Educating consumers on the agricultural supply chain, the effect on our environment, and the importance of healthy food ingredients in our diet. 

Sustainable Agriculture

We need to be asking smart questions about the balance between feeding the world’s population while still protecting the environment. How can our food be produced with the existing global farmland? How do we preserve our soil and our forests? Are there ways to use less water? How to keep our water clean? How about fewer chemicals? What about encouraging biodiversity? Do we always consider animal welfare? How about child labor in parts of the developing world?

Dirt to Dinner will bring transparency to how food is grown and processed as well as investigate what are best and modern agricultural practices.

Posts Related to Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable Ag Series: NGOs

What is sustainability? How do non-government organizations (NGOs), corporations, governments, farmers, and consumers address sustainability? And how does this affect you, your food, and the environment?

Fish, Feed, and Food in the Fjords

D2D recently had the opportunity to visit salmon farms in Norway. We were able to experience the impressive undertaking of these aquacultures first hand. Unfortunately, the sustainability of farmed salmon continues to be misunderstood. So, we are thrilled to be able to share this experience with our readers and educate on this important industry.

Out of the Air and into the Soil

The importance of healthy soil cannot be underestimated. Healthy soil has a direct impact on food security and our environment. But world soils are in the infirmary. They need more carbon to bring them back to health. Can we take carbon out of the air, and put it back into soils?

Let’s Byte into Ag

There’s an increasingly widespread— and extremely important— ingredient in our global food system…It’s not a new nutrient. Not a preservative. Not a new flavoring. Not a new GMO.
And certainly not another other food ingredient….

The Bright Side of Carbon Dioxide

While we are constantly inundated with the potentially dire consequences of climate change, what we don’t hear about is how increased levels of carbon dioxide actually helps plants grow. Trees and crops thrive on CO2 and grow faster and better with more carbon in the air. This CO2 fertilization effect has positive implications to help feed our growing population.

Water, Water…Everywhere?

Farmers are relying on technology to grow our food more efficiently and with less water. D2D was curious about these water-saving technologies and whether they can help keep our rivers, lakes, and groundwater intact for future generations.

Soil: It is much more than Dirt

Have you ever thought about what lies beneath our feet? Soil is responsible for 95% of the food we eat and supports human life in multiple ways. Healthy Soil = Healthy Food = Healthy People. What is healthy soil and why do we care?

Carbon: The Dance of Life

The recent debate over United States involvement in the Paris Agreement motivated the D2D team to look more closely at the changing climate and its effect on agriculture. Before we address climate change, we thought we would put CO2 under the microscope to understand the important role carbon dioxide plays in our food system.

Waste Not, Want Not

Food loss and waste is a problem that hasn’t gone away. Despite aggressive efforts across the entire food supply chain— from the farm to food production and even your dinner plate— much more work needs to be done in order to deal with this important global problem. A significant portion of food waste occurs in our own kitchens! So, how can YOU help with this critical issue?

Food Safety at Farmers’ Markets

Summer is almost here! Soon farmers’ markets will be bustling as consumers flock to buy fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and even meat from local farmers. While we at D2D enjoy shopping at the occasional farmer’s market, we had to ask ourselves – what food safety regulation applies to the food there? The same as or different than the fruits and vegetables we buy at the grocery store?

When is “Science” Truly Science?

The phrase “new research shows…” might not always give the most dependable health information. In this information age, we are constantly bombarded with and have easy access to copious amounts of info and data about health-related research findings including ones claiming to have supporting scientific evidence. But how do you know the scientific evidence is based on sound science? As consumers, its important to determine whether the findings of new scientific studies are reliable and which are not?

What’s the Buzz on Bees

Agriculture and pollinators and are in a sticky situation. Many farmers depend on insecticides to protect or prevent their crops from chewing insects— but many crops depend on insects for pollination. Headlines shout, “without pollinators, we have no food!” And while that statement is absolutely true, the answer to the decline in honey bee and other pollinator populations is much more complex than just the use of pesticides. So, what do you need to know about this issue? Here is the buzz…

Are You Chicken of Antibiotics?

Many of us would not be alive today without antibiotics. While antibiotics have certainly been a life – saver, there is also a downside to overuse. What is the healthy balance? And how do animals treated with antibiotics affect this balance? Many organizations often argue that giving animals antibiotics leads to human resistance. Is there any truth to this? Let’s find out…

Such a Waste!

What if, every day, you bought three bananas and threw one away? Approximately one-third of global food is wasted every year. If all of us reduced our food waste, we can help the global fight to feed a hungry and growing population. We can also preserve our natural resources and protect our environment.

Trading Beef

President Donald Trump’s stance on trade, specifically his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), gave us pause to think about how this new plan would affect one of the largest agricultural export markets in the U.S: Beef. With a market value of roughly 6 billion dollars, this market is easily influenced by matters of foreign policy. So, how will our farmers and the beef industry be affected by this new stance on trade?

