Lunch bell

Why even the childless should care about school lunch

PB&J as metaphor: a subsidized lunch served in an Illinois school. Photo: Mrs. Q Regular readers will have noticed a certain emphasis on school lunch in the Grist food section lately. Veteran journalist Ed Bruske …

Make ends meat

Ask Umbra’s Book Club: Is eating animals eating you?

Dearest readers, Great thread yesterday on the varying viewpoints surrounding issues of independence, financial culpability, the 9-to-5 rat race, and being possessed by our possessions—all inspired by Dolly Freed’s Possum Living circa 1978. For today’s …

Earth Day on Every Block

Co-authored with Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr, Hip Hop Caucus On April 22, 1970, the world recognized the first Earth Day. That same year, Hip Hop was born in the streets of New York City. For …

Hello, Dolly

Ask Umbra’s Book Club: Does your job own you?

Dearest readers, How did you like our first book club selection, Dolly Freed’s Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and With (Almost) No Money? I thoroughly enjoyed it—aside from some mild retching …


A movement far larger than the Tea Party

As an antidote to news of the oil spill on the Great Barrier Reef, here’s Paul Hawken giving last May’s commencement address at Portland University. From the entrepreneur, author, and ideas guy: There is invisible …

Tom's Kitchen

Pasta con sarde: the gateway drug for sardine obsession

Sardines at a market in Portugal. We’re wasting this magnificent resource on low-quality, mercury-laden farmed salmon? Not in Tom’s Kitchen! In Tom’s Kitchen, Grist’s food editor discusses some of the quick-and-easy things he gets up …

Turn that clown upside down

Ask Umbra on Ronald McDonald’s retirement, card games, and a coffee stirring stir

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, After close to 50 years of hawking fatty food directly to kids, a groundswell of parents, health experts, and children’s advocates are calling on McDonald’s to retire …

Vive la différence

My family (yours, too) needs rich social spaces–not cars–to be happy

Lisa’s fantastic essay, “Say it loud: I’m childfree and I’m proud,” had 196 comments last time I checked. If you haven’t read it, you really should. I’ll wait here. … It got me thinking. Pardon …

eggcellent timing

Easter and plastic eggs

There’s always a place for some old-fashioned hating on plastics, especially if there’s a timely hook: “If the traditional Easter egg is a symbol of resurrection, or a more paganesque generalized celebration of fertility, than …

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