Ready for 2,4-D Corn?

The Environmental Protection Agency has given the go-ahead to Dow Chemical for its genetically modified 2,4-D resistant corn.

4th of July Message to Top Bar Beekeepers...

By the 4th of July, there's a palpable shift in the feel of the beekeeping season. New beekeepers wish for more guidance, and may even be wondering why they started this project! Here's a little reassurance that you are not alone in your endeavor.

The Comfort of “Why”

It helps us feel better to know "why" things happen, but we don't always get to know that answer...

Shifting the Paradigm Toward More Natural Beekeeping

This blog post started life as an article in The Natural Farmer,published by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). It could be said to herald the birth of that entity we have come to call The Cynical Optimist.

Sick Chickens to Blame for Salmonella Outbreak

In eggs from a healthy chicken, proteins found within the egg white control the growth of dangerous bacteria. If a chicken is infected with salmonella, the proteins can't protect you.

Mechanical Tenderization Makes Rare Steak Risky

The process of mechanically tenderizing steaks creates a food safety hazard by transferring bacteria that otherwise would be limited to the surface of a steak to the entire cut of meat, inside and out. Rare steak lovers, beware.

Fraudulent Organic Operation Decertified

We've reported on the fraudulent practices of Horizon Organic and Aurora Dairy before. Now, a federal judge has suspended one of their suppliers, Promiseland LLC., from organic commerce.

Smithfield Foods, Exposed

Smithfield's hog farms produce a lot of meat and make a lot of money, but at what cost? Can we continue to look the other way as they pollute  waters, abuse animals and terrorize their neighbors?

The Austerity Conundrum

While conservation is neccessary for providing for an ever-growing human population, it alone cannot solve our problems. In fact, it may distract us from the real issue at hand.

HR 875: No Need For Alarm … Yet

Relax: HR 875 isn't a bill to outlaw organic farming, as you might have heard. But it's not exactly good news for pesticide-free producers, either. Here are the details.

New Legislation on Antibiotics and Agriculture

This coming Tuesday, March 17, new legislation will be introduced in an attempt to protect Americans from antibiotic resistance. The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of 2009 will end the use of certain antibiotics in agriculture unless animals are sick.

Who Will Benefit from the National Animal ID System?

The National Animal Identification Plan will be easily implemented by large factory farms, but it means trouble for smaller operations. Will the system really keep us safe from disease, or will industrial ag and tracking system manufacturers be the only beneficiaries?

Meat Shopping Made Easy

It's hard to shop responsibly sometimes, especially for meat. There are so many different label claims that it's hard to remember which are meaningful and which are just fluff. Here's a handy reference card that will give more power to your purchases.

The Dangers of Industrial Farming

As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.

Dear Mr. President-elect

Sustainable farming expert Michael Pollan has some words of wisdom for the next president of the United States.

Genetically Engineered ... Animals?

The  U.S. Food and Drug Administration is accepting public comment regarding a draft Guidance for Industry #187 — to clarify regulation of genetically altered animals.

Malthus' Last Laugh

We're probably on our way to a population-related catastrophe, after all.

Taking Industrial Agriculture to Court

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Egg Board are being sued for using $3 million in public funds to fight a phase-out of inhumane farming practices.