Republic of Awesome Archive

On January 3, 2013 in an Oxford farming conference lecture, Mark Lynas declared the science behind the safety of consuming genetically modified crops settled. Lynas is an author, journalist and long-time climate change campaigner. He also had been a vehement anti-GMO activist. The attention Lynas’s “conversion” brought made him an in-demand speaker for agriculture-related groups. The...
The new Republican Senate’s fist move is legislation to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. The bill was introduced today despite the pipeline’s dubious benefits and heated opposition. If passed, Canadian tar sand oil will be pumped through South Dakota. The machinations of pipeline approval also open a window into the craven politics that have come...
Loos Science Tales is an ongoing ROA series. We aim to expose the lobbyists, pundits and politicians who are scientific experts when it comes to the safety of eating GMO crops yet are confused on the scientific consensus around human-induced climate change. John Block Mr. Block has an accomplished bio. He’s a former US...
First published at Civil Eats: Chef Sean Sherman grew up Ogallala Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. After working his way up through a number of kitchens in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Sherman decided he needed to strike out on his own. In April, he launched his event catering business as “The Sioux Chef.” And he’s working...
Loos Science Tales is an ongoing ROA series. We aim to expose the lobbyists, pundits and politicians who are scientific experts when it comes to the safety of eating GMO crops yet are confused on the scientific consensus around human-induced climate change. — Today’s Loos Science Tale takes place in my home state of...
Last week I had the privilege of accompanying an American University class on the final White House Garden tour of the year. My three takeaways from the tour: Small garden, huge symbol The space really is quite small, which compared to its impact in the national conversation on food and farming underscores its symbolic nature....
Lead by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the agriculture lobby  has relentlessly pushed back against new Environmental Protection Agency proposed rules for improving U.S. water quality. Through their “ditch the rule” campaign the AFBF has spent lavishly on PR, intensely lobbied Congress, mobilized their vast membership, and joined forces with big-time polluters in opposition to...
Republicans took total control Congress last night. And a handful of races focused specific agriculture issues and legislation or have implications on future food and farm policy decisions. Iowa Republican Joni Ernst defeats Democrat Bruce Braley to replace Tom Harkin This race is seismic for agriculture lobby influence. Iowa, state of my birth, is...