Agriculture, Food & Fiber

EcoIntelligence agriculture, food, and fiber articles, speeches, and interviews.This section contains articles, reports, interviews, book and anthology excerpts, PowerPoint presentations, and presentation transcripts on agriculture, food, and fiber. Topics include sustainable agriculture, industrial agriculture, the world food supply, factory farming, chemical and pesticide use, animal rights, fisheries, local food, organic produce, gardening, and more.

Agriculture, food processing, shipment, preparation, and consumption have large impacts on both our health and the health of natural ecosystems. Global warming and urban growth are reducing the land and water resources available to meet our global food needs, while poplulation growth and more people eating higher on the food chain are increasing those needs. Chemicals used in the food production process harm farm workers, farm animals, soils, freshwater quality, and river and ocean ecosystems. To meet our current food needs without negatively affecting future generations, it is critical that we implement sustainable practices at every step in the food system, from farm to plate.

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The Earth Moved: On The Remarkable Achievements Of Earthworms. Book excerpt by Amy Stewart. The Earth Moved (Buy Here >>) takes us on a subterranean adventure and introduces us to our planet's most important gatekeeper: the humble earthworm. It's true that the earthworm is small, spineless, and blind, but its effect on the ecosystem is profound. Stewart investigates the earthworm's astonishing realm, talks to oligochaetologists who have devoted their lives to unearthing the complex web of life beneath our feet, and observes the thousands of worms in her own garden. Book Excerpt >> Buy Here >> More about Amy Stewart >>

Energy And Sustainable Agriculture. Presentation by L. Hunter Lovins. Agriculture lies at the heart of civilization. Cultures that mistreat their soils do not long endure. Modern agriculture seems in many ways to be the pinnacle of human achievement, enabling fewer farmers to feed more of humanity than ever before. Yet much of the practice is unsustainable. Presentation >> More about L. Hunter Lovins >>

Ethanol Could Leave The World Hungry. Article by Lester Brown. The myth that corn is a cure-all for our energy woes is leading us toward a potentially dangerous global fight for food. While crop-based ethanol - the latest craze in alternative energy - promises a guilt-free way to keep our gas tanks full, it could leave much of the world hungry. Article >>

The Ethical Gourmet. Book excerpt by Jay Weinstein. The book's subtitle sums it up well: "How to Enjoy Great Food That Is Humanely Raised, Sustainable, Nonendangered, and That Replenishes the Earth." Book Excerpt >> More about Jay Weinstein >>

Fish Being Disastrously Depleted. Article by Reese Halter. "The Chinese, Japanese and Russians will not support a world measure to stop overfishing sharks. The United Nations will not unanimously protect the endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna. So now it’s up to the citizens of our planet to help nature." Article >> More about Reese Halter >>

From The Ground Up: The Story Of A First Garden. Book excerpt by Amy Stewart. From The Ground Up (Buy Here >>) is a chronicle of the seedlings and weeds, cats and compost, worms and watering that transform a tiny plot of earth into a glorious garden. From planting the seeds her great-grandmother sends to battling snails, gophers, and aphids, Stewart takes us on a tour of her coastal garden and shares the lessons she's learned the hard way. Book Excerpt >> Buy Here >> More about Amy Stewart >>

The Meat Of The Matter: The U.S. Livestock Industry Creates More Greenhouse Gas Than Transportation. Article by Jim Motavalli. Ask most Americans about what causes global warming, and they’ll point to a coal plant smokestack or a car’s tailpipe. They’re right, of course, but perhaps two other images should be granted similarly iconic status: the front and rear ends of a cow. Article >> More about Jim Motavalli >>

Think Globally Act Locally. Book excerpt by Jay Weinstein. “Seasonality” has become a catchword for modern chefs seeking to prove the authenticity of their regional foods. But many consumers ask, “Why not use Costa Rican asparagus in midwinter if it looks good?” Book Excerpt >> More about Jay Weinstein >>

Washington Post.com on Green Eating. Online Q&A with Jay Weinstein. Looking to make your fridge a little greener and dinner plate a little more ethical? Sprig's editor Jeanie Pyun and food contributor Jay Weinstein take questions and suggestions online about green cooking and eating, and on everything else having to do with living a life that is both stylish and environmental. Q&A Transcript >> More about Jay Weinstein >>

The Zen Of Gardening In The High And Arid West: Tips, Tools, And Techniques. Book excerpt by Dave Wann. The Zen Of Gardening (Buy Now >>) is a mix of stories, how-to advice, and simple, doable projects ideal for gardeners in the high and arid landscapes of the West. For gardeners of the high plains and mountains who are "meteorologically and topographically challenged," who routinely grapple with wild weather swings, high elevations, and scarcity of water, Wann offers inspiration and invaluable practical advice for success. Book Excerpt >> Buy Now >> More about Dave Wann >>

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