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Inside the Global Effort to Keep Perfectly Good Food Out of the Dump

By Somini Sengupta Photo: Andri Tambunan, The New York Times

In Seoul, garbage cans automatically weigh how much food gets tossed in the trash. In London, grocers have stopped putting date labels on fruits and vegetables to reduce confusion about what is still edible. California now requires supermarkets to give away — not throw away — food that is unsold but fine to eat.

10/13/22
                                                               

Gotham Greens just raised $310M to expand its greenhouses nationwide

By Brian Heater Photo: Gotham Greens

That’s not a typo. $310 million, with a zero at the end. This latest round brings Gotham Greens’ total funding up to $440 million since its 2009 launch. The nine-digit raise was led by BMO Impact Investment Fund and Ares Management, with participation from Commonfund, RockCreek, Kimco Realty Corporation, Manna Tree Partners and The Silverman Group.

09/12/22
                                                               
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U.S. Heat Wave Hits Supermarkets’ Produce Sections

By Jaewon Kang and Others Photo: Kyle Grillot, Bloomberg News

High temperatures in the Western U.S. are hitting the produce industry, damaging crops, shrinking shipments and leaving fewer leafy greens and fruits on supermarket shelves.
A California grower said some of his lettuce leaves are turning brown and melting in the fields because of crop diseases intensified by the high temperatures. In Pennsylvania, a retailer said its stores went a week without having strawberries to sell. A New York distributor has substituted honeydew melons for watermelons, which have become scarce.

09/11/22
                                                               

How the Inflation Reduction Act Affects Food and Agriculture

By Tom Philpott Photo: Shuran Huang, Getty Images

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, whose Senate passage makes its enactment likely, contains a multitude of provisions. It’s the “biggest climate bill that any country has ever passed,” gushed Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), lauding the bill’s $369 billion investment in clean energy. The act includes language that could reduce prescription-drug costs for as many as 48 million Americans. It narrows (with notable exceptions) the ability of some of the nation’s most profitable companies to avoid taxes—though hedge fund and private equity barons get to keep their lucrative carried interest loophole. And, to the chagrin of environmentalists, it offers a raft of goodies for the fossil fuel industry, wrung out of negotiations by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who moonlights as a coal baron. (As a result, the bill “recognizes that natural gas and oil are an important part of the energy transition, and they’re going to be here for decades,” ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance noted approvingly.)

08/11/22
                                                               

49 million people face famine as Ukraine war, climate disasters intensify

By Sarah Kaplan Photo: Saumya Khandelwal , Bloomberg

With temperatures spiking to 110 degrees once more, Jeetram Yadav sat in the shade on his farm outside New Delhi and cupped a handful of this season’s disappointing wheat between his calloused palms. The grains were brown and the size of cumin seeds, shriveled by heat.

06/13/22
                                                               

The Johnny Appleseed of Sugar Kelp

By Charity Robey Photo: Johnny Milano , The New York Times

When Michael Doall was a teenager, he hated seaweed, and so did everybody else he knew on Long Island. It was an icky nuisance that brushed against your legs at the beach, fouled your fishing hook and got tangled around the propeller of your boat. Only later, as a marine scientist and oyster farmer, did he develop a love for sugar kelp, a disappearing native species that is one of the most useful seaweeds. Now he is on a mission to bring it back to the waters of New York.

06/10/22
                                                               

Feeding a Hotter Planet

By Somini Sengupta Photo: Channi Anand , AP

Pandemic, war, and climate change have brought matters to a head. The world faces what the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, this week called “an unprecedented wave of hunger and destitution.”

06/10/22
                                                               

How Bad Is the Global Food Crisis Going to Get?

By David Wallace-Wells Photo: Ibrahim Rayintakath

They were calling it a crisis even before the war began: more than 800 million people in a state of chronic hunger. But, as you may have heard, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia — two countries that were estimated to produce enough food to feed 400 million, and to account for as much as 12 percent of all globally traded calories — has made the hardship considerably harder and the hunger considerably more acute.

06/07/22
                                                               

NASA climate research scientist wins World Food Prize

By David Pitt Photo: Ted Shaffrey , AP

Cynthia Rosenzweig, an agronomist and climatologist, was awarded the $250,000 prize in recognition of her innovative modeling of the impact of climate change on food production. She is a senior research scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and serves as adjunct senior research scientist at the Columbia Climate School at Columbia University, both based in New York.

05/05/22
                                                               

Devouring the rainforest

By Terrence McCoy and Júlia Ledur Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Bloomberg News

Cattle ranching, responsible for the great majority of deforestation in the Amazon, is pushing the forest to the edge of what scientists warn could be a vast and irreversible dieback that claims much of the biome. Despite agreement that change is necessary to avert disaster, despite attempts at reform, despite the resources of Brazil’s federal government and powerful beef companies, the destruction continues.

04/29/22