A model for sustainable beef production

A model for sustainable beef production

Food production dominates land, water and fertilizer use and is a greenhouse gas source. In the United States, beef production is the main agricultural resource user overall, as well as per kcal or g of protein. Here, we offer a possible, non-unique, definition of ‘sustainable’ beef as that subsisting exclusively on grass and by-products, and quantify its expected US production as a function of pastureland use. 

Sourdough as a Window Into the Microbiome

Sourdough as a Window Into the Microbiome

Article by Marcus Woo

Unlike most microbiomes, which contain up to thousands of species, fermented foods like sourdough, sauerkraut and kimchi have only a few to a couple of dozen species, making them easier to study. At the same time, they share commonalities with more complex microbiomes. For example, the microbiome on cheese rinds is similar to that on your skin.

How oatmeal may feed the world

How oatmeal may feed the world

Article by Tamar Haspel

I’m supertired of superfoods. And it’s not just because I really don’t want to drink chaga tea. It’s because the game of finding some nutrient in some food and making wildly improbable assertions about the consequent effect on human health is a clicky gimmick by which unscrupulous marketers and audience-hungry media prey on credulous consumers.

Flour is not just Flour

Flour is not just Flour

Article by Benjamin Wolfe

It’s difficult to connect the dots throughout our complex food system. Although it is rarely demonstrated scientifically, we generally accept that what happens on farms impacts the quality of our food. For microbial foods, the raw materials we use in fermentation can introduce different microbes depending on how those materials were produced. A recent study in Italy of sourdough fermentation demonstrated that organic vs. conventional farming can affect the quality of sourdough bread. This exciting new research highlights the role that microbes play in shaping food quality as it moves along the path from farm to fork.

Healthy Soil is the Key to Feeding the World

Healthy Soil is the Key to Feeding the World

article by David Montgomery

One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn’t necessarily. After all, soil erosion from chemical-free tilled fields undermined the Roman Empire and other ancient societies around the world. Other agricultural myths hinder recognizing the potential to restore degraded soils to feed the world using fewer agrochemicals.

A new grain: Salish Blue

A new grain: Salish Blue

Wheat breeders doing some interesting things. Article written by Eilis O'Neill.

The Case for a Local Economy

The Case for a Local Economy

This article makes a great argument for sustainable, local economies. Article written by Erica Etelson.

Flour is a factor

Flour is a factor

Flour is often overlooked as an ingredient. A little funny considering wheat is and has been a staple crop for millennia and is ubiquitous in kitchens. This is a great article that gives an overview of biological activity of conventional vs. organic flours and their effects on fermentation. Article written by Benjamin Wolfe.