This Farmer Wants to Help Youth of Color Reconnect With the Land

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When Leah Penniman posted on Facebook about an upcoming one-week Black and Latino immersion program on her upstate New York farm, it filled up in 24 hours. The program at  Soul Fire Farm is designed for young people of color, “to ease them back into relationship with the land,” says Penniman.

This farmer/educator’s life is rooted in a commitment to fighting racism and dismantling what she calls “oppressive structures that misguide our food system.” Penniman wants everyone—regardless of class, color or creed—to have access to fresh, healthful food and an understanding of how to grow their own. Read More

Why Give to Civil Eats? We Keep You Informed and Inspired.

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Dear readers,

We hope you’ll think of Civil Eats in your year-end giving.

This has been a big year for us. After our successful Kickstarter campaign late last year, we brought on a paid managing editor, started paying our contributors, and expanded our readership. We were named the James Beard Foundation’s 2014 Publication of the Year and two of our stories were included in Best Food Writing 2014. We’re also reaching more people than ever thanks to our new media partnerships with TIME.com, Harvest Public Media, and Bay Area Bites. Read More

Nicolette Niman: Our Beef Shouldn’t Be With Cows

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For years, beef has been Public Enemy Number One for environmentalists and health advocates alike. Headlines warn that livestock production, particularly for cattle, poses the worst environmental risk than anything else in the world, and that eating red meat can substantially increase your chance of dying from heart disease or cancer.

If you’re like most good food advocates, calling for a drastic reduction in beef production is a no-brainer. Right?

Nicolette Hahn Niman, vegetarian rancher, environmental lawyer, and wife of Bill Niman, founder of the eponymous Niman Ranch, lays out a compelling case in her new book Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production. As she sees it, if we want to fight climate change, we may want to actually raise more cattle. Read More

Food Workers, the Next Generation of Comic Book Superheroes

2014 IFWW poster Food Chain Avengers

One in 6 workers in the U.S. have food-related jobs; farmers, farmworkers, food processors, servers, and grocery store clerks are all part of the effort to get food to our plates. And yet, they are often invisible.

Five years ago, a handful of worker advocacy organizations came together to form the Food Chain Workers’ Alliance (FCWA) to help ensure that workers from the farm to the bodega have their voices heard. What started as a small coalition has grown to include 24 organizations that collectively represent nearly 300,000 workers along the food chain. Read More

Eva Longoria Talks Farmworkers Rights, New Documentary ‘Food Chains’

Langoria on-camera in Food Chains.

Most people know Eva Longoria as an actress, but she has also become a fierce advocate for our nation’s farmworkers.

Longoria also has cred in both food and politics. She owns Beso, a restaurant which opened in in Hollywood in 2008, and she is an active democrat. As co-chair of President Obama’s fundraising committee, Longoria created the Latino Victory Project, which raises funds for Latino candidates.

Along with Eric Schlosser, Longoria served as the executive producer of Food Chains, a documentary that focuses on the brutal conditions farmworkers face, and shines a light on migrant tomato pickers in Immokalee, Florida. Read More

All the News That’s Fit to Eat: Russia’s Locavore Experiment, a ‘Natural’ Settlement, and ‘Sustainable’ Beef

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We’re pretty sure you’re all as busy as we are, but take a break and get caught up here with this week’s food news.

1. 250,000 Farmworkers Protected from Deportation by Obama’s Executive Order (Politics of the Plate)

“The United States became a more food secure nation last night after President Obama issued an order that would prevent deportation of up to five million immigrant workers—including at least 250,000 who are toil in the fields to feed us,” writes Barry Estabrook on his site, where he includes United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez’s comments from a press release: “The President’s action will allow at least 250,000 of America’s current professional farm workers who feed our nation to apply for temporary legal status and work permits. Read More