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
Recently, a colleague asked me for a “food movement primer,” a sort of what-you-need-to-know about the world of food policy today. I recommended reading our stories, of course. And I also put together an essential reading list, including Marion Nestle’s books, especially Food Politics, and her blog of the same name; Mark Bittman’s recent collection of New York Times’ columns A Bone to Pick; and Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food Rules, as well the resource list on his website, and his seminal article, “Food Movement Rising,” in The New York Review of Books.
This request got me thinking about how things have changed since Pollan’s essay appeared five years ago. If the public’s interest in food policy news is any indicator, the fact that Civil Eats’ stories are being syndicated by venerable publications such as TIME and The Atlantic, as well as by online giants like Yahoo!, seems to suggest that a much wider audience is becoming interested in the stories behind their food. Read more
Very few issues have larger implications for public health, animal welfare, and the environment than industrial animal agriculture. Over the past six years, we’ve spent a great deal of time reporting on animals, both about their welfare and also on the larger (and growing) implications around meat production, consolidation, and regulation (or lack thereof). In this month’s editor note, I share some of the stories we’ve covered on this intensely complex, political, and personal issue. Read more
It’s that time of year again. Kids are headed back to school and their lunch is on our minds. School food has been a hot button topic since 2010, when First Lady Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move!, her hallmark program to end childhood obesity, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated its nutrition standards for school cafeterias. For the last five years, we’ve worked hard to shine a spotlight on this complex, highly political issue. In this month’s editor note, I’ll take a look at our stories as a quick primer of what you need to know. Read more
It’s high summer and we’re lucky to be reaping the bounty of the hard work that farmers did earlier this year. Having worked on several farms across the U.S., I know that this is serious crunch time. Farmers are not only harvesting the fruits of their labors, but they’re also planting fall crops.
Since we Civil Eats started six years ago, we have cast our net wide to report on local food stories about individuals and communities working together to create a more vibrant, resilient, and just food system. There is so much good news about innovative projects happening nationwide: From Alaska to Hawaii, we’ve been documenting the unfolding of what local food likes like on the ground. In this month’s note, I wanted to share some of our inspiring stories showing how local food systems are connecting producers to consumers, boosting local economies, and building community.
Chefs are a key ingredient to changing the food system; they are influencing the way we eat, what we grow, and are shaping the conversation about how to fix food. For many, they also provide the first point of contact to seasonal food from local farms. And they can have an incredible impact, not on only our palates, but also by raising awareness and changing the way we think about food. Read more
As we face a serious drought, many cities in California and elsewhere are working hard to waste less water. But we as a nation have yet to fully comprehend the equally important impact of wasting food.
Journalism and agriculture are two sides of the same coin: Both have been made artificially cheap. We have come to expect free media, just as many expect to be able to buy a dozen eggs for under $3.00. But lack of social investment in both of these public goods is leading us down the wrong path. Read more