From the Column


Screenshot at Sep 09 20-39-47

The cool summer heated up mid-month when a longstanding war of words re-ignited with three little matches labeled “GMO.” That this fire still burns hot 20 years after the introduction of GM crops is testament to both the public’s continuing unease about putting something known as “genetically modified organisms” in their mouths and the immense […]

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800 Million People Can’t Be Wrong, Right?

Anti Corruption Rally, Dehli

When 800 million of anything moves in the same direction at the same time, the world changes. In mid-May the 800 million voters in the world’s largest democracy, India, rejected the long-in-power Congress Party for the BJP, the Bharatya Janata Party, led by Narendra Modi, described by the Indian press as a ‘business-friendly” job creator. […]

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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up


Herman Melville was a pretty good fiction writer but his 1851 whale of a tale—something about a big fish and a peg-legged man named Ahab—was, in fact, based on the true story of the American whaling ship Essex that, in 1820, was attacked and sunk by a huge whale in the south Pacific. I’m sorry, […]

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Going to School During Recess


As the calendar turns to August, Congress turns to recess. What, our federal legislators haven’t earned a five-week furlough after 90 or so days of sweaty inaction since January? In preparation for their stopovers in fly-over country, farmers, ranchers, and foodies should read “Packing Political Punch in Rural America,” a six-part online series, on, literally, […]

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The Carnivore’s Dilemma


If most American followed commodity prices as blindly as they follow the Kardashians, the national dinner menu might well feature bushels of cheaper-by-the-day grains and teaspoons of record-priced pork, beef, poultry and fish. Call it the revenge of the vegan or (with apologies to author Michael Pollan) the carnivore’s dilemma, but 2014 is fast becoming […]

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Right On?


You’d think that a state constitution eight times longer than the U.S. Constitution might cover every right, act or idea any of its citizens might need, do or ponder. Not so in the Show Me State, Missouri, where on Tues., Aug. 5, voters will decide if they should add a “right to farm” amendment to […]

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Silly Season, Again


The Washington Nationals are the only team in the nation’s capital that’s anywhere close to league-leading this season. The Nats have been either in first or second place in the National League’s Eastern Division most of the year. Meanwhile up on Capitol Hill, a 15-minute walk north of Nats Park, Congress is putting together another […]

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More of More of The Same


According to the United States Department of Agriculture, there now are federal commodity checkoffs for beef, blueberries, Christmas trees, cotton, dairy products, eggs, fluid milk, Hass avocados, “Honey Packers and Importers,” lamb, mango, mushrooms, paper and paper-based packaging, peanuts, popcorn, pork, potatoes, processed raspberries, softwood lumber, sorghum, soybeans and watermelons. Let’s see, that’s 1, 2, […]

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Let’s Hear It for the Readers, and Writers


At the end of every fiscal year, June 30, and the end of every calendar year, December 31, readers claim this space to offer their views of my views. Take Mike C. from Texas who, after I wrote a spring column on how climate change will affect food production in 2050, sent a parody of […]

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Betting Against Climate Change


According to 2013 data compiled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, you and I owe our very existence to water. After all, 92 percent of our blood, 75 percent of our brains and muscles, 60 percent bodies and 22 percent of our bones is plain, simple old water. Even more to the point, while most […]

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