Dan Charles appears in the following:
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
People around the world are eating a wider range of foods. But as a whole, we are increasingly reliant on a few crops. Researchers say that increases the risk of agricultural disaster.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Non-genetically modified farming is not organic. It's a whole lot cheaper and essentially uses conventional farming techniques. But some consumers think they're the same thing.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
America's farmers aren't growing enough organic corn and soybeans for our organic animals. Farmers in China, India and Argentina are filling the gap, but tight supplies have led to shortages.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Numbers don't lie, but they can sometimes tell a misleading story. Three times in the past week, we came across farm statistics that painted a picture not quite backed up by facts on the ground.
Friday, January 10, 2014
If you're confused by the fight over genetically modified food — and even more if your mind is already made up — you might want to turn to an investigation of the topic carried out by the environmental website Grist. Instead of preaching to the deep-green choir, Grist's in-depth series questioned its faith.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
A well-respected consumer advocacy organization in Germany claims that Ritter Sport's popular chocolate product contains synthetic aroma. It has ignited a fierce court battle. But Ritter Sport says the aroma is natural, extracted from plants like dill or vanilla.
Friday, December 13, 2013
In two apparently unrelated cases this week, federal prosecutors arrested citizens of China and charged them with stealing seeds that American companies consider valuable intellectual property. Court documents offer an entertaining mixture of Midwestern farming, alleged corporate espionage and a whiff of international intrigue.
Thursday, November 07, 2013
The agency says trans fats, found in partially hydrogenated oils, raise the risk of heart disease. Even though food companies have drastically reduced their use of the oils, you can still find trans fat in microwavable popcorn, Crisco and all kinds of mass-produced baked goods.
Monday, November 04, 2013
There's a curious twist in the contentious debate over feeding antibiotics to animals in order to make them grow faster. Evidence suggests using antibiotics for growth promotion, at least among pigs, doesn't even make economic sense. But some pork producers don't believe it.
Friday, November 01, 2013
When it comes to antibiotics on the farm, it's not always a win-win. And when there's a fight, veterinarians are right in the middle of it, pushed back and forth by conflicting loyalties.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Consumers in search of novelty are turning to once-obscure grains like quinoa, spelt and sorghum. But sorghum's great virtue for farmers is the fact that it can thrive with so little water.
Monday, October 28, 2013
In a new book, billionaire investor Warren Buffett and his son and grandson discuss how to feed a growing planet. "We've been fortunate to make a whole lot more money than anybody can spend intelligently on themselves, so the object is to spend it intelligently on the rest of the world," says the senior Buffett.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Water from the Ogallala Aquifer is withdrawn about six times faster than rain or rivers can recharge it. Now, a group of farmers in one part of northwestern Kansas has agreed to pump 20 percent less water out of the aquifer over the next five years.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
No one knows exactly how farmers use antibiotics. Many public health experts say the government should collect and publish detailed information because antibiotic-resistant bacteria are an increasingly urgent problem. But many farm groups are opposed.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
If Kansas farmers keep pumping water out of the High Plains aquifer as they have in the past, the amount of water they can extract will start to fall in just 10 years or so, scientists predict. That will cause big changes in the agricultural economy. But reducing water use now could help delay and ease that disruption.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Beta agonists, a class of drugs widely fed to cattle and hogs to make them put on weight faster, are coming under increasing scrutiny. Reports suggest animals fed these drugs can seem reluctant to move — lethargic, unable to walk properly — and may die more often, too.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
At a "quinoa summit" this week, farmers from around the world are trading tips on how to turn this ancient Andean grain into a large-scale crop. Some Andean farmers who currently grow quinoa are asking, "What happens to us?"
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Chipotle isn't changing its ban on meat raised with antibiotics after all, despite headlines to the contrary, a spokesman for the Mexican-fast-food chain tells NPR. According to an official statement from Chipotle, the chain's antibiotic ban still stands. For now.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
The rise in urban beekeeping could end up resulting in too many bees with too few flowers to feed on, two U.K. scientists warn. That's already the case in London, where the number of urban hives has doubled over the past five years, they say.
Thursday, August 01, 2013
The Food and Drug Administration recently announced a plan to try and prevent American food companies from importing contaminated produce from abroad. The case of the poisoned pomegranates from Turkey shows that our safety systems for imported food, however helpful, are not foolproof.