King Corn speaks

An ‘agri-intellectual’ talks back

Photo illustration by Tom Twigg / Grist A lot of folks have asked what I think of the essay “The Omnivore’s Delusion: Against the Agri-intellectuals,” by Missouri corn/soy farmer Blake Hurst, published in The American, …

Down and dirty

A debate about soil, organics, and nutrition

Inert medium for turning agrichemichals into food, or a teeming, diverse ecosystem? “The whole problem of health–in soil, plant, animal, and man–is one great subject.” — Albert Howard, The Soil and Health Ezra Klein and …

Urban Ag Revolution

Will Allen talks about growing the ‘Good Food’ movement

This weekend I caught up with Will Allen who was keynoting the always excellent Northeast Organic Farming Association’s Annual Conference in Amherst, MA. He’s founder and CEO of Growing Power, the country’s premier grassroots urban …

Meat wagon

Cargill, the National School Lunch Program, and antibiotic-resistant salmonella

 In Meat Wagon, we round up the latest outrages from the meat and livestock industries. ———- Is antibiotic-resistant-salmonella-tainted beef what’s for dinner? Standard j-school-style journalism takes a lot of lumps these days–and justifiably so. To …

Silk Ilk

Ask Umbra on corn plastic

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I’ve been noticing lately a lot of “green” businesses and restaurants in my area using compostable plastics, usually made of corn, if I recall correctly. I can’t …

Nitrogen bomb

The obvious advantage of organic food over conventional

A bit of nitrogen with those veggies? A recent literature review [PDF] by the U.K. Food Standards Agency concluded that organic foods offer no nutritional advantages to ones grown with conventional chemical agriculture. The report …

Prison Farms and the Future

Canada set to close important asset: its prison farms

In February 2009, Canada’s Public Safety Minister and the country’s Correctional Service announced a planned closure of all six of the prison farms owned by the people of Canada and operated by CORCAN – the …

Cooking the history books

More thoughts on cooking, Pollan, and Julia Child

Tool of oppression–or liberation? In his recent essay on cooking, which I commented on here, Michael Pollan basically argues that people need to cook–that they give up more than they gain from fleeing the kitchen. …

Notable quotable

The thread on which civilization hangs

“Number one is that it [industrial agriculture] destroys soil. Absolutely and completely. The soil is the only thread upon which civilization can exist, and it’s such a narrow strip around the globe if a person …

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