Menace to monarchs

Menace to monarchs
20 years ago, up to 1 billion monarch butterflies wintered in Mexico’s mountains. This January, a few tens of millions are roosting there after their long migration across North America. What menaces the marvelous monarch migration? More »

Mock meat: Fit for grilling?

Mock meat: Fit for grilling?

Soy protein: It may look like meat. Could meat be grown, cell by cell, in lab dishes. Could in vitro meat solve health and environmental problems? More »

Farming, Native American style

Farming, Native American style

Native agriculture could be a sophisticated response to a challenging environment. What were the secrets of permaculture, companion cropping and corn farming? Could these techniques contribute to modern farming? More »

Honeybees getting lost?

Honeybees getting lost?

As colony collapse disorder continues to attack honeybee hives, a new study shows that a common insecticide interferes with their return flights. Although the disorder probably has many causes, agricultural chemicals have long been key suspects, and this study adds to the suspicion! More »

Soil and food crisis

Detail from schematic diagram

Classroom Activity Page Without soil, we starve. Unfortunately, throughout the world, human activities have degraded dirt, endangering our ability to feed a growing population. How can we save our soil and get ourselves out of a food crisis? More »

Feeding 7+ billion

Feeding 7+ billion

The green revolution fed billions, but population keeps rising, water is short and the climate is changing. How will Africans feed themselves despite poor soil and widespread poverty? Could small projects that fit the environment and culture make farmers an engine of prosperity and a big source of food? More »

Soil: Key to solving the food crisis?

Soil: Key to solving the food crisis?

Could soil help? One-third of soils are degraded. In fighting desertification, erosion and nutrient loss, some soil-restoring techniques solve multiple problems. More »

Farming in the city

Rows of chard and kale in left and middle, plant netting to right, skyscrapers in background

Urban farms are sprouting in the most unlikely places. Advocates say they help with nutrition, obesity and job training. They build community and help immigrants assimilate, cut energy usage, and cool the planet. But does the reality match the claims? Food is flowing, but what’s new with farming in the city? More »

Pollinator crisis ahead

Bee with stinger coming from its snout poking its head out of the dirt
Many of the tastiest crops can’t pollinate themselves: melons, cucumbers, strawberries, almonds, cacao. But pollinators — both native and managed — are under threat from diseases and pesticides. They aren’t finding enough to eat. Their colonies are dying. What can we do? More »

Running short of copper, phosphorus, rare elements

Elements rule! Without phosphorus fertilizer, millions starve. Copper = electricity shortage. And U.S. imports more than 95% of “rare-earth” elements needed for LCDs, cell phones, green energy. Risky? More »

Gulf of Mexico: Dealing with the Dead Zone

When too much fertilizer reaches the Gulf of Mexico through the Mississippi River, a vast area gets robbed of oxygen. What can be done to reduce the dead zone that appears each summer? More »

Breeding dogs, breeding other animals

Football star convicted for bloody dog-fighting operation. What made the wolf turn into 400+ breeds of dog? How have farmers and animal breeders changed cattle and chickens? Why bother saving an old breed of horse? More »

NukeWar, Regional Version

What would happen to the global climate after a nuclear war between India and Pakistan? Study says the planet would be dark and cool for 10 years. How much would food production decline? More »

Sick Spinach: Meet Killer E coli

Just months after contaminated spinach causes grave diarrhea, another outbreak. What is E. coli O157:H7, and why is it so dangerous? Got any bright ideas for constraining this killer bug? More »

GM Crops: How Hazardous?

Do GM crops work as advertised? Do they kill only pest insects? Do they keep their modified genes to themselves? Or are they a hazard to the environment? Read the GM crop 10-year checkup. More »