Food supply issues

Back in March, the coronavirus started triggering infection hotspots in and around meatpacking plants, sickening and killing workers. As local public health authorities pushed giant meat conglomerates to close infected facilities, industry executives warned that doing so was “pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply,” as Kenneth M. Sullivan, CEO of Smithfield, the world’s largest pork producer, declared in a April 12 press release.

Environmentalists sue EPA

The Iowa Environmental Council is one of a series of environmental organizations that have joined together in a lawsuit against the EPA. The agency announced eight years ago that nitrogen and phosphorous were the primary agents in the creation of the dead zone.

The Story of Nitrogen: Iowa not the only state responsible

The Mississippi River Basin forms a large funnel, channeling nitrogen and other nutrients into the Gulf of Mexico, where a growing dead zone wrecks havoc on the marine ecosystems. The river basin includes parts of 31 different states, draining over 41 percent of the continental United States. With a watershed this large, over 18 million people depend upon the Mississippi for their water supply.

The Story of Nitrogen: A trip down the Mississippi

Everyday, Iowa’s rivers send massive loads of nitrogen through the plains of the Midwest, down the Mighty Mississippi and into the Gulf of Mexico. No, bloated fish carcasses are not surfing the waves of the Gulf. In fact, a birds-eye view of the Louisiana and Texas coasts might suggest life continues as usual. But the Northern Gulf of Mexico is in danger of slowly, silently slipping onto the list of hypoxic wastelands, bringing grave consequences for the life forms it supports — including our own.

Business Collapses Expose Shaky Missouri Grain System

A couple years ago, Missouri's grain industry was rocked by two business insolvencies that saddled farmers with millions of dollars in losses. Regulators and the farmers themselves share blame for a system that had begun to operate loosely. Both sides say they have learned their lesson and have tightened up their procedures. But is it enough? Two years after the business collapses, reforms are still unimplemented.