce owes a botanical debt to Central America, where the fruits first evolved, knows that foods, like humans, do travel. Many foods have traveled because intrepid humans made it their mission to seek and return with the most delicious foods around the globe; witness the introduction of Corsican lemons and Chilean avocados to American soil, thanks to explorer David Fairchild.

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The U.S. Doesn’t Have Enough Of The Vegetables We’re Supposed To Eat

“The Salt,” National Public Radio • Sept. 19, 2015

If you are looking for proof that Americans’ vegetable habits lean towards french fries and ketchup, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has it: Nearly 50 percent of vegetables and legumes available in the U.S. in 2013 were either tomatoes or potatoes. Lettuce came in third as the most available vegetable, according to new data out this week. Continue reading “The U.S. Doesn’t Have Enough Of The Vegetables We’re Supposed To Eat”

Beyond Brothels: Farms And Fisheries Are Frontier Of Human Trafficking

“The Salt,” National Public Radio • July 28, 2015

When the U.S. State Department released its annual human trafficking report on Monday, it told distressingly familiar tales of forced sex work and housekeepers kept against their will. But this year, one area got special attention: Slavery in the global supply chains of agriculture, fishing and aquaculture. Continue reading “Beyond Brothels: Farms And Fisheries Are Frontier Of Human Trafficking”

5 Modern Families That Left The Grid Behind + How They Did It

Rodale’s Organic Life • July/August 2015

The first time I reconsidered what off-grid meant, I was in Detroit’s North End, trailing the Reverend Joan C. Ross. Red-spectacled and in a second career after selling off her McDonald’s franchises, Reverend Ross was showing me a solar demonstration house, a once-abandoned beauty she had helped bring back to life. There was fine trim in a Victorian parlor, a porch that screamed for a summer afternoon, a toilet that used wastewater to flush, a yard designed to catch runoff and prevent flooding, and a thatch of solar panels on the roof.

“You’re not paying into companies who are burning fossil fuels, or destroying the planet,” she said. “You’re relying on the sun.”

I would have expected this Continue reading “5 Modern Families That Left The Grid Behind + How They Did It”