Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Minneapolis, MN, United States

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Minneapolis, MN, United States
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Fischer J.,Lüneburg University | Abson D.J.,Lüneburg University | Butsic V.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Butsic V.,Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe | And 8 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2014

To address the challenges of biodiversity conservation and commodity production, a framework has been proposed that distinguishes between the integration ("land sharing") and separation ("land sparing") of conservation and production. Controversy has arisen around this framework partly because many scholars have focused specifically on food production rather than more encompassing notions such as land scarcity or food security. Controversy further surrounds the practical value of partial trade-off analyses, the ways in which biodiversity should be quantified, and a series of scale effects that are not readily accounted for. We see key priorities for the future in (1) addressing these issues when using the existing framework, and (2) developing alternative, holistic ways to conceptualise challenges related to food, biodiversity, and land scarcity. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Letters published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Loos J.,Lüneburg University | Abson D.J.,Lüneburg University | Chappell M.J.,Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy | Chappell M.J.,Washington State University | And 4 more authors.
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2014

In light of human population growth, global food insecurity is an escalating concern. To meet increasing demand for food, leading scientists have called for "sustainable intensification", defined as the process of enhancing agricultural yields with minimal environmental impact and without expanding the existing agricultural land base. We argue that this definition is inadequate to merit the term "sustainable", because it lacks engagement with established principles that are central to sustainability. Sustainable intensification is likely to fail in improving food security if it continues to focus narrowly on food production ahead of other equally or more important variables that influence food security. Sustainable solutions for food security must be holistic and must address issues such as food accessibility. Wider consideration of issues related to equitable distribution of food and individual empowerment in the intensification decision process (distributive and procedural justice) is needed to put meaning back into the term "sustainable intensification". © The Ecological Society of America.


Wise T.A.,Global Development and Environment Institute | Murphy S.,Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Economic and Political Weekly | Year: 2012

The recent food price crisis has exposed the fragility of the global food system. There has been much progress in international policies and practices on food and agricultural development, but some of the underlying causes of the crisis have yet to be addressed. The focus continues to be on increasing production with little regard for demand-side aspects (biofuels, meat-based diets, etc) and inequality in consumption. Developing country governments will be central to bringing about such changes. They need the policy space to pursue their own solutions and they need the support of the international community to demand deeper reform in developed country policies.


Wallinga D.,Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Health Affairs | Year: 2010

For thirty-five years, U.S. agriculture has operated under a "cheap food" policy that spurred production of a few commodity crops, not fruit or vegetables, and thus of the calories from them. A key driver of childhood obesity is the consumption of excess calories, many from inexpensive, nutrient-poor snacks, sweets, and sweetened beverages made with fats and sugars derived from these policy-supported crops. Limiting or eliminating farm subsidies to commodity farmers is wrongly perceived as a quick fix to a complex agricultural system, evolved over decades, that promotes obesity. Yet this paper does set forth a series of policy recommendations that could help, including managing commodity crop oversupply and supporting farmers who produce more fruit and vegetables to build a healthier, more balanced agricultural policy. © 2010 Project HOPE-The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.


Behl M.,Kelly Government Solutions Inc. | Behl M.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Rao D.,Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc. | Aagaard K.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 9 more authors.
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2013

