When I wrote the first welcome letter to launch Wicked Leeks magazine, in December 2018, plastic and plant-based eating were two of the top trends. Plastic was public enemy number one, thanks to the impact of Blue Planet, while plant-based eating was just starting to go mainstream.
Fast-forward to 2022, and the focus has shifted slightly – thanks to the explosion of coverage of climate issues around last year’s COP26, and the work of activists like Extinction Rebellion, the climate crisis is much more visible. In parallel, there is the collapse of nature and a devastating decline in biodiversity – from insects and microscopic soil organisms, to bigger species and plants.
Wondering what we will, and should, eat remains another big question – the rise of ‘regenerative’ farming is the last year’s newest buzzword, and it remains to be seen what changes it can help bring about, while the cost-of-living crisis brings new and painful challenges. At a time when we should be able to make better food choices, some can afford to make no choices at all.
Wicked Leeks covers stories from all of these areas. In a confusing time, where people want to do the right thing, we hope to bring clarity – to join the dots between the joy of food, and the stories, livelihoods, people and politics behind all of our choices. It isn’t a closed space and there is plenty of space for debate and different perspectives. Over the years, our readers have become a vibrant part of the magazine; their comments are highlighted in our monthly community email and inform what questions we try to ask.
Our new site, relaunched with a fresh look and a clearer design, hopes to bring all this together, and add more. We have new sections to showcase our print magazine, a quarterly themed edition with a brilliant back catalogue of inspiring cover stars, and another to present our film series, where we deep dive into sustainable stories with multiple benefits.
As before, our Features section is bolstered by the work of various freelancers working at the top of their fields in food, farming and the environment. In Lifestyle, we bring to life the joy of food plus a new focus on art, culture and health. In Opinion, read diverse opinions and share your own in the comments section. And in News, read our reporting on the latest in food politics, farming and more. The Wicked Leeks team has also expanded in the last two years, so it feels like a good time to properly introduce our staff writer Jack Thompson, whose masters in food policy in City University means his work is rich with insight, research and questions. He also leads our Cities series to explore what sustainable food means and looks like to those living in urban areas. Meanwhile our Lifestyle section is largely curated by Becky Blench, whose thoughtful and well-researched writing has brought a whole new dimension to this colourful section.
We hope you enjoy reading, and if so, you are welcome to sign up to our weekly email for the latest stories across all these areas, or forward to a friend to help spread the word. Welcome (back) to all our existing and new readers!
Nina Pullman, editor
A note on our publisher
Wicked Leeks is proudly and transparently published by Riverford Organic Farmers, as part of its commitment to business as a force for good, and to inspire and inform positive change. Building on Riverford’s long history of sharing information, Wicked Leeks is an editorially-independent magazine that we hope asks the right questions, counters greenwash and goes beyond headlines. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on social media @wickedleeksmag.