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America’s First “Food Spy” Traveled the World Hunting for Exotic Crops

Anna Diamond Smithsonian Magazine
David Fairchild demonstrates a new crop spraying technique in 1889. A new book, The Food Explorer, tells the story of botanist David Fairchild who, in the 1890’s, sleuthed out over 200,000 kinds of fruits, vegetables and grains around the world. Thanks to his findings, the USDA distributed many new seeds and crops to farmers throughout the states.

Twinkies, Carrots, and Farm Policy Reality

John Ikerd Civil Eats
An agricultural economist writes that treating Twinkies and carrots as the beginning and end of the farm subsidies discussion distracts from useful public discourse.


4-H: Indoctrination Nation

Sarah McColl Modern Farmer
The nonprofit National 4-H Council accepts donations from a veritable who’s who of Big Ag: Monsanto, ConAgra, DuPont, and Altria each gave at least a million dollars in 2015. A lot of cultural norms around gender and sexuality are directly illustrated by the history of 4-H.

Your Farm Is Trying to Kill You

Ian Kullgren Politico
Far from a bucolic idyll, farming in America is one of its most dangerous professions. And almost no one is trying to change that.


Spring Training for the Next Wave of Food Activists

Brian Massey Civil Eats
The food activist group, Eco Practicum, came together for five days in New York City for the third annual program produced in partnership with Our Name Is Farm, a training aimed at building “effective advocacy for a better food system.”



Keith Pandolfi Serious Eats
Simran Sethi's book, "Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love," is a call to arms: a warning of the dire consequences of what she sees as a disturbing lack of diversity in the foods we eat.


Where Will Our Future Food Come From? Ask a Farmer

Carrie Arnold Smithsonian Magazine
Two farmers with different viewpoints--Nikiko Masumoto, of the organic Masumoto Family Farm in California, and Zach Hunnicutt, a fifth-generation farmer from Nebraska,-- talk about organic farming, GMOs and farm technology.


Mozart for the Birds?

Erin Blakemore
Classically-raised chickens, including music appreciation, enjoy their calmer lifestyle.

These Things Can Change

David Bacon & Rosario Ventura; Photos by David Bacon Dolars & Sense, March/April 2015 issue
Hiring migrant farm labor is very profitable for big agribusiness. Last year workers walked out of the fields at Sakuma Brothers Farms in Washington - one of the largest berry growers in the state. Berries are big business, with annual sales of $6.1 million, and big corporate customers like Häagen Dazs ice cream. Here is their story.
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