When it comes to deciding what is for dinner, eaters’ decisions can be determined by more than taste alone. Food choices affect the environment, the economy, health, social justice, politics, and more. Luckily, there are a number of magazines that can help all of us make better food decisions.
According to Bon Appétit Editor-in-Chief Adam Rapoport, “We as a nation of eaters have evolved. We’ve transitioned away from a world of food TV and celebrity chefs—where you had to be a card-carrying foodie to talk about food with any authority—to one where everyone has a stake in the game. Food has gone wide—it has become, of all things, cool.”Modern Farmer Editor-in-Chief Sarah Gray Miller says, “if you are a passionate foodie, there is more for you, and if you want to farm, there is enough there, too,” regarding the magazine’s recent rerelease. The magazine promises to highlight “products picked from farmers, not fashion editors.”
Food Tank has selected 19 magazines that will help inspire eaters, farmers, cooks, and food activists.
Acres U.S.A.: Acres U.S.A. is a national magazine focused on sustainable agriculture. With more than 40 years of continuous publication, it draws on its bountiful knowledge to inform readers of growing tips that are both ecologically and economically sound. The magazine draws from the work of both scientists and farmers and features articles on cover cropping, government regulations, rotational grazing, and more.
African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development: The African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal based in Kenya. The journal was originally started in 2001 by Ruth Oniang’o, an expert in nutrition policy and renewed advocate for women’s health. The journal is one of the first continuously published agriculture-related publications in Africa and offers information on region-specific issues, such as providing water-efficient maize to smallholder farms in Western Kenya and combating aflatoxins in Eastern Africa.
Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Magazine: The Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation’s magazine debuted in 2013 with its “Food for Health” issue, exploring the social, environmental, health, and economic impacts of lifestyle and diet choices. The foundation is a multidisciplinary, independent think tank that analyzes the various causes and effects of food to help people make conscious decisions about diet, health, and sustainability. The magazine’s article topics range from the social and economic effects of childhood obesity to the impact of hunger on cognitive development.
Choices: Published by the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Choices is a quarterly online, peer-reviewed magazine exploring economic implications of food, agriculture policy, and resource use issues. Recent themes feature stories on the impacts of water scarcity and the need for economy-wide considerations, cost-effective conservation programs, and the economic prospects of genetically engineered crops.
ChopChop: Readers of ChopChop will find nutritious, kid-friendly recipes, fun food facts, games, and interviews inside. It is published in both Spanish and English and was the winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Award for Publication of the Year. ChopChop is filled with nutritious, ethnically diverse, and inexpensive recipes like strawberry orange ice pops and roasted eggplant and tomato ratatouille.
EatingWell: Originally launched in 1990, EatingWell provides the resources to “make eating healthy a way of life” through recipes, nutrition advice, and cooking techniques. EatingWell appeals to a wide audience by providing healthful receipts that fit a wide variety of busy lifestyles, with articles like “50 Cheap Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work.”
Edible Communities: Edible Communities, Inc. publishes region-specific publications, such as Edible Boston, Edible San Francisco, and Edible Orange County. Each magazine celebrates the local food culture and community and seeks to foster relationships between consumers and their local growers, retailers, chefs, and food artisans.
Edible Manhattan: Edible Manhattan is a part of the family of Edible Communities magazines. The magazine features local food and drink makers, restaurants, events, and markets. In addition, the publication hosts its own events, including Good Beer, highlighting local breweries, and Edible Escape, which showcases globally-inspired food prepared by local chefs.
Ensia: Ensia is an independent, nonprofit magazine that shares thought-provoking articles on environmental challenges and solutions. Stories motivate readers to take action in their communities to reduce environmental impacts and create a more sustainable future. Past articles have featured entrepreneurs using technology to combat food waste, environmentally friendly superfoods, and how CRISPR will affect agriculture.
Farming Matters: Farming Matters magazine offers discussions, news, opinions, research, and real-life examples around how family farming and agroecology contribute to a sustainable food system. Its latest issue features the role of traditional plants in nutrition, culture, and food sovereignty.
Food & Nutrition Magazine: Published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Food & Nutrition is a bimonthly magazine that helps keep both nutrition professionals and non-professionals interested in nutrition up-to-date with the latest scientific nutrition findings. The magazine is also a great source of healthy recipes, all which have been vetted by registered dietitians.
Insights: The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is an international agriculture research center that aims to improve the understanding of the impact of national agricultural and food policies on innovation and development. IFPRI’s Insights is a magazine designed to showcase the work of IFPRI researchers and why it matters in the effort to improve the lives of the world’s most disadvantaged. Past issues have featured stories on the impact of world trade agreements on developing economies, a green revolution in Africa, and how people’s aspirations impact their decisions and investments.
Indie Farmer: Indie Farmer is an independent magazine focused on sustainable food culture. Based in the UK, the magazine is a resource for small-scale producers, growers, and livestock keepers for nontraditional farmers around the world. Indie Farmer also hosts a monthly podcast, called Farmerama Radio, that shares the inspirational and personal stories of various small-scale farmers.
Modern Farmer: Modern Farmer is the authoritative resource for food producers and consumers of all types, from professional chefs to home growers. In addition to tasty recipes and growing tips, it offers readers enlightening stories on how our food choices impact the world around us. Some of its latest stores feature an abandoned quarry turned organic farm in Rio’s Olympic Village, a profile on an avid apiarist, and new ways to keep eggs fresh.
Mother Jones: Mother Jones is a nonprofit news organization that reports on a wide range of topics including politics, food, the environment, and crime. With a reach of more than nine million readers per month, its bimonthly magazine is known for its independent, investigative reporting and regularly features high-quality coverage of food and agriculture news.
Slow: USA: Slow Food is a global grassroots organization connecting individuals and communities to good, clean, and fair food. Slow Food USA publishes a biannual magazine called Slow: USA. Readers can find selected articles on their blog, including one exploring the fermented foods movement and another on the history of Southern barbecue.
Tufts Nutrition: Tufts Nutrition is a publication of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. Its twice-yearly publications highlight the work of Friedman researchers, alumni, and other leaders in the food and nutrition sector. Its most recent publication showcases research on the influence of parents’ eating habits on their children, the health impacts of sleep deprivation, and tips to make healthy snacks more visually appealing.
Urban Ag News: Founded in 2012, Urban Ag News informs growers of industry happenings and the latest agricultural technologies. Founder Chris Higgins aims to connect food producers of all levels with manufacturers, suppliers, and consumers. Its latest issue features Kimbal Musk, the younger brother of Elon Musk. Musk discusses his “community though food” philosophy and founding the Learning Gardens, gardens that serve as outdoor classrooms.
World Ark Magazine: Heifer International is a charity that aims to end hunger by providing livestock and sustainable agriculture education to communities around the world. Their magazine, World Ark, releases new issues every season and features diverse topics such as adaptation efforts to changing weather, market opportunities in Nicaragua, and the power of youth in ending global hunger and poverty.
What are some of your favorite magazines on food, farming, sustainable agriculture, farmworkers, and healthy eating?
(Danielle Nierenberg is President, Food Tank, foodtank.com)