Tom Philpott

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

Food

What the choco-giants are up to.

A couple of weeks ago, we noted here that Big Food is haranguing the FDA to loosen the definition of “chocolate” to allow for adulteration. At the time, I didn’t know why the industrial chocolate giants were agitating for this …

Food

A guest blog from farmer’s rights legend Hope Shand

In the global fight to preserve what’s left of agricultural biodiversity from the ravages of the multinational chemical/seed giants and their government lackeys, no civil-society organization stands taller than the ETC Group. Among other projects, ETC documents the growing dominance …

Business & Technology

How to stop the agribiz giants from impeding the growth of local food.

In today’s Victual Reality I discussed how a few companies dominate U.S. food production, and how their market girth weighs heavily on efforts to rebuild local-oriented, environmentally and socially responsible food networks. Now I’d like to add a few words …

Food

How food processing got into the hands of a few giant companies

Two years ago, dairy giant Dean Foods shuttered a milk-processing facility in Wilkesboro, a town at the eastern edge of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains. Photo: iStockphoto Dean processes 35 percent of the fluid milk in the U.S. and Canada — …

Business & Technology

ADM gets its filthy paws on an immaculate confection

Earlier today, Trina Stout brought to our attention a food crime in progress: the FDA is quietly preparing to let manufacturers adulterate chocolate by replacing cocoa butter with cheap vegetable oil. This will allow them to cut costs on candy …

Climate & Energy

And cellulosic might too — plus it’s still a decade off

Yes, this is another bitter polemic against ethanol, but I want to make one point up front, because I sometimes forget to: The only concrete alternative energy/climate policy that our political class can agree on — a plan that unites …

Food

Following U.S. consumerism through the fields of China and Brazil

In what surely counts as one of the greatest feats in the history of global trade, the United States has essentially outsourced its manufacturing base to China in little more than a decade. It all starts with shuttered factories. Photo: …

Business & Technology

And another way forward.

On April Fool’s Day, Grist ran a fake bit on how Wal-Mart had “pulled the plug” on much-ballyhooed green initiatives, including its plan to to become the nation’s number-one organic grocer. “In the end, our customers value low prices more …

Climate & Energy

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 station. I’m glad I did. …