Tom Philpott

Tom Philpott was previously Grist's food writer. He now writes for Mother Jones.

  • And what you can do about it

    Ask small-scale, sustainable-minded farmers where they go for tips, and invariably they’ll mention ATTRA, an information clearinghouse funded by the USDA. Just this morning, I went to attra.org to get information on how to make organic potting-soil mix for starting …

  • The farm bill: round up the usual suspects

    Bush’s USDA plays footsie with ADM, Cargill, and even the API on farm policy.

    Federal investment in agriculture is a very wise, thoughtful investment. How we do it is the critical issue. At the end, I believe strongly it must be predictable, equitable, and beyond challenge. Thus spake USDA director Mike Johanns, commenting recently …

  • Bush, Iran, and the House of Saud

    Here we go again

    Bush’s babble about Iran has taken on a darker tone of late. Just a couple of days ago, the president claimed with certainty that an elite Iranian unit had been supplying Shiite militias in Iraq with deadly weaponry. He acknowledged …

  • Global warming: How it's playing in Cleveland

    No big deal, say Ohio meteoroligists

    Guess the IPCC report really was sort of a bust. Dave reports that a big swath of the pundocracy says global warming sucks, but there’s nothing we can do about it. Oh well. Over in Cleveland, a bunch of meteorologists …

  • How a cookbook renaissance heated up the sustainable-food movement

    In the postmodern United States, a cultural critic laments, “The pleasures of the table are rarely appreciated at face value.”      Speak truth to flour. A near-hysterical concern with health has replaced common sense, he continues, leading to all manner of …

  • Bush’s farm bill “reform” proposal falls woefully short

    Note: This is the third of a three-column series on the 2007 farm bill. The first two columns are here and here. The author promises not to return to the topic for at least a few weeks — but will …

  • Is anyone still taking this stuff seriously?

    President Bush’s recent pledge to raise the Renewable Fuel Standard to 35 billion gallons by 2017 dropped with a bit of a thud. David Roberts made a pretty good case that all the recent hype around ethanol may soon prove …

  • There’s nothing healthy about the American Dietary Association’s addiction to corporate cash.

    Hey, the American Dietetic Association is having a big convention in Philly next fall. The ADA, which represents 65,000 dietitians, claims to … … serve the public by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being. ADA members are the nation’s food …

  • Where farm subsidies came from, and why they’re still here

    Note: This is the second of a three-column series on the 2007 farm bill. The first article is available here; the third here. Last week, I argued that it makes sense for society to support farming. Everybody needs to eat, …