Tag Archives: drought 2012

The Hidden Costs of Drought

Barge on the Mississippi River

Photo Credit: Roger Smith via Compfight cc

Shipping on the Mississippi River has returned to normal levels after a threatened shutdown due to the drought, but the scare exposed one more way our food supply is vulnerable to extreme weather events.

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Seed Sharing, Coming to a Library Near You

A diverse food system is a more secure food system. With extreme weather and other pressures on our food supply, age-old practices like seed sharing are becoming more important for the future.

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Untangling Our Food and Fuel Systems

Alternative Energy Galore rpeschetz via Compfight cc

EPA mandates for cellulosic biofuel blends cannot be met as production is literally non-existent. How the EPA manages the mandates for 2013 may have a direct effect on food prices at the grocery store in the near future.

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“The Dust Bowl”

"Dust Bowl 1930 to 1940" by Matthew S Kennedy

Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns’ film “The Dust Bowl” offers lessons on the perils of pushing nature too hard, and what can happen when nature pushes back.

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How superstorms and extreme weather events are affecting agriculture

"Lightning over Johannesburg" by Derek Keats

In the last decade we have witnessed an incredible amount of droughts, hurricanes, floods and now superstorms. How can we create resiliency in our food systems in the face of these increasingly frequent and extreme weather events?

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Corn Belt farmland prices soar

Knee High by Tim Lindenbaum

Prices for farmland across the U.S. corn belt continue to rise, attracting a new breed of investor seeking record profits.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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