Organic

Organic farming matters - just not in the way you think

Is organic agriculture the solution to our global food system challenges? That’s been the premise and promise of the organic movement since its origins in the 1920s: farming that’s healthy, ecological, and socially just. Many people – from consumers and farmers to scientists and international organisations – believe that organic agriculture can produce enough nutritious food to feed the…
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Organic

Amazon’s appetite for disruption

Amazon is not wasting time in its acquisition of Whole Foods. Speed of execution, after all, is at the essence of the tech giant’s business model. As soon as American regulators approved its acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon said it would aggressively reduce the price of several organic staples in all of the 431 Whole Foods stores in the United States and Canada. They began doing so last week.
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Organic

How technology will help fight food fraud

Food fraud is everywhere. In the aftermath of the horsemeat scandal in Europe, and with cases reported around the world, including in Canada, awareness is high. Dalhousie University recently released a study on food fraud and the results were surprising: A whopping 63 per…
Organic

Agricultural abundance is a pillar of the California dream. In 2016 the state turned out more than US$45 billion worth of meat, milk and crops. Long before nutritionists agreed that fresh fruits and vegetables should be the center of American diets, California farmers had…
Organic

Why Australia imports so many veggie seeds (and do we really need to treat them with fungicides?)

Organic farmers have reacted with alarm to a draft review released last week that recommends mandatory fungicide treatment for certain plant seeds imported into Australia, including broccoli, cauliflower, radish and spinach. Over 19,000 people have signed a change.org petition objecting to the proposal, which is designed to strengthen biosecurity for plants of the brassicaceae family. Opponents…
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Organic

CRISPR isn’t just for editing human embryos, it also works for plants and bugs: 5 essential reads

Editor’s note: As we come to the end of the year, Conversation editors take a look back at the stories that – for them – exemplified 2018. If you’ve been stunned by all the alarming reports of gene-edited babies, you might have the impression that the only purpose of CRISPR, the genetic technology that enables biologists to edit DNA, is meddling with the human genome. You may be relieved…
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