Food and Farming

Trump’s Revealing Budget for Rural America

Trump’s Revealing Budget for Rural America

How we spend our money says a lot about what we value — and what we can do without. The Trump administration’s proposed budget, which it submitted to Congress in May, sends the alarming message that it can do without much of rural America. The surprisingly harsh...

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The Coming Crisis for the World’s Farmers

The Coming Crisis for the World’s Farmers

Remember the climate crisis? It's still happening. Having a government that resembles a circus, it turns out, hasn't stopped the clock on the level of greenhouse gases in the air. At a conference in Italy, former president Barack Obama spoke recently about the impact...

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How Mexican Farmers Got the Better of Trump

How Mexican Farmers Got the Better of Trump

Often, when world powers pick fights with seemingly powerless countries, they learn that even small dogs have sharp teeth — as President Trump is finding out in his ill-fated war with Mexico. His scheme to wall off Mexico is collapsing because most people here in the...

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Wall Street Sodbusters

Wall Street Sodbusters

I love the names: Bobcat Farm, Golden Eagle Ranch, Long Prairie, Ten Mile Farm. They conjure up Americana, the old homestead, and our rich rural culture. Less bucolic, however, is the fact that all those farms are part of a massive Wall Street investment scheme called...

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A War on Regulations

A War on Regulations

The incoming Republican government is waging a war against regulations. "For every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated," Donald Trump promised after the November vote. Since then, Republicans in Congress have voted to give themselves broader...

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Gold-plated Tractors for Gentlemen Farmers

Gold-plated Tractors for Gentlemen Farmers

Let's talk tractors — the sturdy workhorses of agriculture. I've been around them since I was just a tyke — there's even a Kodak snapshot of three-year-old me sitting proudly at the wheel of the Farmall tractor my Uncle Ernest used for years to work his small family...

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Even Organic Farms Sacrifice Sustainability to Cut Costs

Even Organic Farms Sacrifice Sustainability to Cut Costs

I visited a family farm recently. It was small, and local, and certified organic. In theory, it was everything an eco-conscious foodie could want. And yet, it wasn't. Like every farm family, the couple who runs the farm is constrained by economic factors....

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My Food Identity Dilemma

My Food Identity Dilemma

Why do we eat what we eat? Many of us eat foods that are familiar, convenient, and that simply taste good, without thinking much about why we make the choices we do. For others — myself included — there's a constant struggle to determine what's healthy, both for...

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Dining Out? Here’s Some Food for Thought

Dining Out? Here’s Some Food for Thought

Americans now spend more on dining out than on groceries. But while we increasingly seek out organic and fair trade goods at the store, we usually don’t think about the social and environmental impacts of dining out. We should. The last time you ate at a restaurant,...

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Better Labels, Better Food

Food labels are changing. In the past, you could only see how much total sugar was in your food. That included sugars naturally occurring in healthy, whole foods — like lactose in milk — alongside extra sugars like sucrose or high fructose corn syrup, which aren't so...

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