Home Restaurant The Year in Civil Eats Investigations, 2023

The Year in Civil Eats Investigations, 2023

Last year, Civil Eats launched an investigations desk to break new ground—and dig even deeper—on topics related to power within the food system. Our five-part series, Injured and Invisible, about the unseen and unprotected workforce behind meat produced in the U.S., won a James Beard Award for investigative reporting, and our piece on the investors laying claim to water in Colorado won first prize in the business category of the 2023 American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) Writing Awards.

In 2023, our investigative desk followed up on some of our investigative reporting from last year. In addition, we dug into the true cost of tuna, which includes the lost lives of the marine observers tasked with upholding sustainable seafood standards on fishing boats. And we launched Walanthropy, a multi-series project that takes a detailed look at Walmart and its founding family’s influence over the American food system. Over the course of six stories, our reporters uncover the scope of that influence, examining the long reach of the corporation and its family of funders over producers and policymakers.

In one story, for example, contributor Alice Driver traveled to Honduras with photographer Jacky Muniello to report on the Indigenous Miskito lobster divers who support the $46 million spiny lobster industry, exported almost entirely to U.S. markets. While the Walton Family Foundation invested in the Honduran lobster fishery, targeting its sustainability and touting its success, in recent years, roughly 4,000 Miskito lobster divers have been disabled, many are paraplegic or quadriplegic—and at least 400 have died.

Below, find a recap of our year investigating the food system.

A watercolor-style illustration of a marine observer looking through binoculars at a tuna fishing vessel. (Illustration credit: Tina Zellmer) (Illustration credit: Tina Zellmer)

The True Cost of Tuna: Marine Observers Dying at Sea
The harassment, abuse, and sometimes death of the marine observers who uphold sustainable seafood standards are the industry’s worst-kept secrets. Critics say the people and companies that earn the most money on tuna aren’t doing enough to secure their well-being.

Congress Likely to Preserve OSHA Loophole That Endangers Animal Ag Workers
A 2022 Civil Eats investigation found that a budget rider that prohibits OSHA from spending money to ​regulate small farms leaves most animal-ag operations without oversight. Lawmakers appear poised to renew the rider once again.

This article follows up on the 2022 Injured and Invisible series, and on this article in particular: “Animal Agriculture Is Dangerous Work. The People Who Do It Have Few Protections.”

cattle walking to a water trough in douglas county, colorado. Photo credit: thomas barwick, getty imagescattle walking to a water trough in douglas county, colorado. Photo credit: thomas barwick, getty images

Farming in Dry Places: Investors Continue to Speculate on Colorado Water
A group seeking to buy water from farm and ranch lands is turning its efforts to electing water board representatives—who could then make water deals with suburbs easier.

This article follows up on the 2022 investigative piece “As Drought Hits Farms, Investors Lay Claim to Colorado Water.”

Source link