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Forego a Hamburger, Feed a Person

Posted by Andrew McGuire | September 5, 2013

I eat meat. More specifically, I eat feedlot beef from major supermarket chains and generally enjoy it. Nonetheless, the implications of a recent study have me questioning whether I will eat meat in the future. Read more »

A year of this blogging thing…

Posted by Tara Zimmerman | August 22, 2013

Wow! Somehow a year has gone by since we first acted on the idea of a Center-wide CSANR blog, Perspectives on Sustainability. Thanks for sticking with us! Have a look back at director Chad Kruger’s initial post and let us know how we are doing. We always welcome your feedback and topic suggestions, so don’t hesitate to get in touch! Thanks for participating and joining the conversation.

CSANR is blogging! August 22, 2012; Chad Kruger.

No glyphosate-tolerant wheat found by WSU wheat breeders

Posted by Chad Kruger | August 8, 2013

I know that many residents of Washington were extremely concerned to learn about the discovery of glyphosate-tolerant wheat in an Oregon farm field this spring. WSU’s Agricultural Research Center released a news update today indicating that the glyphosate-tolerant gene was NOT discovered in any of the WSU breeding lines (commercialized or in development) nor in other tested lines developed by regional universities and companies. While it’s still not clear how this incident happened, this is certainly great news for the region. Also, I think it is really important to note how rapidly and extensively our breeding programs and administration responded to this concern to protect the interests of the state and our wheat producers.

More detail is available here.

 

A Sobering Reminder of the Importance of Dietary Choice

Posted by Chuck Benbrook | July 16, 2013

A growing number of Americans are learning that doctors don’t have miracle cures for all that ails us.  The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington has just released chilling data on the burden of disease in America, the driving forces behind disease and ill health, and modifiable risk factors for contemporary health problems.

Read more »

Filed under Community and Society, Food Systems, Nutrition
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More Independent Science Must be Part of Regaining Public Confidence in GE Food Technology

Posted by Chuck Benbrook | July 2, 2013

The finding of some Roundup Ready (RR) wheat plants in an eastern Oregon field must leave some PNW wheat growers feeling snakebit, since they decided a decade ago to oppose the commercialization of RR wheat until the technology is fully approved and accepted by consumers, both here and abroad.  While this episode has disrupted trade flows and will undoubtedly increase wheat industry testing costs for the foreseeable future, some good could come from it if it triggers a fresh look at why skepticism and/or opposition to genetically engineered (GE) foods is growing in the U.S.  The fate of many new GE crops hangs in the balance, including Simplot’s new potato technology that reduces levels of the known human carcinogen acrylamide. Read more »

Innovative farmers as solution to society’s “wicked problems”: The Vander Haak Dairy

Posted by Chad Kruger | June 27, 2013

About once a year I accept a request to present on the topic of the future of agriculture and food. Usually, when I’m asked to do this, I know that the audience I’m presenting to is hoping for something inspiring – which, if you’ve seen me present, you know is something of an oxy-moron. I have a (somewhat earned) reputation for “doom and gloom” due to the fact that much of the science I work on focuses on the “wicked problems” facing the future of agriculture (e.g. climate change, energy privation, water resources, etc.) which can be daunting. And while I love the scientific pursuit of solutions to these challenges, there are definitely times that it can be overwhelming.

So, when I look for inspiration in my own day to day efforts, I generally think about the innovative farmers I am blessed to work with. I firmly believe that they hold our future in their hands. Read more »

Where are all the apple blossoms?

Posted by Chad Kruger | May 2, 2013

This weekend marks the 93rd Washington State Apple Blossom Festival in Wenatchee – one of the true highlight events celebrating agriculture and community in the state. And, after a few weeks of unseasonably cold temperatures, frosts, freezes and high winds, the weekend weather outlook is dazzling – sunny, mid-80s and calm! So, if you don’t have plans this weekend, come on over and enjoy a great community event in the fantastic spring weather!

Just don’t expect to see many apple blossoms. Full apple bloom was well over a week ago (see Wenatchee World). Read more »

Filed under Climate Change, Community and Society
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Toward an “Innovative Ecosystem” for Ag Research

Posted by Chuck Benbrook | December 13, 2012

On December 7, 2012 the President’s Council on Science and Technology released a report on the health of the nation’s agricultural research enterprise.  It is a remarkable document that deserves close attention and a central place in the ongoing debate over where and how to deploy science and technology in advancing progress in the food and agricultural sectors. Read more »

Filed under Community and Society, Sustainability
1 Comment

Celebrating two full decades of Sustainable Agriculture Science!

Posted by Chad Kruger | October 23, 2012

While I am not generally inclined toward self-promotion, I can say without hesitation that WSU truly is World Class when it comes to sustainable and organic agriculture. We know this because of the amazing run of success WSU scientists have had in recent years in various competitive science programs like USDA’s Organic Research and Extension Initiative. While many of our peer institutions are envious of our success and growing reputation, the most important outcome of this success is that we have far more research, teaching and extension programming supporting sustainable and organic agriculture in the field, in the lab, and in Washington communities than ever before. And, like with any success, we can point to a legacy of advocacy and strategic investment that created a strong foundation for our current and future successes. Read more »

Filed under Community and Society, Sustainability
1 Comment

The clean air I took for granted

Posted by Chad Kruger | September 20, 2012

In case you hadn’t noticed, central Washington is still on fire. If you haven’t noticed, then you must live a long way from here! Raging wildfires have consumed nearly 150,000 acres of the center of the state over the past two months, with the most recent round of blazes (more than 100 fires) sparked by a massive lightning storm on the evening of September 8th.

While much of the attention to the Taylor Bridge fire near Ellensburg in August focused on impact on domestic structures and livestock, the excitement created by the current Wenatchee Complex fires and Grand Coulee fires has largely focused on air quality impact (though there are plenty of structures and livestock impacted). Read more »

Filed under Community and Society, Global Environment
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