Kristen Leigh Painter | Star Tribune
Reporter | Food industry

Kristen Leigh Painter covers the food industry for the Star Tribune. She previously covered growth and development for the paper. Prior to that, Painter was a business reporter at the Denver Post, covering airlines and aerospace. She frequently writes about sustainable food production, consumer food trends and airlines.

Painter has had a diverse reporting career, interviewing dignitaries in Tokyo, rebel leaders in Sudan and slaughterhouse workers in Nebraska. She has a master's of arts in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder and bachelor of science degree in history from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, daughter and an energetic Labrador retriever named Luna. In her free time, Painter likes to run, read fiction and plan her family's next trip or outdoor adventure.


Delta's growing labor clash has its roots in Minnesota's Northwest

Airline resists unions, but pilots and dispatchers are organized and some flight attendants would like to be.


Fruit cup deal: investor buys two Minnesota produce wholesalers and merges them

The combined company will employ 225 people and its corporate office will be in New Brighton.


African swine fever ripples through pork industry, denting Hormel's profits

Disease is decimating swine in China, causing the Minn. company to raise pork prices.


General Mills awards teens for clever ideas to reduce hunger, food waste

Siblings' plan to get more food waste used for compost earned them $50K award from General Mills program


U.S. organic sales pass $50 billion mark for first time

Sales of organic food continues to grow faster than nonorganic products, but the rate is slowing.


Heat grows in the union debate at Delta Air Lines as senators scold CEO

Social media posts of the airline's anti-union signs trigger reaction from politicians and the union.


Pentair closing Urban Organics, a pioneering aquaponics venture in old Schmidt Brewery

The water-filtration company said the fish and greens business didn't meet expectations.


Cargill invests in another company growing 'cultured meat' in a lab

The Minnesota-based agriculture processor joined a $12 million investment in an Israeli firm.


Ardent Mills to shutter four flour mills, including one in Minnesota

Joint-venture firm also closing three others in U.S.


MyPillow lays off 120 in Shakopee as founder retools for new venture

Production will fall for a month as the plant becomes a fulfillment center.