A bowl of creamy cheese grits. Food writer Erin Byers Murray hopes that exploring the story of grits will help spur more discussion about how food shapes our culture, as humble ingredients are elevated into expensive dishes even as we come to terms with long-lost, or ignored, origin stories that deserve recognition.
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Cherokee Nation Cultural Biologist Feather Smith-Trevino holds an unripe Georgia Candy Roaster Squash at an educational garden in Tahlequah, Okla., where traditional native plants are grown.
Courtesy of the Cherokee Nation Seed Bank
Endophytes are microbes that live inside plants — the ones tagged with a fluorescent dye in this image are found in poplars. The microbes gather nitrogen from the air, turning it into a form plants can use, a process called nitrogen fixation. Researchers are looking at how these microbes could be used to help crops like rice and corn make their own fertilizer.
Most people in the world have never experienced the taste of the kind of tortillas Hilda Pastor makes using heirloom corn. That's because of the rise of mass-produced instant corn flour.
Driscoll's, the largest berry producer in the world, now grows about the same quantity of raspberries and strawberries in Mexico as it does in California. Many American producers have recently expanded their production to Mexico.
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville, Ill. A thriving American Indian city that rose to prominence after A.D. 900 owing to successful maize farming, it may have collapsed because of changing climate.
Sunlight streams into a corn storage building at a Michlig Grain storage facility in Sheffield, Illinois, U.S., on Oct. 31, 2014. The price of corn has been falling for months.
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A corn purchaser writes on his account in northwest China in 2012. In November 2013, officials began rejecting imports of U.S. corn when they detected traces of a new gene not yet approved in China.
Wheat fields like this one could yield wheat with less zinc and iron in the future if they are exposed to higher levels of CO2, according to the journal Nature.
Rowbot is designed to fit in between the rows of crops. Moving up and down each row, a fleet of 20 bots could fertilize and monitor the corn crops during the growing season.
Courtesy of Kent Cavender-Bares