Food & Environment Reporting Network Launches

Welcome to the Food & Environment Reporting Network, an independent, non-profit, non-partisan news organization. We produce investigative reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health for distribution to major media outlets.

Our first story appears in the award-winning western magazine, High Country News, and takes a hard look at pollution by the powerful dairy industry in New Mexico and how one man became the driving force behind a movement that brought the state’s mega-dairies to heel. You can read the full story here. There is also a podcast featuring those on both sides of the issue here on HCN’s Web site.

Watch this space for our hard-hitting investigative stories, several of which will break news in the weeks to come, appearing in mainstream publications, such as The American Prospect and The Nation magazines, as well as major daily newspapers.

“Our stories will fall under the classic mandate of investigative reporting–to reveal corruption, abuse of power, and exploitation wherever it happens; to expose activities that the powerful work to keep hidden or to explore subjects that are just too complex for the breaking news cycle,” said Editor-in-Chief Samuel Fromartz. “We’ve chosen to focus on food, agriculture, and environmental health specifically because we feel these are under-reported subjects that touch people’s lives every day.”

A registered 501(c)3 non-profit corporation based in New York, the Food & Reporting Environment Network is led by Editor-in-Chief Samuel Fromartz, author, freelance journalist and former Reuters business editor and managed by Executive Director Tom Laskawy and Managing Editor Paula Crossfield. Naomi Starkman is a Strategic Communications Advisor. Its board of directors includes Fromartz; Allison Arieff, a contributing columnist for The New York Times, contributing columnist for The Atlantic Cities, and editor of the Urbanist magazine for SPUR (San Francisco Planning & Urban Research Association); and Ralph Loglisci, a leading food policy media strategist. Former board members Katrina Heron and Naomi Starkman were involved in the organization’s founding and development.

The Food & Environment Reporting Network editorial board includes Brian Halweil, editor of Edible East End and co-publisher of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan magazines; Katrina Heron, Editor-at-Large at Newsweek/The Daily Beast and previously Editor-in-Chief of WIRED and a senior editor at The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times magazines; Ruth Reichl Editorial Advisor to Gilt Taste, Editor-at-Large at Random House, and former Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet magazine; Elizabeth Royte, author of the critically acclaimed Garbage Land and Bottlemania; and Charles Wilson, the co-author with Eric Schlosser of the number one New York Times children’s bestseller Chew On This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food.

“Over the past four decades, coverage of food and agriculture has waned in the mainstream press at the same time as the impact of a more industrialized food system on public health has become increasingly severe,” said editorial boardmember Ruth Reichl. “Without detailed investigations into food and agriculture, our understanding of humanity’s impacts on the environment is incomplete and related policy changes ineffective.”

Be sure to visit the archive to read our stories and check back regularly to the blog, where we will follow-up on our investigations. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook to find out more about our future stories.