The Month in a Minute: November 2023

November’s top stories in agriculture, climate and food in 60 seconds.

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Analysis Month in a Minute

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This month, Italy banned the production of cultivated meat, along with using terms like “steak” on plant-based products. Meanwhile, Omeat finished construction on a new pilot production facility in California. Also in Europe, 80 million broiler chickens died before reaching slaughter weight, which welfare groups attribute to health problems in fast-growing breeds.

Earlier this month, animal rights activist Wayne Hsiung was found guilty of a felony charge for rescuing birds from a factory farm. In other news, AI predicts that by 2075 most of the world will be vegan, driven in large part by Gen Z and Millennials and scientists say implementing cigarette-style climate warnings on food could result in people opting for fewer meals containing meat.


Instead of actually reducing emissions, livestock producers are pushing to use a more industry-friendly way of calculating their pollution.

Singapore is seeking to cut imports and produce more food domestically. In addition to rooftop farms, cultivated meat is one way they’re doing it.

Reducing meat consumption by a third would have outsized climate benefits, according to a new report.

The meat industry is out in full force at Cop 28, pushing the message that meat is environmentally friendly.

Here are more stories that caught our attention this month:


You would think giving up meat, dairy and cheese would be easy given the benefits, so why can’t we just quit cows?

Meat and dairy producers are shifting how they calculate and record emissions in order to appear climate conscious.

Meanwhile, emissions from the biggest meat and dairy polluters are creeping upward.

Companies are building bigger insect farms, as the feed industry touts insects as a more sustainable alternative.

Built on the promise of good jobs and climate-friendly agriculture, the indoor farming startup AppHarvest raked in investor’s dollars. Just a few short years later they faced financial ruin. A new investigation from Grist uncovers their story.


An investigation by the Guardian uncovered how a letter by researchers in defense of meat was signed mostly by academics with livestock industry ties.

This year, the Amazon rainforest is facing one of the worst droughts on record.

Meanwhile, the UK continues to allow the import of products driving deforestation in the Amazon despite promises to halt.

President Biden will not be attending Cop28, the United Nations’ climate summit.

The climate crisis has driven food costs up by £600 for British households over the past two years.

Climate change is changing the way animals think and behave, says experts.


Bird flu has now been found in wild birds in the antarctic.

Not all processed foods are bad for you. In fact, some like bread and cereals are actually good because of the fiber they contain.

And: new research underlines the benefits of making small plant-based dietary switches for heart health.

The FDA moved to ban the use of the drug carbadox in pig farming, out of concern that people who eat pork products could consume “carcinogenic residues.”

Scientists are experimenting with gene-editing chickens to prevent the spread of avian flu, but experts warn caution is necessary given how highly adaptable the virus is.

Public health researchers are concerned that the FDA is “dragging its feet” when it comes to monitoring how farms use antibiotics.

Law & Justice

In Wisconsin, a new drone investigation uncovers the massive cesspools of waste polluting local families’ drinking water.

England is set to end live exports of livestock, as announced by King Charles in the King’s Speech.

A new federal rule seeks to level the playing field for chicken farmers locked into predatory contracts with producers like Tyson Foods.

The new stopgap bill signed by President Biden this month funds the farm bill through next September while other policies — including some nutrition programs for mothers and their young children — are still set to expire early next year. 

The USDA previewed a new final rule for raising Organic livestock.

South Korea pursues a ban on dog meat, and farmers threaten to release 2 million canines near the president’s office.

Future of Food

Meat consumption is going upward, but that’s not the whole story, as it leaves out the meat that gets fed to pets and ends up in trash cans.

Some states are stepping up to combat food waste. For example, New York is requiring some larger grocery stores to donate or recycle food that would otherwise end up in landfills.

Stella McCartney and Veuve Clicquot have also teamed up to combat food waste in the champagne industry by turning grapes into garments.

Indigenous knowledge could be the key to sustainably feeding the world.

Food innovation doesn’t have to mean insect farms and lab-grown meat. Some innovators are working on low-tech solutions to reduce agricultural emissions, such as more accurately determining when food has spoiled to reduce food waste.

And: Bill Gates thinks that GMO crops and more efficient livestock could be key to climate change management.

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