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.

Department of bad jokes

CAFOs: ‘Above the Law’ like Steven Seagal?

You looking at me, punk? Okay, okay. I’ve got a good one for you. Ready? Q: Why are CAFOs just like B-movie action “star” Steven Seagal? A: Because despite being Under Siege, Marked for Death …

headless horsemen of the bureaucracy

Is anyone in charge of food safety?

The fact that there remains no one in charge of food safety at the USDA has become a sick sort of joke among food policy types. It’s true that there is a second in command, …

lies, damn lies, and baseball caps

The American Farm Bureau goes all in

Check out the pitch on agribiz lobbying group American Farm Bureau’s (AFB) new anti-climate bill website: Activists claim there will be droughts, floods, loss of species, and more, if the Senate does not pass the …

notable quotable

Jill Richardson’s apt critique of the redesigned Senate Ag Committee website

The entire top half of the page is now dominated by a picture of the many healthy foods that our government’s ag policy does not promote: red and yellow bell peppers, purple cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, …

battle royal

Is Michelle Obama about to take on Big Food?

With all the talk of Michael Pollan and Jamie Oliver lately, it’s easy to ignore the person who right now is, given her current address, the most influential voice on food policy in the country. …

more government, please!

Can Jamie Oliver cooking lessons cure obesity?

Jamie OliverPhoto: Downing Street via Flickr What struck me most about the profile of celebrity chef and food activist Jamie Oliver in the NYT Magazine’s Food Issue was not his valiant attempts to re-educate Americans …

Pollan-ated

Big Ag’s odd obsession with You-Know-Who

I really really really didn’t want to write another post on Michael Pollan. Don’t get me wrong — I’m a big fan. It’s just that reducing the whole of the food movement to Pollan’s work …

Weed Whacking

The chemical treadmill breaks down and the superweeds did it

Tom Philpott has been tracking the rise of so-called “superweeds” — i.e. herbicide-resistant weeds — for a while now. He’s talked about the chemical treadmill — “the situation wherein weeds and other pests develop resistance …

USDA FAIL

Can the USDA really keep our food safe?

Having read and listened to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s attempts at ground beef-related damage control in the wake of the recent food safety revelations, I’m left to wonder if the USDA simply needs to get …

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