Three years after food media institutions pledged to do better, The Objective is publishing a series about the holes that still exist in food media — and what its future could look like when we look to its past. 



In the summer of 2020, mainstream media organizations coast to coast — from the Los Angeles to New York Times — publicly, and messily, grappled with their histories of harm, systemic racism and pay discrimination. 

Food media wasn’t exempt. Once a photo of former editor-in-chief Adam Rapaport in brownface was surfaced on Twitter by former staff, Conde Nast’s Bon Appétit Magazine leapt from the fire to the frying pan: A stream of BA Test Kitchen chefs, starting with Sohla El-Waylly, called out Test Kitchen’s pay discrimination between chefs of color and white chefs, and promptly left the organization. 

But a “reckoning” doesn’t make systemic change. Food writers like Soleil Ho and Dan Q. Dao highlighted that food media’s systemic whiteness isn’t just about its staff, but about the recipes and chefs it celebrates. 

From this series…

Q&A: Alan Chazaro of KQED’s ¡Hella Hungry!

Poet, educator and ¡Hella Hungry! creator Alan Chazaro reflects on coming to food writing as someone from outside the institution of traditional journalism, telling human stories through food and more.

The alternate reality of celebrity chefs

Rarely, aside from sexual assault, overt racism, or in the case of Martha Stewart, insider trading, do celebrity chefs get comeuppance.

Where the hell is Africa in food coverage?

Despite the growing popularity of food media in recent years, African stories are sparingly included — leaving media coverage of food history incomplete. 

“Noodles are tasty”: The economic implications behind race and cultural appropriation in food media

Discussing cultural appreciation and appropriation is also about broader questions of who can get a platform to share food — and who profits.

Urban farms can be a crucial part of food access coverage

But in order to create lasting change, we can’t be satisfied with just recognizing the symptoms of an unjust system and responding with patchwork solutions.

Is social media ruining the vibes of your favorite LA eats?

Angelenos like me fear strangers stampeding into our communities with some voyeuristic claim on our spaces.

The Food Section’s origin story: Pushing for more thoughtful food journalism

Regardless of reason, uncritical food writing shores up existing power structures, and fails to serve the consumers and workers who stand to be hurt by them.

Food reporting should go beyond buzzwords

Food reporters shouldn’t just write about what’s on their plate — they need to interrogate how it got there.

What is the Food Media Reckoning?

Reporting, essays, and criticism about the holes that still exist in food media — and what its future could look like when we look to its past. 

Q&A: Jenny Dorsey of Studio ATAO

A conversation about tokenism in food media, the importance of disrupting it, and what food media might look like in the future.

Where can I get the magazine in print?

Stay tuned to where you can find The Objective in print. In the meantime, the magazine is sent to all of our members. Become a member here.

Supported By

open news logo

Become a sustaining member of The Objective!

Help us examine systems of power and inequity in journalism

We’ve refined our mission and we have a plan to shift the way journalism is done — but we need 33 sustaining members to put it into action. Will you join us today?

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top