Lisa Elaine Held
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Lisa Elaine Held is a freelance journalist based in New York City who covers the food system. She focuses on stories that show how what and how people eat intersects with environmental issues, health, culture, and social justice. Her work has been published in various magazines and on many websites, including Civil Eats, Eater, Tasting Table, Cosmopolitan, and Conde Nast Traveller. She has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and was formerly an editor at Well+Good.

How Female Farmers Are Changing the Field

When the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) surveyed more than 3,500 farmers under 40 in 2017, 60 percent of the farmer respondents were women. And in 2012, the USDA Census of Agriculture found that 14 percent of principal farm operators were women, a nearly 300 percent increase since 1978, when it began counting women as farmers.

How a Small USDA Program Helps Small Farms and Local Food Economies

A USDA study found businesses that received VAPG grants were significantly more likely to succeed compared to similar businesses that did not, and created more jobs. As U.S. farmers face unique economic challenges, the VAPG program may be discontinued.

Can Wasting Less Food Between the Farm and Consumer Improve Nutrition?

Switching out traditional raffia baskets with plastic crates when transporting tomatoes in Nigeria can save fresh, healthy food and have multiple subsequent effects on nutrition in the region.

Could Changing the Way Chicken Is Sold Reduce Malnutrition in Kenya?

“These guys are feeding the poor but their financing is very poor,” says Bonnie McClafferty, GAIN’s food value chain director. “They are pretty much falling through the cracks because they’re too small for all of the big lending and they’re too big for microfinance.”

Can (and Should) Pasture-Raised Eggs Scale Up?

Vital Farms offers ethical and environmentally-conscious eggs to consumers at over 10,000 retail locations across the country. They support a growing number of small and medium-sized farms who follow high standards of care for the animals and the environment.

Chefs Serve Hospital Food That’s Better for Patients, Employees—and the Planet

While chefs have been a driving force improving school food for a long time, now they’re also stepping in to transform hospital kitchens, bringing with them expertise in healthy menu planning and fresh food sourcing.

Can Fixing Supply Chains Work as a Nutrition Intervention?

Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition is aligning supply chains with human need, for a better food system between farmer and consumer.

Robotics and Automation Are Transforming Food System Labor

From seed to table, a revolution in technology that prioritizes robotics and automation is on the cusp of transforming what the work required to produce, transport, sell, and serve food looks like.

What Does Food Waste Have to Do with Hunger?

While distributing food waste to the poor has long been used as a solution to food insecurity, the author of Big Hunger says the moral imperative around reducing waste has also contributed to the never-ending nature of both problems.

How Breweries Are Using Food Waste to Make Beer

Advocates say there are many reasons turning citrus into saisons and sourdough into session IPAs could make a major contribution to both reducing and raising awareness of food waste.