Agriculture

Organic Milk More Nutritious?
January 18, 2011 02:22 PM - Jessica Marshall, Discovery News

Organic milk has more beneficial fats than conventional milk, at least in the United Kingdom, says a new study. Whether these differences are nutritionally significant is less clear. Surveys of U.S. milk have yielded different results, though they also show differences between organic and conventional milk.

Eating Insects 'Could Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions'
January 17, 2011 01:58 PM - Benjamin Kolb, SciDevNet

Dining on crickets, locusts, or even cockroaches, instead of cattle or pigs, could ease both food insecurity and climate change, according to researchers.

Contaminated eggs: industrial farming leading to dioxin-type food scares
January 14, 2011 08:49 AM - Joanna Blythman and Tom Levitt, Ecologist

The latest food scare - the contamination of British eggs with the cancer causing chemical dioxin - can be linked to our reliance on complex food chains and industrial production methods, report Joanna Blythman and Tom Levitt.

Study Estimates Land Available for Biofuel Crops
January 12, 2011 10:08 AM - Editor, Science Daily

ScienceDaily (Jan. 10, 2011) — Using detailed land analysis, Illinois researchers have found that biofuel crops cultivated on available land could produce up to half of the world's current fuel consumption -- without affecting food crops or pastureland.

Meat producers should replace cattle with insects, scientists say
January 11, 2011 08:33 AM - Morgan Erickson-Davis, MONGABAY.COM

Scientists in the Netherlands have discovered that insects produce significantly less greenhouse gas per kilogram of meat than cattle or pigs. Their study, published in the online journal PLoS One, suggests that a move towards insect farming could result in a more sustainable - and affordable - form of meat production.

Australian floods could send food prices soaring
January 11, 2011 06:51 AM - Victoria Thieberger, Reuters, MELBOURNE

The worst flooding in the Australian state of Queensland in 50 years could push up the nation's fruit and vegetable prices by as much as 20 to 30 percent, lifting inflation and potentially dampening retail spending. Economists and the country's top supermarket chains said new, torrential flooding and rains across farmlands in southeastern Queensland in the past day had damaged crops and cut roads, preventing moving goods to market. Unlike some previous natural disasters, which affected a smaller geographic area and a narrow range of foods, many vegetables are likely to be affected. In 2006, Cyclone Larry caused a spike in banana prices and this alone helped to lift the overall inflation rate.

U.S. bumble bees experiencing significant declines
January 6, 2011 09:46 AM - Morgan Erickson-Davis, MONGABAY.COM

Many U.S. bumble bee populations have declined significantly over the past few decades, with certain species dropping off by as much as 96 percent. While the decline is linked to low genetic diversity and disease, an underlying cause remains uncertain.

Wheat Poised to Weather Climate Change
December 28, 2010 11:56 AM - Jessica Marshall, Discovery News

With climate change predicted to alter precipitation and raise temperatures in North American grain-growing regions by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius (about 5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, crops in the future will face dramatically different growing conditions than they do today. But a new study shows that over the last century and a half, North American wheat crops spread into regions with even wider temperature and precipitation differences than will arise over the next century. This analysis suggests it will be possible to adapt to new wheat-growing conditions.

The Economist Speculates on the Future of Vertical Farming
December 27, 2010 09:53 AM - Lesley-Lammers , Triple Pundit

A recent Economist article asks the question of vertical farming, "Does it really stack up?" In theory, it's a win-win-win concept for the environment, feeding growing urban populations locally, and increasing space for agriculture without more land use. But the reality is that vertical farming is costly energy-wise due to the need for artificial lighting and insufficient space for renewable energy installations on skyscrapers. While many designs exist, no large scale vertical farm has been built yet. However, Will Allen's Growing Power did receive approval this year from the Milwaukee city planning commission to build a five story greenhouse, perhaps marking a step toward the fruition of the first vertical farm.

Windowfarms Crowdsources to Turn Urban Food Deserts into Food Desserts
December 20, 2010 08:16 AM - Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit

Home gardening has surged in the past couple of years. Plenty of reasons account for the partial shift from factory farm to backyard farm: concern over nutrition, environmental issues, and economic worries.

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