Our plates are quite well-traveled these days, with foods from our backyards mingling with foods grown easily halfway around the world. Just how connected the food world has become is much clearer in these charts showing where every place in the world is getting (and sending) their food. »
This chart from the USDA shows just what’s been going on in the American landscape over the last six decades. Part of the takeaway is what has changed—the rise of cities and we’ve stopped grazing so much of the forestlands—but it’s also just as notable for what hasn’t changed.
Conner Griffith combined images from Google Earth, Wikipedia, the Rhode Island School of Design’s Picture and Materials collections, and his own photography to create “Ripple,” a concise, top-down overview of the shapes we use to organize the world. »
Contrary to what you may think (and what your food labels may suggest) corn is not the most grown crop in America. The most grown crop is something no one is eating, no one is asking for, and no one is quite sure what to do with. It’s your lawn. »
In the clandestine world of spies and double agents, there are some constants: mysterious strangers, drop-off points, stolen secrets. But it’s not missile plans these spies are seeking. »
Nine years ago, an E. coli outbreak led to an expensive, labor-intensive change to the way a lot of our farms operated. But things didn’t get better—in fact, they got worse.
The world is dry and getting drier. So when should we expect relief to finally land? Possibly not at all, according to this chart. »
Something strange has been going on in farm country in the last sixty years: Farmers are using less labor and less land, but they’re growing more—a lot more. Here’s how they did it. »
Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered evidence of early cereal cultivation at a 23,000-year-old site in Galilee, effectively doubling the timespan humans are believed to have practiced farming. »
Sound advice, CDC! But, uh, just why did you guys feel the need to issue this warning in the first place? »
People may wax rhapsodic about the virtues of the small-scale farm, but that is not the direction farming is heading in: Farms are getting fewer in number and larger in size across the board, and that’s only going to continue—and there’s one reason why.
Just off the coast of Noli, Italy, tethered twenty feet below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea, hover five bulbous biospheres filled with plants, light, and warm, wet air.
By editing a single gene, researchers from South Korea and China have engineered pigs that produce about twice the amount of muscle as normal pigs. The goal is to produce leaner meat and at higher yields, but early results show it could be a long time before this jacked-up pork appears on your dinner plate. »
Over two thousand years ago, Archimedes invented a tool with huge implications for ancient Greek farmers — and we’re still using it today, but in a different form. »
New research suggests surprisingly few bee species are responsible for pollinating the world’s crops. Globally, a mere 2% of wild bees pollinate 80% of bee-pollinated crops. Monetarily, that equates to $3,000/hectare, or billions of dollars annually, a figure roughly equal to the value of honey bees. »
When we imagine the farms of the next century, the images tend to be cleaner, more clinical, perhaps more akin even to a laboratory than a field. But the future that’s actually on our horizon looks much darker and messier than all that. »
Wal-Mart is asking its suppliers of meat, deli, dairy, and egg products to honor a new set of guidelines calling for the humane treatment of livestock and a reduction in the use of antibiotics. Supporters say this could revolutionize animal agriculture — but will Wal-Mart’s suppliers follow through? »