Tom Laskawy

A 17-year veteran of both traditional and online media, Tom Laskawy is a founder and executive director of the Food & Environment Reporting Network and a contributing writer at Grist covering food and agricultural policy. Tom's long and winding road to food politics writing passed through New York, Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, Florence, Italy, and Philadelphia (which has a vibrant progressive food politics and sustainable agriculture scene, thank you very much). In addition to Grist, his writing has appeared online in The American Prospect, Slate, The New York Times, and The New Republic. He is on record as believing that wrecking the planet is a bad idea. Follow him on Twitter.

square peg, meet round hole

The ‘small problem’ with GMOs and Africa

Drought in Ethiopia.The Des Moines Register‘s Philip Brasher is in Africa reporting on the potential for GMO crops to help alleviate hunger in the developing world. The current focus is on drought-tolerant crops for obvious …

Our government: where reform goes to die

‘An overwhelming bias toward inaction’

Anyone who wants any kind of reform in this country need to grapple with Ezra Klein’s important and clearly argued insight into our current system of “government”: The U.S. Congress is hostile not only to …

E15 or Fight!

EPA punts on raising ethanol ‘blend wall’

I have been following the Great Ethanol Blend Wall fight for some time. In a nutshell, ethanol companies have been struggling mightily during the recession. In response, industry group Growth Energy petitioned the EPA to …

Shocking developments on the farm

Do diesel-based farmers dream of electric tractors?

Writer George Monbiot’s recent Peak Oil article entitled “If Nothing Else, Save Farming” included this comment: There are no obvious barriers to the mass production of electric tractors and combine harvesters: the weight of the …


More NYC farmers markets accept food stamps and sales soar

The NYT’s Cityroom blog offers some hopeful news on getting more healthy food into low-income neighborhoods: Food stamp purchases at the city’s Greenmarkets have more than doubled in the last year, due in large part …

just another bill to pay

Treat energy efficiency like a utility

With David Leonhardt’s piece on a new weatherization program/jobs bill nicknamed “Cash for Caulkers” generating buzz, as well as questions, it seemed a good time to resurrect a post I wrote about a year ago …

Infrastructurally unsound

Grist Exclusive: Will Whole Foods’ new mobile slaughterhouses squeeze small farmers?

Jennifer Hashley processes a chicken on her Massachusetts farm. Massachusetts poultry farmer Jennifer Hashley has a problem. From the moment she started raising pastured chickens outside Concord, Mass. in 2002, there was, as she put …

Tuna Blues

So long and thanks for all the fish

There was some hope recently that the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, the organization charged with managing the Atlantic tuna fishery, would listen to its own scientists and ban commercial Atlantic bluefin …

survey says!

Feed the world sustainably by 2050? Yes, we can!

Adding a bit more data to food system reformers’ arguments, a new study led by Germany’s prestigious Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research takes on the question of whether we can “feed the world” while …

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