Do we need a Sugar Tax?

Sugar, and its overconsumption, is fueling the obesity epidemic in the United States as well as the countries adopting a Western Diet. In an attempt to create healthier humans, government agencies on the local and global level have proposed a sugar tax. But, would a tax really benefit the health of Americans or is it simply a disguise to collect additional revenue?

Farming from the Thermosphere

With the advancement of drone and satellite technology, “precision farming” is taking on a whole new dimension. These technologies help farmers monitor their crops, track animal health, protect the environment, and save resources, like money and time. So, how are these tools used and where are they headed?

Ready for the RoundUp?

As the herbicide connected to GM crops, glyphosate is being shamed by environmental groups, claiming it can cause a host of terrible diseases including cancer, obesity, and even autism. Is the product that has been deemed safe for 40 years and is readily available at Home Depot and other garden stores really dangerous to our health?

The History of Genetically Modified Produce

The GMO controversy has spread from “big ag” corn and soybeans to fruits and vegetables. One-sided narratives from anti-GMO groups have made it difficult for the consumer to get completely unbiased information. We examined the history of genetically modified produce and asked the produce industry how they feel about GM crops.

An Unlikely Partnership: Agriculture + Social Media

Social media often influences a consumer’s buying behavior, loyalty to brands, and even opinions on the health content of a product. It has the power to elevate a brand’s stature and the power to bring a company to its knees. In terms of the food supply chain, social media has provided a means to demand transparency— and agricultural enterprises are responding.

CRISPR

CRISPR is a gene editing technology that is giving us a new look on how we can edit any living being by altering a gene. The possibilities are endless with CRISPR/Cas9. Let’s see how CRISPR is beginning to affect and enhance our agricultural food supply system.

Dear New York Times,

The New York Times recently published an article claiming “extensive examination” of the data provides evidence that genetically modified (GM) or engineered (GE) crops have not lived up to their most basic promises that they increased crop yields and reduced overall chemical pesticide usage. Dirt-to-Dinner summarizes the reaction to the article by respected researchers and scientists.

GMOs – A Refresher

Through various non-GMO initiatives, GMOs have a pretty bad public reputation. But you have been mislead. Read on to learn all you need to know about GMOs.

The Challenges of Indoor Farming

Reducing environmental stress, economic prosperity, and the ability to provide local produce year round are some of the benefits of indoor farming. But what are the challenges? Why hasn’t more growing moved indoors?

What’s the Catch?

The fish on our plate often comes from all over the world, but we really have no knowledge of exactly where the fish spawned, swam, and was processed. Has the fish on your plate been caught or farmed sustainably? Was it fed a healthy diet before it was harvested?

Meet The ‘Ponics

Salad from a rooftop? Tomatoes grown in a warehouse? Microgreens in a freight car? Welcome to the new world of “‘Ponics” and indoor agriculture.

A Sustainable Shrimp’s Tail

Shrimp is the most popular American seafood. But have you ever given any thought as to how it is farmed or caught?

Going…Going…Local!

How local is “local” food? Is it fresher? Better for us? Better for the environment? And the farmer?

Grass or Grain, Beef is Beef

Whether your meat was fed a grain based meal or foraged for grass, it is still a nutritious source of protein, B-complex vitamins, zinc, iron and phosphorus.

Let The Hens Out! Cage Free Eggs

By 2025, the US egg supply will be predominantly cage free. How are chicken producers responding to consumer demand for transparency? What does this mean for the welfare of the chicken?

Why Do We Need Pesticides?

Concerned by the toxicity of pesticides used in conventionally grown fruits and vegetables? Why do we even need pesticides?

Conventional…or Organic?

While a product labeled as “USDA Organic” has met a strict standardized set growing practices, “conventional agriculture” (which still produces the majority of our nation’s food) is strictly regulated as well.

GMO Labeling is Pointless

Vermont legislation has announced that effective July 1, the state will require all foods that are made with GMOs to be labeled as such. You might be thinking, “So? What is all the fuss about? Isn’t transparency a good thing?” While that reasoning sounds logical, in this case it does not make sense.

Wild vs. Farmed Salmon

You will be making a healthy choice whether you choose wild salmon or farmed salmon. Just look for the ASC or MSC labelling to make sure you are eating fish that has been raised, or caught, with the safest and healthiest sustainable practices.

Understanding GMOs: The Big Picture

Genetically modified crops help our farmers produce more food per acre, and help reduce water use and pesticides. For all these benefits, why are they so heavily scrutinized?

Different Kinds of GMOs

No doubt GMOs are complicated and hard to understand. But they help farmers use fewer chemicals and less water. GMOs also have the potential to add nutritional content to food.

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