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Participant Media’s TakePart.com Launches ‘Tastemakers’

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 1, 2012) –TakePart.com, the digital publishing division of Participant Media (Food, Inc.), today announced its TakePart Tastemakers series devoted to spotlighting leading local businesses that are committed to bringing their communities “Food Done Right.” Selected in partnership with the nation’s leading food journalists, these local shops were chosen based on themes underscored in the hit 2008 documentary Food, Inc. – humane, homemade, organic, do-it-yourself, artisanal, locally sourced and sustainable. As part of this campaign, TakePart is also launching key social initiatives designed to help people make better food choices and improve America’s food system as a whole. As an example, TakePart has joined forces with the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention, co-founded by Food, Inc.’s Barbara Kowalcyk, to host a petition urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to withdraw their proposal to speed up poultry processing lines. This proposal gives each inspector only one-third of a second to inspect each bird – raising both food safety and worker safety issues.

“As the digital publishing division of Participant Media, TakePart is committed to continually highlighting the issues raised in our films and providing consumers with the most relevant and qualified actions they can take to make a difference,” said Karina Kogan, General Manager of TakePart. “TakePart Tastemakers is a great example of our ongoing effort to engage and educate the public about our food system in a way that is both entertaining and actionable.” Shops featured in the inaugural TakePart Tastemakers list were chosen based on proven leadership in providing thoughtful and healthier options to their community and were selected by prominent food writers such as James-Beard award-winning journalist Dara Grumdahl and Seattle Times restaurant critic Providence Cicero.

Each of the 100 businesses spanning across the 10 markets of Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and the Twin Cities also represent an alternative to big supermarket chains.

Standouts include:

  • Wilson Farm (Boston area, MA): Open since 1884, this bustling farm has maintained its commitment to homegrown food, with over 150 crops on 600 acres. Its on-site grocery store has a resident “chef” who uses seasonal fruits and vegetables to make popular to-go quiches, soups and stews.
  • Lindy & Grundy Local, Pastured and Organic Meats (Los Angeles, CA): Offering sustainably raised beef, lamb, pork, sausage, poultry and cheese as well as an on-site smoker, Lindy & Grundy is one of the coolest new additions to the city’s boutique butcheries.
  • The Fizzary (San Francisco, CA): Capturing the old-time feeling of a community store, this new soda pop and candy store offers real cane-sugar alternatives in place of mass-market highly processed high-fructose corn syrup.

“I originally partnered with Participant Media on Food, Inc. because of their belief in creating change around the food issues we face in the U.S. as well as globally,” said Robert Kenner, Director of Food, Inc. “It’s been three and a half years since the film released and I’m thrilled to see they are still committed to its core values, telling the story, educating consumers and inspiring action.”

On November 13, the Tastemakers experience will expand with the launch of a Web series using the ingredients from Los Angeles-based shops to create fabulous holiday meals. Each episode will focus on a different business, with the finale showcasing the preparation and presentation of a sit down, three-course holiday meal. The series is hosted by Ian Knauer, former food editor of Gourmet magazine, co-host of the television series “Diary of a Foodie” and “Adventures with Ruth,” contributor for the Food Network and Cooking Channel and author of cookbook The Farm: Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food.

The full list of TakePart.com’s Tastemakers can be found starting November 1 at www.takepart.com/Tastemakers. The Web series will premiere on November 13. For more information on the Social Action campaign, please visit www.takepart.com/Tastemakers/action.

About TakePart

TakePart, the digital arm of Participant Media, is a leading source of socially relevant news, opinion, entertainment, and information about ways to get involved with the issues that shape our lives. Participant’s philosophy that “a story well told can change the world” is the driving force behind TakePart’s mission: to inspire and accelerate social change by connecting compelling content to action. TakePart’s articles, videos and social action campaigns can be found on Takepart.com, on YouTube via TakePart TV at youtube.com/takepart and on MSN at Takepart.msn.com.

About Participant Media

Participant Media (participantmedia.com) is an entertainment company that focuses on documentary and non-documentary feature films, television, publishing and digital content about the real issues that shape our lives. For each of its projects, Participant creates social action and advocacy programs to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s online division and Social Action Network is TakePart (takepart.com). Founded by Jeff Skoll in 2004, Jim Berk serves as CEO. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, The Visitor, Food, Inc., The Cove, The Crazies, Countdown to Zero, Waiting for “Superman,” Fair Game, PAGE ONE: Inside The New York Times, The Help, Contagion, Last Call at the Oasis, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Lincoln and Promised Land.