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Elizabeth McVay Greene
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Blog Entries by Elizabeth McVay Greene

The Future of Agriculture Is Not Conventional

(27) Comments | Posted September 11, 2012 | 6:14 PM

This organic nonsense has to stop. I'd like to politely request that those who don't know agriculture cease writing about it as though they do, stoking an already divisive debate that misses the heart of the problem we face: We're not sure how we should be growing food, and thus...

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Technology's Place in Transforming Agriculture

(1) Comments | Posted September 29, 2011 | 3:46 PM

In a 1984 retirement speech delivered to his colleagues at Cargill, my grandfather called for a renewed focus on the people that agriculture serves. "What is good for producers and consumers," he said, "is good for us." His intention was to inspire a more efficient commodity business, but his message...

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New Agriculture Needs Out from Under the Corporate Thumb

(8) Comments | Posted September 14, 2011 | 11:03 AM

Last week, Walmart announced a $1-million grant for Growing Power, a Milwaukee- and Chicago-based organization started by Will Allen that focuses on equal access to healthy food for all communities. The Good Food Revolution was aflutter with reactions. Should Growing Power accept Walmart's support? Can big corporations...

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Agility in Agriculture: Why Farms Will Succeed and Food Corporations May Not

(3) Comments | Posted July 12, 2011 | 8:42 PM

Extreme weather has thrown off fruit and vegetable production schedules by a couple of weeks around the country this year. Anyone who's a CSA member or an avid farmers' market-goer knows it -- farmshares are starting delivery a couple of weeks late in some regions and markets are still displaying...

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Making FarmVille Real

(2) Comments | Posted January 24, 2011 | 6:15 PM

It's refreshing to hear Dave Thier talk about the struggles he had as a farmer on FarmVille. I hesitate to say it, but I think his experience -- the attraction, the addiction, the desertion, actually bodes well for farms and farmers. Apparently more than 80 million...

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Wal-Mart's New Policy Starves Us of Fresh Food

(7) Comments | Posted January 21, 2011 | 1:40 PM

You probably caught the headlines a few months back about Wal-Mart entering the market for local food (defining it as food produced and sold within the same state, an arbitrary definition at best). Today's New York Times features an article about the store's plan to...

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Eating in Trumps Eating Out

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2010 | 11:42 AM

In an article last week, I discussed data that shows that a farmer receives a dwindling portion of the consumer food dollar in the US. The data does not explain the ratio of whole foods to processed or prepared foods purchased, but one person who commented on that...

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Who Do You Really Pay for Your Food?

(13) Comments | Posted November 12, 2010 | 5:11 PM

The USDA tracks the value of domestic food expenditures, and also reports what portion of the consumer dollar goes toward labor, packaging, intercity transportation, fuel, pre-tax corporate profits, and farmers. The difference between what the consumer pays and what the farmer gets is called the marketing bill. The marketing...

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Finding the Sacred and the Satirical in our Food

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2010 | 12:30 PM

Were you as stunned as I was to hear that Stephen Colbert was going to appear at a House Subcommittee Hearing to discuss his views on farm labor? I'm used to Willie Nelson speaking on behalf of farmers, but that seems to fit his image rather well. Colbert,...

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Chaos at the Farmers' Market

(6) Comments | Posted September 24, 2010 | 3:47 PM

This story in the Wall Street Journal about a farmers' market debate that is raging (can anything really rage at a farmers' market?) in Wisconsin and across the country reminds me how much is wrong with how we choose our food. It reports that even our best alternative...

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What the Farm Gives: A Morning at the Wholesale Farmers' Market

(8) Comments | Posted July 28, 2010 | 5:29 PM

By 6:30 yesterday morning, I was chatting with Jack Hoeffner, one of the farmers who sells at the Wholesale Farmers' Market at Hunt's Point in the Bronx. New York City's Greenmarket had organized a two-hour buyers' tour to introduce farmers and customers, and to attract attention...

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Open Data in Agriculture and Why It Matters

(11) Comments | Posted July 16, 2010 | 4:09 PM

The farmer usually knows best -- for his or her land, crop, livestock, and profitability, among other things. As a girl on a Minnesota farm in the '80s and '90s, I was in awe of my grandfather's ability to know just what his beef cattle needed -- more water, richer...

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What's in a Name? The Power to Shift the Food System

(4) Comments | Posted June 28, 2010 | 1:56 PM

I can't help it. Food comes up in my conversations all the time. Whether I am at a conference for sustainable agriculture or at my neighborhood watering hole, the people I meet are paying attention to their food in a way that should perk the ears of anyone...

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The Hustle for Good Food: Dispatches From the Bronx Food Summit

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2010 | 11:24 AM

New York City is one of many cities around the country that is placing a renewed emphasis on food access. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has launched the FoodWorks initiative to address production and distribution, while Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has announced

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An Ode to Farming Isn't Enough: We Need a Reality Check

(1) Comments | Posted April 28, 2010 | 5:50 PM

Foreign Policy has compiled stunning photographs in its "An Ode to Farming", and what a beautiful tribute to farms and farmers around the world it is. I wish I could say that what you see is what you get. Much though I would like to ponder...

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