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.

Soda quota

Tax junk food, but also subidize veggies

Soda can … harm your health.The taxman cometh for soft drinks. Or so it appears these days. We already know they’re on the table as a possible funding source for Obama’s health care reform. And …

Local yokels

Big Food’s ‘local’ push: what’s it really about?

Photo: TheTruthAbout…, via FlickrThe Ethicurean probably had it right when it declared yesterday that “local” jumped the shark. The shark in this case (or is it the jumper? I’m never sure which is which) is …

Fox in the Henhouse

Close friend of Big Meat may be put in charge of food safety

USDA chief Tom Vilsack is once again on the verge of stepping in it regarding his pick for food safety czar, i.e. the head of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. Some may recall …

the view from the blend wall

Resistance grows to increasing the amount of ethanol in gasoline

The ethanol lobby may still be reeling in the subsidies, but it doesn’t seem to be having any luck dealing with their other obsession, the so-called “blend wall,” i.e. the legally prescribed limit to the …

Change we can devour

Vilsack’s USDA shakes things up

I know some are still reeling from the recent Obama administration announcement on biofuels and its implication that it remains a bit too much in thrall to the concerns of Big Ag. And Tom Vilsack’s …

Ethanol's Big Day

Barack gives biofuels the big thumbs up

[Update: While some may think this decision was a win for corn ethanol, House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson clearly does not. In fact, he is seriously ticked off about it. According to CongressDaily, Peterson …

Yes, it's the CAFOs

Now is not the time for timidity

I agree with the calls for some amount of caution in the search for a smoking gun in the swine flu pandemic. There’s always the danger of over-reaching and turning your target into an object …

Big Pork speaks

Smithfield is listening!

What’s that you say? Smithfield claims that they are awaiting the results of “additional” tests on the pigs at their Veracruz, Mexico, CAFO — the facility at the heart of speculation here on Grist and …

CDC chief confirms U.S. origin of flu strain

H/t to Fair Food Fight for this one. In a Q&A with ScienceInsider, the CDC’s chief virologist Ruben Donis confirms what Columbia researchers declared: the current H1N1 swine flu virus is “all swine” in origin, …

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