Who We Are | Civil Eats

Who We Are

Our Team

Naomi Starkman

Naomi Starkman is the founder and executive director of Civil Eats. She was the site’s editor-in-chief until 2024. A 2016 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. Naomi has worked as a media consultant to Newsweek, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ, WIRED, and Consumer Reports magazines. After graduating from law school, she served as the deputy executive director of the City of San Francisco’s Ethics Commission. Naomi is an avid gardener, having worked on several organic farms.

Matthew Wheeland

Matthew Wheeland is the operations director of Civil Eats. Formerly the site’s managing editor, he is a veteran environmental journalist who has covered a wide range of environmental, sustainability, and social-justice subjects over the past 15 years. He previously served as managing editor of GreenBiz and AlterNet. He lives in the Bay Area with his family, is a dedicated home cook, an avid cyclist, and an enthusiastic (if less-than-fully successful) gardener.

Margo True

Margo True is the editorial director of Civil Eats. She’s been fascinated by food, and the way food connects to and reverberates through all aspects of life, for more than 30 years. A longtime magazine journalist, she’s worked for Gourmet, Saveur, and Sunset, and has won four James Beard journalism awards. Most recently, True was the lead writer and editor for Patagonia Provisions, the food division of Patagonia, focusing on food’s role in restoring ecosystems. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, loves to cook, and enjoys learning to surf, hunt wild foods and bike the trails of Mount Tamalpais.

Christina Cooke

Christina Cooke is an associate editor at Civil Eats. Based in North Carolina, she has covered people, place, science, business, and culture for venues including The New Yorker, The New York Times, TheAtlantic.com, The Guardian, Oxford American, and High Country News. In the past, she has worked as a staff writer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press in Tennessee and a weekly paper in Portland, Oregon. She teaches interviewing and nonfiction writing at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Find out more at www.christinacooke.com.

Tilde Herrera

Tilde Herrera is an associate editor at Civil Eats. She has written about food, business, and sustainability for publications including AdExchanger, GreenBiz, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Jose Mercury-News, and Grist. A Bay Area native, she lives in San Francisco with her husband and son, who loves tacos almost as much as she does.

Lisa Held

Lisa Held is Civil Eats’ senior staff reporter and a contributing editor. Since 2015, she has reported on agriculture and the food system with an eye toward sustainability, equality, and health, and her stories have appeared in publications including The Guardian, The Washington Post, and Mother Jones. In the past, she covered health and wellness and was an editor at Well+Good. She is based in Baltimore and has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

Kalisha Bass

Kalisha Bass is the membership manager for Civil Eats. She manages Civil Eats’ subscription platform, serves as the primary contact for members, and creates various engagement opportunities for them. Since joining the team, she has introduced a members’ Slack community and revived the Civil Eats Salon as a way for members to engage with reporters, industry experts, and each other.

Grey Moran

Grey Moran is a staff reporter for Civil Eats based in Queens, New York. Their work has appeared in The Atlantic, Grist, Pacific Standard, The Guardian, Teen Vogue, The New Republic, The New York Times, The Intercept, and elsewhere. Grey writes narrative-based stories about public health, climate change, and environmental justice, especially with a lens on the people working toward solutions.

Marisa Martinez

Marisa Martinez serves as the audience engagement editor at Civil Eats. Previously, she worked as an audience engagement editor at the Los Angeles Times, with a specific focus on social media distribution for the broader newsroom. Additionally, she’s worked as a fellow for CalMatters and KCRW, where she reported on higher education and general news. She lives in the Inland Empire with her husband and corgi and enjoys spending time at local, dog-friendly microbreweries.

Alexandra Talty

Based in Southampton, New York, Alexandra is a 2023-24 Pulitzer Center Ocean Reporting Fellow covering American seaweed farming for Civil Eats. A multi-media journalist, her writing appears in The New York Times, The Guardian and Outside Magazine; she is also the host Long Island TV show “South Fork Sea Farmers.” In her freetime, she operates a hobby oyster farm.