Introducing Feast and Field: Who we are
The story of our food begins in the field.
A team of five journalists, creators, producers and food-enthusiasts brings you Feast and Field: A new digital platform dedicated to telling the unique stories surrounding American agriculture. Each week, we’ll travel to a new area of the United States exploring how the food you relish gets to your plate (or your glass) in the first place.
“There is more to food than most people know,” says executive editor Cat Neville. “I’ve learned so much by being on location, on farms and in production facilities, and I’ve gained an appreciation for the work of our farmers and makers. I want to share that respect and awareness with others. With Feast and Field, I want to offer readers an intimate look at the real story of our food, from field to plate.”
With so many stories to tell, Feast and Field has a unique opportunity to highlight voices that oftentimes are not otherwise heard in a way that brings them close to home. From small, biodynamic orchards to acres of wheat that stretch beyond the horizon, from fields dotted with cows to urban rooftop gardens that reach to the sky, American agriculture is rich in its diversity.
“Feast and Field is dedicated to casting a wide net throughout this country to gain a comprehensive understanding of the subjects and viewpoints that matter to us most: topics about what we eat and where and how our food is grown,” says Rosanne Toroian, copy editor and staff writer.
As we travel across the nation talking to makers and farmers big and small, we’ll look at the complexities, challenges and innovations surrounding the farms—and the farmers—growing, processing and producing our food. Each week, Feast and Field will offer an in-depth look into a single food or drink category. In our first few weeks, we will explore artisan cheese in Iowa, whiskey in Washington, organic grapefruit in Texas, mushroom cultivation in Minnesota and maple syrup production in Pennsylvania.
Our content doesn’t stop at reporting. Through partnerships with local chefs and experts, we’ll supply the reader with mouth-watering recipes, useful tips and other forms of entertaining and eye-opening content, leaving our readers with both new appreciation for and knowledge about each and every category we cover. In turn, we hope to help readers make informed choices when faced with aisles of decisions at their local grocery store or farmers’ market.
“The more we know about food production, the better choices we can make,” Neville says. “When you purchase an item—say, a carton of eggs—you are supporting the entire system that brought that product to you in the first place. You’re voting with your dollars, and that’s why this is the perfect time to launch Feast and Field. The past year has seen an uptick in the desire to support local and regional food systems. We want to empower our readers with knowledge so they can make informed choices while offering great content that, frankly, is worth spending time with.”
Not only will we be telling these incredible stories, we will also be showing them.
Through exploratory and raw photography and videography, Feast and Field hopes to pull the curtain back to reveal the realities of our daily food production. Under the creative direction of Heather Gray and a network of talent across the county, we will take the reader directly to the source, giving an exclusive, unfiltered look behind the scenes.
“We have the basic knowledge that cows produce milk or citrus grows on trees, but it’s an entirely different state of awareness when you can visualize those processes and makers through an unpolished lens,” Gray says.
Feast and Field’s unique publishing model starts each week with a feature profile piece detailing the history, production and inimitable mission of our subject, allowing a peek into the lives of these passionate makers, “a lifestyle not many have the opportunity to witness,” Gray says.
The best part of the story is the unpredictable nature of the work.
According to Gray, “Stories will often evolve during our short windows of production—a crop freezes or a calf is born—so a contributor may get to experience the variable quality of American farm life firsthand and document it for Feast and Field’s readers.”
This mission doesn’t stop on our site. Feast and Field hopes to spread this educational and inspirational content through active communication and open dialogue in the places our readers experience and digest content the most, our social media feeds.
“Social media is an incredible place to share information and inspiration, and we want that door to swing both ways with our community,” says Lauren Quick, social media and digital strategist. “We’ll highlight the ripple effect one person can have on a food ecosystem in a way that’s digestible (pun absolutely intended) with a bit of levity here and there.”
In other words, we want to hear from our readers, our followers and you. “Message us about your neighbor who just started growing and milling their own heritage wheat. Tag us in a post from the new mochi shop that just popped up in the next town over,” Quick says. “The individuals growing and making our food exist within diverse landscapes, and who better to let us know about the compelling, thoughtful and sometimes weird ways people are creating and experiencing food than the person who lives next door—you.”
At Feast and Field, we know that food uniquely connects both our communities and us. We hope you’ll take a seat at the table as we dig into those stories that bring meaning to you, your family and neighbors.
“Few subjects collectively link us, globally to locally. Feast and Field strives to bridge the people and places that unite us,” Toroian says. “Next time you strike up a conversation with a stranger or want to break the ice on a first date, talk food.”