Skip to main content

Healthy Communities

An industrial hog farm

In early December, environmentalists and community members celebrated a rare win against industrial agriculture and federal malfeasance in Arkansas. In a court case brought by Earthjustice, U.S. District Judge Price Marshall issued a decision finding that federal agencies illegally guaranteed loans to C&H Hog Farms, a factory farm near the Buffalo National River, without first effectively evaluating the potential environmental impacts of this swine operation.

Girls at the newly reconstructed Bislig Elementary School in the island of Leyte, one year after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the region.

Just ahead of this year’s climate talks in Lima, French President François Hollande, speaking at a conference on the environment, drew an important link between human rights and climate change. Noting the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in France, he called next year’s conference, which France will host, “a new step for human rights.”

Diamantina River in Channel Country

In a remote part of Australia, in the state of Queensland, lies a vast area called Channel Country. Winding rivers with large water holes and multiple channels braid across wide floodplains in a remarkable arid landscape. But every now and then huge floods cause the rivers to overflow, transforming the landscape into verdant wetlands that provide vital habitat for waterbirds, fish, reptiles and mammals. 

The devastating coal ash spill at Kingston, TN in December 2008.

Last night on 60 Minutes, journalist Leslie Stahl made Lynn Good, the CEO of Duke Energy, look bad during an episode about coal ash—a byproduct of coal burning that’s dumped into mostly unlined and unmonitored ponds across the country.  

As Good tried to smile and defend the decades of delay in cleaning up coal ash sites by arguing that more study is needed, the veteran newswoman blew right through her smokescreen.

“Studying is code for stalling,” said Stahl.

Olga Santos returned for the first time to the strawberry field where she was sprayed with toxic pesticides while eating lunch with her family as a young girl.

This is the fifth blog post in a weekly series of personal stories from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

Think of food politics as an increasingly complex, layered and controversial arena where people make decisions about food or food production based not just on the food itself but its impact on the environment, health, the treatment of animals, working conditions and pay, just to name a few factors.

Celebrity chefs, food writers and even Hollywood actors are taking sides and sometime calling names.

Pages