Recent Articles About Local Eats

The farmers’ market in Carrboro, North Carolina is filled with local staples like lettuce, tomatoes, and eggs. But if you turn left after the welcome booth, you’ll find a table that offers less common crops like pennywort, lime leaves, and kermit eggplant.

That table belongs to Tri Sa, a Karen refugee farmer from Burma, present-day Myanmar. Her stand is called “Mu Tar K’Paw Gardens,” a Karen saying which translates to “everything comes from sunlight.”

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Many food photographers strive for perfection, even if it means subbing in white glue for the milk in cereal shots or motor oil for pancake syrup, to make the dishes look picture-perfect.

But Seattle-based photographer and top food Instagrammer Brittany Wright keeps it real in her photos, which she constructs by arranging everything from browning bananas and burnt toast to unripe raspberries. The results are stunning, carefully orchestrated tableaus that have been admired and sold around the world and even licensed in advertisements. Many of her photos use gradients to highlight the vibrant colors of fresh fruits and vegetables. Other photos, like the one of raspberries, show the viewer produce at different stages of development.

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A version of this story was originally published in Edible Brooklyn.

Etsy’s global headquarters in DUMBO looks like what one might expect: Many of the exposed air ducts wear crocheted sweaters, Etsy-sourced artwork decorates the walls (an octopus tentacle reaches over the kitchen), and energetic young people cluster around open work stations or recline on couches with laptops perched on their knees. There are dogs. Read more

When the days turn cold and dark, farmers celebrate. After months of unrelenting labor, they’re finally able to sit down and relax, spend time with family, and connect and commiserate with their colleagues in this rapidly evolving industry.

Farming conferences dot the landscape throughout the winter months. One of the most popular, high-profile gatherings is the Young Farmers Conference, hosted by Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture as a key part of their Growing Farmers Initiative. The conference has sold out for many years running, the 250 attendees are selected through a lottery system, and it routinely attracts big names from the food world, such as Wendell Berry and Mark Bittman. Read more

These days, Beatrice Evans finds herself talking to her neighbors on the bus more than usual while she’s commuting to her part-time job at a telemarketing firm. She doesn’t just make conversation with other passengers; Evans has an agenda. She thinks her fellow commuters should know about a city program that essentially gives low-income folks like her free produce at farmers’ markets.
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Under the glass-and-metal canopy of a sprawling greenhouse in Yardley, Pennsylvania, BrightFarms is growing salad greens. A lot of salad greens. Arugula and herbs and the occasional tomato–about 360,000 pounds per year–sprout up in white hydroponic trays. When the plants are ready, they are harvested, packed, and driven up the street (or just next door) to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey grocers where they will be sold.

In the coming year, the company plans to expand its presence into the Chicago and Washington, D.C. areas, boosted by a recent $13.7-million round of funding.

“We look at BrightFarms as an expansion of the local food movement,” CEO Paul Lightfoot told Civil Eats.

But not everyone agrees with that characterization. Read more

At first glance the chapters in Simran Sethi’s new book, Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love, read like a list of foods we are often told to avoid: wine, chocolate, coffee, beer, and bread. But Sethi says she’s never bought into restrictive diet trends and instead argues convincingly about the deep importance of these humble foods—foods that human beings have been imbibing for millennia. Read more

The holidays are a busy time—but many of us also paradoxically read more this time of year, thanks to travel, time off, and a slowed-down inbox. If you’re looking for your next big read or a gift for a food-minded friend, look no further. We asked our editors and contributors to recommend some of the books they enjoyed most this year. Read more