Introducing “Bite,” Our New Podcast About Food Politics

For people who think hard about their food.


In each biweekly episode, we’ll interview a writer, scientist, farmer, or chef to uncover the surprising stories behind what ends up on your plate.

Earlier this winter, an essay on the food and culture website First We Feast laid out some complaints about contemporary food journalism: “Food media has felt, for lack of a better word, soft,” editor Chris Schonberger wrote. To find investigative reporting on food issues, readers must look outside the “food media” bubble. As legendary culinary writer Ruth Reichl told Schonberger and company: “If you’re interested in the politics of food, you can go to Mother Jones or something.”

Indeed, Mother Jones has delved into food and agriculture’s thornier topics for decades. We’ve taken full advantage of our tagline of “smart, fearless journalism” to expose the nut industry’s voracious thirst, observe fast-food’s sway on nutrition policy, illuminate the environmental toll of snacks’ excessive packaging, and examine the industry cover-up of sugar’s health risks. And now, we’re excited to take this knack for no-bullshit reporting to a brand new medium: Bite podcast.

Bite is a podcast for people who think hard about their food. In each biweekly episode, my co-hosts Tom Philpott and Kiera Butler and I will interview a writer, scientist, farmer, or chef to uncover the surprising stories behind what ends up on your plate. We’ll help you digest the major food news of the week. We’re interested in how your food intersects with other important topics like identity, social justice, health, corporate influence, and climate change.

Don’t worry—we’ll have some fun, too. We’re happy to indulge in some full-on foodie-ism from time to time. (Check out our recipes for wine-braised short ribs and cranberry salsa.) We’ll reflect on the weirdest things our guests have eaten as of late. And we’ll try to solve your food mysteries—especially if you get in touch with us on Twitter or Facebook, or by sending an email to bite@motherjones.com.

Subscribe to Bite on iTunes or via our RSS, and get ready for our first episode, which will drop very soon. We hope you’re hungry.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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