How Food Journalism Can Be A Force For Change

From left to right – John Rudolph, Hali Bey Ramdene, Kathy Gunst, Naomi Starkman, Salima Hamirani. Photo: Rob St. Mary

Food journalism from a social justice perspective is on the rise.

Reports examining the challenges facing restaurant and farm workers, the role of women in the male-dominated restaurant industry, and the environmental consequences of agricultural practices are getting more attention from editors and audiences.

While restaurant reviews and recipes have long been mainstays of food reporting, the abundance of websites and podcasts offering this information has helped free food journalists to shift their focus.  But the change in emphasis adds new urgency to questions about best practices and ethics for food journalists.

At the recent Feet in 2 Worlds workshop on Telling Immigrant Food Stories we hosted a conversation about food journalism as it increasingly seeks to inform and influence people’s views on issues in and out of the kitchen,  The participants were Naomi Starkman, founder and editor-in-chief of Civil Eats, Hali Bey Ramdene, editor of Fi2W’s recent online magazine Food, Borders and Belonging – The Detroit Issue, Salima Hamirani, host of Making Contact, and Kathy Gunst, resident chef on NPR’s Here and Now.  Fi2W’s executive producer and founder John Rudolph led the conversation in San Francisco.

The workshop was presented in partnership with Civil Eats and Making Contact.

Major funding for the workshop comes from The International Association of Culinary Professionals’ foundation, The Culinary Trust, and its Growing Leaders Food Writing program. The Food Writing Program is funded with the support of the Boston Foundation.  Support also comes from Grow and the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses.


AboutJohn Rudolph
John Rudolph, Executive Producer, is a journalist with more than 40 years experience as a public radio program host and producer of documentaries, podcasts and news reports. John produced the award-winning documentary Feet in Two Worlds: Immigrants in a Global City, which was the debut for the Feet in 2 Worlds project.