The eternal food loop—harvest, prepare, savor, cleanup—has never been healthier, and better tasting, than it is right now.
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Grains of Change
California’s Central Valley, the epicenter of U.S. food production, isn’t the most bird-friendly place. The good news? The region’s rice farmers have joined conservationists to turn their fields into surrogate wetlands, and the birds, including long-billed curlews, are booming.
Message in a Bottle
West Coast winemakers are embracing chemical-free grapes more than ever. Whether or not they call their wines “organic,” the business can fairly be described as red, white—and green.
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Its supporters tout the promise of drought-tolerant corn and less pollution from hog farms. Opponents worry about unforeseen and alarming threats to the environment. Whatever your feelings about the genetic engineering of food, one thing’s for sure: It’s here to stay.
Seafood guides were eye-openers when they first appeared in the late 1990s, and they still help consumers make good buying decisions. But without more enlightened fisheries policies, one day our nets will start coming up empty.
Audubon in Action
David Yarnold on saving neotropical migrants. Plus: a visit to Ohio’s Aullwood Center and Farm; a new conservation victory at Tejon Ranch; farmers in Paraguay move to help birds; more.
Readers weigh in (passionately) on “Saddle Sores,” Ted Williams’s article on wild horses.
Wolves find themselves in legal limbo, and enemies of the ESA see an opportunity; we sit down with the EPA’s Lisa Jackson; the Green Guru on how high migrating birds fly (hint: you’ll be amazed); more.
Peeling Back the Label
As food makers look to cash in on the healthy-food movement, it’s getting harder and harder to navigate the supermarket aisle. Here’s a guide to labels you can—and can’t—trust.
Fork in the Road
Americans have done their part, turning organic food into a $25 billion industry. Now it’s time for the government to get with the program.
City farms offer urban dwellers fresh local produce and the chance to connect with their inner farmer.
Fruit for Thought
An artist wields a scanning electron microscope and a computer to present a view of food unlike any you’ve ever seen before.
On the cover: Last step in the food cycle. Photograph by Kang Kim. Food styling by Stephana Bottom
Banner images: Heirloom tomatoes, by Kang Kim; grassland near California’s Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area, by Brown W. Cannon III; soybeans, by Carmen Troesser; grapes, by Sara Remington.