Peak Pig: The fight for the soul of rural America

We sent reporters to the heart of hog production—North Carolina and Iowa, the two highest producing states—to see firsthand how the booming industry is re-shaping the rural U.S.


In North Carolina, hog workers are Guinea pigs of antibiotic resistance and the state's industry titans consistently battle with neighbors in court. In Iowa, a bipartisan undercurrent of rebellion is pushing for local control and a re-imagining of 21st Century farm life. Meet the characters raising hogs on pasture, without metal cages or drugs. Learn how renewable energy ideas may put a dent in manure piles and methane loads.

Hog farming consolidation has forever reshaped farm communities. Peak Pig takes readers to the frontlines of controversy in the countryside and investigates what it means to be rural in an age of mega-farms.

Day 1

Cheap bacon and bigger barns turn Iowa inside out

Day 2: Part 1

Pork, political sway and provoked communities

Day 2: Part 2

"My number one concern is water"

Day 3: Part 1

Neutering nuisance laws in North Carolina

Day 3: Part 2

Swine workers on front lines in fight against antibiotic resistance

Day 4: Part 1

Using biogas to clear the air near hog farms

Day 4: Part 2

Hog waste-to-gas: Renewable energy or more hot air?

Day 5: Part 1

Bringing the farm back to hog farming

Day 5: Part 2

Treatment, taste and trends

Get our Good News newsletter

Get the best positive, solutions-oriented stories we've seen on the intersection of our health and environment, FREE every Tuesday in your inbox. Subscribe here today. Keep the change tomorrow.

300 companies chart path for CO2-free energy technology

More than a decade ago, a host of U.S. companies helped drive down wind and solar energy costs through voluntary energy purchases, a trend that’s reshaped the nation’s power sector. Now, a coalition of nearly 300 major corporations and institutions is urging those same companies to give similar treatment to much-needed next-generation clean energy technologies like long-term batteries, hydropower and geothermal energy.

Photo by Glade Optics on Unsplash

How climate change is shrinking the Colorado ski season

Colorado ski areas haven’t been able to open much terrain so far this year because of warm temps, poor snowmaking conditions

Photo by Katie Musial on Unsplash

Researchers are asking Oregonians to take photos to help document sea-level rise during king tide event

The Oregon Coast is set to experience higher-than-normal tides this weekend, and researchers are asking Oregonians to take photos to help document sea-level rise as climate change worsens.

Feeling anxious about climate change? Experts say you're not alone

Mathitha Ramachandran, a junior at Fox Chapel Area High School, is only 16 years old but she's already spent years worrying about climate change.

Keep reading... Show less

Invasive species are threatening Antarctica's fragile ecosystems

Keeping Antarctica pristine is becoming more challenging with growing threats from human activity and climate change.

They knew industrial pollution was ruining the neighborhood's air. If only regulators had listened

Raw throats, burning eyes, strong acid smells. Air monitoring that showed chemicals linked to leukemia. Barbara Weckesser and her neighbors told regulators that air pollution was making them sick. The law let them ignore her.
From our Newsroom

​​How to address the looming crisis of climate anxiety

As climate change worsens, the need will grow for mental health services. Some therapists are recommending climate action to ease worry. Others are advocating for community-based therapies to fill the gap.

Silent Earth: Averting the insect apocalypse

As insects become more scarce, our world will slowly grind to a halt, for it cannot function without them.

Worsening heat waves are hammering the disabled community

EHN talked to people with disabilities put in increased danger during last summer's Pacific Northwest heat waves. Activists say accessible cooling centers and air conditioning are key to combating this injustice.

Colonialism, the climate crisis, and the need to center Indigenous voices

As world leaders gather at COP26, the lack of acknowledgment for the historical root causes of the current climate crisis has hamstrung our ability to ensure equitable climate adaptation for marginalized communities.