Bonnie Azab Powell

Bonnie Azab Powell was Grist's food editor until February 2011. A dot-com-bubble rider turned university refugee, Bonnie co-founded one of the first "food-politics" blogs, The Ethicurean, in May 2006 -- also coining that term to describe someone interested in sustainable, organic, local, and ethical (SOLE) food that also happens to be tasty.

Obsessed with our broken food system, she switched from writing freelance business and technology articles to SOLE food. Her work has appeared in a bunch of places printed on dead trees. She lives in the Bay Area, where she gardens half-assedly and cooks wholeheartedly while running two meat CSAs for small local farms. She loathes the word "foodie."

Yeah, that's a chip on my shoulder

Will Frito-Lay's new traveling greenhouse really sell more potato chips?

Frito-Lay, the $13 billion business unit of PepsiCo, is spending millions to try and persuade people it's a simple, farmer-friendly company, and I haven't the faintest clue why.

Get fried

Cooking outside my comfort zone, Part 1: A remembrance of squash blossoms past

In honor of National Farmers Market Week next week, I attempt to fry up some fiori di zucca.

Chewing the scenery

The time is ripe for 'Food Forward' TV show

America seems to have an insatiable appetite for food-themed TV shows, but very few explore where the food comes from. A new series hopes to change that, by showcasing the people trying to change how we eat in America.

Turnip the heat!

Cook outside your comfort zone in honor of National Farmers Market Week

I'm in a rut with my farmers market routine. I know what I like to buy, who I like to buy it from, and I head straight for those stands. So this year, I'm going to celebrate National Farmers Market Week by picking up whatever looks weirdest or most unfamiliar to me, and figuring out how to cook it.

Playing with your food

Fruit and veggies as you’ve never seen them before

The Inside Insides blog has posted animated MRI scans of fruits and vegetables such as corn, durian, bananas, mushrooms, and broccoli. The results are beautiful in an otherworldly way and strangely hypnotic — spiraling Fibonacci series of seeds and ghostly vacancies. Here’s a still from the corn animation — click through to see the whirling version:   (Via BoingBoing)

Helping 'Hands That Feed'

Help kickstart a documentary on Haiti’s agricultural rebirth

Since 1981 the United States has followed a policy until the last year or so … that we rich countries that produce a lot of food should sell it to poor countries and relieve them of the burden of producing their own food, so thank goodness they can leap directly into the industrial era. It has not worked … it was a mistake. —Bill Clinton, to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, March 10, 2010 Haiti was once a rich, powerful country that supplied a quarter of France’s wealth and was food self-sufficient until the early 1980s. How, over the last …

Pop-hilarity contest

Vintage soda ads: Can you spot the fake?

We ran across one of these old ads pushing pop for tots on Facebook and shook our heads disbelievingly, before learning it was a fake. But the sweetened beverage industry has stooped equally low in the past, all the way down to toddler eye level. Can you guess which one is a modern mock-up? The answer’s on the very last page!

Coop-eration

Chicken expert Gail Damerow answers readers’ questions

Grist’s recent Q&A with chicken expert Gail Damerow, the author of the best-selling Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens, elicited several questions from readers. Damerow took time out from her busy farm in Tennessee to answer them via email. Q. From Jean Kaiwi: I live in the country where everyone has roosters. The local chicken guru tells everyone that hens are much more happy/healthy with roosters around. True? A. A big advantage to having roosters is they serve as protectors of the flock. In a predator attack, the rooster is often the first one to get nabbed. However, hens can be …

Chewing the scenery

Stephen Colbert’s going on a hot, sweaty field trip

A few weeks ago, to inspire realistic discussion of immigration reform, the United Farm Workers launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign called Take Our Jobs — a website where American citizens can sign up for work in the field. Experienced farm workers were standing by to train legal residents and place them on farms in California, Florida, and elsewhere. Because all the posturing and gasbaggery about “illegals taking American jobs” avoids one simple, difficult fact: “Americans do not want to work in the fields. It’s very difficult work that requires a lot of expertise, and the conditions are horrid! I was in …

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