INN Member Civil Eats gives food for thought

Launched in 2009, Civil Eats is the leading daily media source for providing original content and commentary to inform critical thought about the American food system. By focusing on fair, balanced, high-quality journalism, Civil Eats breaks important news, educates leaders and policymakers, influences the national conversation about food, and serves as an invaluable resource for broader mainstream media.

For its first four years, Civil Eats operated with no funding and as a labor of love. Now in its ninth year, Civil Eats has achieved significant impact and reach: It raised an unprecedented $100,000 via Kickstarter in 2013 and was named Publication of the Year in 2014 by the James Beard Foundation, all with very limited resources.

Civil Eats’ innovative media model reaches millions more through content partnerships with high-profile print and online publications, including TIME, The Atlantic, Slate, Salon, Yahoo!, Food & Wine, Public Radio International, PBS/ITVS, New York Magazine, Eater, Quartz, and Maplight. These partnerships help bring Civil Eats' work to millions of new readers.

From sustainable agricultural practices, food justice, and nutrition, to state and federal policy, Civil Eats has reported on the most important food and agriculture stories of our time. Civil Eats’ stories are regularly recognized by The Aspen Institute in their Best Ideas of the Day series, and its stories are shared on social media by influencers, politicians, and business leaders.

Unique in the media landscape, food justice has been central to Civil Eats’ reporting since its inception, and the site has played a role in demonstrating the connection between race, equity, access, and environmental justice. This focus on intersectionality drives Civil Eats’ tiny but mighty team, keeping sight of the latest trends in food and farming, often reporting on stories long before mainstream media.

Founder and editor Naomi Starkman is a recognized and oft-quoted national expert and a 2015-16 John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University. Managing Editor Matthew Wheeland is a veteran environmental journalist who has covered environmental, sustainability, and social justice issues for more than 15 years. He was previously managing editor of GreenBiz and AlterNet. Contributing Editor Twilight Greenaway reports and edits for the site as well as managing and reporting for Civil Eats’ new Rural Environment & Agriculture Project. Her articles about food and farming have appeared in The New York Times, NPR, The Guardian, TakePart, Modern FarmerGastronomica, and on Grist, where she served as the food editor.

Associate Editor Christina Cooke has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times,, The GuardianOxford American, and High Country News. She has worked as a staff writer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press in Tennessee and a weekly paper in Portland, Oregon. Social Media Editor Bridget Shirvell is a New York-city based journalist who has reported on a wide range of food, travel, and environmental subjects for VICE, Condé Nast Traveler, and Edible Communities. She was a digital strategist for Long Island Pulse Magazine, an audience engagement specialist for PBS NewsHour, and a town reporter in Connecticut.