A close-up photograph of young, green corn is shown.

Growing Food, Sowing Trouble

China began promoting potatoes as a staple in 2015 in an effort to combat food insecurity.

How changing national diets could help fix our global food crisis

Chinese farmers plant the largest amount of potatoes in the world, and the country produces about 20% of the global potato output. But while fresh potatoes are a traditional part of the Chinese national diet, they’re viewed as a vegetable rather than as a staple, and China’s per capita consumption of potato is below the global average. In 2015, the Chinese government decided to try and change that.

Two people are shown next to a water-filled ditch with a grassy field on either side.

We’re not fixing this environmental crisis. Could one ditch show us the way?

A shrimp boat is shown in a illustration that combines the boat with a map of the Mississippi Delta.

Gulf shrimpers fight for their livelihoods in a fertilizer-fueled dead zone

A single white cross is shown on a small dirt area amongst a wide open grassy field.

A common fertilizer can cause explosions. Uneven regulation puts people at risk.

An ariel photograph showing Lake Erie coved in green algae with a boat moving through the middle.

Lake Erie turns toxic every summer. Officials aren’t cracking down on the source.

A farm tractor is shown in a large green field with wind turbines in the background.

Farming’s growing problem

Fertilizers are contaminating and warming the planet. Regulators haven’t acted on decades-old warnings.

Okyeame Ampadu, an 80-year-old farmer in the Volta Region of Ghana

Africa’s producing more fertilizer, but it’s still not getting to all farmers

Africa’s turning a corner toward producing fertilizer locally.