about

Sunshine + Microbes explores how what we eat impacts the world around us. Cook and fermentation pro Jackie Vitale and journalist Matt Levin write a newsletter filled with original recipes, practical kitchen ideas, and news and stories about food and its relationship with culture, community, climate, justice, and more.

We approach healthy eating as part Michael Pollan, part Italian grandma, and part 1970s commune hippie. Expect a lot of vegetables, whole grains, fermented foods, and absolutely no guilt, fear-mongering, or deprivation. Most importantly, expect the food to taste delicious.​

We want the newsletter to be a springboard for sensible conversations about surprisingly complex subjects like eating healthy and sustainable living. Get in touch! Tell us what you think. Ask questions. We want to hear your own food stories, tips, and musings.

Jackie with bananas



Jackie Vitale

is forever excited by the magic of food: as a source of joy, a community builder, a teaching tool, and a happy home for our microbial friends.

She is co-founder of the Florida Ferment Fest, an annual celebration of sunshine and microbes. Jackie hails from Stuart, Fla., on the state’s Treasure Coast. She has worked on veggie farms, made raw milk cheese in an urban dairy, worked at one of the oldest food markets in Europe, created performance with an experimental food and art collective, run a hybrid farm and restaurant, baked many thousands of loaves of sourdough, and taught extensively on cooking and fermentation. She was the most recent Chef in Residence at the Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island, Fla.

Matt with monkey



Matt Levin

Matt Levin

is a border communications strategist at the ACLU of Texas.

He graduated from the University of Florida’s master’s program in Latin American Studies. Prior to that he worked as a digital producer at the Houston Chronicle and an editor and reporter at The Tico Times in Costa Rica. He is an amateur cooker of things and a somewhat competent eater of things (just bring lots of napkins). He recently joined the tajín lifestyle and has no regrets.

Matt with monkey