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Naomi Starkman
Naomi Starkman is a Founder and the Editor-in-Chief of Civil Eats, a daily news source for critical thought about the American food system. She is a food policy consultant to Consumers Union and others, as well as a founding board member and the Strategic Communications Advisor to the Food & Environment Reporting Network. Naomi served as the Director of Communications & Policy at Slow Food Nation ’08 and has worked as a media consultant at The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ and WIRED magazines. She was previously a senior publicist at Newsweek magazine and was the Director of Communications for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). After graduating from law school, she served as the Deputy Executive Director of the City of San Francisco’s Ethics Commission. Naomi works with various clients on food policy and advocacy and is an avid organic gardener, having worked on several farms.

Entries by Naomi Starkman

24 Women Food and Agriculture Reporters You Should Know About

(1) Comments | Posted May 16, 2014 | 3:21 PM

Women are the backbone of today's food media. Take a look at our site,, and you'll not only see that most of our contributors are women, but many of our featured stories are focused on female food movement leaders and projects spearheaded by women. And yet, the women reporting...

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Civil Eats Named James Beard Foundation's 2014 Publication of the Year

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 9:43 AM

Here's some good food news: Civil Eats was just named the James Beard Foundation's 2014 Publication of the Year! The Foundation's Journalism Committee, said:

"In judging its Publication of the Year, the Journalism Awards Committee of the James Beard Foundation recognizes a publication that demonstrates fresh direction, worthy...
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California's Top Chefs Join Together to Fight Fracking

(4) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 1:55 PM

Chez Panisse chefs Alice Waters and Jerome Waag today launched a chefs' petition urging their colleagues to take a stand against fracking in California. Working in collaboration with Food & Water Watch, founding member of Californians Against Fracking, the chefs are concerned about the threat fracking poses...

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TCHO: Changing Chocolate

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2013 | 11:24 AM

TCHO (pronounced "choh" -- the "t" is silent), a phonetic spelling for the first syllable of chocolate, masterly mixes alchemy and artistry to produce award-winning organic, beyond fair trade chocolate from its Pier 17 headquarters along the San Francisco bay.

Known as much for its hip designer packaging, hi-tech leadership...

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Record-breaking One Million Americans Tell FDA: We Have a Right to Know What's in Our Food

(107) Comments | Posted March 27, 2012 | 3:58 PM

The Just Label It (JLI) Campaign announced today that a record-breaking one million Americans of all political persuasions have called on the FDA to label genetically engineered (GE) foods. Today, March 27, is the date that the FDA is required to respond to the petition. It took JLI and...

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New Report: Nitrate Contamination Threatens California's Drinking Water

(5) Comments | Posted March 15, 2012 | 1:37 PM

This week the Food & Environment Reporting Network -- the first and only independent, non-profit, non-partisan news organization that produces investigative reporting on food, agriculture, and environmental health in partnership with local and national media outlets -- published its third report, "Farming Communities Facing Crisis Over...

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GE Foods at a Glance: Just Label It's New Infographic

(0) Comments | Posted March 8, 2012 | 1:57 PM

We know we've struck a cord with the Just Label It campaign, as Americans are responding in record-breaking numbers. As of today, more than 900,000 people have submitted comments to the FDA in favor of labeling genetically engineered (GE) foods. (I've written about the campaign before

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New Video by Food, Inc. Director Underscores Need to Label Genetically Engineered Food

(40) Comments | Posted January 18, 2012 | 11:25 AM

The Just Label It campaign today launched a new video by Food, Inc. filmmaker Robert Kenner that empowers consumers to fight for their right to know what is in their food. The video, "Labels Matter," is the result of collaboration between the Just Label...

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Just Label It: We Have a Right to Know What's In Our Food

(3) Comments | Posted October 5, 2011 | 2:01 PM

Yesterday, a broadbased coalition of nearly 400 businesses and organizations dedicated to food safety and consumer rights called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods, to give consumers the right to know what is in our food. The Just...

