Food and Farming

The Great Pumpkin Shortage Is Coming

The Great Pumpkin Shortage Is Coming

Pumpkin fever is back. The latest bout of this seasonal disorder has infected Hostess Twinkies and moved Starbucks to put a smidge of real pumpkin in its pumpkin spice lattes. Previously, the ubiquitous coffee purveyor used a common ploy: It evoked agrarian and...

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When Your Teacher Asks If You Want Fries with That

When Your Teacher Asks If You Want Fries with That

When it comes to predatory marketing to children, nobody's lovin' it like McDonald's. In addition to selling unhealthy food, the chain lures kids in with toys and a playground — and its spokesperson is a clown. But it's the fast food giant's marketing to captive...

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An Awfully Bitter Brew

An Awfully Bitter Brew

Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall/ 99 bottles of beer/ Take one down, pass it around… only one bottle of beer on the wall. Most people never sang that old song all the way to the end. But one multinational brewing corporation is finally ready to belt out the...

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Letting Pepsi Police Itself Isn’t Very Sweet

Letting Pepsi Police Itself Isn’t Very Sweet

If you drink Mug Root Beer or the apple-flavored Manzanita Sol soda, you might unwittingly become one of the first people to try a brand new artificial sweetener. The new product is called Sweetmyx 617, and PepsiCo is blending it with high fructose corn syrup to...

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Your Weed Killer Might Kill You

Your Weed Killer Might Kill You

When I began writing about agriculture nearly a decade ago, I learned quickly that people generally believed that Roundup, the best-selling weed killer made by Monsanto, was relatively harmless. Roundup breaks down quickly, everyone said — and into non-toxic...

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Chicken Disneyland

Chicken Disneyland

McDonald’s made headlines recently by announcing it will transition to cage-free eggs by 2025. Hooray: You can feel better about eating that Egg McMuffin. Or at least you can a decade from now. Less than 1 percent of the fast food giant's eggs currently come from...

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Have Your Coke and Guzzle It Too

Have Your Coke and Guzzle It Too

Good news about obesity: A new scientific organization is coming to grips with this bulging national problem. Called the Global Energy Balance Network, it comes at obesity from a unique perspective. According to them, the key to controlling one's weight isn’t cutting...

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A Big Win for Fast Food Workers

A Big Win for Fast Food Workers

For many Americans, the only connection between Labor Day and labor is that you don't have to do any of the latter as a result of the former. In other words, it's just a day off work — an occasion to barbecue or go out of town for a three-day weekend. But millions of...

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Ethanol: A Love Story

Ethanol: A Love Story

It’s a timeless story of teenage romance: pledging love, abandoning reason, rebelling against authority. No, this isn’t the plot of a John Hughes movie. Instead, I’m talking about Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s love affair with ethanol. While Vilsack is tasked...

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Summer Spells Hunger for Kids in Small American Towns

Summer Spells Hunger for Kids in Small American Towns

Metropolis, Illinois, population 6,465, isn’t much of a metropolis. But when Reverend Orlando McReynolds moved to that small town on the Kentucky border two years ago to become the pastor at the First Missionary Life Center, he found the same thing he left behind in...

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