How You Can Start a Farm in Heart of the City
January 12, 2009 08:32 AM - Organic Consumers Association

Imagine sitting down to a salad of peppery arugula and heirloom tomatoes that you grew yourself. Or a Sunday omelet of eggs laid that morning, served with a thick slice of fresh sourdough, butter and apricot jam -- all homemade, of course. Or imagine toasting your friends with a mead made from local honey. Where would you have to move to live like this? A commune in Vermont? A villa in Italy? My husband Erik and I have done all of this in our little bungalow in Los Angeles, two blocks off of Sunset Boulevard. We grow food and preserve it, recycle water, forage the neighborhood, and build community. We're urban homesteaders.

Billions face food shortages, study warns
January 9, 2009 08:18 AM - The Guardian

Half of the world's population could face severe food shortages by the end of the century as rising temperatures take their toll on farmers' crops, scientists have warned. Harvests of staple food crops such as rice and maize could fall by between 20% and 40% as a result of higher temperatures during the growing season in the tropics and subtropics. Warmer temperatures in the region are also expected to increase the risk of drought, cutting crop losses further, according to a new study.

EPA ‘Not Proposing A Cow Tax’
January 8, 2009 08:39 AM - By Nicholas L. Dean

When U.S. Senator Charles Schumer came out against the idea of a cow tax in December, he explained that though there was no formal proposal, his opposition was an attempt to squash the idea in its infancy. The tax idea was a part of the Environmental Protection Agency's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released in July 2008.

What you eat can help the environment, too
January 7, 2009 08:44 AM -

Can what you eat be more important to the environment than what you drive? Kate Geagan, registered dietitian in Park City, Utah, says Americans have an “SUV eating style” that contributes to global warming more than the cars we drive. Her book, “Go Green Get Lean: Trim Your Waistline With the Ultimate Low-Carbon Footprint Diet,” will be published in March (Rodale, $19.95). I interviewed Geagan about food habits and the connection to the environment and asked her to share tips with consumers about the advantages of eating green.

Cities May Sprout Vertical Farms
January 5, 2009 09:27 AM - Organic Consumers Association

Farming would seem to be a horizontal occupation. Iowa corn or Kansas wheat pokes up from flat fields that stretch to the horizon. That's why the idea of "vertical farms" seems ripe for humor. When its biggest advocate appeared on the faux news show "The Colbert Report" earlier this year, comedian Stephen Colbert prefaced the interview by guessing it would have something to do with corn that grows sideways or perhaps "Chia blimps" that float overhead.

New cash crop for farmers could be carbon trade
January 5, 2009 08:43 AM -

Carbon emissions are increasingly at the forefront of policy issues, and experts say agricultural practices could play a role in decreasing emissions while providing farmers with a new cash crop. "You can't go to a newsstand today without seeing major publications with sustainability, climate change or energy on the cover," said Jim Mulhern, a founding partner of Watson/Mulhern and veteran policy strategist and communicator with 20 years experience in Washington public policy issues.

Food needs 'fundamental rethink'
January 2, 2009 09:05 AM - BBC

A sustainable global food system in the 21st Century needs to be built on a series of "new fundamentals", according to a leading food expert. Tim Lang warned that the current system, designed in the 1940s, was showing "structural failures", such as "astronomic" environmental costs. The new approach needed to address key fundamentals like biodiversity, energy, water and urbanisation, he added.

Official figures mask true state of environment
January 1, 2009 10:00 AM - The Sydney Morning Herald

THE rate of land clearing is much higher than Australia's environmental accounting methods may suggest, a study by researchers at the University of Queensland shows. It says traditional bookkeeping methods are misleading because they usually record positive and negative environmental outcomes separately, and that lack of context means big net losses of forested land can be wrongly reported as a win for conservation.

Group says program benefits industrial farms
January 1, 2009 09:54 AM - AP

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A federal conservation program originally designed to help small farmers is now disproportionately benefiting industrial livestock operations, according to a new report by a family farm advocacy group. The Campaign for Family Farms and the Environment examined five years worth of payments through the federal Environmental Quality Incentives Program, known as EQIP.

'Eat local' movement takes root
December 27, 2008 09:55 AM - Mercury News

SAN FRANCISCO—Here's something you might not know about being a locavore, the new-fangled term for the old-school tradition of eating food grown close to home: Coffee is almost always negotiable. Here's another: The people practicing this new-old (and currently quite hot) trend may surprise you. Suburban moms? Check. Artisanal-cheese sniffing foodies? Double check. And how about denizens of the decidely un-hippie halls of Wal-Mart?

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