The Green Plate is always combing the web to see what’s happening in the world of organic, sustainable, fair, and tasty food. From recipes, to food and agricultural policy, there are dozens of great sites that I depend on for my daily diet of information.
So here’s the Green Plate’s list of the best organic, smart, green, newsy, tasty, seasonal, sustainable food places on the web to share with you readers:
Group Blogs – Cooking:
Food 52 launched with a splash last fall by New York Times food writer and cookbook author, Amanda Hesser, and friend and fellow food writer Merrill Stubbs. It’s unlike any other site out there, in that instead of telling readers what to cook, it showcases the fine work of talented home cooks. It’s interactive, fun, well-designed, and full of tasty recipes. Readers can rate recipes and cookbooks, and from the recipes readers submit, founders are creating an online community cookbook and recipe database.
Started by New York food writer, Ed Levine, Serious Eats combines community, recipes, and food news into one of the most respected voices about food on the web. Though not explicitly green, the recipes and news on Serious Eats are about what’s current, and what people want to talk about, so there’s plenty that’s seasonal, veg centric, healthy, and well-sourced, right alongside articles on where to get the best burger in New York.
Culinate also has a strong community component along with recipes, news articles, cooking tips, interviews, recipes, podcasts, food news, and blog posts. It’s all about real food and is focused on an audience who cares where their food came from and how it was produced. The reporting and writing is always high quality.
The Kitchn, part of Apartmenttherapy.com, has writers across the country contributing recipes, product reviews, store spotlights, and news. There are also giveaways, cool kitchen tours and more, all served up with a strong editorial voice. The focus is on what people who care about good, real food are cooking and eating, so though not explicitly “green” there’s plenty there to chew on. And always great recipes and tips.
Group Blogs – News, policy, stories:
The New York Times Diners Journal blog features the work of many of the Time’s best thinkers on food issues, including Mark Bittman. You’ll find New York-centric news but also plenty about what’s going on all over the country trend-wise, plus Bittman’s tasty, simple, seasonal, veg-centric recipes.
Cooking Up a Story is an online television series (and blog) about people, food, and sustainable living. The videos spotlight farmers, artisan food producers, and other individuals who are bringing sustainable food to our tables. Many are unsung heroes and all are fascinating and inspiring.
Civil Eats is a blog with contributors around the country (full disclosure: I am one of them). You’ll find interviews with food activists and farmers, book reviews, recipes, gardening and farming tips, policy discussions, and all kinds of news. Many contributors are activists and movers and shakers in the world of sustainable fair food, so this is info from the front lines.
Sustainable Table is also home to The Meatrix and the Eat Well guide and it focuses on educating consumers on food related issues and building community through food. You’ll find shopping guides, recipes, and more on this invaluable site.
The Food Section of activist hub Change.org dishes up thought-provoking news on the issues that affect our food system. You’ll find articles skewering corporate misdeeds and great reporting on policy developments – plenty to chew on.
EcoCentric is the new home that combines Sustainable Table, Eat Well Guide, Daily Table, The Green Fork, H20 Conserve, and Network for New Energy Choices to cover the intersections between sustainable food, water, and energy. It’s a smart choice since food, water, and energy are all essential for our survival. The reporting is wide-ranging and interesting.
It’s no surprise that the Big Daddy of green blogs, Grist.org would be one of the most definitive food voices on the web. It’s been my first stop for years. The reporting goes beyond parroting and digs into the issues. With top-notch writers like Tom Philpott, Tom Laskawy, Bonnie Powell, and Paula Crossfield (also managing editor of Civil Eats), this should be the first place you go for policy news, stories from around the country, and the exposure of hypocrisy in high places of all sorts.
Speaking of Bonnie Powell, the blog she founded, The Ethicurean, is a must read for curated news from around the web, as it offers well-researched, original feature articles, and stories about cooking and farming.
Combining cooking and policy news, the The Atlantic’s Food Channel is all about smart food journalism.
With the gossipy, tabloid tone of the rest of the Daily Beast, Hungry Beast is a fun, but not-always-feather-light destination for news about food, recipes, and features.
Individual Blogs – Cooking:
Uber-blogger Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes migrated from the tech world to become one of the first full-time food bloggers. Her site is one of the web’s best treasure troves of home cooking.
Another early entry into the world of food blogs, 101 Cookbooks, is at the top of every blogger’s blog roll. Created by technological and media 2.0 whiz, Heidi Swanson, who is also a cookbook author and professional photographer, 101 Cookbooks is one of the most beautiful and useful food blogs on the planet. All of Heidi’s recipes are vegetarian and healthy, but she doesn’t really talk about it. It just is. I like that.
Engaging writing, gorgeous photography, and creative, delicious, doable recipes are the hallmarks of Smitten Kitchen. This is where I come for inspiration and just to bask in Deb Perelman’s beautiful food.
Individual Blogs – Policy and News:
Sam Fromartz, author of Organics Inc., one of the first books about “big organics” and how things REALLY work in the world of food policy and business, has a blog called Chewswise. It’s refreshingly idiosyncratic. You’re just as likely to get a recipe for Sam’s famous baguettes as a serious discussion about the farm bill, but there’s always something to provoke thought.
James Beard award winner and former contributing editor of Gourmet Magazine, Barry Estabrook reports on food politics in Politics of the Plate. Alternating between news bites of food stories from the web and the kind of hard-hitting features he became known for at Gourmet, Barry’s site is a great place to catch-up.
Josh Friedland’s The Food Section is a rich stew of food news culled from around the web, commentary, features, and new product news.
Now it’s your turn. Leave a comment and tell us about your favorite food stops on the web!
This is the latest installment in Vanessa Barrington’s weekly column, The Green Plate, on the environmental, social, and political issues related to what and how we eat.