Expert Analysis:
Sustainable Agriculture

October 20, 2015

Mixing farms, forests and grasslands protects biodiversity from effects of intensive farming

New research suggests impact of intensive farming on biodiversity can be counteracted by having a varied ecosystem at larger, landscape scales, and that maintaining a diverse landscape of farms, forests and grasslands could allow for sustainable intensification of agriculture. Continue reading

August 25, 2015

Consumer Reports finds widespread fecal bacterial in ground beef, recommends buying antibiotic-free

A Consumer Reports investigation analyzed 300 samples of ground beef bought from food stores in the US, reporting 100% of the products tested positive for bacteria found in feces. The authors recommended consumers should buy beef from cattle raised without antibiotics, on food safety grounds. Continue reading

May 28, 2015

Gene editing crops to reintroduce benefits from wild relatives: an organic conundrum?

Reintroducing beneficial properties found in wild plants but missing from their domesticated cousins could strengthen crop varieties and reduce the need for chemical inputs, which would benefit organic farmers looking to increase yields. A paper in Trends in Plant Science argues there is a place in organic agriculture for crops whose genome has been edited to make precise mutations which reintroduce wild-type properties, but where no foreign DNA is inserted. Continue reading

April 10, 2015

European group says neonicotinoid use can’t be sustainable

A European expert group looked at the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on the benefits that ecosystems provide for agriculture, broadening their focus beyond honeybees. Continue reading