What we're reading this week

Dec 21, 2015 12:13:00 AM

2015: The Beginning of a Paradigm Shift for Big Food and Agriculture?

Civil Eats


Companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Monsanto spend a lot of time and money diverting attention away from negative science related to their products and associating themselves with groupsthat promote healthy food and families.  For a long time, those tactics appeared to be working; but several of this year’s developments suggest that they might not work for much longer. In fact, you might say that 2015 was the year transparency re-entered the picture. Here’s a timeline of what happened.  Read more >>



Did John Deere's Best Invention Spark a Revolution or an Environmental Disaster?



When Deere created his now-famous steel plow, he created America's breadbasket and set the stage for many of modern farming's environmental problems.  Read more >>



The Outsize Importance of the Tiny Organic Seed

Modern Farmer


During the past century, as agriculture has become more and more industrialized, flavor and genetic diversity have been sacrificed in favor of efficiency and yield. The result, says Cornell University professor Michael Mazourek, is the bland, “one-size-fits-most crops” that dominate today’s culinary landscape.  A look at plant breeding and the middle ground between heirlooms and GMOs.   Read more >>



Editor’s Note: 2015 Was a Big Year for Food & Farming News

Civil Eats


Civil Eats reviews just a few of their best-read and most-talked about stories in 2015. Read more >>



Soils in the Classroom: Celebrating the Discovery and Donation of a Historic Soils Collection



Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated science teacher from New Jersey, a valuable piece of soil science history is now available for viewing and research among the special collections at USDA’s National Agricultural Library (NAL) in Beltsville, Maryland.  Read more >>



The 10 best food cities in America, ranked

Washington Post


To be a great food city, it helps to have a large body of water nearby, a classic dish or three, and a population with a fondness for drink. Those are among the writers impressions after spending more than 60 days on the road this year, visiting more than a dozen destinations, then measuring them against a set of standards to come up with a Top 10 list of America’s Best Food Cities. Before rating the subjects, the writer ate, drank and shopped in 271 restaurants, bars, food stores and farmers markets.  Check out the results...  Read more >>