Did you know that sweet potatoes are only produced in a small area of North Carolina? Or that flaxseed is only grown in the country's remote northern reaches? Crop maps published by the USDA paint an interesting picture of American agriculture.
Sep 15, 2013 Wired
In an essay for Grist, Tom Laskawy laments the departure of deputy secretary Kathleen Merrigan, the Obama administration's "most powerful supporter of local and organic foods," from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Mar 25, 2013 Grist
The USDA's new Food Access Research Atlas provides a handy guide for assisting policymakers and planners in finding the urban and rural areas with the most formidable obstacles to accessing fresh healthy food, reports Nancy Shute.
Mar 14, 2013 NPR
Over the past four years, hope turned to disappointment over lost opportunities to "make agriculture less fossil-fuel dependent, re-localize food systems, and rebuild America’s food culture." Does a second term for Obama mean more of the same?
Nov 13, 2012 Grist
Philip Bump reports on new data out this week that shows the number of farmers markets increased by 10% in the past year.
Aug 4, 2012 Grist
The City of Pittsburgh, PA has announced an "urban forest master plan" to add more foliage to the 2.5 million trees already covering the city.
Jul 1, 2012 The Pittsburg Post-Gazette
Rachel Cernansky reports on the federal government's recently announced plan to expand access to healthy foods by increasing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) acceptance at America's farmers markets.
May 10, 2012 Grist
The "food deserts" problem is receiving heightened attention following the release of the USDA's locator map. But this analysis relies on the suspect premise that suburban supermarkets are superior to small, walkable urban foodsellers.
May 10, 2011 Streetsblog Capitol Hill
A little-known USDA program offers Rural Development Guaranteed Loans, which would allow low-income residents to buy homes in "rural" areas--places with fewer than 25,000 people. Under this guideline, many suburbs in Phoenix qualify.
Jan 29, 2009 NPR