The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the Arctic Circle has received a major deposit of nearly 50,000 seed samples from around the world, bringing the total number of seeds stored at the remote facility to nearly one million. This latest deposit—one of the largest ever—is a critical step in ensuring global food security…
When an outbreak of food poisoning hits, we trace our culinary steps backwards in an attempt to untangle the cause, hopefully before it can hit again. But a new sensor could radically change all that.
Imagine if crop yields across the United States dropped more than 50 percent in a single year. It’s difficult to fathom just how catastrophic this would be—but that’s exactly what’s happening in Ethiopia right now, thanks to a deadly, El Niño-fueled drought.
Chipotle announced it will be closing up shop nationwide for a few hours as part of its attempt to halt its ongoing E. Coli outbreak. But why hasn’t the company been able to stop the outbreak, or even find the source yet? The answer isn’t in the restaurant chain—it’s in the bacteria.
As the Paris climate summit draws to a close and world leaders scramble to find more ways to make a dent in humanity’s carbon problem, a commonsense but oft-ignored strategy has made its way onto the table: sticking carbon back in the soil.
As the world warms, we lose arable land to grow the food we all need to survive. But although our changing climate is one big problem our food supply faces, it’s certainly not the only one—and even fixing the effects of climate change might not generate enough food to feed future generations.
There are over 500 million hungry people in the world—but that number only tells part of the story. The other part of it is the amount of the actual food shortfall. So how much food would we need to make up the gap? There’s now an exact number.
In this week’s NYT Sunday Review, British author, journalist, and environmental activist Mark Lynas recounts how he was converted to genetically modified food.
Are you doing the environmentally responsible thing and trying to eat more produce and less meat? Hey, good on you! Pat yourself on the back. Now brace yourself for some bad news.
The species? Brassica oleracea. Its other varieties include cabbage, broccoli, savoy, kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts, to name just a few commercially relevant examples. How did one species of plant come to be so diverse? Selective human breeding and exceptional genetic diversity.
A recent survey conducted by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics found that 80.44% of respondents supported a government policy mandating labels on foods containing DNA. Not GMOs. DNA, the genetic material contained in every living thing known to science and practically every food,…
The world's food supplies will be hit hard by global warming, according to a study published this week in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The study's authors advise investing in irrigation and infrastructure to attenuate this loss, but what's less clear is where these measures should be taken. In fact,…
A 5-year study conducted in 20 countries reveals that four different fruit flies — which cause incalculable damage to crops across Asia, Africa, the Pacific and parts of South America — are, in fact, the same species. The discovery will not only ease trade restrictions, but aid global efforts to reduce the pest's…
Within 30 years, it's likely that farmers will be battling deadly crop pests that they've never seen before. Pests are evolving and entering new regions in greater numbers than ever — and our worst adversary is likely to be fungus, which could destroy whole harvests and wreak havoc with our food supplies.
One of the biggest threats to our future as a species is the looming spectre of famine. With a booming population and agriculture that's already pushed to its limit, we're going to need new ways to ensure our food security. One geneticist has an idea how we'll do it, by turning new plants into crops.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a new report on the state of the global environment. One of their most important messages is that we need to prepare for famines and water shortages in the coming decades.
The discourse on genetically modified crops gained a cogent and sorely needed voice this weekend, with the publication of a captivating narrative-treatment of the subject in The New York Times by science writer Amy Harmon. The title of her feature: "A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA."
A comprehensive study suggests that food production is not on track to keep up with population growth. That means food prices are going to rise in coming decades. This trend could also reverse the progress we’ve made in world food security.
For over a decade, the Millenium Seed Bank Partnership has been working in collaboration with scientists from around the world to establish an insurance policy against the extinction of Earth's plant species. By 2020, the project hopes to have safely stored 25% of the world's plant diversity in massive, …
Earth's species are shrinking. As temperatures rise, plants and animals the world over are adapting, some more quickly than others, by becoming smaller — a trend that scientists say could have serious implications for ecological diversity the world over.