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Agriculture

The Leonard Lopate Show

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn on NYC’s Food System

Friday, December 16, 2011

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn gives an update of FoodWorks: A Vision to Improve NYC’s Food System report, issued a year ago by the New York City Council. The report examined agricultural production, processing, distribution, consumption and post-consumption of food in New York, and proposes 60 strategic actions to improve health, community, and economic development and sustainability. She's joined by Rob Behnke, CEO and Founder of The Brooklyn Salsa Company, which has designated funds to aid cooperative farmland is taking strides towards Carbon Neutrality, has also teamed up with Community Gardeners, Local CSAs, and Public Schools to transform the rooftops, compostable landfills, backyards, empty lots, cement parks and into a urban farmland.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Inside a Slaughterhouse

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Political scientist Timothy Pachirat talks about working undercover for five months in a Great Plains slaughterhouse where 2,500 cattle were killed per day—one every twelve seconds. His book Every Twelve Seconds is an examination not only the slaughter industry but also of how, as a society, we hide violent labor.

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The Takeaway

Farmers Disagree With Child-Labor Laws

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

The Takeaway has been talking about child labor in America this week, from paper routes to custodial work. Now, a look at the farm. Should children be restricted from doing certain kinds of agricultural work? The Department of Labor thinks so. In a new proposal, they are hoping to bar most farm hands younger than 16 years old from jobs such as driving tractors, rounding up cattle on horseback, and working on ladders over six feet high. Is the proposal in the best interest of the children, or going too far?

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The Takeaway

Judge Approves Settlement for Black Farmers

Monday, October 31, 2011

A federal judge signed off on the $1.25 billion settlementbetween U.S. Department of Agriculture and African American farmers who say the agency discriminated against them by denying them loans and other forms of assistance. The case dates back to 1997 and gives tens of thousands of plaintiffs a chance to have their day in court. The Takeaway is joined by Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association president Gary Grant, whose organization has been leading the fight for this compensation for more than a decade.

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The New Yorker: Out Loud

Akash Kapur on modernization and rural life

Monday, October 03, 2011

Akash Kapur on modernization and rural life.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Carrot City: Urban Agriculture

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Urban farming isn't new, but some businesses are now turning to agriculture for profit in the five boroughs. June Komisar, an architect and associate professor in the Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson University, and co-author of Carrot City: Creating Places for Urban Agriculture, talks about the reality of urban agriculture in cities like New York along with Viraj Puri, co-founder and CEO of Gotham Greens, a new agricultural business from Brooklyn.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Tomatoland

Friday, September 02, 2011

Investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook reveals the huge human and environmental cost of bringing perfectly round, red tomatoes to supermarkets all year long. Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit, based on his James Beard Award-winning article, "The Price of Tomatoes," traces the supermarket tomato from its birthplace in the deserts of Peru to Immokalee, Florida, and investigates the herbicides and pesticides used on crops, why tomatoes have become less nutrient-rich, and how the drive for low cost fruit has fostered a modern-day slave trade in the United States.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Harvest

Friday, July 29, 2011

Albie Hecht and Susan MacLaury discuss their documentary “The Harvest,” about child migrant laborers. The film tells the stories of three adolescents who travel with their families across thousands of miles to pick crops in southern Texas, northern Michigan, and northern Florida during the harvest season. They face back-breaking labor in 100-degree heat, the hazards of pesticides, the burden of helping their families through economic crises, and separation from their families.  “The Harvest” opens in New York July 29 at the Quad Cinema.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Tomatoland

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Investigative food journalist Barry Estabrook reveals the huge human and environmental cost of bringing perfectly round, red tomatoes to supermarkets all year long. Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit, based on his James Beard Award-winning article, "The Price of Tomatoes," traces the supermarket tomato from its birthplace in the deserts of Peru to Immokalee, Florida, and investigates the herbicides and pesticides used on crops, why tomatoes have become less nutrient-rich, and how the drive for low cost fruit has fostered a modern-day slave trade in the United States.

Comments [13]

The Takeaway

Heat and Drought Pummel South and Southwestern US

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The U.S. is in the grip of a searing heat wave, with temperature warnings and advisories in effect for a large stretch of the central part of the country. States in the south and southwest have been experiencing extreme weather for many months, resulting in a severe drought across a belt of 14 states from Florida to Arizona. Crops and livestock are suffering, as farmers and ranchers struggle to keep them alive. But with no rain in sight and a shaky economy, some are questioning whether this could be a 21st century Dust Bowl.

