Civil Eats is a daily news source for critical thought about the American food system. We publish stories that shift the conversation around sustainable agriculture in an effort to build economically and socially just communities.
Founded in January 2009, Civil Eats is a community resource of over 100 contributors who are active participants in the evolving food landscape from Capitol Hill to Main Street.
Want to write for Civil Eats? Read our contributor FAQ.
Our Editorial Team
Naomi Starkman is a Founder and the Editor-in-Chief of Civil Eats. She is a food policy consultant to Consumers Union and others, as well as a founding board member and the Strategic Communications Advisor to the Food & Environment Reporting Network. Naomi served as the Director of Communications & Policy at Slow Food Nation ’08 and has worked as a media consultant at The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ and WIRED magazines. She was previously a senior publicist at Newsweek magazine and was the Director of Communications for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). After graduating from law school, she served as the Deputy Executive Director of the City of San Francisco’s Ethics Commission. Naomi works with various clients on food policy and advocacy and is an avid organic gardener, having worked on several farms.
Adrien Schless-Meier is deputy managing editor of Civil Eats and a contributor to the Local Eats series, a column highlighting innovative efforts to create vibrant local food systems across the United States. She currently works at the Bauman Foundation to support redistricting reform. She lives in Washington, DC.
Twilight Greenaway is the Managing Editor of Civil Eats. Her articles about food and farming have appeared in The New York Times, NPR.org, The Guardian, TakePart, Modern Farmer, Gastronomica and on Grist, where she served as the food editor from 2011-2012. See more at TwilightGreenaway.com.
Paula Crossfield is a founder and the Editor-at-large of Civil Eats. She is also the Managing Editor and a Founding Director of the Food & Environment Reporting Network. Her reporting has been featured in The Nation, Gastronomica, Index Magazine, The New York Times online and more, and she has been a contributing producer at The Leonard Lopate Show on New York Public Radio. An avid cook and gardener, she currently lives in Oakland.
Krista Holobar is the social media intern at Civil Eats, and a senior at Penn State University studying French Linguistics and Information Sciences and Technology. She has been interested in sustainable food since becoming a vegetarian in 2010. In her spare time, she is most often found baking vegan desserts.
Mark Winne has 40 years of community food system experience which includes the position of executive director of the Hartford Food System and co-founder of the Community Food Security Coalition. He's currently an independent consultant for Mark Winne Associates which provides training and development services for food policy councils and other community food organizations. He speaks, writes, and trains on a number of topics related to community food systems and is the author of two books "Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardening, and Smart-Cookin' Mamas" and "Closing the Food Gap." Please go to www.markwinne.com for more information.
Kristin Wartman is a journalist focusing on the intersections of food, health, politics, and culture. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and Grist, as well as in academic journals such as Critical Quarterly, The Black Scholar, Tikkun Magazine, and The New Labor Forum. Kristin is also a Certified Nutrition Educator and works as a nutrition consultant with various doctors in New York City.
Hannah Wallace writes about food politics, integrative medicine, and travel for a wide variety of publications including Vogue, The New York Times, Spirit, and Portland Monthly. Her articles and book reviews have also appeared in O: the Oprah Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Mother Jones, and the Los Angeles Times. She is the food and agriculture columnist at Oregon Business Magazine.
Melissa Waldron is a community organizer, blogger, social media hound and sustainable food advocate with over fifteen years of experience in the non-profit world and local food sector combined. Melissa seeks to develop, promote and grow local food systems and is a 2011 graduate of Growing Power's Commercial Urban Agriculture program. As a founding member of New Haven Farms, she has helped to create an urban farm system that creates fresh food access points for those at risk for heart disease and diabetes. And she is also the garden coordinator of a program at the Clinton Avenue School that connects children from the nearby housing project at Quinnipiac Terrace to the school garden and offers after school gardening activities. Today Melissa is an internet marketing consultant for Triple Bottom Line businesses and is formerly the contributing producer of the long running Ruth Reichl series on The Leonard Lopate Show at WNYC, winner of the 2006 James Beard Award for Best Radio Show. You can find out more at www.fertilegroundusa.com, and www.lionstoothmedia.com.
