Agriculture

As Supplies Dry Up, Growers Pass on Farming and Sell Water
January 25, 2008 09:43 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

The shortages this season among the most intense of the last decade are already shooting water prices skyward in many areas, and Los Angeles-area cities are begging for water and coaxing farmers to let their fields go to dust. "It just makes dollars and sense right now," said Bruce Rolen, a third-generation farmer in Northern California's lush Sacramento Valley. "There's more economic advantage to fallowing than raising a crop."

Seed-Savers and Greens Unite to Challenge Monsanto's Latest Cash Cow
January 24, 2008 02:38 PM - , Organic Consumers Association

For years, candy makers and other industrial food manufacturers refused to use genetically modified sugar, fearing a consumer backlash. As a result, Monsanto's Roundup Ready sugar beet -- designed to withstand heavy application of Roundup, Monsanto's herbicide -- has been dead in the water. (Sugar beets, grown in the Midwest and Northwest, account for half of U.S. sugar production; cane, grown mainly in Florida, provides the rest.)

First 100% organic, 'green' restaurant opens in NYC
January 24, 2008 12:39 PM - , Organic Consumers Association

Gunning for a national presence, New York City's first green- and organic-certified restaurant has opened its doors. Gusto Grilled Organics is a Greenwich Village eatery serving 100 percent, organic, Latin-inspired cuisine for eat-in, takeout and delivery.

Can crops be climate-proofed?
January 24, 2008 11:27 AM - , SciDevNet

Among the most worrying aspects of climate change is its effects on the world's food supply. The worst-case scenario is stark: Africa's Sahel region will produce fewer cereals, rice cultivation in Asia will be under threat, there will be fewer vegetables — with potatoes and beans potentially wiped out — and livestock and fisheries will be severely stressed.

Why are genebanks important?
January 23, 2008 09:01 AM - CGIAR

MEXICO CITY (23 January 2008)—At the end of January, more than 200,000 crop varieties from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East—drawn from vast seed collections maintained by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)—will be shipped to a remote island near the Arctic Circle, where they will be stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV), a facility capable of preserving their vitality for thousands of years.

Beijing Olympic water scheme drains parched farmers
January 23, 2008 08:21 AM - Reuters

BAODING, China (Reuters) - Dusty villages far from China's capital are paying their own price for the government's plan to stage a postcard-perfect Olympic Games, enduring shrunken crops, drained wells and contention over lost land and homes. China is rushing to finish canals to pump 300 million cubic meters of "emergency" water to Beijing for its "green" Games, ensuring a lush, sparkling host city greets the world in August.

Soaring Soybean Prices Stir Anger Among Poor
January 21, 2008 09:05 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

During the ancient Zhou dynasty, soyabeans were among China's five sacred grains. Thousands of years later soyabeans maintain their importance to the Chinese and most other Asians, but they have recently triggered much more down-to-earth preoccupations.

Adjustments to Agriculture May Help Mitigate Global Warming
January 19, 2008 09:57 AM - , Worldwatch Institute

A recent report from Greenpeace details the direct and indirect effects of agriculture on climate change and suggests how the sector can move from being a major greenhouse gas emitter to being a carbon sink. “As a key contributor to climate change, the environmental impact of industrial farming has reached critical levels,” said Jan van Aken, Greenpeace Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner. “Governments must support a farming future that works with nature, not against it.”

Forests and carbon capture keys to climate: Norway's PM
January 18, 2008 04:44 PM - Reuters

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Protecting forests and burying greenhouse gases are key ways of slowing world climate change, Norway's prime minister said on Friday a day after the Nordic nation set a stiff 2030 goal of becoming "carbon neutral."

Scientists find way to increase corn's vitamin A
January 18, 2008 08:57 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. scientists have developed a way to breed corn that can boost the vitamin A it gives people who eat it -- a potentially important advance for regions of the world burdened by vitamin A deficiencies. Vitamin A deficiency is an important cause of eye disease and other health problems in developing countries.

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