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Joseph Erbentraut
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Joseph Erbentraut covers promising innovations and challenges in the areas of food and water. In addition, they explore the evolving ways Americans are identifying and defining themselves.

They have been writing ever since their middle-school launch of the Sixth Grade Times, which offered in-depth coverage of school-wide assemblies, birthday parties and breaking playground gossip. Overseeing a staff of five with an angsty teenage fist, they sold issues for a dime apiece and caused quite a stir with one particular series of bag-lunch exposes.

A decade later, Erbentraut earned a B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and moved shortly thereafter to Chicago, where they have lived ever since.

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Entries by Joseph Erbentraut

Farm Workers Are Taking On Poor Pay And Conditions -- And Winning

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 1:50 PM

By now, the message of the food movement has rung loud and clear -- eat your vegetables, eat local and get to know your local farmers.

Largely left out of those conversations are many of the workers employed by those local farmers who are responsible...

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Millennial Farmers Fight An Uphill Battle. It's Time To Support Them.

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2016 | 3:12 PM

American agriculture has a big problem to deal with. And there’s no easy fix on the table.

According to the most recent data from the Department of Agriculture, the average age of an American farmer is 58 years old, and that number has...

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Comida de laboratório: A ciência pode nos ajudar a alimentar o mundo

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 5:42 PM


O professor Mark Post mostra o primeiro hambúrguer de carne desenvolvido em laboratório, apresentado em um evento em 5 de agosto de 2013. Post é apenas um entre muitos cientistas que trabalham para inovar os alimentos que comemos.

Em um laboratório em uma universidade na Holanda,...

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You Don't Have To Go Vegan To Eat Way More Sustainably

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2016 | 2:35 PM

We've known for some time now that eating meat is putting a massive strain on our planet.

But if you want to take steps to reduce the carbon footprint of your dinner, it’s not necessary to eliminate animal products...

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Guys, Gwyneth Paltrow Is in on the Joke

(7) Comments | Posted April 18, 2016 | 10:15 AM

Is there a more convenient proverbial punching bag than Gwyneth Paltrow?

Paltrow has achieved more success in more fields than most of us could conjure in even our wildest dreams. She's an Oscar winner. She's at the helm of Goop, initially just a newsletter and now a successful...

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Support For GMOs Rises With Education Level

(1) Comments | Posted April 13, 2016 | 3:46 PM

With major food companies like General Mills, Kellogg and ConAgra set to introduce new labeling that identifies products containing genetically-modified organisms, the controversial issue is back on the table.

Advocates for labeling GMOs won the most recent legislative battle in Congress, shelving industry-backed legislation...

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Tyson Foods CEO Does The Right Thing For No Good Scientific Reason

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2016 | 3:48 PM

A much-noted move by the nation’s largest poultry provider to drastically reduce its use of human antibiotics in chickens apparently has little to do with the prevailing science that links such usage to antibiotic resistance in people.

At least, Tyson Foods' CEO managed to...

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This Is Why It's Racist To Call 'Ethnic' Restaurants 'Gross'

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2016 | 1:26 PM

If someone were to walk up to you on the street and ask what type of food is most likely to give you food poisoning, what would you say?

Well, if your answer falls under the umbrella of "ethnic" food, it's fair to say that...

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You Won't Believe What Colorado Is About To Legalize

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2016 | 5:05 PM

Colorado is mighty progressive on some issues, but it's the only state in the country with a ban on residential rain barrels. Now, that ban may be on its way out.

In March, the state’s Democrat-controlled House almost unanimously advanced a...

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How One Tiny Vermont College Is Taking On Big Agriculture

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2016 | 1:25 PM

Nobody knows better than a farmer that big things can grow from tiny seeds. The small state of Vermont has already driven major food producers to adopt GMO labeling nationwide

Next, could a humble, environmentally focused college in that Northeastern state help bring Big...

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Science Could Help Us Feed The World, If Only We Let It

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2016 | 3:53 PM

At a university lab in the Netherlands, professor Mark Post is working tirelessly to perfect the world’s first lab-grown beef burger. If he is successful, beef lovers the world over will be able to eat a burger that is possibly more environmentally friendly and healthier than...

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We Know We Should Eat Less Meat, So Why Aren't We Doing It?

(0) Comments | Posted March 29, 2016 | 1:17 PM

By now, the warnings on meat consumption are pretty clear.

The United States’ over-indulgence in meat is not only bad news for our health, but also for our planet, not to mention the animals themselves. A new study...

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Potlucks Are Cool Again, And Here's How That's Good News For Your Health

(1) Comments | Posted March 24, 2016 | 1:24 PM

There was a time not too long ago when the word “potluck” conjured images of congealing casseroles with varying levels of warmth piled side-by-side on long tables in musty church basements. For some, this remains the case.

But, newsflash to the uninitiated: Potlucks today appear...

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The Presidential Candidates Seriously Don't Seem To Care About Our Food Supply

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2016 | 11:56 AM

Last month, we noticed something.

Though various media outlets have reported on how much the presidential candidates’ campaigns have spent on pizza and other fast food, we know little about where the candidates stand on the food and agricultural policy...

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What The US Can Learn From UK Supermarket Donating Unsold Food

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2016 | 11:00 AM

One of the U.K.’s -- and the world’s -- biggest grocery store chains announced big news on the food waste front this month.

In the coming months, Tesco, which boasts some 6,800 stores worldwide but is headquartered in England, will expand its 14-store trial...

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Millennials Have No Idea Where Their Water Comes From

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2016 | 1:06 PM

Even after the crisis in Flint, Michigan, has prompted a national conversation about the safety of our water supply, most people still don't understand how the issue applies to their own communities.

In a new HuffPost/YouGov poll of 1,000 people conducted from March...

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If Farm-To-Table Eating Is Cool, What About Toilet-To-Tap Drinking?

(0) Comments | Posted March 15, 2016 | 3:11 PM

When any given water supply grows scarce, there are only so many ways to adapt our day-to-day, water-reliant lives: Use less water or somehow recycle it.

In the case of the serious drought conditions that continue to grip much of the state of...

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What's At Stake In The Senate's Looming GMO Labeling Battle

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2016 | 10:53 AM

A key debate regarding products that contain genetically modified organisms -- specifically, the question of whether they should have to carry labels stating as much -- is set for a showdown.

Last week, legislation cleared the Senate Agricultural Committee that would block state-level laws mandating...

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How A Sexy Thriller Could Get People To Care About Their Water

(0) Comments | Posted March 8, 2016 | 12:31 PM

On the first page of Iowa author Jennifer Wilson’s new novel, Water, reporter Freja Folsom is assigned a story about a man who is illegally pumping his own water from a city aquifer. Freja is incredulous.

"Water is free. Stories about nature are...

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All The 'Next Chipotles' Want To Make Sure They're Not The Next Chipotle

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2016 | 12:43 PM

Less than a year ago, Denver-based fast-casual chain Chipotle was seen as the future of the restaurant industry, a sign of things to come. An endless supply of listicles jockeyed to anoint which nascent chains might become “the next Chipotle” or “

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