I have been finding my food news in some interesting places. When I only have a minute or two and need the most information possible, I check out the Ethicurean’s Daily Digest for the latest on food policy, industrial agriculture, and activist projects going on around the world.

But when I have a little more time, one of the first places I look is Grist. Grist is an online magazine published by Grist Magazine, Inc. — a non-profit organization with a mission of educating and energizing “the next generation of environmentalists with hard news delivered with a light touch”.

I first noticed Grist’s commitment to reporting food-related stories when they began publishing articles by Tom Philpott in 2005. Philpott co-founded Maverick Farms, an educational farm in North Carolina. He’s a fantastic writer who brings thought-provoking topics to the table. He writes with a farmer’s perspective, and often rounds out food politics debates with a point-of-view not being written about by others. This week, for instance, Philpott published “The hand that feeds: don’t blame farms for the farm-subsidy mess,” an article challenging those of us who assume that an elimination of farm subsidies would go a long way in ending the inequities created by industrial agriculture. Check out the comments thread for this article as well — they are very interesting.

Grist’s general food coverage is often interesting and new. Samuel Fromartz, the author of Organic, Inc. and the writer at the Chews Wise blog, writes for Grist. He recently wrote a post for Grist’s blog about the ousting of a large organic dairy from organic certification.

One of my favorite sections of Grist is the Ask Umbra column in which Umbra Fisk tries to answer questions that we can’t find answers to. In the past few months, I have learned whether aluminum bottles are safer than Nalgene-type bottles, and if it’s more energy efficient to boil water for tea on the stove, in a microwave, or in an electric kettle. Not all Ask Umbra columns are food-related. In a column on Monday, Umbra hilariously tackled whether it’s more environmental to pee in the ocean or behind a sand dune.

If you’re an RSS-fiend like me, you can sign up for food specific posts to Grist, or for email updates to different sections of the site. It’s an interesting place to get food politics news and read opinions from some of the key leaders in the policy field.

Do you Grist? 26 June,2007Jennifer Maiser

  • Amy Sherman

    Coincidentally Maverick Farms was just profiled in Gourmet magazine this month.

  • Jennifer Maiser

    A – I opened Gourmet for the first time at lunch today and noticed the same thing. It’s a great article.


Jennifer Maiser

“My passion for food began young.”

I am the editor of the influential website www.EatLocalChallenge.com which encourages readers to support local farmers and producers.

I began my personal website, Life Begins at 30, in 2003.

I have been published in Edible San Francisco and Fine Cooking, write regularly for Bay Area Bites, Serious Eats, and have been quoted in many nationwide publications. Photography is a passion, and I have had photos printed in National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure.

I contributed to a Williams-Sonoma cookbook: Cooking from the Farmers’ Market, which was released in February 2010.

I live in San Francisco, California and can often be found at local farmers markets seeking out the best of what’s in season and chatting with farmers.

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