Civil Eats



Cotati, CA

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2021):

Revenue: $574,439
Expenses: $647,535
Assets: $1,374,676


Food & Agriculture Policy Publication




Naomi Starkman

Latest Tax Filing:

2021 990 Form

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Civil Eats is a California-based left-of-center food and food-policy publication that promotes claims critical of some industrial agriculture practices, such as the general administration of antibiotics to livestock and, in some cases, the genetic modification of crops. In addition to publishing its own independent content, the organization also publishes content funded by third-party organizations.


Civil Eats was founded in 2009 by Naomi Starkman, who remains with the organization as chairman of the board, CEO, and editor-in-chief, as well as Paula Crossfield, who remains with the organizations as an editor-at-large. Later in May 2020, the organization was registered as a charitable nonprofit organization in Coati, California. 1 2 3 4


Civil Eats publishes articles about food and food policy from a left-of-center perspective. Often, the organization publishes material focusing on aspects of the food industry geared to sway consumer behavior or support stricter regulations on agriculture and food production. The organization has published material highlighting claims of dangers associated with the use of antibiotics in livestock; criticizing the use of genetically modified crops, for instance, those used as inputs in the production of emulsifiers; and condemning the use of heavily processed meat-based slurries. 5

Editorial Policy

According to its website, though Civil Eats had adopted standards of “editorial independence” and “retains full authority over editorial content,” the organization also publishes material “with funding from outside parties.” The organization notes that some of the material it publishes, which it presents with the phrasing, “underwritten by,” is funded by third parties and is “editorially independent.” However, the organization notes that even such material undergoes a review process involving editors assessing a given piece’s suitability, with the final say resting with the editor-in-chief. 6


Naomi Starkman is a founder, the editor-in-chief, and the CEO of Civil Eats. Previously, she was a 2016 John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University and the deputy executive director of the City of San Francisco’s Ethics Commission. Additionally, Starkman has worked as a consultant to media companies including Newsweek, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ, WIRED, and Consumer Reports. 7

Matthew Wheeland is the managing editor of Civil Eats. Previously, he worked as the managing editor of GreenBiz and AlterNet. 8

Will Rosenzweig is the chairperson of the Civil Eats board of directors as well as the faculty director of the Sustainable Food Initiative at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously, he was the managing partner of Physic Ventures, a health and wellness-oriented venture capital firm. 9 10


According to the Civil Eats website, organizations that have provided support to Civil Eats include the First Nations Development Institute, Grace Communications, Joyce & Irving Goldman Foundation, Ida and Robert Gordon Family Foundation, Hunter Grubb Foundation, Merck Family Fund, Nell Newman Foundation, NewsMatch, New Venture Fund, Panta Rhea Foundation, Elizabeth R. & William J. Patterson Foundation, Jay Pritzker Foundation, William Rosenzweig & Carla Fracchia, Sharon, Schendel Giving Fund, Schmidt Family Foundation, Sye Fund, and the TomKat Educational Fund. 11


  1. “About.” Civil Eats. Accessed November 27, 2023.
  2. “Who We Are.” Civil Eats. Accessed November 27, 2023.
  3. “Authors: Paula Crossfield.” Civil Eats. Accessed November 27, 2023.
  4. “Civil Eats.” ProPublica. Accessed November 27, 2023.
  5. Van Buren, Alex. “Meet ‘Civil Eats,’ the Food Policy Blog You Should Be Reading.” Yahoo!: Life. March 26, 2015. Accessed November 27, 2023.
  6. “About.” Civil Eats. Accessed November 27, 2023.
  7. “Who We Are.” Civil Eats. Accessed November 27, 2023.
  8. “Who We Are.” Civil Eats. Accessed November 27, 2023.
  9. “Board of Directors.” Civil Eats. Accessed November 27, 2023.
  10. Civil Eats. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax. (Form 990), 2021.
  11. “Supporters.” Civil Eats. Accessed November 27, 2023.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 2020

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 Dec Form 990 $574,439 $647,535 $1,374,676 $10,000 N $569,757 $4,050 $632 $101,385
    2020 Dec Form 990 $1,868,872 $431,100 $1,437,772 $0 N $1,864,722 $4,150 $0 $0

    Civil Eats

    Cotati, CA