Wrapping up Day 3 of CCNow’s ‘Food & Water’ joint coverage week

Here's our recap of the third day of coverage.

Today, Covering Climate Now was proud to host a press briefing with three experts to help bring journalists up to speed on climate, hunger, and the future of food. We know climate change threatens food and water worldwide, and we know that how we produce food and use water helps drive climate change. So, how do journalists tell this complex story in a way that policymakers and everyday people both can “get it” and feel empowered to act?

Our guests included Raj Patel, a professor at the University of Texas, member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems, and author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System; Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Pacific Institute, a MacArthur fellow, and one of the world’s top scientists on climate change and water; and Gabe Brown, a North Dakotan farmer who implemented regenerative agriculture practices on his 5,000 acre ranch and advises farmers working an additional 32 million acres. With them, we spoke about climate’s role in the burgeoning global food crisis, how refining our approach to water management and water use in our food systems can pay vast climate dividends, and how farming practices that prioritize soil health and biodiversity can be not only better for the planet but better for farmers’ bottom lines.

Check out highlights from the conversation in this Twitter thread and a complete recording of the press briefing here on YouTube.

Below, find more ‘Food & Water’ coverage from our partners, recommendations for republication, and some great food and climate stories with a special focus on farming practices.

As a reminder, here’s how you and your news outlet can be involved during the week:

  • Publish original content on the intersection of food and climate, or publish content made available by another CCNow partner, through our Sharing Library.
    • For original stories, please include the following tagline:
      This story is part of Covering Climate Now’s ‘Food & Water’ joint coverage week.
    • For stories that are republished from other CCNow partners, this tagline is mandatory:
      This story originally appeared in [name of outlet] and is part of Covering Climate Now’s ‘Food & Water’ joint coverage week.
  • Tune in for our press briefing and social media events (more below).
  • Amplify food and water stories on social media, tagging us @CoveringClimate and using the hashtag #CCNow.
  • Join the conversation in our CCNow collaboration-wide Slack space. Share your stories with fellow journalists, brainstorm ideas, and more. (If you haven’t joined already and want to, send an email to editors@coveringclimatenow.org

Joint week events reminder

Join us on Twitter Spaces. Throughout the week, we’re speaking with journalists about their experiences covering food and water on the climate beat. Today, we focused on farming practices with Jenny Splitter, managing editor of Sentient Media; Thin Lei Win, of Lighthouse Reports; and Eve Abrams, an audio producer and host of the Food & Environment Reporting Networks recent podcast Hot Farm. On Monday, we talked justice. Join us tomorrow for a chat about diets and food culture! (Details to come soon on our Twitter.)

‘Food & Water’ Talking Shop. Last week, we spoke with journalists from India, Hong Kong, and the US about climate connections to food and water — and why these subjects are great entries to the climate story for audiences. Check out a recording and transcript here. 

Today’s highlights

From Columbia Journalism Review: Part of CCNow’s monthly Q&A series, we spoke with Washington Post food columnist Tamar Haspel and longtime climate journalist Michael Grunwald, co-hosts of the new podcast ‘Climavores,’ about “unconfusing” food and climate for audiences and how journalists can grapple with the enormity of our food systems. Read the conversation here.​​​​

From the Guardian: Climate change-fueled extreme weather — from heat to drought to floods — is leading to food shortages and spiking food prices worldwide. And it’s not just staples like rice and wheat at threat, as Sriracha fans are learning the hard way. By Victoria Namkung.

From The Nation: Beans have a low carbon footprint and pack in huge amounts of nutrition, making them perhaps a great solution for climate change-related disruptions in our food systems — that is if governments will consider a “Bean New Deal.” By Matthew Miles Goodrich.

From Deutsche Welle: Supermarket shoppers in wealthy countries are used to finding whatever foods they want, no matter the time of year — but at significant cost to the climate. What will it take to change habits? By Natalie Muller & Neil Kang.

From Inside Climate News: As climate change intensifies, flooding will pose a major risk to agriculture. Scientists have their eyes on a plant compound called ethylene to boost flood resilience — but will it catch on with farmers, if it risks optimal yields? By Grace van Deelen.

From LAist: Water conservation alone won’t solve the water crisis in the American West. In California, experts are turning to recycling waste water — which might gross out would-be consumers, but it turns out the process results in water so pure “they actually have to add minerals back in.” By Erin Stone.

Republication recommendations

The following stories deserve special consideration for republication by CCNow partners:

For partner outlets: to submit stories for sharing, please use this form. As always, instructions for republishing and the full list of stories available for republication can be found in our Sharing Library.

Focus on farming practices

Today, we’re spotlighting farming practices, which are central to the food, water, and climate story. Here are just a few stories on the subject that we’ve loved:

  • From the Food & Environment Reporting Network: A podcast series in four parts, Hot Farm crisscrosses the US to meet farmers grappling with and adapting to climate change — and farmers who remain unconvinced but are experimenting with new methods nonetheless. Eve Abrams hosts.
  • From the UK’s Channel 4 News: The unmitigated destruction of the Brazilian Amazon — a disaster for climate — is driven largely by cattle ranching. Learn how this beef enters the global supply chain and, ultimately, many of our supermarkets. By Alex Thomson.
  • From Mongabay: Agroforestry is a key strategy identified by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for reducing emissions. Dive into what agroforestry means — and how it can also increase food security and biodiversity worldwide. By Anna Lappé.
  • From Climate One: Every five years, the US Farm Bill implements federal agriculture policy, with sweeping implications nationwide. At this critical juncture for climate, many are pushing for climate adaptation and resilience to be central. Jump into the weeds.
  • From HuffPost: In 2020, for CCNow’s ‘climate politics’ joint coverage week, Alex C. Kaufman looked into political support for regenerative agriculture — and some controversy around what many regard as a promising practice for the climate.
    By Alexander C. Kaufman.
  • From Inside Climate News: Seaweed-based feed can reduce cows’ methane emissions — a major climate killer — by upwards of 50%. But the feed has its own climate and environmental pitfalls and faces a long road to scaling up. By Grace van Deelen.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a close look at diets & food culture.