Food

Buying the farm

Fighting for the right to grow food in L.A.

South Central Farm activist Kati Lopez with armload of fresh corn leaves.Black Valley FilmsJust how much trouble can one community garden start? For starters, three years of court proceedings, two eviction notices, one assault charge, …

Political engineering

Monsanto dropped a cool $2 million on lobbying in Q1 2009

Jolly gene giantSource: ETC Group Monsanto dominates the global market for GMO seeds like Microsoft dominates the operating-system software market.  You don’t skirt around antitrust enforcement like that without having good friends in Washinton. And …

Lunch drunk

Why the USDA’s squashing of Philly’s universal school lunch plan bites

The outcry over the USDA’s announced end to Philly’s excellent Universal Feeding program–a program that automatically enrolls poor children in the federal free school meal program and which I wrote about the other day–is getting …

Slicing and dicing reality

From “local” Lays to Oprah’s KFC promo, hypocrisy abounds in the food world

War is peace, junk food is real food….Nobody likes hypocrites, despite the fact that everyone is a hypocrite to one degree or another: the smoker who tells her kids not to smoke; the closeted politician …

Who's king now?

King Corn, meet Big Oil

Drilling for oil in a corn field: will Big Oil squeeze out King Corn?Back in March, Tom Philpott flagged some moves from Shell Oil and Valero Energy (the largest U.S. oil refiner) that indicated Big …

The Victorian moralist

Nicholas Kristof on African hunger

Nicholas KristofNicholas Kristof, the much-celebrated columnist for The New York Times, is essentially a Victorian-style moralist. In a typical column, he alights on some harsh scene–a slum in an Indian megopolis, a dirt-poor village in …

Leverage on a bun

What the financial collapse can teach us about the food system

In a recent New Yorker, Nick Paumgarten published a lucid, entertaining essay on the financial collapse. Titled “The Death of Kings,” it focuses on the hedge-fund managers, stock gurus, and private-equity wizards who reaped billions …

A mighty wind

Of cow burps, beef, and methane

My climate for a cow fart? Dear Checkout Line, I read recently that meat is a huge emitter of greenhouse gas–more than even cars! It got me to wondering–does that mean all meat, or just …

Can the Internet help small farms act big?

Wired Science has a good piece on the potential for tech startups to play a “disruptive” role in commercial food distribution. The post looks at several web services that are trying to replicate the restaurant …

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