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New Tests Reinforce Concerns about Mercury in Canned Tuna

(86) Comments | Posted December 7, 2010 | 9:26 AM

Consumer Reports' latest tests of 42 samples from cans and pouches of tuna bought primarily in the New York metropolitan area and online confirm that white (albacore) tuna usually contains far more mercury than light tuna. According to Consumers Union, pregnant women should avoid tuna and younger women...

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Strawberry Showdown: No Methyl Iodide with My Shortcake, Please

(30) Comments | Posted May 20, 2010 | 12:04 PM

Commercially grown strawberries and tomatoes in California could start getting an unhealthy dose of the highly toxic fumigant methyl iodide, a known carcinogen, neurotoxin, and thyroid disruptor. Among scientists' greatest concerns is the pesticide's ability to cause spontaneous abortion late in pregnancy. So you might be surprised to hear that...

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80-Plus Groups Urge FDA, USDA to Change U.S. Position on Food Labeling

(7) Comments | Posted April 20, 2010 | 1:57 PM

Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, and more than 80 farmers, public health, environmental, and organic food organizations today sent a letter to Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Food at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and to Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department...

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Get Your Shovels Ready! Join the 350 Garden Challenge

(0) Comments | Posted April 19, 2010 | 3:31 PM

All across the nation people are converting their front and backyards, vacant lots, and other spaces into thriving and productive food gardens. To help encourage new gardeners along this verdant path, The 350 Garden Challenge will bring thousands together over a a single weekend, May 15-16, to transform...

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Stop GE Alfalfa: Consumers Care About GE Contamination

(7) Comments | Posted March 2, 2010 | 1:44 PM

USDA has until Wednesday, March 3 to receive public comment on its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on approval of GE alfalfa. In 2006, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) sued USDA on behalf of farmers and others regarding its approval of Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa, saying that the...

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Packaged Salad Bacteria: New Study Finds Salad Can Contain High Levels of Fecal Bacteria

(384) Comments | Posted February 2, 2010 | 6:58 AM

Consumer Reports' latest tests of packaged leafy greens found bacteria that are common indicators of poor sanitation and fecal contamination, in some cases, at rather high levels. The story appears in the March 2010 issue of Consumer Reports and is also available free online. Consumers Union today also...

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Two-Thirds of Chicken Tested Harbor Dangerous Bacteria

(109) Comments | Posted November 30, 2009 | 6:05 AM

Consumer Reports' latest test of fresh, whole broilers bought in 22 states reveals that two-thirds of birds tested harbored salmonella and/or campylobacter, the leading bacterial causes of food-borne disease. The report reveals that organic "air-chilled" broilers were among the cleanest and that Perdue was found to be the cleanest of...

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For The Love Of Turkeys: A Real Thanksgiving

(9) Comments | Posted November 25, 2009 | 1:24 PM

When I moved to the country this past spring, I breathed a sigh of relief for the natural environment and abundant animal life surrounding me. Gophers are everywhere--supposedly they ran the Russians out of Sonoma County--their wild escapades are evident across the dimpled landscape of the 80-acre organic farm I...

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Tests Find Wide Range of Bisphenol A in Canned Soups, Juice, and More

(268) Comments | Posted November 2, 2009 | 5:18 PM

Consumer Reports' latest tests of canned foods, including soups, juice, tuna, and green beans, have found that almost all of the 19 name-brand foods tested contain measurable levels of Bisphenol A (BPA). The results are reported in the December 2009 issue and also available online. BPA, which has been...

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Halloween Horror: Cattle Fed Chicken Poop and Recycled Cow Remains

(1) Comments | Posted October 30, 2009 | 1:44 AM

It sounds like a bad Halloween prank, but unfortunately, feeding cattle chicken litter--the material that accumulates on the floor of chicken growing facilities--is everyday practice in feedlots. Surprisingly, this unhealthy and inhumane practice is legal and poorly monitored, creating unacceptable risks to human and animal health.

Consumers Union...

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Apprenticed for Life: Learning From Millie Kalish's Hard Times on an Iowa Farm During the Depression

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2009 | 11:14 AM

Mildred Armstrong Kalish's outstanding book, Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression, is the perfect handbook for No Impact Week here at Huffington Post. Named one of the best 10 books in 2007 by the New York Times, Little Heathens...

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