10 Years of Civil Eats—What Has Changed in a Decade of Reporting on the Food System?

As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we embark on a year-long series of roundtable conversations with experts about the changes, challenges, and future of the food system.



This month marks the 10th anniversary of Civil Eats, and a decade of our in-depth reporting on the U.S. food system. When we started the site in 2009, there were no major media outlets focused on sustainable agriculture. Looking back over the last decade, we believe we have led the charge in creating a robust public discourse on food, one that now regularly appears in news headlines and in public policy discussions, as well as among communities around the country.

As part of a year-long celebration of Civil Eats, we will be conducting a series of in-depth roundtable conversations with some of the leading thinkers and doers working in the American food system, both as a retrospective of what has changed since 2009 and a look at the terrain that lies ahead.

Our goal with this series is to dive deeply into a decade of tremendous growth and interest in our food. We seek to tell the unfolding story of a changing marketplace, political landscape, and other forces that shape our food system; to highlight the growers, producers, innovators, and many hands behind our meals; and to connect the dots on the myriad successes and continued challenges for the people, projects, and policies working in this space.

We have learned over the last decade just how powerfully food can draw readers into complex stories on the environmentsocial justiceanimal welfare, and public policy related to healthnutrition, and farming. We have shown that food reporting can be used as a lens through which to view everything from poverty to climate change. And we have been at the frontlines of some of the most pivotal food and agriculture stories of our time.

Our history and our expertise has given Civil Eats a unique vantage point: We have had our finger on the pulse of emerging trends and ideas, many of which we were the first to cover. We’re excited to spend the year providing a wide range of perspectives on the topics we have reported on for a decade. As we look back and take stock, we will also be looking forward and identify the looming trends, changes, and progress that are on the horizon.

Look for our series of roundtable discussions in the months to come; in the meantime, we welcome your comments and feedback: What coverage do we provide which you appreciate or value? What issues do you think we should explore in the coming year? And whose voices to do want to hear from? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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  1. Tuesday, January 29th, 2019
    Congratulations on 10 years! Your coverage of underreported issues is invaluable. We especially appreciate the agricultural justice stories. In our view, looking back at the last 10 years and where we're headed, the story of seed stands out as a hopeful element in our food and farming systems, even as the doom and gloom narrative around consolidation pervades. The organic seed trade/community has grown from nearly nothing to a meaningful part of the marketplace and community conversation in a short period of time. Seed is the critical first link in the food chain, and represents profound potential for transforming how we farm and what we eat. Our organization's project, State of Organic Seed, monitors the progress we're making in building organic seed systems that are democratic and just, and healthy for both people and the planet. The trends and stories embedded within the organic seed community would make good roundtable discussions: seed producers and new seed enterprises that have emerged in the last decade especially. They serve as an important counter to troubling consolidation trends. Additionally, organic plant breeding is a burgeoning scientific field and area of practice that is resulting in new varieties and research that supports a more sustainable food and farming future.
  2. Sunday, February 3rd, 2019
    I have been at the leading edge of ITC based solutions in the food industry for some 50 years, having worked for the likes of IBM, HP, SAP, etc. I think you should have a focus on how consumer-orientated. mobile based ITC technology is changing the whole 'healthy soil' to 'healthy gut' food chain.
    If you know Moore's Law, about how capabilities double, and costs halve every year, then you will understand.
    Yes, now retired, my focus is on building tools and systems which allow consumers to find 'good' food, and avoid 'bad', however one wishes to define these.
    And it all starts with 'education' and 'involvement', to get consumers 'committed' to take 'ownership' of their own healthy and well being.
    Would love to help from 'downunder'
    Chris, Australia.