Sizing up our nitrogen footprint

Nitrogen presents a paradox–we need it to live, and yet too much of it creates problem. Nitrogen pollution, mainly from agriculture, fouls waterways and degrades air quality. That’s why researchers have created a tool to help consumers understand the impact of their dietary choices on their nitrogen footprint. Learn more in my story for NPR’s The Salt.

All plants need nitrogen to grow, but much of it leaks out into the environment, where it causes problems.