Feelings, Facts, Food & GMOs – A Fresh Look  Weds, Feb. 26, 2014 12:00-2:00pm

The role of genetic engineering in agriculture is particularly contentious, with assertions about huge promise or perils often obscuring science. This panel discussion will aim to inform rather than inflame by bringing together a chef focused on conscious cuisine, a food journalist who spent six months investigating claims and counterclaims about GMOs, a law professor and a plant geneticist. The discussion will be moderated by Pace Academy Senior Fellow Andrew Revkin, who has explored the future of food repeatedly on his New York Times blog, Dot Earth.

The discussion will review the science on health and environmental questions, the legal issues related to food labeling and the realities of feeding not just a growing global population, but also one that is becoming more prosperous. 

Can GMOs be a part of our vision for a sustainable, equitable, and healthy world?

Free and open to the public.  Details online at www.pace.edu/foodyou.

In Person:  Pace University, 861, Bedford Road, Butcher Suite, Kessel Student Center, Pleasantville

Online:  Join us on Google+ or watch live or archive on YouTube.

Moderator:

Andrew Revkin - Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding, Pace University Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, Dot Earth Blogger, The New York Times

Panelists:        

Shelley Boris - Executive Chef, Fresh Company, and author of “Fresh Cooking: A Year of Recipes from the Garrison Institute Kitchen”

Jason Czarnezki - Gilbert and Sarah Kerlin Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law, Pace Law School

Nathanael Johnson - Food and Environment Reporter, Grist.org

Pamela Ronald - Director, Laboratory for Crop Genetics Innovation at the University of California, Davis, and co-author of “Tomorrow’sTable: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food”

American farmers and crop scientists are amazing.
Rene Dubos, champion of human-managed landscapes, would’ve loved stunning @natgeo Thierry Bornier image of Chinese terraces.

Rene Dubos, champion of human-managed landscapes, would’ve loved stunning @natgeo Thierry Bornier image of Chinese terraces.

In NYT @MarkHertsgaard dissects GOP farm bill with greenhouse warming in mind. (Art by Joanna Neborsky)

In NYT @MarkHertsgaard dissects GOP farm bill with greenhouse warming in mind. (Art by Joanna Neborsky)

One hurricane won’t end drought (or save scorched crops). But #Isaac inland drenching surely good news. Rain map below, drought map above.

rainfall potential from Isaac

Another reason to love @BigPictureAg: Great guest post on drought from p.o.v. of parched Iowa farm. Excerpt:

With the corn crop currently denting, and thus “fixed” (more rain would not now improve yields), all attention turned to soybeans. Beans have a resilient character to them, with the capacity to shed blossoms until growing conditions “are right.” Having lost much of the corn crop, our neighbors are busy reassuring each other that “the bean crop is made in August”—but only if rains arrive. Unfortunately, there is little moisture predicted in the medium-term forecasts.

Worst hit of all have been the livestock producers. Pastures are toast, and watering holes and rivers are drying up…. THE REST

On Landsat 40th anniversary, neat NASA slideshow of before/after imagery. Here, the spread of central-pivot irrigation in Kansas (bye bye Ogallala aquifer?).

On Landsat 40th anniversary, neat NASA slideshow of before/after imagery. Here, the spread of central-pivot irrigation in Kansas (bye bye Ogallala aquifer?).

Here’s a musical portrait of the dry conditions that occasionally beset farmers in America’s heartland, including this summer. The classic Son House blues tune is combined with footage from the film “The Plow that Broke the Plains.” The performance, recorded at the Philipstown Depot Theatre in 2005, is by the Hudson Valley band Uncle Wade, which then consisted of Andy Revkin, Art Labriola, Jerry Krenach and Peter Rundquist.

For more on America’s drought history, visit this NOAA Web site.

Here are Dot Earth posts on drought and climate.

PNAS paper linking climate-driven crop failures to Mexico-US migration rate created buzznow challenged in same journal.

"Food production has not only kept pace with population growth, it has outstripped it. The world now produces more food than ever, and even countries that were once practically synonymous with famine have achieved self-sufficiency in staple foods. As we argued in this post, hunger is a problem of poverty, not scarcity."

OECD/FAO, via Roger Pielke Jr.