Tom Laskawy on Muck Rack

Tom Laskawy

Philadelphia, PA
As seen in: Grist

Publisher/Executive Director of the Food & Environment Reporting Network @FERNnews. Tweets are my own.

Tom Laskawy is a founder and executive director of the Food & Environment Reporting Network and a contributing writer at Grist covering food and agricultural policy. His writing has also appeared in The American Prospect, Slate, The New York Times, and The New Republic.

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A dollar badly spent: New facts on processed food in school lunches — Photo: USDA I want to draw attention to an eye-opening investigative report on school lunch that has gotten a bit lost in the holiday shuffle. In a collaboration between The New York Times and the Investigative Fund, reporter Lucy Komisar delved into the billion-dollar business of the national school lunch program and found some unsettling news.

Eyes on the “Food” Prize — Get excited! It's once again time to give out the World Food Prize! Now, given its name, you'd think the World Food Prize would involve actual food. Such as "best tasting food in the world" or "most popular food in the world" or something along those lines.

The next generation of GMOs could be especially dangerous — Did a recent scientific study just change the way we should think about the safety of genetically modified foods? According to Ari Levaux at the Atlantic , the answer is a resounding yes.

Don’t have a cow: Lab-grown meat inches closer to your plate — Eh. Meat, shmeat. No, really. Shmeat. It's the, um, hip term for lab-grown meat (as Kate Sheppard explained in Mother Jones, shmeat = a sheet of meat). Not exactly what you'd expect the marketing whizzes to come up with, but lack of a catchy name is hardly the biggest problem facing the developers of lab-grown meat.

Real food: Not just for fancy people — In a recent cover story in the Atlantic, David Freedman scolds writers Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman for their misguided, faddish, foodie ways. Grist food writer Nathaniel Johnson has already pointed out some of the weaknesses in Freedman's argument that better junk food is the key to solving the obesity epidemic, but I wanted to spend some time focusing on this notion, forwarded by Freedman and others, that real food is just the latest yuppie health fad.

Turf war: In the battle for our crops, superweeds are winning — Shutterstock Biotech crops, which represent almost all the corn, soy, and cotton grown in the U.S., have finally met their match. And it's not (only) the millions of consumers demanding labels on food that contains genetically modified crops, or GMOs.

Republicans are happy to help corporate ag, but feed the hungry? Not so much — Shutterstock Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are currently trying to divide two elements of national policy that have long been viewed as two sides to the same coin: supporting farmers and feeding the hungry. Because, you know, farming has nothing to do with food.

Junk food science: What kids see on TV can hurt them — Shutterstock As New York City likes to remind us, kids can drink themselves fat on sugary drinks. But another popular drink option for kids, high-caffeine "energy drinks" such as Monster or Red Bull, has an even darker side: the possibility that you can drink yourself dead.

Look who’s squealing now: GMO lovers freak over new study of sick pigs — Shutterstock Okay, everyone have a seat and take a few deep breaths. Go to your calming place. Ready? Good. Because I'm about to talk about a new study that suggests that eating genetically modified crops might not be the best thing for us. Okay, another deep breath. I know what you're thinking.

Sugar low: Big Soda is losing the battle for American hearts and bellies — Shutterstock Don't tell the Coca-Cola Corporation, but according to a major new study, kids today are drinking less soda. And that's not all. They're drinking less sugary drinks overall - a category that includes sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade, flavored waters like Vitaminwater, and fruit drinks. Huzzah!
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