work journal

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard predicts food could save the planet

July 9, 2020

When I interviewed Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard for this story in Esquire magazine in 2019, the lovely editor there wanted to keep the story high-level, focusing on Chouinard’s history, Trump-era politics, and how those led to the company’s new mission to save our home planet.

The story focused on Yvon's latest book, Some Stories: The Making of a Conservationist, which looked back on his life and how each step in his path had led him and his company to this mission.

Some of what I felt were the most important and insightful parts of our conversation fell to the cutting room floor. Mostly, they were about food and how it may be our best chance to save ourselves.

My dear friend and colleague, the editor Joseph T. O'Connor, saw the opportunity, and together we crafted a story about Chouinard’s passion for regenerative organic agriculture. The piece was published in Mountain Outlaw, a magazine I'd helped found, build and launch 10 years prior.

That project, together with the love of gardening and food I inherited from my parents, launched my journey into reporting on food and agricultural systems in Montana. Pretty cool to have this award from the Society for Features Journalism show up in the mail yesterday, honoring that story!

Here's a link to the piece.

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