20 Reasons to Support Civil Eats on #GivingTuesday

A selection of our best stories this year showcases the breadth and depth of our reporting.


This has been a tremendous year for journalism, and especially for independent media. At a time when the media landscape has become increasingly polarized and difficult to navigate, we’re proud to be a trusted news source that produces meaningful, nuanced stories that break down complex policy changes and highlight underreported people and ideas.

support civil eatsCivil Eats is a nonprofit, independent news and commentary site. We rely on subscriptions, donations, and grants to pay our writers and editors. Since 2009, our tiny team has worked hard to bring a diverse array of perspectives to the forefront while shining a light on the most important food and agriculture stories of our time.

As interest in our award-winning reporting on food and politics has begun to take center stage, we’ve doubled down on our commitment to finding and telling these stories. New media partnerships with PBS/ITVS, Public Radio International, New York Magazine’s Grub Street, Quartz, Eater, Bill Moyers, The Texas Tribune, Maplight, and others have allowed us to reach millions of new readers this year, further fostering robust national conversations about food policy.

Our goal is to keep you informed about important developments in federal and state policy, while keeping a finger on the pulse of food culture, food justice, and food industry forces. Our readers tell us they appreciate our work because we tell stories they simply won’t find anywhere else. If you value our award-winning work, please consider donating and signing up for an annual subscription if you haven’t already done so. Thank you from all of us at Civil Eats; our work is made possible because of the generosity and determination of people like you.

We publish one or more thought-provoking and breaking news stories every day of the week. We are on track to publish 275 articles in 2017 that span the food system. Below are 20 of our best stories this year, chosen to showcase the breadth and depth of our reporting.

1. Will More People Go Hungry if We Lose the Affordable Care Act?

In some states and cities, the ACA has helped reduce food insecurity and has made people healthier in the process. Here’s a look at those who will be impacted if it goes away.

2. Ancient Corn is Coming to Whole Foods. Just Don’t Try to Buy it in Mexico.

Heirloom tortillas might be the latest food trend, but behind each bite is a more complicated story about Mexico’s traditional foodways.

3. The State of Trump’s USDA: What You Need to Know

Can the agency continue to do its work amid major reorganizations and minimal appointments and new hires?

4. Syrian Bakers Fight to Maintain a Tradition of Excellence

Despite a wheat crisis, a raging war, and saga of violence, these bakers are bringing their sweets to the world.

5. How a Kansas Town Held off a Tyson Plant

Tonganoxie residents are the latest in a wave of rural communities standing up to Big Ag. (Republished by Bill Moyers.)

6. Food and More: Expanding the Movement for the Trump Era

An opinion piece by Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, Olivier de Schutter, and Ricardo Salvador calls for the energy of the food movement to be applied to preserving our democracy.

7. Should ‘Regenerative’ Agriculture Get Its Own Label?

Some groups want to see a new label that raises the standards for eco-conscious consumers. But others worry that another label could end up sowing market confusion. Civil Eats was the first to report on this topic, and it was then reported on by Indiana Public Media.

8. Recruiting Women Farmers for the Campaign Trail

Feeding off the post-election surge in political activity, the Plate to Politics network aims to help women farmers on both sides of the aisle campaign on a platform of sustainable food and farming. Civil Eats was the first to report on this topic.

9. Does Detroit’s Food Revival Leave the City’s Black Residents Behind?

Restaurateurs working outside Detroit’s newly desirable downtown food scene face the same structural obstacles to success that plague Black businesses nationwide.

10. Want Healthier Soil? Link it to Crop Insurance

Scientists now say incentivizing soil health would improve food security and sustainability, especially as the climate changes. Civil Eats was the first to report on this topic.

11. What DACA Means to Food Industry Workers

More Dreamers work in food than any other industry; with DACA on the chopping block, they share how it has changed their lives—and what happens if it ends. (Republished by Eater.)

12. After Hurricane Harvey, Houston Heals Through Food

As the city starts on the long road of recovery, food banks, urban farmers, and others are joining forces to feed the city.

13. Congress Could Cut Soda and Candy from SNAP, but Big Sugar is Pushing Back

Proposed rules would keep recipients from buying soda and junk food with SNAP dollars but sugar lobbyists are spending big to maintain the status quo. This story was produced in partnership with MapLight.

14. A California Bill Takes Steps to End Discrimination Against Farmers

The Farmer Equity Act would pave the way to help minority and women farmers acquire the resources they need to succeed. Civil Eats reported on this issue first.

15. The Battle For Transparency on North Carolina Factory Farms

Advocacy groups have challenged an especially egregious ag-gag law designed to keep the public in the dark about industrial animal farming operations.

16. Why We Should Make Room for Debate about High-Tech Meat

The burgeoning alternative protein industry is drawing new lines and making interesting bedfellows—all the more reason to stay engaged in the conversation. The author was interviewed about this story for PRI’s Living on Earth.

17. New ‘Blue Card’ Proposal Would Protect Farmworkers from Deportation

Trump’s immigration policies are crippling farms’ ability to hire workers. Can this proposed legislation counter that and gain support? Civil Eats first reported this story; dozens shared it on social media, including Senator Kamala Harris, who co-introduced the legislation.

18. A New Grassfed Dairy Label on the Horizon

Farmers, certifiers, and scientists collaborated to create the new standard, which could impact both consumers and the industry. Civil Eats reported first this on this issue.

19. Can California Reverse EPA’s U-Turn on Pesticide Ban?

Lawmakers in the Golden State have the power to go beyond the agency’s recent decision not to ban chlorpyrifos, a neurotoxin that impacts thousands of children, farmworkers, and rural communities.

20. Technology Could Make or Break the Food Workforce of the Future

Five ways the food industry should protect the people behind our food as technology evolves. This story was named one of the Best Ideas of the Day by the Aspen Institute.

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