agricultural history

  • Can Capitalism Exist Without Excess?

    by Trevor Jackson

    The pandemic supply chain disruptions have focused attention on shortages, but the problem of gluts—of food being destroyed when it can't be profitably sold–reflects a deeper problem with global capitalism. 

  • Giving Life to Midwestern Fields and Killing the Great Lakes

    Journalist Dan Egan, a longtime follower of the environmental concerns of the Great Lakes region, has a new book examining the role of phosphorous-containing fertilizers in fueling agricultural prosperity and threatening the largest supply of fresh water. 

  • Phosphorus Giveth (Life) and Phosphorus Taketh Away

    by Elizabeth Kolbert

    The industrial age miracle of phosphorus fertilizer production revolutionized agricultual yields. Today, humanity faces a twin crisis of the mineral's scarcity and the toxicity of the algae that it feeds with farm runoff. 

  • Don’t Make Meat Cheaper. Make It Much More Expensive

    by Jan Dutkiewicz and Gabriel N. Rosenberg

    The Biden administration hopes to score political points by making the meat industry more competitive and lowering prices. This is ignoring the horrible costs of cheap meat. 

  • Look What Has Been Taken From Black Americans

    It's difficult to quantify the financial cost to Black Americans of racism and segregation. But the destruction of property and denial of trade by white mobs in Elaine, Arkansas in 1919 was quantified by Ida B. Wells-Barnett; her findings can put the scope of a reparations program into some perspective.

  • The Government Must Pay People to Stay Home

    by Gabriel N. Rosenberg

    The earliest effective government responses to epidemic illness in the United States came not in the context of human health, but in the context of livestock.