The Ration

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A News21 food and health reporting project by UC Berkeley School of Journalism

Thomas Gorman, reporter/producer

Picture of Thomas Gorman

Thomas Gorman is a freelance reporter and documentary producer. He has worked on several feature documentaries for WGBH's The American Experience and produced programming for KQED's The California Report. A graduate of UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, he received the 2011 Excellence in Business Reporting Award. Thomas was born in Brisbane, Australia but is currently based in Northern California.

Stories by Thomas Gorman

VIDEO: Lost in Sprawl

Threatened by suburban development, a fourth-generation farmer documents his family's doomed legacy with time-lapse video.

When artist Matt Moore returned to his family farm outside Phoenix, signs of approaching suburbia were everywhere. Using time-lapse video, Moore captures his crops’ hidden lives, inviting viewers to reflect on the shrinking space for independent farmers. Continue reading

VIDEO: The (Open-Source) Ecologist

A farm run by DIY technologists aims to revolutionize agriculture.

Marcin Jakubowski traded in a promising career in nuclear fusion for a farm in Missouri, with a plan to radically decentralize agriculture. Using a DIY ethos and open source plans, this 2011 TED fellow is trying to re-engineer 40 important farm tools, creating a kind of Lego set for farmers anywhere in the world to build their own farming equipment with readily available materials. Continue reading

A photo of patch-work farmland from Matthew Moore

Radishes in Suburbia

Documenting urban growth and the end of a family farm

Few cities epitomize suburban sprawl in the United States like Phoenix, Arizona. Over the last half century, the city has become the nation’s 6th largest metropolitan area, and with more than 4.1 million people, was one of the fastest growing until the housing collapse took some the wind from its sails.

Urban development nationwide has swallowed more than 23 million acres of agricultural land in the last quarter century. As a fourth-generation Arizona farmer, Matthew Moore is not the first to face the reality that one day soon, his family’s property will be completely engulfed by urban development. Continue reading

VIDEO: The Dark Future of Food Advertising

DORITOS 626 interactive ad campaign

The Doritos Asylum 626 ad campaign is a super interactive kind of experience where kids log in and connect their cameras and mics and Facebook accounts and experience a kind of personalized horror film. All in the name of selling Doritos chips. Continue reading