Articles from May 2010



Sharks Are Disappearing from the World’s Oceans One Bowl of Soup at a Time

Julia Baum’s official title is Postdoctoral Associate for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of Santa Barbara. Her young nieces and nephews simply call her a sharkologist. Baum should issue an audience advisory before she discusses her research: Caution, studying the oceans’ great predators is seriously depressing business. “For 400 years, sharks have evolved [...]

A Very Much Appreciated Plague of Locusts

Come and get us! We live at the end of a gravel road named, appropriately, Locust Lane in recognition of the ancient black locust trees that line it. The recent spate of unseasonal heat has brought them into full, fragrant bloom. They perfume our entire yard. Our noses tell us that  it is time to invite [...]

Regional, Not Local, Sourcing May be the Solution to Our Broken Food System

Can we meet halfway? It has all but become an article of faith that sourcing food locally is the most sustainable alternative to our current global food production system. But there is a growing body of evidence that local may only be part of the answer. Speaking at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Cooking for Solutions [...]

On the Tomato Trail: Researchers Scour Remote Andean Deserts in Search of Wild Ancestors of Domestic Tomatoes. The Popular Fruit’s Future May Depend on Their Success

A chilean soldier was guarding a lonely garrison in the Attacama Desert near the Peruvian border when American geneticist Roger Chetelat and his field research team arrived there in 2005. The soldier obligingly provided what should have been straightforward directions to their destination: Follow the road beside the railroad tracks. As an afterthought, the sentry [...]

NewsBites

●Rainbow Warfare: Greenpeace Sets Sail to Save the Bluefin ●A Raw (Milk) Deal for Wisconsin Democracy ●Supermarket Giant to Fisheries: Clean Up, or We Won’t Buy from You ●Hot Dog! Hunt’s Takes High-Fructose Corn Syrup out of Ketchup   Bluefins’ Last Hope? Last fall, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunaslived up to [...]

NewsBites

●Recession Ends for Organic Retailers. ●What Happens When You Water Plants with BPA? (Not What You Think.) ●For Foie Gras Producer, There’s No Ducking Pollution Laws. ●President’s Cancer Panel: Eat Organic; Avoid Cancer. ●200,000 Foreign Firms Supply U.S. with Food. Guess How Many Get Inspected. Organic Economic Indicators     Looking for tangible signs that [...]

Genetically Modified Justice: Why Did Elena Kagan Go to Bat for Monsanto’s GMO Alfalfa?

  It’s a good thing for Elena Kagan that there’s no non-GMO litmus test for Supreme Court nominees. She’d flunk. As Solicitor General, Kagan is supposed to represent the interests of the American people in matters that come before the Supreme Court. Instead, she has gone to bat for Monsanto Co. In a case that [...]

Newsbites: Why Does John McCain Hate Small Farmers So Much? Tuna Strike Back at Sushi Lovers. The Real Takeaway Message from the Latest E. coli Outbreak Isn’t What You Think.

Ain’t easy keeping track of all this government largesse. Three prominent Republican United States senators sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently condemning the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” program, introduced last fall to help strengthen local food systems. John McCain (R-AZ), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), and [...]

Rainforest Action Accuses Cargill of Clearcutting Virgin Trees for Palm Oil Plantations. Cargill Denies the Claims. Who Do We Believe?

Wake up in the morning. Enjoy a warm, soapy shower. Eat a bowl of cereal, perhaps with soy milk. Dab on some lipstick . . . Perform any of those mundane tasks and chances are you’ve done your bit to destroy a patch of rainforest somewhere in Indonesia where vast stands of virgin trees have [...]

The Next Best Thing: Does Jay Scott hold the future of decent store-bought tomatoes in his hands?

A cut above? Photograph: Bejo Seeds In supermarket tomatodom, this is the Holy Grail: a fruit thick-skinned enough to shrug off the insults of modern agribusiness, but still tender at heart and tasting like, well, a tomato. And John “Jay” Scott might have discovered it. Scott is a horticulture professor and tomato breeder at the [...]