The Ration

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A News21 food and health reporting project by UC Berkeley School of Journalism

Lily Mihalik, web producer

Picture of Lily Mihalik

Lily Mihalik is the web producer, lead designer and art director of The Ration. Mihalik is also the co-creator of The Ration's Rethink the Food Label Project. As a web producer and reporter Mihalik covers business, science and food. Find her work being written about on the New York Times, and published in Meat Paper,, GOOD, the San Francisco Chronicle and Mission Loc@l. Mihalik is fascinated by maps, the mountains, and design. Follow her on twitter @mazet.

Stories by Lily Mihalik

An illustration by Lily Mihalik showing a goat, chicken, pig and cow fused together.

A Fish Without Bones

The rise of meat glue.

Chicken skin fused to perfect halibut medallions, pasta made almost entirely from shrimp, bacon-enshrined burgers, and thin beef cutlets re-cast into a thick juicy steaks. All of these are brought to you by Meat Glue.

You may not have realized it, but if you’ve eaten at a fine-dining restaurant in San Francisco, New York, or London in the last year, you’ve probably eaten Meat Glue, a white powdery binding agent used to fuse proteins together. Continue reading

Pictory Theme: Eat at Your Own Risk


A Collaboration with Pictory, Foodspotting and Letterform

Wherever I go, I’m usually the one at the table to point out the most unusual dish to order. Kangaroo, cuy (commonly known as guinea pig), chicken hearts, beef tongue, fish roe; I pride myself on food exploration. But the photo stories below challenge even my open-mind-open-stomach mantra, and cause me to ask myself, “Would I actually eat that …?” Continue reading

Illustration by Lily Mihalik

The Food Industry Tries to Redesign the Nutrition Label: Fails

In January, food industry giants launched a new food label for the front of packaged foods—Nutrition Keys (above)—which was widely seen as an attempt to influence or divert the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing efforts to create better labeling. Continue reading

Illustration of a nutritional facts label and confusion by Lily Mihalik

A Nutritional Facts Label for the People, By the People

One project asks, "Can design change the way we eat?"

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in the process of revising the nutritional facts label, that rectangular box of information outlining the calories, serving size, and percent daily values on packaged food products.

The black and white nutritional facts label was first standardized in 1994, after the passage of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, which mandated food product packaging to clearly state fat, saturated fat, sugar, and sodium content. Since then, little has changed. Continue reading

Away at Food Camp

Roasted pig, halibut sashimi, ricotta blintzes, foodies around a campfire.

The heritage pig carcass arrived first, followed by 30 chefs, foodies, beer connoisseurs, food bloggers, designers, doctors, food stylists and community food organizers from New York to San Francisco. The menu looked a little like this: 48 hours on a … Continue reading

Rethink The Food Label graphic by Diana Jou

Rethink The Food Label

The Nutrition Facts label is confusing. The Obama administration wants to create an easier to understand label, that offers better information that is currently available. We asked the public to submit design ideas a more user-friendly nutrition facts label. Continue reading