How McDonald’s Could Serve Up a Happier Meal

McDonald’s announced today that it’s making a greater effort at offering transparency and engagement to the public, in a new campaign it’s calling “Our Food, Your Questions.” McDonald’s has a serious image problem and a sagging bottom line, which might explain its sudden willingness to fling the barn door open as a way to shed its reputation for serving mass-produced, unhealthy food. Showing the public how the sausage is made may win favor with some consumers, but a better strategy for the fast food giant would be to make truly meaningful commitments to sustainability. Read more

Civil Eats Named James Beard Foundation’s 2014 Publication of the Year

Here’s some good food news: Civil Eats was just named the James Beard Foundation’s 2014 Publication of the Year! The Foundation’s Journalism Committee, said:

In judging its Publication of the Year, the Journalism Awards Committee of the James Beard Foundation recognizes a publication that demonstrates fresh direction, worthy ambition, and a forward-looking approach to food journalism. Civil Eats, through its declared passion for “promoting critical thought about sustainable agriculture and food systems,” practices the kind of thorough and fair journalism that helps us make sense of the increasingly complex matter of getting food to our tables.

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Twilight Greenaway Joins Civil Eats as its New Managing Editor

We are thrilled to announce that, as of today, Twilight Greenaway has joined Civil Eats as its new Managing Editor. Since 2000, Greenaway has been a writer and an editor for the Web. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Salt (NPR’s food blog), the Guardian, the Bay Citizen, Gastronomica, Modern Farmer, and TakePart, as well as on Grist, where she was the food editor in 2011 and 2012. Read more

Cultivating Awareness: Farming Is Daily Meditation at Green Gulch

Trails of wispy fog cling to the switchback slopes along Highway 1 from Mill Valley to Muir Beach, past a hand-carved wooden sign leading to the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center.

From the road above, the tall eucalyptus trees form an arch over the gentle curve of the fertile valley below, which empties out into the Pacific Ocean. Drive a bit farther in and you’ll catch glimpses of iridescent crops laid out in neat ribbons, forming the heart of Green Gulch Farm: six acres of certified organic vegetable fields, fruit trees and flower gardens. Read more

This Site is Your Site: The Voice of the Food Movement is Here

“Nail biter!” “Cliff hanger!” “I’m on the verge of a heart attack!”

Those were some of the messages flooding our inboxes and Twitter and Facebook feeds in the last hours of our successful Kickstarter campaign on Friday. Trying to raise $100,000 in 30 days via crowdsourcing for content is strange, nerve-wracking, and not for the faint at heart. We are proud to say that we raised the highest amount to date for content for an online daily news site via Kickstarter.

We succeeded because a vast community of people believe in our work and value this public service. For all of you who contributed, in big and small ways, through financial donations, social media, phone calls, emotional support and encouragement, and to the new folks who’re just joining us and hope to widen the circle: Thank you. This site is your site. Read more

California Chefs Join Together to Fight Fracking

Chez Pannise chefs Alice Waters and Jerome Waag yesterday launched a chefs’ petition urging their colleagues to take a stand against fracking in California. Working in collaboration with Food & Water Watch, founding member of Californians Against Fracking, the chefs are concerned about the threat fracking poses to the world-renown food and wine grown, served and sold in California. The petition includes a letter calling on Governor Brown to place a moratorium on fracking now. Read more

Eat More Veg! Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Chef, Author, Food Activist

The famed UK chef/activist, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, has a lot to share with an American public hungry for great recipes as well as important food for thought. I had the pleasure of having breakfast with Fearnley-Whittingstall and he shared with me his passion for vegetables, how he wants to help change people’s lives, and his inspiring work to help raise awareness about the importance of how and what we eat. Read more