Civil Eats Appoints Veteran Food Journalist and Editor Margo True as Editorial Director | Civil Eats
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Civil Eats Appoints Veteran Food Journalist and Editor Margo True as Editorial Director

Founder and Editor-in-Chief Naomi Starkman has been appointed executive director as the organization celebrates its 15-year anniversary with an executive transition. 

Civil Eats is thrilled to announce the hiring of Margo True as its new editorial director. True is a longtime, award-winning food writer and magazine editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Naomi Starkman, who founded the organization 15 years ago, and has since served as its editor-in-chief, has been appointed executive director. Former Managing Editor Matthew Wheeland was promoted to the role of operations director.

True worked as a food editor for many years in New York at Gourmet and at Saveur as executive editor. She later joined Sunset, where she was the food editor for 14 years. Most recently, she was the lead copywriter, journals editor, and recipe editor for Patagonia Provisions, the food division of Patagonia, focusing on food’s role in restoring ecosystems.

“I’m excited to be joining Civil Eats as editorial director,” True said. “I’ve long admired this publication for the breadth, depth, and quality of its reporting on the state of our food system. Civil Eats is widely respected for uncovering stories that tend to stay hidden from public view, yet have profound, everyday impact on our lives, especially as we face the climate crisis. I’m looking forward to supporting this talented team and their work to make good food a civil right for everyone.”

During her time at Saveur, the magazine received eight National Magazine Award nominations (winning two) and 25 James Beard Journalism Award nominations (winning 12). At Sunset, True created a backyard farming blog that won the magazine its first James Beard journalism award and was the basis for several articles, a book, and a West-wide contest. True has also edited cookbooks, including the Canal House series, The Sunset Cookbook, and the award-winning Great Outdoors Cookbook.

“I can’t think of a more qualified and outstanding journalist than Margo True to guide Civil Eats into its next era,” said Starkman, who, in collaboration with the Civil Eats team, spent more than a year reorganizing the award-winning publication. “True has decades of experience, is a tenacious reporter, investigator, and editor, and is one of the most respected individuals in our field. We are lucky to welcome her to our team.”

True grew up in several different countries as the daughter of a diplomat. Gradually, she came to understand that food could be a subtle, powerful way of helping people bridge cultures, and she believes that still. “For more than 30 years, I’ve been fascinated by food and the way it connects to and reverberates through all aspects of life,” said True.

“Civil Eats is a unique journalistic organization that provides much needed reporting and insight into the politically charged and dynamically changing food system,” said Will Rosenzweig, chairperson of Civil Eats’ board of directors. “Margo True has the special skills, knowledge, and passion to continue the legacy of quality and integrity established by Naomi Starkman and her team at Civil Eats.”

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“The publication will undoubtedly continue to grow, inform, and thrive under True’s direction,” Rosenzweig continued. “With Starkman and Wheeland in continuing, promoted positions, this independent publication’s leadership is strong and its future is bright.”

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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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  1. Cate Conniff
    Congratulations to Margo and the Civil Eats team she joins. A brilliant alignment. Can’t wait to read what comes next in the role of food, farming and culture Margo is a matrix for.

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