Tom Philpott

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

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 …

Colorado’s inmates-as-farmworkers plan says plenty about our food culture

Last summer, the Colorado General Assembly passed some of the nation’s most rigorous anti-immigrant policy laws. Debate was fierce — but only because some GOP lawmakers fumed that the Democratic-engineered crackdown wasn’t draconian enough. How …

My address to the Southern Appalachian Youth on Food conference

One crop to rule them all. Photo: USDA Tucked into the rolling hills of North Carolina’s Swannanoa Valley, Warren Wilson College is essentially surrounded by a farm. The school’s 800 students not only tend the …

Diet Coke + vitamins = healthy beverage!

Uh, no it doesn’t

News flash: Coca-Cola has responded to consumer demand and is now producing “healthy” beverages. “Diet and light brands are actually health and wellness brands,” Coke’s CEO E. Neville Isdell told The New York Times. He …

Reviving a much-cited, little-read sustainable-ag masterpiece

The real Arsenal of Democracy is a fertile soil, the fresh produce of which is the birthright of nations.– Sir Albert Howard, The Soil and Health Sir Albert Howard. Around 1900, a 27-year-old British scientist …

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