Food & Agriculture

UC Davis Releases 5 New Wine Grape Varieties

December 18, 2019
Plants Are Resistant to Deadly Pierce’s Disease

For the first time since the 1980s, University of California, Davis, researchers have released new varieties of wine grapes. The five new varieties, three red and two white, are highly resistant to Pierce’s disease, which costs California grape growers more than $100 million a year. The new, traditionally bred varieties also produce high-quality fruit and wine.

Grapevine Red Blotch Disease Threatens U.S. Grape Industry

December 16, 2019
$3 Million Grant Awarded to Study Causes, Impact of Grapevine Virus

University of California, Davis, scientists will lead a collaborative effort to study grapevine red blotch disease, which threatens the $162 billion U.S. grape industry. The virus causes red veins and blotches on grape leaves. The fruit on diseased plants is smaller, ripens more slowly, and its sugars and colors are muted.

The Lowdown on Home Food Fermentation

December 16, 2019
6 Tips for Home Food Fermentation 6 Tips for Home Food Fermentation

In California, fermented foods and beverages are especially trending with young people, and food safety specialist Erin DiCaprio said information is in demand.

“I get calls every day from people asking things like, ‘There’s a white film on top of my sauerkraut. Is it still safe to eat?’” DiCaprio said.

A Digital Game to Improve How Index Insurance Promotes Resilience to Drought

December 04, 2019

The game is simple. On a brown digital grassland with a single tree, tiny goats mill back and forth. When you decide how many of those goats to buy or sell and how many to insure, clouds float across the screen and one of two things happens: the clouds stop and rain falls, roughly doubling the goats and producing milk for sale, or the clouds move steadily across the screen and half your herd is wiped out.

Keeping food safe from farm to table

November 25, 2019
Fun Fact

Do you know why it’s called iceberg lettuce? In 1926, Bruce Church—University of California graduate, farmer and founder of Fresh Express—developed a way to get his head lettuce from Salinas to the East Coast by loading the freshly-harvested crop in train cars and covering it with ice. As the lettuce-laden cars rolled into stations, folks would call out, “The icebergs are coming, the icebergs are coming.”

Nutrient Supplements Significantly Reduce Child Deaths

November 07, 2019
Study Finds 27 Percent Drop in Child Mortality in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

More than half of child deaths worldwide stem from preventable causes, such as adverse effects from malnutrition. A new study led by researchers at the University of California, Davis, finds that child mortality significantly drops when children receive nutritional supplements rich in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.

Lewis Brews a Place in the Smithsonian

November 05, 2019

The Smithsonian Institution, in building a showcase on the history of brewing, came calling on Professor Emeritus Michael J. Lewis.

Agricultural Innovations help Cambodian Farmers Thrive

October 03, 2019

This article originally appeared in The Washington Post.

With help from American researchers, they’re growing nutritious crops that boost their income.

They say a farmer’s work starts before dawn, but in Cambodia’s Battambang province farmers work together late into the night to prepare their vegetable harvest for the overnight bus ride to the capital city’s markets.

Why is One-Third of Our Food Wasted Worldwide?

October 02, 2019
How Stopping Food Waste Can Help Feed a Growing Population

Steam rises from the top of towering piles of compost at a landfill in western Placer County, California. The jaws of an excavator rake up and churn the heaps, unleashing a stench of decomposing food.  

Some of the food in these piles has only recently arrived from nearby restaurants, supermarkets and food processors. Sweet potatoes, oranges, butternut squash and red onions look as if they were edible when they were tossed into the garbage.