Tom Philpott

The Fake Meat Market Is Surging

Whether you’re a strict vegetarian or a contented carnivore, meat poses a vexing efficiency problem. Crowded into feedlots, the modern cow burns through an estimated 25 pounds of corn and soybeans for every pound of edible meat it generates. Pork, chicken, and egg production each requires an average of five pounds of feed per pound of product yielded, which is somewhat more efficient, but they, too, raise a provocative question: Why not just eat the protein-rich grain and beans that go into all that feed rather than running them through the body of an animal first?

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People on Food Stamps Make Healthier Grocery Decisions Than Most of Us

The following article first appeared in Mother Jones Magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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Craft Beer Uses 4 Times As Much Barley As Corporate Brew

For decades, US beer lovers have denounced corporate-made brew as watered-down swill. Just how diluted is the product peddled by the two enormous dinosaurs that dodder over the US beer market, InBev (maker of Bud) and MillerCoors? In a delicious new report, the US Department of Agriculture has numbers.

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The Looming Olive Oil Apocalypse

The world's most celebrated olive oil comes from sun-drenched groves of Italy. But Italy is also a hotbed of olive oil subterfuge, counterfeit, and adulteration—and has been since Roman times, as Tom Muellar showed in an eye-opening 2007 New Yorker piece (which grew into a book called Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.)  Next year, getting real olive oil from Italy is going to be even harder than usual. Here's the LA Times' Russ Parsons:

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Has the Gluten Health Mystery Been Solved?

This article originally appeared on Mother Jones and is reprinted here with permission.

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How the Fast Food Industry Destroyed "Home Ec" to Hook Americans on Processed Crap

The following piece first appeared on Mother Jones. For more great content from Mother Jones Magazine, click here to subscribe. 

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7 Dangerous Food Practices Banned in Europe But Just Fine in America

The following article first appeared on Mother Jones. For more great content, click here to subscribe to Mother Jones magazine. 

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