On “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg,” co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN) Samuel Fromartz talks about adding more voices to discussions about the food system. FERN started in 2010 “during the implosion of media,” says Fromartz. “A lot of environmental journalists were being cut, magazines were folding, and sections of newspapers would be slimmed down… But we felt there was definitely a need for this [reporting], there was an appetite among the audience for the work that we do—in-depth, investigative, explanatory journalism.”
You can listen to “Food Talk with Dani Nierenberg” on Apple iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, Spotify, or wherever you consume your podcasts. While you’re listening, subscribe, rate, and review the show; it would mean the world to us to have your feedback.
“I knew there was a huge appetite for these stories, stories about where your food comes from, how it’s produced, the impact of it. There’s a readership for that,” says Fromartz. As the author of Organic Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grew (2006), Fromartz tracked the evolution of the organic foods industry early in the food movement for the general public.
FERN continues to track this evolution, especially as the organic food industry incorporates more voices at the table. “White men and women, at the time that I wrote my book, were the ones building the industry and going back to the land. Now, there’s many more diverse voices coming into the conversation and I think changing it in really important ways,” says Fromartz. “The conversation is being formed by marginalized voices.”
As the Editor-in-Chief of FERN, Fromartz helped the organization win three James Beard awards in Investigative Reporting; Food Politics, Policy, and the Environment; and Journalism. This year, FERN expanded its methods of reporting, releasing “What is the farm bill and why does it matter?”—a seven-minute animation video that answers questions about how policymakers piece together and pull apart the bill.
Photo courtesy of Samuel Fromartz.