New food rules: How healthy?

New food rules: How healthy?

What are the safety fundamentals of the giant American food system? What do the new rules say? Who will (and maybe should) escape regulation? 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 »

How a fly detects a poison

How a fly detects a poison

Animals spend a lot of energy avoiding toxic chemicals in their food. A new type of gene that does this in fruit flies reinforces the importance of reproduction in shaping evolution. More »

Mechanical mouth makes debut

To measure the molecules that give food taste, you need a standardized eating machine. One has finally arrived, courtesy of food technologists in France (of all places!). Meet the mechanical masticator! More »

Hungry? History has lessons for improving farm productivity.

After World War II, the “green revolution” sparked an explosion in farm output in developing countries. With soaring food prices and spreading food riots, what can we learn from the green revolution? More »

Chinese products: How safe?

Amid a flood of contaminated Chinese imports, we ask: what is going on? How dangerous are these foods and medicines? Is this normal, expected? Or should we be doing something more to improve safety? More »

Fish and Crabs

Fish and Crabs

Surprise: Crabs prefer fish fresh, just like you and me! Study shows that odor of rotten fish repels stone crabs; shows evolutionary reason why decay organisms make foul stench. 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 »

Bees: When in Doubt, Eat like a Copycat!

How do smart diners decide from an unfamiliar menu? They take advice. Ditto for bees. If they haven’t seen the flowers before, they follow the lead of another bee. More »

Salmon au Flame Retardant

Feeling burned? Farmed salmon have higher levels of a brominated flame retardant than wild salmon. More »