Tag Archives: Drought

The Drought In California

Photo Credit: Muffet via Compfight cc

California is the biggest U.S. producer of agricultural products. It’s also in its third year of drought, with 95% of the state in moderate to exceptional drought conditions. Food prices have already risen as a result, but there are likely even higher prices to come. Oh, and the rivers are so dry salmon are being driven to the sea in tanker trucks.

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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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“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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Farm Aid’s Annual Benefit Concert

The sold-out Farm Aid Music and Food Festival returns to Hersheypark Stadium in Hersey, Pennsylvania on September 22, 2012. Farm Aid is the longest running benefit concert series in America, raising more than $39 million to help family farmers all over the country. Even though the show is sold out, a webcast will also be available on Farm Aid’s website for those who can’t attend. See this year’s line up.

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How CSAs help small farmers during times of drought

Sustainable America spoke on the phone with farmer Tim Huth, of LotFotL (pronounced like “hot bottle”) Farm in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, about the drought of 2012, and how the farm’s CSA has helped them weather the heat.

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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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