Food & Agriculture

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.

Raising a glass to grapes' surprising genetic diversity

September 11, 2019

Here's a discovery well worth toasting: A research team led by Professor Brandon Gaut with the University of California, Irvine and Professor Dario Cantu with the University of California, Davis has deciphered the genome of the Chardonnay grape. By doing so, they have uncovered something fascinating: grapes inherit different numbers of genes from their mothers and fathers. Their paper has just been published in Nature Plants.

Can Science Save Citrus?

August 27, 2019
Farmers, researchers try to hold off deadly disease long enough to find a cure

In an orange grove outside Exeter, California, workers climb aluminum ladders to pick fruit with expert speed. California produces 80 percent of the nation’s fresh oranges, tangerines and lemons, most of it in small Central California communities like these.

UC Davis Partners With DEA-Approved Company to Conduct Cannabis Research

August 13, 2019
Researchers Will Seek to Better Understand the Science of Cannabis

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have partnered with a federally compliant pharmaceutical company to analyze the chemical and biological profiles of cannabis for the benefit of law enforcement, health care providers and scientific professionals.  

Fertilizer Feast and Famine

August 05, 2019
Solving the Global Nitrogen Problem

Commercial organic and synthetic nitrogen fertilizer helps feed around half of the world’s population. While excessive fertilizer use poses environmental and public health risks, many developing nations lack access to it, leading to food insecurity, social unrest and economic hardship.

UC Davis and USAID Launch New Research Program to Study Rural Poverty Worldwide

July 31, 2019
Program Aims to Find Solutions to Root Causes of Poverty and Food Insecurity

The University of California, Davis, will lead a new global research program to build and test ways to overcome some of the biggest remaining challenges for lifting and keeping rural families out of poverty in developing countries. 

UC Davis Releases Five New Strawberry Varieties

July 08, 2019
Publicly available plants will help farmers manage diseases, production costs  

The Public Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis, has released five new varieties that will help farmers manage diseases, control costs and produce plenty of large, robust berries using less water, fertilizer and pesticides. Two of the new varieties could increase yields by almost 30 percent. 

Community through Sustainable Food

May 28, 2019

When friends and family dine at graduate student Lauren Howe’s home, they know they will enjoy something tasty, healthy and new. Howe may whip up carrot-top pesto, for example, or beet-greens sauté or some other dish from ingredients other people might throw away.

“I’m a huge proponent of ‘root-to-leaf’ cooking, where we look more creatively and sustainably at the foods right in front of us instead of tossing them,” said Howe, who is a master’s student in International Agriculture Development. “Root-to-leaf cooking nourishes us and helps reduce food waste.”