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(article, Culinate staff)
The stunningly cold weather in the Midwest and the Northeast has gotten plenty of press this winter. But the longer-term news story is the severe drought affecting the western half of the country. It's especially brutal in California — which, given that state's diverse and intensive farming economy, is bad news not just for eaters in the U.S. but worldwide. Since California farmers rely on irrigation, farmers are currently postponing or canceling their early-spring crops. And ranchers are selling off their cattle, since the state's grasslands have already gone brown.