The use of technology in farming is nothing new. In fact, farmers are innovators. And with a global population expected to increase by 3+ billion people by 2050, technology will play a critical role in meeting the demand for food. One of the ways in which farmers are utilizing technology on the farm is for water conservation. For more information on ways farmers conserve this precious resource, we reached out to Dr. Derek Heeren with the University of Nebraska.
Do you feel like buying eggs has become more complicated? You're not alone. Words like "organic," "cage-free" and "all-natural" are now found on egg cartons to the befuddlement of many consumers. We'd like to make your trip to the egg case a little simpler, so we've provided an infographic explaining the differences among three of the main laying hen housing systems used to produce eggs: conventional cage, cage-free aviary and enriched colony. We've also broken down the pros and cons of each housing system from a research study conducted by the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply.
Today is Earth Day, a day when people around the globe demonstrate their support for the environment. Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 in the United States and now includes coordinated events in more than 192 countries. And one constant in celebrations of any kind is...food!
Local. Vegan. Gluten-free. Umami. Oh, and pumpkin - anything and everything pumpkin. What food trends did you notice this year? These are just five of the top buzzwords/phrases that we found throughout the food industry in 2014. What does the future hold for these 2014 trends and what should we expect to be hot in 2015?
The herbicide 2,4-D has been around since the 1940s. So why is it currently causing so much controversy? We asked Dr. Wayne Parrott and Dr. William Vencill to explain more about the herbicide and its uses.
Lately, we have seen lots of consumer questions about glyphosate. Glyphosate, also referred to as “Roundup,” is an herbicide used in agriculture to kill weeds. So what’s all the buzz about glyphosate? Some resources link this herbicide to making crops more susceptible to disease, killing beneficial microorganisms, robbing plants of nutrients and more. We decided to reach out to Wayne Parrott, PhD, Professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia, and Tony Shelton, PhD, Professor of Entomology at Cornell University, to cut through conflicting information and to get the facts from university-based experts.
Currently, around 50 million Americans are considered "food insecure", or near hunger, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) participation is at an all-time high. To learn more about the topic of food insecurity, we reached out to George Kent, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Hawai‘i.
Manure from farm animals when used as fertilizer improves soil and increases crop yields. It can become a pollutant if it reaches water supplies.
Farm animal production in the United States has clearly shifted away from many small farms to an increasing number of larger farms. It takes several small farms to equal the manure production of a single large farm. On the large farm, the manure management responsibility lies with only one management system instead of several.
Are antibiotics in livestock to blame for increased antibiotic resistance in humans?
Many consumers are nostalgic for the bucolic scenes associated with the small farms of generations past and have embraced farmers markets and other opportunities to buy their food from "local" producers. Consumers might be surprised to find that this approach may not provide the long-term benefits to agriculture or the environment as they believe.
The question is often asked by critics of modern animal agriculture but the size of the farm is not a reliable indicator of animal welfare. Research shows good animal husbandry has more to do with the people providing the care.
Small and large farms present different challenges, but both require skilled and conscientious management to promote good animal care. While there are fewer animals on a small operation, time spent caring for the animals must be juggled with various tasks. On larger operations...
Like other business owners, farmers have different skills, expertise, financial positions, and appetites for risk. Reducing costs and risk through contracts allows a farmer to establish a steady income source that is attractive to traditional farm lenders.
In contract production, the farmer is responsible for construction of the barns and the day-to-day labor while someone else, either another farmer or a company, provides...
For the average American consumer, the term "organic" has a positive connotation and the beneficial properties of organic foods may be misinterpreted or exaggerated. Surveys indicate many proponents of organic food production look beyond the final product to consider factors such as environmental impacts, worker safety, and economic considerations, which are not related to organic production standards. U.S. consumers frequently have the choice between purchasing organic and conventional foods and make food purchasing decisions that reflect their values, concerns, and lifestyles.
Recently, a Best Food Facts reader asked about her concern of red meat, and if it can be unhealthy for you. We reached out to Dr. Ruth MacDonald, Chair of Food Science Department at Iowa State University, to talk to us about red meat.