Trade

7:00am

Wed March 12, 2014
Agriculture

Egg Law Latest Battleground In Animal Welfare Fight

Many large egg-producing operations, like this one in Stuart, Iowa, would have to change the way they house hens if they want to sell eggs in California under the terms of a new California state law that is currently under court challenge.
Credit Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

5:32am

Wed March 12, 2014
Globalization

After A Downturn, Global Shipping Bets Big On Everything

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 9:22 am

A container ship docked at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey. No one on the pier knows for sure what exactly the containers carry — anything from frozen chicken to computers.
Jonathan Blakley NPR

On a cold, blustery day at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey, one of several massive cranes whirs along a rail high above the pier, picks up a heavy container from a ship's deck and loads it on a waiting truck back on land. The truck drives away, another arrives, and the whole process starts again.

It's a scene played out every day along America's coasts as massive container ships from across the globe pull into deep-water seaports, waiting to be unloaded. The ships are enormous — some 10 stories high and several football fields long.

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10:00am

Thu March 6, 2014
Business

Colorado Farmers Told To Sit Tight For Final Trade Deal

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says a new trade pact with a group of Asian countries could increase American farm exports. Here, a crane loads grain-filled containers, some of which are exported.
Credit Bill Wheelhouse / Harvest Public Media

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is telling farmers to be patient while his office hammers out a major trade deal with a group of Asian countries, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

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1:50am

Tue March 4, 2014
The Salt

In The New Globalized Diet, Wheat, Soy And Palm Oil Rule

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 7:21 am

The world is increasingly relying on a few dozen megacrops, like wheat and potatoes, for survival. Above, a wheat field in Arkansas.
Danny Johnston AP

These days you can fly to far corners of the world and eat pretty much the same food you can get back home. There's pizza in China and sushi in Ethiopia.

A new scientific study shows that something similar is true of the crops that farmers grow. Increasingly, there's a standard global diet, and the human race is depending more and more on a handful of major crops for much of its food.

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2:40pm

Thu February 27, 2014
The Salt

Chickens That Lay Organic Eggs Eat Imported Food, And It's Pricey

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 9:26 am

Empty shelves where eggs should be at a Whole Foods Market in Washington, D.C. The store blames increased demand for organic eggs.
Dan Charles NPR

The other morning, I found myself staring at something strange and unfamiliar: empty grocery shelves with the word "eggs" above them. The store, a Whole Foods Market in Washington, D.C., blamed, in another sign, the dearth on "increased demand for organic eggs."

This scene is unfolding in grocery stores across the country. But Whole Foods' sign wasn't telling the whole truth. Demand for organic eggs is indeed increasing, but production is also down.

The reason behind that shortfall highlights an increasingly acute problem in the organic industry.

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