25 Reasons to Support Civil Eats on #GivingTuesday | Civil Eats

25 Reasons to Support Civil Eats on #GivingTuesday

A selection of our best stories this year showcases the breadth and depth of our reporting. Double your donation impact with NewsMatch.

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As we all know, 2020 is not messing around. The entire country is reeling from multiple crises—the pandemic, climate change-driven extreme weather, civil unrest, and an historic presidential election. Through it all, Civil Eats has provided unmatched coverage of these unprecedented times, and today on Giving Tuesday, we’re asking for your support to continue our work as we celebrate all we’ve accomplished to date.

This year, the Civil Eats team has dramatically stepped up our reporting to focus on the impact of coronavirus on the food system, strengthened our long-standing commitment to reporting on food justice in the wake of the response to the killing of George Floyd, and covered the issues that have taken center stage during the presidential election closely, with much more to come. Our reporting on food systems and racial justice is being seen as seminal to this very moment, and we are honored to have been awarded a Digital Media Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. It’s a wonderful recognition that our 11 years of reporting on food, politics, power, and race matters now more than ever.

This news can’t survive without your support. If you value our award-winning work, please consider donating and signing up for an annual subscription. Your donation will go twice as far: Civil Eats is again participating in NewsMatch, a national call to action to support journalism that strengthens democracy from the Institute for Nonprofit News. From November 1 through December 31, 2020, every individual donation up to $5,000 (including subscriptions) will be doubled by NewsMatch.

This #GivingTuesday, we are also celebrating #GivingNewsDay, in recognition of the vital role that journalism plays in our communities and our democracy. You can donate here or on our NewsMatch page. We rely on your donations to help us continue to do our critical work.

We publish one or more thought-provoking and breaking news stories each day of the week. We’re on track to publish 300 articles in 2020; below are 25 of our best, in chronological order, and chosen to showcase the breadth and depth of our reporting.

Thank you from all of us at Civil Eats!

Laurel Jones and Larry Crowder outside the Bowdon Community Grocery.

1. What it Takes to Keep Independent Grocery Stores Open in Rural Communities
When rural grocery stores shutter, communities lose more than their only source of food. We visited two small groceries in North Dakota that have found innovative ways to keep the lights on.

2. Plastic To-Go Containers Are Bad, but Are the Alternatives Any Better?
Single-use plastic bans are showing up across the nation. But compostable plates and forks may not solve the plastic crisis.

3. For Farmworkers Facing Debilitating Depression, Is Teletherapy a Solution?
A North Carolina program digitally connects farmworkers with a bilingual therapist, overcoming some of the barriers farmworkers face in getting the treatment they need.

4. Inside the Rural Resistance to CAFOs
Around the country, people are banding together across the aisle to push for moratoriums on industrial animal agriculture.

5. After #MeToo, This Group Has Nearly Erased Sexual Harassment in Farm Fields
On big farms, protecting women and men from sexual violence has required a cultural shift. Our reporter spent weeks with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, documenting their effective methods of education, monitoring, and enforcement.

6. Farmworkers Are in the Coronavirus Crosshairs
Farmworkers work, live, and travel in crowded conditions, and are being allowed few if any safety measures against COVID-19—which puts them and the food system at risk.

people gardening in a community garden7. The Moment for Food Sovereignty is Now
From panic planting to cooperative gardens, farmers focused on equity and food justice know that ‘if you can feed yourself, you can free yourself.’

8. Community Supported Agriculture Is Surging Amid the Pandemic
People are signing up for CSAs in record numbers. Could the once-struggling model sustain small farms through hard times—and beyond?

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9. As Coronavirus Disrupts Seafood Supply Chains, Struggling Fishermen Seek Other Markets
With restaurants and international markets disappearing, it’s sink or swim for the nation’s fishermen.

Volunteers delivering food to New Yorkers during the pandemic.10. Meet the New York City Volunteers Risking Their Lives to Feed People
As the pandemic closed down the city, people from all walks of life and from all five boroughs, have stepped up to make sure their neighbors are being fed.

11. People of Color are at Greater Risk of COVID-19. Systemic Racism in the Food System Plays a Role.
Food apartheid and economic inequality are among the factors leading to high rates of infections and deaths of Black and brown Americans.

