Articles from May 2011



You Want Superbugs with That?

 Feeding antibiotics to healthy livestock is leading to an emerging human health crisis—one scientists and government officials have seen coming for decades.   Stuart Levy once kept a flock of chickens on a farm in the rolling countryside west of Boston. No ordinary farmer, Levy is a professor of molecular biology and microbiology and of […]

Fracking Around with Our Food Supply

The controversial gas-drilling practice is tainting water. Your food might be next. There’s a stunning moment in the Academy Award-nominated documentary Gasland, where a man touches a match to his running faucet—to have it explode in a ball of fire. This is what hydraulic fracturing, a process of drilling for natural gas known as “fracking,” […]

Is Gulf of Mexico Seafood Safe to Eat?

More than a year after last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a nagging question lingers: Is it safe to eat seafood from the Gulf of Mexico? At the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s annual Cooking for Solutions Sustainable Seafood Institute last week, marine scientists, experts from environmental groups, and members of the fishingcommunity—who rarely agree on anything—answered […]

Book Review: For Cod and Country. Simple, Delicious, Sustainable Cooking

  Leave it to Seaver   With the notable exception of Rick Moonan’s Fish Without a Doubt, most of the seafood cookbooks around our house are as quaintly dated as the 1950s Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook passed down from my mother. In most cases, the recipes themselves are not terribly outmoded. But many of […]

Civil Eats on My Book,Tomatoland: “Vital Information that Every Conscientious Eater–and Parents of Eaters–Ought to Know.”

An Excerpt: Our enormous appetite for having pretty much any food available to us at anytime of year has led to a system where yes, you can have a tomato in February, but the cost is a lot more than the $1.25/lb you’re likely to pay at your local Walmart.  It comes at the cost […]

Publishers Weekly Weighs in on “Tomatoland.”

  In this eye-opening exposé, Vermont journalist Estabrook traces the sad, tasteless life of the mass-produced tomato, from its chemical-saturated beginnings in south Florida to far-flung supermarkets. Expanding on his 2010 James Beard Award–winning article in Gourmet magazine, Estabrook first looks at the tomato’s ancestors in Peru, grown naturally in coastal deserts and Andean foothills, […]

New Study Compares Prices at Farmers’ Markets and Supermarkets. The Results Might Surprise You.

It’s getting harder and harder to be an elitist these days. We’re all familiar with the accepted gospel: Only well-heeled food snobs can afford the exorbitant prices charged for those attractively displayed baby greens and heirloom tomatoes at farmers’ markets, while those who can’t afford such greener-than-thou food-purchasing decisions must paw through limp broccoli, wilted […]

Politics of the Plate Honored by James Beard Society

I’m flattered to announce that “Politics of the Plate” received an award recently from the James Beard Society in the category of “Individual Food Blog.” Some major thanks are in order. First, to Ruth Reichl who suggested that I blog for Gourmet.com. “Politics of the Plate” would have never come about without her encouragement and complete […]