• China's crops badly damaged by icy storms

    BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Agriculture Ministry said on Wednesday that the unusually harsh winter had dealt a serious blow to the country's wheat and vegetable crops and warned that damage could rise because of persistent cold. The ministry said in a statement on its Web site that 103 million mu of farm crops had been hurt by the freak weather, which has plagued southern, central and eastern China over the past week. >> Read the Full Article
  • Eco-Farm: Seeds of Ignorance: Investigative Journalist Reveals Serious Safety Concerns About GM Food

    Note: For the next few days I'll be reporting from Eco-Farm, the annual conference held by the Ecological Farming Association of California. At Eco-Farm, some 1,400-1,500 organic farmers, Big Organic marketers, and sundry sustainable-ag enthusiasts pack into a rustic, beautiful seaside conference hall an hour-and-a-half south of San Francisco to talk farming amid the dunes. >> Read the Full Article
  • U.N. aid chief worried by food inflation, weather

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Rising food prices and extreme weather are sparking more humanitarian disasters around the world, the United Nations' top official for emergency relief warned on Tuesday. Fourteen out of 15 U.N. "flash appeals" for help last year were a response to devastation caused by droughts, floods and hurricanes, U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes said. >> Read the Full Article
  • As Supplies Dry Up, Growers Pass on Farming and Sell Water

    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." >> Read the Full Article
  • Seed-Savers and Greens Unite to Challenge Monsanto's Latest Cash Cow

    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.) >> Read the Full Article
  • First 100% organic, 'green' restaurant opens in NYC

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Can crops be climate-proofed?

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Why are genebanks important?

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Beijing Olympic water scheme drains parched farmers

    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. >> Read the Full Article
  • Soaring Soybean Prices Stir Anger Among Poor

    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. >> Read the Full Article