People & Place

Deforestation-linked palm oil still finding its way into top consumer brands: report

Deforestation-linked palm oil still finding its way into top consumer brands: report

Pledges by major brands to stop buying palm oil from companies known to destroy rainforests have failed to stop the clearance of a total area of forest the size of Los Angeles in just the last three years.

That’s the finding from a new report by Greenpeace, which sought to gauge the progress made by leading consumer brands and palm oil firms in making good on their promises to break the link between the palm oil they buy and the destruction of rainforests and other ills.

Ravenous for meat, China faces a climate quandary

Ravenous for meat, China faces a climate quandary

At the center of the table in a modest, high-rise apartment in the teeming city of Shenzhen, China, a simmering pot of soup stock was surrounded by large platters featuring mushrooms, different kinds of thinly shaved meat, lettuce, potato, cauliflower, eggs, and shrimp. Folding his hands together, Jian Zhang, a onetime rural farmer who now works as an employee for a small consulting firm in the city, asked his fellow diners to give thanks for the meal — the likes of which he could have only dreamed of when growing up in a remote village in the Jiangxi province.

For Bordeaux’s winemakers, rising temperatures bring a reckoning

For Bordeaux’s winemakers, rising temperatures bring a reckoning

“Everyone was afraid,” recalled Alain David-Beaulieu, the 53-year-old owner and winemaker of Château Coutet in Bordeaux’s Saint Emilion region in southern France. He squinted as he looked over the 30 acres of vineyards his family has farmed for 400 years. Two years ago, a hot summer weighed heavily on his grapes — mostly merlot — and the 2016 vintage had barely squeaked by.

“The grapes weren’t maturing well,” he said. “They were unbalanced.”

Years of eavesdropping on insect sex talk is starting to pay off for grape growers

Years of eavesdropping on insect sex talk is starting to pay off for grape growers

Entomologists have taken the act of bugging conversations to a whole new level — recording sexual vibrations emitted by tiny insects living on grapevines in vineyards. What may seem like a callous act of insect espionage is actually an innovative technique in pest management, decades in the making, chemical free and not lethal to anything.

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