Introducing Food News

❦ First Published on

♨ Food News1 was a website to publish and discuss links about healthy sustainable food, ranked by readers. It used Mozilla Persona for authentication and no passwords were transmitted to or saved on the server.2 The code is open source.

Links on the homepage were ranked using a time-scaled ranking algorithm. This means that both the time since a link was published (its age) and the amount of up-votes a link received (its popularity) affected a link’s rating, so fresh, interesting links would be present on the homepage every day, especially if the site became popular. I.e. The homepage lists the most recent links with most votes, while the New page lists the most recently posted links.

People publishing on Food News had a ‘karma’ number, which was a measure of their reputation on the site. Karma increaseed when a person’s links or comments were up-voted. Recent comments with most upvotes were listed in Best.

Ideally, food lovers, as well as people with knowledge in food-related sciences and disciplines such as agriculture, animal health, biodiversity, climate, forestry, gender, plant protection, land tenure, nutrition, soils, water, etcetera, would use Food News to publish links and comments with good information about food to help us develop better eating habits that are less damaging to our planet and the species living on it, including us humans! Note that links to not-for-profit endeavours were preferred and that spam would be deleted.

Thanks to Stephen McDonald for Mezzanine and Drum, upon which Food News was built, and to Michael Kelly for help with a django-browserid issue.

Comments, criticisms and suggestions were welcome there or at Hacker News!


  1. The ♨ glyph in the logotype is Unicode character ‘Hot Springs’ (U+2668) in the Miscellaneous Symbols Unicode block (2600-26FF), which I am using in the text above. For the Food News site, I made a PNG image of it for reliable rendering across browsers. ↩︎

  2. For a good explanation of how this works see the ‘How it Works’ section of James Bennett’s Personafied↩︎

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