Jimmy and Ginger Emmons standing in their chaos garden.

12. Most Farmers in the Great Plains Don’t Grow Fruits and Vegetables. The Pandemic is Changing That.
Amid massive tracts of wheat and corn destined for global markets, some farmers are planting cover crop mixes designed to be harvested by their communities.

13. As COVID-19 Disrupts the Industrial Meat System, Independent Processors Have a Moment to Shine
Big Meat put most small slaughterhouses out of business. Those left are demonstrating their resilience, but their limited numbers point to the need for improved infrastructure.

14. Food Service Workers Are on the Brink of a Mental Health Crisis. These Efforts are Helping.
Newly unemployed and frontline food workers are struggling with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Nationwide, efforts are underway to encourage and provide mental health support.

Logan Stern, Robin Patel, Terrence Smith, Michael Adyson Strickland, and Noran Sanford (left to right) stand in the pasture they've created outside the prison yard at the Scotland Correctional Center, which was decommissioned in 2001.

15. Youth Are Flipping an Abandoned North Carolina Prison into a Sustainable Farm
By transforming a decaying prison into a flourishing farm, these young men are avoiding the criminal justice system—and creating a model to share.

16. Civil Eats TV: Regenerative Ranching in a Pandemic
Loren Poncia of Stemple Creek Ranch explains the opportunities and challenges raising livestock with regenerative practices during COVID-19.

Marlo and Anthony Paul at Eden Land Farm in Alabama's Black Belt17. The Doctor-Botanist Couple Healing a Community in the Rural South
In Alabama’s Black Belt, where COVID rates are high and hospitals are understaffed, Dr. Marlo Paul and her plant biologist husband, Anthony, are making house calls and providing free herbal remedies from their own farm.

18. Perennial Vegetables Are a Solution in the Fight Against Hunger and Climate Change
A new study shows the nutrition and environmental benefits of more than 600 perennial species—from artichokes to chaya—which address climate mitigation, biodiversity, and nutrition.

Lilian Ryland of Naija Buka, showing off her sauces. (Photo courtesy of Naija Buka)

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19. Immigrant-Led Food Startups Face an Uphill Battle in the Pandemic
Entrepreneurs selling food from their home cultures have faced every disadvantage imaginable since the coronavirus struck.

20. How a South Carolina Farmer Is Adapting an Heirloom Rice to Withstand Climate Change
Rollen Chalmers is the ‘quiet force’ behind a renewed interest in heirloom rice while contending with encroaching saltwater, invasive weeds—and alligators.

21. Are Carbon Markets for Farmers Worth the Hype?
Private markets promise farmers monetization of a secondary crop: carbon stored in the soil. But questions loom about data ownership, consolidation, and increased pollution in communities of color.

photo of the advanced.farm TX harvester. (Photo courtesy of advanced.farm)

22. The Robots are Coming to Harvest Your Food. What Will it Mean for Farmworkers and Rural Communities?
The pandemic is making automation more appealing to farmers and investors. But advocates say not everyone is likely to benefit equally from the shift.

23. Ensuring Homeless Americans Get Enough Food Has Never Been Easy. Now, It’s Next to Impossible.
The charitable food system wasn’t designed to handle the pandemic—and with the number of homeless and hungry people soaring, the crisis has just begun.

Site manager Eileen Bowman wears a "REGISTER & VOTE" mask as long lines of voters wait to cast early voting ballots at Roxborough High School on October 17, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

24. Fighting Voter Suppression, Environmental Racism, and Corporate Agriculture in Hog Country
In an election like none before it, the residents of North Carolina—particularly the hog- and poultry-intensive eastern counties—are fighting long odds to regain the power of their vote.

25. Grassland 2.0 Aims to Replace Soy and Corn Farming with Perennial Pasture in the Upper Midwest
The University of Wisconsin-Madison project will help farmers transition to pasture-based systems to protect the environment and boost rural livelihoods while meeting demand for grassfed meat and dairy.

Since 2009, the Civil Eats editorial team has published award-winning and groundbreaking news and commentary about the American food system, and worked to make complicated, underreported stories—on climate change, the environment, social justice, animal welfare, policy, health, nutrition, and the farm bill— more accessible to a mainstream audience. Read more >

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