Mother Jones! So zeitgeisty now, what with the two ASME nods. Way 2 go! The most recent issue is all about food, which means it's actually mostly about environmentalism. Let's see here, Mother Jones takes a few things—farms, college cafeterias, Obama's cabinet—and asks how these things can be "improved", which in politically informed foodie-speak means roughly "more ecologically and economically sound" as opposed to "tastier." Here are some brief sketches of a few of these recipes (!!) for improvement. 

"Michael Pollan Fixes Dinner": Celebrity environmental activist foodie Michael Pollan sits down for an interview, about food and sustainable development and vegetarianism. Pollan is quite concerned about this Tom Vilsack person, Obama's new Secretary of Agriculture who used to be the Governor of Iowa and apparently spent his formative years feeding garbage to all of America's plants and animals only for the cheap thrill of watching farmers weep. Iowa is problematic for reasons other than the fact that it produces terrible garbage-slingers like Tom Vilsack; the Iowa Caucuses force politicians to back down on criticizing ethanol, when mostly they're critical of it. Even whatshisface, Barack Obama, who pretended to love ethanol while he was the junior Senator from Illinois will probably admit to hating it, now that the can. [Michael Pollan Fixes Dinner]

"Spoiled: Organic and Local Is So 2008": Paul Roberts likes writing about endings. This is, after all, the guy who wrote both The End of Oil and The End of Food. Well, this enormous piece in Mother Jones is about the end of a specific notion of sustainable food. The industrial system of farming, like everything that contains the word "industrial", is failing, is bad for the environment, etc. But The Way We Think About Alternative Farming Now is also failing, bad, etc. because as it is, the system isn't in a position to replace the old one. For one, it's more time-consuming and expensive to produce "organic food," and even the organic food that's being produced isn't really all that sustainable. Also, sustainability kind of depends on working with impoverished nations and something about not stealing all Mexico's raspberries every night. [Spoiled: Organic and Local Is So 2008]

"Tray Chic": Remember how everything you thought you knew about the benefits of organic food is just lies? Because, as Paul Roberts just told you, it's not all that organic and beneficial at all. Well, ok, unlearn all that. This new article is about something called the Real Food Challenge, in which a bunch of colleges are determined to serve mostly sustainable-sourced food by the time 2020 rolls around and Tripp Palin-Levy is social chair of Pi Kappa Alpha at Univeristy of Alaska—Fairbanks. Some schools are eschewing trays (in favor of sweatshirt pockets?), and others only buying locally sourced foods. Organic and local is so 2008 and so 2020! It is reusable in that way, I guess! [Tray Chic]


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