Amber Turpin is a baker, freelance food writer and former columnist for the Santa Cruz Weekly. She ran her artisan baking business, the Sweet Pea Cookie Company, for five years before working on the Slow Food Nation event in San Francisco. She is a regular contributor to Edible Monterey Bay and Civil Eats and currently lives, creates and writes from Bonanza Springs Farm, her property in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Her latest project is finding time to put up the harvest with a new infant. You can follow her writing at www.mylittleranchette.com.
Kerry Trueman is a climate change activist/writer/consultant who advocates low-impact living, healthy eating, sustainable agriculture and related topics in a lively, non-wonky way. She has been a Huffington Post blogger since 2007, and occasional contributor to AlterNet, Grist, Civil Eats, and MomsCleanAirForce. Trueman also wrote the chapter on how to eat ecologically for Rodale's Whole Green Catalog.
Jezra Thompson is a food system planner who focuses on community development, land use planning, and education. She is currently the Program Supervisor of the Berkeley Public School Gardening & Cooking Program, where she leads a team of garden educators and works with schools and community organizations to provide hands-on place-based education to all students. She has spent time working in food systems within government, nonprofit, and academia. She tweets about urban planning and food justice here.
San Francisco native Antonio Roman-Alcalá has been irrationally dedicated to urban sustainability since he decided that there wasn't enough "land" for all dropouts to go "back to". Since graduating from UC Berkeley, Antonio has been pursuing a life of meaningful enjoyment: teaching farming and permaculture at Alemany Farm and Texas Street Farm; playing drums and guitar in the band Future Twin; writing about the sustainable food movement as a perpetually critical insider; sharing his film In Search of Good Food; organizing the urban farm movement via the San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance, and writing an ambitious treatise on human nature, environmental sustainability, and social transformation.
For more than a decade, Seattle-based journalist and chef Kim O'Donnel has dispensed cooking advice at numerous publications, including The Washington Post, Culinate and USA Today. She is a regular contributor to Real Food Right Now, a weekly seasonal produce series on Ecocentric. Kim is also the founder of Canning Across America, a collective dedicated to the revival of putting up food, and the author of two cookbooks, most recently The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations.
Tracie McMillan's is the author of The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table, a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, and a Koeppel Journalism Fellow at Wesleyan University. You can follow her on Twitter at @TMMcMillan
Brie Mazurek is Online Education Manager at the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, which operates the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Jason Mark is a writer-farmer with a longstanding commitment to sustainable agriculture. In addition to Civil Eats, his writings on the environment and agriculture have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Progressive, Grist, The American Prospect, The Nation, Gastronomica, and Earth Island Journal, where he is the editor. When not writing, he is busy co-managing San Francisco's Alemany Farm.
Ralph Loglisci is a national food and health policy writer and media consultant. He’s served as the director of communications for several national organizations, such as the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, The Berman Institute of Bioethics and Wholesome Wave. Additionally, Ralph spent several years as the Project Director for the Johns Hopkins Healthy Monday Project based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future (CLF). His primary focus was leading behavior change communications research and serving as an advisor to both CLF and the national Meatless Monday campaign. Ralph’s entrance into food and health policy was spurred by his experience of losing 200 lbs. through diet and exercise. Previously he spent nearly 15 years as an Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist.
Tom Laskawy is a founder and executive director of the Food & Environment Reporting Network. His writing on food politics and the environment has appeared online in Grist, The American Prospect, Slate, The New York Times, and The New Republic
Anna Lappé is the author most recently of Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, the director of Food MythBusters, and and the Real Food Media Contest.
Kristina is a San Francisco-based writer, focused on issues in rural life and agriculture. She was previously in the trenches of ag policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council, campaigning to remove antibiotics from livestock feed and to reduce food waste. She graduated with a B.A. in Religious Studies from Davidson College, where she led students and farmers in a successful crusade to bring local, sustainable fare to campus. Before moving west, Kristina earned a second degree at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. Learn more at www.kristinacjohnson.com.