Background: An emerging literature suggests that environmental chemicals may play a role in the development of childhood obesity and metabolic disorders, especially when exposure occurs early in life. Objective: Here we assess the association between these health outcomes and exposure to maternal smoking during pregnancy as part of a broader effort to develop a research agenda to better understand the role of environmental chemicals as potential risk factors for obesity and metabolic disorders. Methods: PubMed was searched up to 8 March 2012 for epidemiological and experimental animal studies related to maternal smoking or nicotine exposure during pregnancy and childhood obesity or metabolic disorders at any age. A total of 101 studies-83 in humans and 18 in animals-were identified as the primary literature. Discussion: Current epidemiological data support a positive association between maternal smoking and increased risk of obesity or overweight in ofspring. The data strongly suggest a causal relation, although the possibility that the association is attributable to unmeasured residual confounding cannot be completely ruled out. This conclusion is supported by findings from laboratory animals exposed to nicotine during development. Te existing literature on human exposures does not support an association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and type 1 diabetes in ofspring. Too few human studies have assessed outcomes related to type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome to reach conclusions based on patterns of findings. There may be a number of mechanistic pathways important for the development of aberrant metabolic outcomes following perinatal exposure to cigarette smoke, which remain largely unexplored. Conclusions: From a toxicological perspective, the linkages between maternal smoking during pregnancy and childhood overweight/obesity provide proof-of-concept of how early-life exposure to an environmental toxicant can be a risk factor for childhood obesity.


Clapp J.,University of Waterloo | Murphy S.,Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Global Policy | Year: 2013

When the G20 took up food security in 2010, many were optimistic that it could bring about positive change by addressing structural problems in commodity markets that were contributing to high and volatile food prices and exacerbating hungerIts members could tighten the regulation of agricultural commodity futures markets, support multilateral trade rules that would better reflect both importer and exporter needs, end renewable fuel targets that diverted land to biofuels production, and coordinate food reservesIn this article, we argue that although the G20 took on food security as a focus area, it missed an important opportunity and has shown that it is not the most appropriate forum for food security policyInstead of tackling the structural economic dimensions of food security, the G20 chose to promote smoothing and coping measures within the current global economic frameworkBy shifting the focus away from structural issues, the G20 has had a chilling effect on policy debates in other global food security forums, especially the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS)In addition, the G20 excludes the voices of the least developed countries and civil society, and lacks the expertise and capacity to implement its recommendations© 2013 University of Durham and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Clark S.E.,Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy | Hawkes C.,City University London | Murphy S.M.E.,Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy | Hansen-Kuhn K.A.,Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy | Wallinga D.,Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health | Year: 2012

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions, in the United States as well as among its trade partners such as Mexico. It has been established that an "obesogenic" (obesity-causing) food environment is one influence on obesity prevalence. To isolate the particular role of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, in changing Mexico's food environment, we plotted the flow of several key products between the United States and Mexico over the 14-year NAFTA period (1994-2008) and situated them in a broader historical context. Key sources of USDA data include the Foreign Agricultural Service's Global Agricultural Trade System, its official repository for current and historical data on imports, exports and re-exports, and its Production, Supply, and Distribution online database. US export data were queried for agricultural products linked to shifting diet patterns including: corn, soybeans, sugar and sweeteners, consumeroriented products, and livestock products. The Bureau of Economic Analysis' Balance of Payments and Direct Investment Position Data in their web-based International Economic Accounts system also helped determine changes in US direct investment abroad from 1982 to 2009. Directly and indirectly, the United States has exported increasing amounts of corn, soybeans, sugar, snack foods, and meat products into Mexico over the last two decades. Facilitated by NAFTA, these exports are one important way in which US agriculture and trade policy influences Mexico's food system. Because of significant US agribusiness investment in Mexico across the full spectrum of the latter's food supply chain, from production and processing to distribution and retail, the Mexican food system increasingly looks like the industrialized food system of the United States. © W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2012.


Abbas D.,Tennessee State University | Arnosti D.,Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Journal of Sustainable Forestry | Year: 2013

Forest fires pose a great risk to nearby communities and dwellings. Many forest managers work to reduce such risks by managing fuels. This article explains the economic and logistical factors of a forest biomass utilization option instead of the conventional disposal method of on-site piling and burning for fuel reduction. Benefits from biomass utilization are multiple and include reduced impacts to air quality, improved forest health, economic opportunities, local renewable energy production, and climate change mitigation. Trials in the Superior National Forest examined the feasibility of using conventional equipment to extract and utilize forest biomass compared with disposal of biomass with pile and burn techniques. Factors that increase the costs of biomass utilization include: machinery down-time, distance to end users, low biomass price, size of the harvest unit, forwarding distance, the number of machines hauled to sites to complete small-sized operations, the modest amount of biomass removed per acre and applying prescriptions that were not designed for extraction logistics. Interviews with forest machine operators during and after the trials helped clarify factors and logistics considerations, which could be applied to help reduce the cost of future operations. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


