Dan Charles

Dan Charles appears in the following:

Scientists Peek Inside The 'Black Box' Of Soil Microbes To Learn Their Secrets

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Microorganisms play a vital role in growing food and sustaining the planet, but they do it anonymously. Scientists haven't identified most soil microbes, but they are learning which are most common.


Turning Soybeans Into Diesel Fuel Is Costing Us Billions

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The law that requires America to turn some of its soybeans into diesel fuel for trucks has created a new industry. But it's costing American consumers about $5 billion each year.


Government Scientists Say A Controversial Pesticide Is Killing Endangered Salmon

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The insecticide chlorpyrifos, already under attack for its risk to small children, may be killing salmon as well. The National Marine Fisheries Service is recommending restrictions on its use.


Why Is Venison On Expensive Plates And Food Pantry Shelves?

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Venison, a luxury meat sold in high-end stores also shows up on the winter menus of expensive restaurants. But venison from deer killed by hunters can't be sold, so much of it is given away for free.


In A New Deal-Era Cannery, Old Meets New

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

During the New Deal, the government set up hundreds of public canneries in small towns. Most have disappeared, but a surviving cannery in Farmville, Va., is getting a boost from local farmers.


The Soybean Is King, Yet Remains Invisible

Friday, December 01, 2017

For the first time in history, soybeans are about to become America's most widely grown crop. Yet compared to corn or wheat, they remain curiously invisible in American culture.


From Cattle To Capital: How Agriculture Bred Ancient Inequality

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Archaeologists say early civilizations in North and Central America were more egalitarian than the societies of Eurasia — and they think it's because early Americans didn't have cattle or horses.


Georgian Jars Hold 8,000-Year-Old Winemaking Clues

Monday, November 13, 2017

Scientists have found evidence of ancient winemaking in Georgia, a country which prides itself on its vino. It's the earliest trace of viniculture using wild grapes similar to those used today.


Hydroponic Veggies Are Taking Over Organic, And A Move To Ban Them Fails

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Many organic tomatoes or peppers are grown in greenhouses, where they get nutrients from water. Critics say that violates the spirit of "organic." A bid to strip them of the label failed this week.


Monsanto Attacks Scientists After Studies Show Trouble For Weedkiller Dicamba

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Scientists are accusing the seed and pesticide giant of denying the risks of its latest weedkilling technology. Monsanto has responded by attacking some of those critics.


Puerto Rico's Dairy Industry, Once Robust, Flattened By Maria

Friday, September 29, 2017

Puerto Rico's dairy farmers account for about a third of the island's total agricultural production. Now they're struggling to recover their cows and get them milked.


Arkansas Defies Monsanto, Moves To Ban Rogue Weedkiller

Friday, September 22, 2017

Arkansas regulators are on a collision course with Monsanto, voting to ban use during the growing season of a drift-prone herbicide that Monsanto says is farmers' best hope for weed-free fields.


Organic Industry Sues USDA To Push For Animal Welfare Rules

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

New rules — such as giving chickens more space to roam — were approved by the Obama administration, but put on hold under Trump. Now the organic industry is suing the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


A Pioneer Of Food Activism Steps Down, Looks Back

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Michael Jacobson invented a new style of food activism. For four decades, he led the fight against "junk food." He's now stepping down as president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.


Does 'Sustainability' Help The Environment Or Just Agriculture's Public Image?

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Big food companies like Walmart want farmers to reduce greenhouse emissions from nitrogen fertilizer. But the best-known program to accomplish this may not be having much effect.


Can Anyone, Even Walmart, Stem The Heat-Trapping Flood Of Nitrogen On Farms?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Walmart has promised big cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases. To meet that goal, though, the giant retailer may have to persuade farmers to use less fertilizer. It won't be easy.


The Gulf Of Mexico's Dead Zone Is The Biggest Ever Seen

Thursday, August 03, 2017

A record-setting "dead zone," where water doesn't have enough oxygen for fish to survive, has appeared this summer. One major cause is pollution from farms.


Poultry Industry Ready To Change The Way It Handles Chickens

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The poultry industry could be on the verge of major changes, driven by demands that it treats its chickens more humanely. Perdue Farms has agreed to give its chickens more space and daylight.


Perdue Farms Signs Up For A Chicken Welfare Revolution

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The poultry industry may be on the verge of adopting ambitious new animal-welfare standards, giving chickens more space and daylight, and even returning to older, slower-growing chicken breeds.


What's It Really Like To Work In A Prison Goat Milk Farm? We Asked Inmates

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Whole Foods has been forced to stop selling goat cheese made from milk that came from a prison farm, where inmates work for less than a dollar an hour. Yet the inmates themselves aren't complaining.