Food

Organic farmers better at pest control, study says

Such large-scale pesticide application may actually reduce yields, a new study finds.Dovetailing nicely with Grist contributor and would-be farmer Steph Larsen’s account of her battle with the hated corn borer, a new study from Washington State University suggests organic growing …

Battling the bugs — and the temptation to use chemical WMDs

Going off to war against the weed-lurking worms. (Steph Larsen) I’m at war with the common stalk borer. As much as I believe in sustainability and chemical-free agriculture in theory, I’ve never been more tempted to use insecticides as I …

Food police have cameo at Kagan confirmation hearing

Update below. Food made an appearance today at Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) wanted to explore the reach of the Constitution’s “commerce clause,” which allows Congress to regulate interstate business. (Conservatives like to argue …

Chicken expert Gail Damerow answers newbie questions

Cluck, cluck, cluck. Bwaak! These are not sounds I expect to hear on a stroll in my North Oakland, Calif. neighborhood — the usual soundtrack is more like thumping bass, sirens, and the rattle of fast-food paper bags. And yet …

If JBS gobbles up Smithfield, three companies will own U.S. meat market

(Grist illo; Carlossg/Flickr) A typical supermarket’s meat counter displays a landscape of easy bounty: shrink-wrapped chops, cutlets, steaks, roasts, loins, burger meat, and more, almost all of it priced to move. But the dizzying variety cloaks a disturbing uniformity. As …

FDA takes steps to limit use of antibiotics in livestock

Updated June 30 The FDA took a significant step yesterday toward restricting the routine feeding of subtherapeutic (medically unnecessary) doses of antibiotics to livestock. As Grist has detailed in previous coverage, this practice — which by some estimates consumes nearly …

Why eaters alone can’t transform the food system

Farmer Morse Pitts’ stall at the Greenmarket.(Windfall Farm blog)In the cover piece of the newest American Prospect, Heather Rogers skillfully makes a point I’ve been flogging for years: that public policy, not consumer choice, is the villain propping up the …

Saving a community garden in D.C.

I never thought I’d be involved in a fight to save a city park, but here I am. The Marines are progressing with plans to move and expand their facility in Washington, D.C. They are looking at one option of …

Live chat with Tom Philpott and Jonathan Hiskes

Editor’s note: The chat’s now over, but you can replay it in full. Yo Grist faithful, Food Editor Tom Philpott and Staff Writer Jonathan Hiskes are joining forces for a live chat about where the Gulf oil spill is creeping …