Sarah Henry is a freelance reporter whose food articles have appeared in The Atlantic, Grist and Eating Well. Sarah is a contributing editor to Edible East Bay and a regular contributor to Edible San Francisco and KQED’s Bay Area Bites. She has also written about local food for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and California. Sarah got her journalism start on staff at the Center for Investigative Reporting. Sarah is the voice behind the blog Lettuce Eat Kale and tweets under that moniker too.
Rose Hayden-Smith serves as strategic initiative leader in Sustainable Food Systems for the University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources division. She also serves as a 4-H youth, family and community development advisor for UC’s Cooperative Extension office in Ventura County. Her work focuses on providing gardening and food-systems education to youth, educators and community audiences. Hayden-Smith uses historical examples to influence current public policies relating to food systems and nutrition. She holds Master’s degrees in education and U.S. history, and a Ph.D. in U.S. history and public historical studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. A practicing U.S. historian, she is a nationally recognized expert on Victory Gardens, wartime food policies, and school garden programs. A Kellogg Foundation/Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Food and Society Policy Fellow (FASP), she is the creator of UC’s Victory Grower website and blog.
Chef Kurt Michael Friese is editor-in-chief and co-owner of the local food magazine Edible Iowa River Valley. A graduate and former Chef-Instructor at the New England Culinary Institute, he has been owner, with his wife Kim McWane Friese, of the Iowa City restaurant Devotay for 16 years. Named for his children Devon and Taylor, Devotay is a community leader in sustainable cuisine and supporting local farmers and food artisans. Friese is a freelance food writer and photographer as well, with regular columns in 6 local, regional and national newspapers and magazines. His first book, A Cook’s Journey: Slow Food in the Heartland was published by in August, 2008 by Ice Cube Press, and his lates book, Chasing Chiles, was released by Chelsea Green Publishing in March, 2011.
A former contributing editor to Gourmet magazine, Barry Estabrook is the author of Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit and blogs at politicsoftheplate.com.
Cathy Erway is the author of The Art of Eating In: How I Learned to Stop Spending and Love the Stove, which was based on her two-year boycott of restaurant food and her popular blog on the topic, Not Eating Out In New York. She hosts the weekly podcast, Eat Your Words on Heritage Radio Network and writes about food, cooking, and urban agriculture for numerous publications.
Jen Dalton is the editor of the Local Eats series, which features how cities all over the United States are rebuilding local food systems from the ground up and conducts interviews for our Faces & Visions of the Food Movement series. Jen co-produces Kitchen Table Talks, a local food forum in San Francisco and heads up Kitchen Table Consulting which provides strategy and communications services to promote and support sustainable businesses, local economies and good food. Jen is also serves as the Cheese Chair of the Good Food Awards and was the Programs Director for Slow Food Nation '08.
Temra Costa is a nationally-recognized sustainable food advocate and author of Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat (Gibbs Smith, 2010). She's been working to change the food system, from farm gate to plate, since 2003. She resides in Sonoma County, CA where she writes, gardens, and makes delicious things. Learn more about Farmer Jane and her work by visiting http://www.farmerjane.org.
Andrea King Collier is a freelance writer, a Knight Digital Media Fellow, and former W.K. Kellogg/IATP Food and Society Policy Fellow.
Leilani Clark is a freelance writer based in Santa Rosa, California. Her work has appeared in The North Bay Bohemian, Made Local, Shareable, Yes, The Orlando Weekly, and The Sacramento News and Review. She is a 2014 California Endowment Health Journalism Fellow through the USC Annenberg School of Communication.
Rachel Cernansky is a Denver-based freelance journalist, primarily covering the environment, social justice, and nutrition. Her work has been published by The New York Times, National Geographic News, Grist, The Christian Science Monitor, 5280 (The Denver Magazine), Real Simple, Nutrition Business Journal, The Colorado Independent, The Daily Camera, Dowser, Satya and others.