Tom Philpott, noted food and agriculture writer and farmer, is joining Mother Jones to launch a new blog on the politics of food.
"We're thrilled that Tom is joining us," said Mother Jones co-editor Monika Bauerlein. "He is a leader, expert, terrific writer, raconteur and innovator."
"We've long wanted to have a dedicated writer on this beat," added co-editor Clara Jeffery, "and now we have one of the absolute best."
"Mother Jones is an exciting place to be, especially right now," said Philpott. "Progressive publications have traditionally seen food as frivolous. MoJo gets that it's an incredibly rich topic, presenting stories on everything from environmental devastation to social justice to community organizing. It’s also about reclaiming the pleasure of eating from corporate 'flavor engineers.' I look forward to launching this new beat at a top-notch investigative publication."
For five years, Philpott has served the online environmental site Grist as its columnist, food editor, and senior food writer. He's a cofounder of Maverick Farms, a center for sustainable food education in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. Before moving to the farm in 2004, Philpott worked as a financial journalist in Mexico City and New York, most recently writing daily dispatches on the stock market as equity research editor for Reuters.com. His work on food politics has appeared in Newsweek, Gastronomica, and the Guardian. Maverick Farms has been featured in Gourmet and the New York Times, and in September 2008, Food & Wine named Philpott one of "ten innovators" who "will continue to shape the culinary consciousness of our country for the next 30 years." In 2011, he was a finalist for a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award—the "Oscars of the food world," as Time put it—in the "Food-Related Columns and Commentary" category. The awards committee singled out three of Tom's must-read posts from the past year:
• "Time for the public to reinvest in food-system infrastructure"
• "How the agrichemical industry turns failure into market opportunity"
• "The history of urban agriculture should inspire its future"
He will begin writing for Mother Jones on June 8.
Co-edited by Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery since 2006, Mother Jones earned more than 26 awards for investigative reporting, photojournalism, and illustration in 2010. These included the 2010 National Magazine Award for General Excellence (the "Oscars" of the magazine trade) and the Online News Association's (ONA) 2010 Online Topical Reporting award for team coverage of the BP oil spill. Mother Jones was the only magazine with a print edition to take home an ONA award. Mother Jones is published by the nonprofit Foundation for National Progress.