The Dirt 2017
With a fully tax-deductible donation of at least $25 dollars, you’ll enjoy a full-color, beautifully designed year-end collection of our work. But don’t delay – supplies are limited. Order your copy below!
Enjoy some of our best work from 2017 and support our reporting efforts at the same time! We’ve gathered our most compelling stories of the past year into an elegant magazine. Great writing, gorgeous photography. Get yours now.
We want to keep investigating, explaining and exploring. But we can’t do it without you. Get The Dirt 2017 now and dive deep into the most critical issues facing the food system today.
A TASTE OF WHAT’S INSIDE
- “The Deliciously Fishy Case of The Codfather” published with Mother Jones features a foul-mouthed fisheries kingpin, undercover cops and envelopes stuffed with illicit cash. It reads like a noir thriller set against the backdrop of the collapsing New England fishing industry. Ben Goldfarb tells the riveting tale of Carlos Rafael, known as “The Codfather,” who exploited loopholes in the region’s catch-share system to drive smaller operators out of business and perpetrate a years-long fraud. “I am a pirate,” Rafael once told regulators. “It’s your job to catch me.”
- In “Revenge of the Lunch Lady,” produced with The Huffington Post’s longform channel, Highline, Jane Black tells the story of how an unassuming bureaucrat outsmarted celebrity chef and reality TV star Jamie Oliver and pulled off an honest-to-god miracle in one of America’s unhealthiest cities. Rhonda McCoy is the hero of our story, the nutrition director of a much-maligned school district in West Virginia that has defied the odds and managed to serve healthy, delicious cooked-from-scratch meals to all its students … for free. McCoy’s lunch program depends on an arcane federal initiative called the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) that helps poor districts reduce administrative costs and use the savings for things like better ingredients and kitchen equipment. No one thought it was possible to achieve such a thing using only the program’s meager reimbursement rate per meal. McCoy proved them all wrong.
- In the wake of restored diplomatic relations with Cuba, FERN sent Roger Atwood, a veteran former Latin American correspondent with Reuters, to investigate the condition of the country’s agriculture. The result was “Organic or starve: Can Cuba’s new farming model provide food security?” published with The Guardian. Atwood found that Cuba is in the midst of Organic 2.0 — breaking up former sugar cane plantations in the countryside and turning them into small-scale farming ventures. The challenges are immense but Cuba has a valuable and still underdeveloped resource: high quality soil.
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