Organic Food

Organic Food

Is my apple farmer shining me on? Ask Umbra on pesticides

A grower minimizes spraying fruit. Is that good enough? Umbra bites in.

Organic Food

Nestle wants you to be scared of organic food

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe trots out tired and debunked arguments against organics, then reveals his company's foray into neutraceuticals, or disease-fighting foods.

Organic chicken farms have fewer drug-resistant bacteria

When poultry farms switch from conventional to organic farming practices, they almost immediately start seeing way fewer drug-resistant bacteria.   

Organic Food

In defense of organic

A "mythbusting" Scientific American blogger took on organic agriculture recently, but she got much of the story wrong. Grist sets her straight.

Organic farming is not really better for you or the planet [UPDATE: Or is it?]

Science writer Christie Wilcox lays out the top myths about organic farming in Scientific American, and they might surprise you:

The ‘Dirty Dozen': Which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticides?

The Environmental Working Group has released an updated list of the Dirty Dozen, the fruits and vegetables with the worst pesticide levels. Drumroll please: Apples Celery Strawberries Peaches Spinach Nectarines (imported) Grapes (imported) Sweet bell peppers Potatoes Blueberries (domestic) Lettuce Kale/collard greens If you can, it's worth shelling out a little extra for the organic versions of these. You can offset it by pinching your pennies on the Clean Fifteen, the produce with the lowest pesticide levels: Onions Sweet Corn Pineapples Avocado Asparagus Sweet peas Mangoes Eggplant Cantaloupe (domestic) Kiwi Cabbage Watermelon Sweet potatoes Grapefruit Mushrooms

Sustainable Food

Great places, great food (and beer): part two

You can’t have a great place without great beer.In part one of my musings on food and “great places,” I painted a bleak picture of the U.S. food landscape: one in which a handful of companies churn out mountains of low-quality food, competing not to see who can put out the best product, but rather to see who can most deftly and deeply slash costs. The fixation on cost-cutting gives rise to all manner of dysfunctions, including the erasure of skilled food trades like that of the butcher and the rise of a vast, low-wage, low-skill army of food-system workers. …


Next stop, the food desert: Fresh produce gets on the bus

The payoff scene in this video about a new mobile produce stand on Chicago’s West Side comes about nine minutes in. A young boy is urged to eat an apple by the women staffing the Fresh Moves bus, which just launched with the mission of bringing fresh produce to an inner-city food desert. The boy acts as if he has never bitten into an apple before. Never even really touched one, maybe. The apple actually seems to make him nervous. But finally he does it, and the women cheer him on. If you had any question that we need creative …

Organic Food

Family (farm) affair: my connection to Eliot Coleman’s rise to prominence

Portrait of the farmer as a young man: Eliot Coleman with children, circa early 1970s.Reprinted with permission from Melissa Coleman. I’m not sure exactly what it means to play a cameo role in a family memoir exploring the roots of today’s food movement; but certainly it makes you keenly aware of how quickly the years are piling up. I’m referring to the tale of my brief, but apparently significant, role in helping launch organic farmer and author (and occasional Grist contributor) Eliot Coleman toward fame, chronicled in the new memoir by his daughter, Melissa, This Life Is in Your Hands, …

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