September 03, 2010
The Why Files, The Science Benhind the News
Farming in the City
Urban farms are sprouting in the most unlikely places. Advocates say they help with nutrition, obesity and job training. They build community and help immigrants assimilate, cut energy usage, and cool the planet. But does the reality match the claims? Food is flowing, but what's new with farming in the city? Read more
September 02, 2010
Food fights: Locavores, conventional food fans battle over benefits
"In today's Tribune, we tackle the continuing debate over the wisdom of locavorism. While both sides duke it out, geophysicist Pamela Martin is trying to gather hard numbers to inform public policy with her Feeding the City project...." Read more
Urban Plots – Chicago
Linked by Michael Levenston, written By Carrie Golus, Photography by Dan Dry
"To her family in North Carolina, “a farm in a city doesn’t make any sense,” says third-year Emily Howe. “Even my friends here don’t understand. They think I work indoors or on a rooftop.” Read more and view photographs...
August 4, 2009
U. Chicago Research
Urban farm research investigates sustainable agricultural practices
"... The goal of the project, now in its pilot year, is to collect data on the direct and indirect energy inputs and outputs. Martin and her team will analyze this data to determine the energy efficiency and environmental impact of food production on urban and rural farms that practice sustainable methods..." Read more or watch the video...
June 4, 2009
Video clip about our study of the energy efficiency of small, scale local farms
View the video here...
June 2, 2009
"Professor farms out agriculture and climate research to U of C students"
"The hamburgers at the dining hall probably contribute more to global warming than the trucks that deliver them. While you may remember when the greenhouse gas debate turned to food production, you might not recall that one of the seminal studies of livestock farming methods—the one that calculated that eating 20 percent less meat is equivalent to switching from an SUV to a sedan—came out of the University of Chicago in 2006." Read more...
April 16, 2009
The University of Chicago Chronicle
"Geophysical Sciences course has students gathering hard numbers on transporting regional produce"
"Chicago and a growing list of other cities have adopted green initiatives designed to foster more investment in local and regional agriculture. City officials and citizens alike assume that by doing so they can help soften climate change by cutting greenhouse-gas emissions." Read more...
February 5, 2009
Earthsky Interviews: Pamela Martin on environmental impact of the American meat diet
"Pamela Martin is a geophysicist at the University of Chicago. She co-authored a 2009 study analyzing the environmental impact of an American diet based on meat versus a diet based on vegetables. Pamela Martin: Right now the current mean American diet has 28% meat, but there’s nothing to say that if we all cut back to 10% that we would suffer nutritionally. And yet the environment would benefit quite a bit from that."
"Healthy Planet, Healthy People [Program 134]"
" 'We found that the amount of meat in the diet can easily be equated [in global warming impact] to the type of car one drives, or how many miles one drives. Eliminating meat from the diet is the difference between driving a Prius, or driving the standard American Camry, for example. So, you know, you can buy a Prius and have the same savings you would have if you would just eliminate meat from your diet.' --Pamela Martin, climate scientist, University of Chicago."
September 15, 2008
University of Chicago Magazine
"Organic farming a long row to hoe"
"When organic farmer Larry O’Toole began explaining to a couple dozen students and Hyde Parkers in Bartlett Lounge just how hard it is to break away from conventional agriculture, I thought of a farmer I know back home in North Carolina, who converted his family land to organic crops after about 200 years of traditional agriculture. More than once he’s told me that it was about the hardest thing he’s ever done, but worth it."
January 27, 2008
The New York Times
"Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler"
"A SEA change in the consumption of a resource that Americans take for granted may be in store — something cheap, plentiful, widely enjoyed and a part of daily life. And it isn’t oil. It’s meat. The two commodities share a great deal: Like oil, meat is subsidized by the federal government. Like oil, meat is subject to accelerating demand as nations become wealthier, and this, in turn, sends prices higher. Finally — like oil — meat is something people are encouraged to consume less of, as the toll exacted by industrial production increases, and becomes increasingly visible. "