Blog

Whose Agriculture Drives Disease?

By Alex Liebman, Ivette Perfecto, and Rob Wallace St Paul, October 5—A recent high-profile paper published in the journal Nature links zoonotic viruses, such as Ebola, HIV, and the SARS virus that causes COVID-19, with the fragmentation and destruction of forests. The authors show that with declining biodiversity, the remaining animals are more prolific disease [...]

The Buzz Beyond Bees

Madison, June 21—The bees are dying. This message has been spread far and wide over the course of the past decade, from the covers of national magazines to (sometimes misguided) corporate marketing campaigns. It’s a snappy soundbite that alerts the public to a real problem pertaining to how we produce food and strive to coexist [...]

A Factory Farm Fungus Among Us

Fungicide and pesticide production at Sapec Crop Protection, Portugal. By Alex Liebman and Rob Wallace St Paul, April 9—Eighty percent of U.S. antibiotics are used to promote livestock and poultry growth and protect the animals from the bacterial consequences of the manure-laden environments in which they are grown. That’s 34 million pounds of antibiotics a [...]

The Crop Beds Are Burning

Eganstown, March 7--I am in mourning. A younger, more optimistic me died last week. Not even 50, she was far too young. As I sat with the governments of the world at UN meetings in Rome, I couldn’t get Midnight Oil’s iconic 1987 song Beds Are Burning out of my head, the line "how can [...]

Big Ag’s New Game

Toronto, February 12–A recent episode of Food Talk with guest James Collins of DowDuPont and Corteva Agriscience got me thinking: how is Big Ag responding to political shifts in food production? As host Dani Nierenberg and Collins discussed the ins and outs of ag-tech, I noticed that companies are very much taking cues from grassroots [...]