ROA Archive

In my investigation of environmental crime — Grease thieves, corn oil and fraud: How biofuel scam artists bilked U.S. taxpayers of billions — I learned much about US Environmental Protection Agency special agents. Like other federal agencies, the EPA has its own police arm, known as the Criminal Investigation Division. EPA special agents are...
Co-written with Honor the Earth’s Winona LaDuke and first published at Civil Eats. For 50 years, a single company has extracted millions in profits from one of Minnesota’s most important and ecologically vulnerable regions, the Pineland Sands. The 770-square-mile area in northern Minnesota is home to globally threatened jack pine forests and abundant streams and...
For a country founded on rebellion, secession movements are an unsurprisingly popular American tradition. From the tongue-in-cheek variety of mock revolt practiced by Key West’s Conch Republic, to the bloody fighting of the Civil War, the urge to flip the bird to the powers that be is as old as these United States. There’s...
The ROA is feeling severe shame in not knowing until now that freedom-loving citizens in the neighboring state of Minnesota pulled off a “tongue in cheek” secession ala Key West’s Conch Republic. From Atlas Obscura: In the mid-1970s the officials of tiny Kinney, Minnesota were desperate to fix their crumbling water system. With no help...
National Food Day is Saturday, underscoring how the way our food is grown, raised, produced, bought, sold, shared, and consumed has grabbed the national consciousness and become deeply intertwined with our political process. To that end, Baylen Linnekin and I have started developing Food Fight, a thought-provoking, weekly talk radio show/podcast focused on food...
When Congress talks food and farming, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) is there. From 2011 to 2014, she was chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and she remains a ranking member with enormous influence over what our nation eats. Stabenow shepherded the latest farm bill, which was signed into law in February 2014, after a...

TJ’s Garden

Spent a lovely morning touring Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. The garden was just starting to erupt. From the official Monticello site: Thomas Jefferson’s 1,000-foot-long, terraced vegetable garden is the true American garden: practical, expansive, casual, diverse, wrought from a world of edible immigrants.  Aside from its diverse population of mostly introduced crops, the Monticello garden...
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas over environmental concerns has driven some residents desperate for extraction income to consider secession. As told by the LA Times: Chief among those decisions has been the fracking ban, Price said. Local disappointment was sharpened by the knowledge that friends living...