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The Takeaway

Adventures in 'Tomatoland'

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Author Barry Estabrook decided to write about tomatoes because they almost killed him. He was driving in Naples, Fla. when a few tomatoes bounced off the cargo truck in front of him, narrowly missing his windshield. At the next stoplight, he was amazed to see that the tomatoes littering the street were unscathed after falling off a truck that was traveling at 60 miles per hour. How did the tomato— once summer’s tastiest treat — become the bland specimens available in most grocery stores now? And how can we fix it?

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Farmageddon

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Kristin Canty, director of the documentary “Farmageddon,” talks about the ongoing problems with our nation’s food supply, and argues that the U.S. government actively colludes with agri-businesses to keep our food unsafe. The film shows family farms that were raided by the government, exposing what Canty calls the covert war on American farmers and co-ops that supply fresh, unprocessed foods to consumers. She’s joined by Gary Cox, General Counsel, Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, and Linda Failace, owner of Three Shephard’s Cheese, an artisanal cheese making business in Mad River Valley, Vermont, who are both featured in the documentary. “Farmageddon” opens July 8 at Cinema Village.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Food Summit

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Reporter with Dow Jones Newswires, Caroline Henshaw, talks about the G-20's first ever agriculture ministers' summit.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Why Honeybees Are Disappearing

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bees are disappearing from their hives in mass numbers, and there’s no clear explanation of why. Many believe that bees are a barometer of the health of the planet, and colony collapse disorder is raising questions about pesticides, genetically modified crops, monocultures, and mechanization of beekeeping. Taggart Siegel, director, and Jon Betz, producer, of the documentary “Queen of the Sun” tell us why honeybees are important to human life and agriculture, and the factors that are most likely leading to colony collapse and honeybee death on a grand scale in the United States and in Europe. In addition, they explain how some devoted beekeepers are trying to save them. “Queen of the Sun” opens at Cinema Village June 10.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: The Plight of the American Dairy Farmer

Thursday, January 13, 2011

In 1970, there were nearly 650,000 dairy farms in the United States. Today, there are only 54,000 farms—many of them run by large operators who dominate the industry. As milk prices have fallen—fetching half as much in 2009 per gallon as they did in 2008—small dairy farmers have taken a huge hit. Barry Estabrook explains the crisis facing small dairy farmers in the United States and efforts to pass a price-fixing agreement in Congress. Barry Estabrook’s article, "A Tale of Two Dairies," appears in Gastronomica.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Wool

Friday, December 17, 2010

This cold weather has caused many of us to pull out our wool sweaters for extra warmth, and for this week’s Please Explain we’re talking about wool—and the process of gathering and using wool, from the sheep to the sweater! Clara Parkes, author of The Knitters Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber and The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn, and Dr. Christopher Lupton, Professor, The Bill Sims Wool and Mohair Research Laboratory, Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, join us to discuss the subject.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Food Works in New York City

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christine Quinn, City Council Speaker, and Dan Barber, executive chef and owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, talk about “Food Works,” a comprehensive plan unveiled by Speaker Quinn last month that calls for a more sustainable food system—a ground-to-garbage approach unprecedented in the history of New York City. The proposals focus on combating hunger and obesity, preserving regional farming and local food manufacturing, and decreasing waste and energy use.

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The Takeaway

Senate Passes Food Safety Overhaul

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Senate passed a bill Tuesday that could significantly alter food safety in the United States. Right now, the FDA only steps in when a recall is underway. Under the new law, the agency would be allowed to inspect any farm and try to prevent the kind of salmonella outbreaks that made the headlines last summer.

Benjamin England worked at the FDA for 17 years and founded FDAImports.com. He believes this legislation could lead to dramatic change, but only if the government can find the funding to back up the FDA's expanded role.

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WQXR News

Obama Apologizes to Shirley Sherrod

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Georgia's former U.S.D.A. employee says she is considering a new job at the agriculture department.

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The Takeaway

White House Sorry, Breitbart Sympathetic, NAACP Snookered: Have We Learned Anything from Shirley Sherrod?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

In this day and age, we're used to the rapid rise and fall of public officials. This week, the story changed, and instead, we witnessed the rapid fall and then rise of Shirley Sherrod, the USDA official who was pressured to resign after a video of her making racially-tinged remarks was made public by conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart.

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