Regardless of your political affiliation, I would like to think that recent weeks have sparked you to stand for or, at the very least, feel something. I’ve channeled my inner, default reaction of "WTF?!" to certain happenings in the world into reigniting my interest in our food system, specifically issues of food access, insecurity, equality and community. You know, something light. But, seriously - food is something we must care about and believe is a fundamental right.
The next few years could (likely) bring substantial changes to our food system, especially regarding federal food assistance, labor and immigration and what this means for the commonly held belief, luxury and availability of “cheap food.”
The current conditions can appear quite bleak, but I’ve chosen to surround myself with voices of people who are doing something to better our food system and who speak in an accessible way. Their voices give me hope. They arm my passion with reason. They reinforce that it takes both individual and collective action, coupled with rationality, to evoke change.
So, if you give a flip about food, just want to be a more informed individual or just want to learn from smart people, check out/subscribe to these podcasts:
Add Passion and Stir: Big Chefs, Big Ideas is the weekly podcast of Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry, hosted by the organization’s founder and chairman Billy Shore. Guests featured on this show are leaders in the culinary world who are leading the charge and using their celebrity to immerse themselves in deeper issues of hunger, job training & employment, and food access.
The perspective of the podcast: “As much as food has become a source of pleasure and celebration, it’s amazing how food is central to our health, environment, educational achievement, sustainability, and overall quality of life.”
Investigative journalists Raj Patel and Tom Philpott join producer Rebecca McInroy to interview and chat with leaders in the food, history and political realms.
I love this podcast because it asks the tough questions - perhaps the ones that even the most food-entrenched individuals may have overlooked, ignored, or perhaps haven’t yet considered. If you’re looking for intellectual conversation with smart, funny people, this is it.
Earth Eats is a weekly podcast on sustainable agriculture and living from Indiana Public Media, often with contributions from Harvest Public Media (another media source you should be paying attention to!). The program balances profiles and “interviews with local farmers and other movers and shakers in the local food movement” with thoughtful recipes that celebrate local ingredients.
This podcast is a good start for people who identify as “foodies” (as much as I loathe that term) but who want a better grasp of our food system.
Host Chris Blanchard, a veteran farmer and educator in the agricultural field for more than 25 years, talks to farmers and “the occasional non-farmer” on a range of topics, from harvest techniques, turning a profit as a business, and marketing.
This podcast both reaffirms my love of food-growing and my utmost respect to and for farmers - it balances the desire for a pastoral, mission-driven life with healthy doses of reality on the demands of agriculture.