Tom Philpott

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

Corn talk on Berkeley radio

Philpott talks ethanol

My face may be made for radio, but I don’t especially like the way my voice sounds. Even so, I accepted an invitation to talk ethanol on today’s Sunday Salon show on Berkeley’s KPFA radio …

Say it ain't so, Mario

A great chef pimps his name for industrial food

Mario Batali is a great chef and restaurateur. I’ve never had the chance to eat at his celebrated restaurants Babbo and Del Posto, but I have eaten several times at Otto, his relatively modest pizza …

Hot planet, poison fish

This one will hit harder in the global south

Climate change is affecting the oceans in any number of unpredictable ways. For example, under pressure from rising ocean temperatures (and toxic waste), coral reefs — those glorious engines of biodiversity — are degrading. I …

BBC on 'feeding the world'

The perils of cooking with greenhouse gas.

The BBC has issued a pretty clear-eyed report on food production and climate change, the podcast of which you can download here. The report makes no brief for sustainable ag, but it does cogently question …

Now’s the time to discover the myriad pleasures of growing food

“A natural diet lies right at one’s feet.” — Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution It’s springtime here on my mountain farm, and that means an explosion of activity. We’re starting seeds in one greenhouse, and …

Corn-based ethanol: the biggest greenwash ever?

Unintended or not, the consequences were predictable

It’s hard to imagine what politicians and corporate chiefs are intending to do by crafting a corn-based ethanol boom, beyond rigging public policy (and raiding the public purse) to generate huge private profits. But whatever …

In India, bullets fly as farms succumb to chemical factories

A ‘Maoist insurgency’ in a global information-technology hub?

Did you know that India, hub of the global information economy and destination of untold numbers of outsourced U.S. jobs, is in the grips of a Maoist insurgency? A recent Reuters article referred (a bit …

If organic food is so popular, why are so few farms transitioning their land?

On a recent trip to Austin, I visited the flagship Whole Foods — a vast space where people gather en masse to render financial sacrifice to that new god, organic food. From the depths of …

'Drop-dead gorgeous guts'

Metamucil’s bold new marketing, uh, move

Most people know intuitively that when they eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, they feel better and probably even look better. It’s a virtuous circle, and you can try it at home. Eat fresh …

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