O'Brien A.M.,University of Iowa | O'Brien A.M.,Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases | Hanson B.M.,University of Iowa | Hanson B.M.,Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases | And 14 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

In order to examine the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus on retail pork, three hundred ninety-five pork samples were collected from a total of 36 stores in Iowa, Minnesota, and New Jersey. S. aureus was isolated from 256 samples (64.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 59.9%-69.5%). S. aureus was isolated from 67.3% (202/300) of conventional pork samples and from 56.8% (54/95) of alternative pork samples (labeled "raised without antibiotics" or "raised without antibiotic growth promotants"). Two hundred and thirty samples (58.2%, 95% CI 53.2%-63.1%) were found to carry methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA). MSSA was isolated from 61.0% (183/300) of conventional samples and from 49.5% (47/95) of alternative samples. Twenty-six pork samples (6.6%, 95% CI 4.3%-9.5%) carried methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). No statistically significant differences were observed for the prevalence of S. aureus in general, or MSSA or MRSA specifically, when comparing pork products from conventionally raised swine and swine raised without antibiotics, a finding that contrasts with a prior study from the Netherlands examining both conventional and "biologic" meat products. In our study spa types associated with "livestock-associated" ST398 (t034, t011) were found in 26.9% of the MRSA isolates, while 46.2% were spa types t002 and t008-common human types of MRSA that also have been found in live swine. The study represents the largest sampling of raw meat products for MRSA contamination to date in the U.S. MRSA prevalence on pork products was higher than in previous U.S.-conducted studies, although similar to that in Canadian studies. © 2012 O'Brien et al.


News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

Main Street Project’s Chief Strategy Officer Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin’s new book, In the Shadow of Green Man, is now available for purchase at http://www.acresusa.com/store and on Amazon.com. The book, published by Acres USA, chronicles Haslett-Marroquin’s upbringing in revolution-torn Guatemala and how he built his vision to develop a regenerative farming model that uplifts individuals and communities. Throughout the book, he also shares the fable of the Green Man, a tiny and wise Guatemalan folk character whose stories teach the importance of respecting the natural world. In the Shadow of Green Man tells the story of how after witnessing firsthand the human suffering caused by unjust and environmentally destructive farming practices, Haslett-Marroquin set on a path of helping people lift themselves up through poultry-centered regenerative agriculture. He later applied these indigenous practices to the innovative model that is now the heart of Main Street Project’s work. “In The Shadow of Green Man is a story telling project … a book about my life,” explains Haslett-Marroquin. “I hope this book will serve as a platform to embark on a conversation about hope and power in a new way, one that emerges from each of us and empowers us to take action to do good even in the midst of so much evil happening around the world.” As Chief Strategy Officer of Main Street Project, Haslett-Marroquin’s focus is on the development of multi-level strategies for building regenerative food and agriculture systems that deliver social, economic and ecological benefits. He leads Main Street Project’s engineering and design work and currently oversees the implementation of restorative blueprints for communities in the United States, Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. Haslett-Marroquin has served as a consultant for the United Nations Development Program’s Bureau for Latin America and as an advisor to the World Council of Indigenous People, was a founding member of the Fair Trade Federation and was Director of the Fair Trade Program for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy from 1995 to 1998. He also led the creation, strategic positioning, start-up and launch of Peace Coffee, a Minnesota-based fair-trade coffee company. About Main Street Project Since 2010, Main Street Project has been developing and testing a poultry-centered regenerative model capable of producing economic, ecological and social benefits. Its programs rebuild the local food system while moving underemployed residents to economic stability. For more information, visit http://www.mainstreetproject.org.

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