Food & Farm

Global demand for food and fuel is rising, and competition for resources has widespread ramifications. We all eat, so we all have a stake in how our food is produced. Our goal is to provide in-depth and unbiased reporting on things like climate change, food safety, biofuel production, animal welfare, water quality and sustainability.

There's a new question that anti-hunger advocates want doctors and nurses to ask patients: Do you have enough food?

Public health officials say the answer often is "not really." So clinics and hospitals have begun stocking their own food pantries in recent years.

One of the latest additions is Connectus Health, a federally funded clinic in Nashville, Tenn. This month, the rear of LaShika Taylor's office transformed into a community cupboard.

It’s nearly Thanksgiving, which means extra food — and extra food waste. But one man’s garbage is another’s renewable energy.


Brittle corn stalks border a backyard garden in Flagstaff, Ariz., on a windswept mesa surrounded by ponderosa pine trees. They look dried-up and ordinary, but the garden's owner, Carol Fritzinger, says opening up the husks to see what's inside is like Christmas morning.

"Oooh, this one's a pink and purple variety," she says, laughing as she peels back a husk to show a translucent, rainbow-colored corn cob inside. "You just never know!"

Hemp farming exploded after the 2018 Farm Bill passed last December. The bill decriminalized the plant at the federal level, opening the door for many U.S. farmers to grow and sell hemp.

Over the past year, licensed hemp acreage increased more than 445%, according to the advocacy and research group Vote Hemp. More than 510,000 acres of hemp were licensed in 2019, versus about 112,000 acres in 2018.

What did a meal taste like nearly 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylonia? Pretty good, according to a team of international scholars who have deciphered and are re-creating what are considered to be the world's oldest-known culinary recipes.

The recipes were inscribed on ancient Babylonian tablets that researchers have known about since early in the 20th century but that were not properly translated until the end of the century.

People on Medicaid who work rural seasonal jobs in Montana are wondering about the future of their access to health coverage. Montana recently passed a law that, if it gains federal approval and goes into effect as planned in January, would require many Medicaid recipients to prove they work a set number of hours each month.

There's new evidence that a widely used family of pesticides called neonicotinoids, already controversial because they can be harmful to pollinators, could be risky for insects and fish that live in water, too.

The evidence comes from Lake Shinji, which lies near Japan's coast, next to the Sea of Japan.

Masumi Yamamuro, a scientist with the Geological Survey of Japan, says the lake is famous for its views of the setting sun. "It's amazingly beautiful," she says.

Farm laborers in yellow safety vests walked through neatly arranged rows of grapes in a vineyard outside Healdsburg, Calif., Friday, harvesting the last of the deep purple bundles that hung from the vines, even as the sky behind them was dark with soot.

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