Agriculture

9:09am

Mon January 13, 2014
The Salt

California's Pot Farms Could Leave Salmon Runs Truly Smoked

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 3:08 pm

This dead juvenile coho salmon was found in a tributary of California's South Fork Eel River. About 20 large-scale marijuana farms are located upstream from the watershed pictured. All of them divert water from the stream.
Courtesy Scott Bauer

For many users and advocates of marijuana, the boom in the West Coast growing industry may be all good and groovy. But in California, critics say the recent explosion of the marijuana industry along the state's North Coast — a region called the "emerald triangle" — could put a permanent buzz kill on struggling salmon populations.

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6:00am

Mon January 13, 2014
Agriculture

Retailers Look To Sell Sustainability Of Food

On his farm near Rocheport, Mo., Bill Heffernan raises heritage St. Croix sheep, Red Poll cattle and American Cream Draft horses. He also sells his humanely-raised Berkshire and Duroc hogs to Chipotle and Whole Foods.
Credit Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Consumers are increasingly willing to pay more for foods they believe were sustainably produced, like free-range chicken, fair-trade coffee and pesticide-free wine. But what does “sustainable” actually mean?

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10:52am

Fri January 10, 2014
The Salt

A Green-Movement Website Shakes Up The Debate Over GMOs

After Grist's six-month-long series on genetically modified foods, some loyal readers accused the site of changing directions in the debate.
iStockphoto

A 26-part series on genetically modified food was not Nathanael Johnson's idea. And he didn't realize it would take six months, either.

Last year, Johnson was hired as the new food writer for Grist, a website for environmental news and opinion. Grist's editor, Scott Rosenberg, was waiting with an assignment: Dig into the controversy over GMOs.

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4:32pm

Thu January 9, 2014
Business

Colorado Sweetens Deal For Flour Milling Conglomerate

If approved, Ardent Mills would control about a third of the American flour milling market.
Credit Margaret Hoogstrate / Wikimedia Commons

9:57am

Tue January 7, 2014
The Salt

Smithfield Prods Its Pork Suppliers To Dump Pig Crates

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 2:55 pm

Smithfield, the world's largest hog and pork buyer, announced Tuesday that it's asking the independent farmers with whom it has contracts to get rid of stalls for pregnant sows to improve the animals' living conditions.

To nudge these farmers to make the changes to their facilities by 2022, Smithfield is offering to extend their contracts once they've converted their gestational stalls into group houses, which are generally considered more humane.

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