For the past seven years, our tiny team of writers and editors has worked hard to bring a diverse array of perspectives to the forefront while shining a light on the food system stories that matter most. We’ve been gratified that our work has been awarded and recognized. Now, for the first time, to help support our work, we’re hosting an in-person celebration in San Francisco on Tuesday, November 29, which is also #GivingTuesday.
At the end of the 2009 documentary Food, Inc., Indiana corn and soybean farmer Troy Roush tells the film’s audience: “You have to understand that we farmers, we’re going to deliver to the marketplace what the marketplace demands … People have got to start demanding good, wholesome food of us. And we’ll deliver. I promise you.”
It’s a simple frame—supply will naturally meet demand—but when it comes to certified organic food, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. Read more
As consumer eating habits continue to change, food giants are on the hunt for halo-glowing boutique brands to bolster their sagging revenues. Small is big business for U.S. food, and along the way, many producers of organic and artisan food products are seeing the benefits, and the challenges, of selling to larger companies. But will this Wild West of food mergers mean better food for the masses or just more consolidation in the marketplace? And does selling always have to mean selling out?
It’s the dog days of summer, and many people are lucky to be on vacation. But for farmers, this is the busiest time of the year, when the fruit of their labors are nearing perfection, and the hours of caring and tending to their crops must be realized. I spent a recent weekend picking peaches with many others at Masumoto Family Farm near Fresno, California, as part of their adopt-a-tree program, an innovative approach to ensuring they have a market for their fragile fruit. It’s just one of the many ways the Masumotos use their land to connect with the public about the realities of farming, and it’s also an important part of their economic survival. Read more
Food and ag tech is hot. AgFunder recently reported that some 499 ag tech companies attracted $4.6 billion in investments last year, nearly double the $2.36 billion in 2014, and up from about $500 million in 2012. U.S. companies raised just over half that total, or $2.4 billion, and about $1.65 billion of the 2015 global total was for food e-commerce companies alone.
Last year, noting a whole host of investments risks and opportunities, we asked whether the tech industry’s “move fast and break things” approach can work for food? The same question is even more relevant a year later, as eggless mayo unicorn Hampton Creek seeks to raise $200 million at a $1.1 billion valuation, Soylent, a meal-replacement drink, has raised $22 million, and Juicero, a $700 juicer and the latest Silicon Valley darling, has raised $120 million. Read more
Note: We’re introducing a new series today, Digested, in which our editors go behind the news headlines to offer analysis and perspective on what’s happening in the food system. You’ll find this new column on Fridays, instead of the weekly news round up. And don’t worry, we’ll continue to share the week’s news live on our Twitter feed.
Christina Cooke joins the Civil Eats team as its new Associate Editor. Cooke is an award-winning, North Carolina-based journalist, editor, and university writing instructor. As a freelance writer, Cooke has covered people, culture, travel, labor, and outdoor adventure for magazines and newspapers nationwide. Read more
We’re thrilled to announce that Stephen Satterfield will join our team as part of the first cohort of the Culinary Trust’s Growing Leaders Food Writing Fellowships. The fellowships are designed to help cause-driven food writers early in their careers develop their skills and unique voice, learn more about food issues across the country, receive valuable mentoring, and publish strong work. Read more
As I noted in September, this academic year I joined a cohort of 18 other journalists from around the world at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Fellow. I promised to report back about what I’m learning and on my efforts to make food policy news part of the daily American media diet. Read more
We’ve had another fantastic year of reporting at Civil Eats and I’m so grateful for the outstanding work of managing editor, Twilight Greenaway, our new senior editor, Anna Roth, our social media editor, Krista Holobar, and all of our intrepid reporters and smart commentators. In this month’s note, I highlight just a few of our best-read and most-talked about stories in 2015. Read more