Is fracking the answer to our energy crisis?
Ending our reliance on fossil fuels might mean digging deeper to find alternative solutions to our global energy crisis.
Sounding Board is one person’s take on a many-sided subject and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.
Seven tips for moral eating
According to Catholic Rural Life, what we eat is a moral issue. How do we use an informed conscience to make moral eating decisions?
1. By placing an emphasis on eating and purchasing foods that are good for the planet.
2. By eating and purchasing foods that are good to grow and that benefit soil and water resources.
3. By focusing our purchasing decisions on the common good—what is good and just for farms, farmers, and their workers in terms of health and well being.
4. By asking questions about how food is grown, harvested, and kept safe for us to eat.
Family farmers: Living on the edge
The year 2009 was a particularly challenging one for independent farmers like Teri Rosendahl. With the global financial crisis in full swing, small family farms were hit hard, and Rosendahl and her husband, Peter, were forced to mortgage a lot of the equipment they used at Udder Valley Dairy in rural Spring Grove, Minnesota just to get by. But from small daily struggles to major financial obstacles, challenges had simply become a way of life on the small, family-owned dairy farm.
Is food security worth sacrificing food safety?
In the last half century, food eaters and food providers in the United States have prioritized food quantity, the “all-you-can-eat” model, over food quality, the freshness and nutritional value it has. But in the last decade, things have changed. More attention has been placed on the quality of food—specifically where it comes from and what is in it.
Food fight: The pros and cons of genetically modified food
Genetic modification has yielded major changes in the way we grow our food, but concerns are cropping up over whether a bigger harvest means a better—or safer—diet.
Tips for conserving water in your parish
I grew up in the arid West: the land of prairie, tumbleweed, and newly-constructed subdivisions. I remember, as a kid, noticing the paradox between public concern about drought—and the fact that seemingly every house had a green, water-guzzling lawn. Later, I studied the intersections of human culture and ecology, especially with regard to fresh water. And now, in the 21st century, global fresh water scarcity is one of the major challenges facing humanity. What can we do about this serious situation?
High and dry: Water poverty in the United States
Some of us take for granted the most precious resource of all. Lack of water harms families not only in the Third World, but also here at home.
It’s 9 a.m. in the high desert of rural New Mexico, and the heat is already oppressive. People begin their day as you might expect: grabbing backpacks and heading to school, feeding goats and watering horses, patching holes in fences or crawling under cars to make small repairs. There is plenty to do.
Bee forewarned: Lessons from the deaths of bees
As the bee population declines, we can either listen to the buzz or feel the sting.
For years scientists have been puzzling over a vast die-off of bees in the United States and throughout Europe. After significant drops in recent years, alarms started sounding in 2012 when as much as 50 percent of the bee population in the United States perished. Finding the answer to the bee-pocalypse is important not only to save one of the wondrous sounds of nature—the soothing hum of the honeybee at work—but because bees represent an enormous industry in their own right.
How does our food system affect what we eat?
“We’ve gotten away from the real meaning of food, and the power of food,” Michael Pollan told us in a December 2013 interview. The famous food author has helped spur a movement encouraging people to return to using whole, real ingredients in home-cooked meals. He is known for touting a primary rule about food and eating: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.
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