Tamar Haspel, who writes the Unearthed column. (Gretchen Ertl/For The Washington Post)

Washington Post food columnist Tamar Haspel has won a prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for her monthly Unearthed column, which tries to cut through divisive food-policy debates and illuminate the facts and the middle ground. The award was announced at the foundation’s annual Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards program in New York City on Friday night.

Haspel, who farms oysters and writes about food and science from Cape Cod, won in the category of Food-Related Column, beating nominees David Chang for David Chang’s Kitchen in GQ magazine and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt for The Food Lab in Serious Eats. This is her first Beard award and second nomination for her column, which debuted in fall 2013 with the declaration, “Welcome to Unearthed, an effort that will dig deep to try and figure out what’s true and what isn’t in the debate about our food supply.” Haspel has tackled topics such as genetically modified foods, antibiotic use in livestock, patents, monocrops, soda taxes, the environmental implications of dietary choices and more.

M. Carrie Allan, who writes the Food section’s Spirits column, was nominated in the category of Wines, Spirits and Other Beverages for a Travel piece, “In New Orleans, terrific cocktails never went out of fashion.” Gabrielle Hamilton won the award in that category for a piece in AFAR magazine.

For a full list of winners and nominees, go to www.jamesbeard.org/awards .