Barry Estabrook

A former contributing editor to Gourmet magazine, Barry Estabrook is the author of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit and blogs at politicsoftheplate.com.

Industrial Agriculture

The indignity of industrial tomatoes

Tasteless, indestructible, and picked by literal slaves, tomatoes have become a national shame, writes Barry Estabrook.

Industrial Agriculture

E-I-E-I-Oh no: Decades of antibiotics in farm animals lead to deadly superbugs

When cows kill. This article was syndicated with permission from OnEarth. Stuart Levy once kept a flock of chickens on a farm in the rolling countryside west of Boston. No ordinary farmer, Levy is a professor of molecular biology and microbiology and of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. This was decades ago, and his chickens were taking part in a never-before-conducted study. Half the birds received feed laced with a low dose of antibiotics, which U.S. farmers routinely administer to healthy livestock — not to cure illness, but merely to increase the animals’ rates of growth. The other half of Levy’s …

Natural Gas

Fracking with our food: how gas drilling affects farming

Photo: Gilt Taste This story originally appeared on Gilt Taste. There’s a stunning moment in the Academy Award-nominated documentary Gasland, where a man touches a match to his running faucet — to have it explode in a ball of fire. This is what hydraulic fracturing, a process of drilling for natural gas known as “fracking,” is doing to many drinking water supplies across the country. But the other side of fracking — what it might do to the food eaten by people living hundreds of miles from the nearest gas well — has received little attention. Unlike many in agriculture, …

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