Episodes
Who is investing in the food system and what are they investing in? What should the future of food, specifically protein, look like in sub-Saharan Africa? These are questions that Jeremy Brice explores in his new report: Investment, Power and Protein in sub-Saharan Africa. They are also highly relevant to the food and climate discussions happening now at COP-27 in Sharm-el Sheikh, Egypt (November 2022). In our chat with Jeremy Brice, lecturer at Manchester University, we discuss why the issue...
Published 11/10/22
Published 10/27/22
Blain Snipstal, former youth advocate for La Via Campesina, has thought a lot about power. We talk about how Blain sees the legacy of the plantation model of agriculture still lingering today; how the dialogues and exchanges between peasant farmers can uncover a deep analysis of the food system; and he shares from his many experiences as a farmer, an activist, and an organizer. We also touch on the power of collaborating across grassroots movements and whose knowledge counts in food...
Published 10/27/22
In our discussion, data scientist Vincent "Vinny" Ricciardi challenges the assumptions and evidence that are built into food systems debates. We talk about a few of the recent papers that Vinny co-authored, including one that asks how much of the world’s food supply is produced by smallholder farmers, a 50-year meta-analysis that compares how do small and large farms size up in terms of yields and biodiversity impact, and whether smallholders actually have access to broadband to become part...
Published 10/13/22
TABLE staff member Walter Fraanje joins Feed co-hosts to talk about his new publication, "Rewilding and its implications for agriculture" co-authored with Tara Garnett. The explainer introduces the concept of rewilding, compares different rewilding strategies across the globe, explores their relationship with agriculture and unpacks some of the related controversies. We ask Walter how does rewilding differ from conservation, why might a farmer or fisher support or be against rewilding, and...
Published 09/15/22
This is not a typical conversation for Feed. We're still talking about food systems, and we're still talking about power, but we're focusing on the more-than-human world, specifically, mushrooms. Giuliana Furci, founder and executive director of the Fungi Foundation, joins us to talk about how fungi are as diverse as the animal and plant kingdom; what role fungi play in sustainable food systems; the contradicting lessons that you can learn from fungi; and what power do fungi have over humans...
Published 08/25/22
Joachim von Braun, former Chair of the Scientific Group for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, lays out the importance of an inclusive process and multi-disciplinary scientific collaboration to meet the calls for food system transformation. Dr von Braun joins us to talk about his experience as Chair, what he sees as the successes of the summit, and what work remains to be done. We also discuss who should be involved in knowledge production and how, and we hear his thoughts on whether we should...
Published 08/11/22
“Everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food” is written in the South African constitution. But how is that implemented, and who is responsible for making that a reality? Scholar-activist Busiso Moyo grapples with what ‘a right to food’ actually looks like in practice. In our conversation, he shares why he sees 'right to food as a valuable framework to build a just food system. We also cover various aspects of power in the food system including: agenda setting power; power of...
Published 07/21/22
In this episode, Agricultural economist Jayson Lusk puts forward a vision of how science, technology and innovation are what we need for a sustainable food future, and what aspects of power he feels are getting in the way of this future. We discuss: whether having more information actually changes what food people buy; why Jayson is excited about venture capital flowing into the food system; and why he disagrees with some of the narratives and policy proposals put forward by the “food...
Published 07/07/22
Tamsin Blaxter, researcher and writer at TABLE, joins Feed co-hosts to talk about her forthcoming publication: "Parsing Grindadráp". Grindadráp is a Faroese whaling practice that's understood both as important to local food cultures, and as barbaric, primitive and cruel. In this chat, we use grindadráp as a case study to explore: what is animal sentience? What's different about killing whales versus farmed animals? Where do older food traditions fit into the present? How does international...
Published 06/23/22
In this mini-episode, TABLE staff member Helen Breewood joins Feed co-hosts to talk about her new publication, "What is ecomodernism?" The explainer describes the values, goals, and practical solutions promoted by ecomodernists; what they would mean for land use and the food system; the history of the ideas that underlie ecomodernism; and the main contestations around the values and evidence underpinning ecomodernism. We ask Helen about the explainer, the challenging review process, and how...
Published 06/09/22
In our conversation with social anthropologist Elena Lazos Chavero (National University of Mexico), we discuss how her research interests were formed around rainforest conservation, food systems and indigenous rights in Veracruz, Mexico. Elena explains how local and global food systems as well as urban and rural communities are highly dependent on each other. We also explore what the food sovereignty movement in Mexico stands for today. This episode originally aired on 19 April 2021. For more...
Published 05/26/22
Has the increasing commodification of food and financialization of the food system left us more vulnerable to food crises? We speak with Jennifer Clapp about the 20th century history of food policy that led us to this moment, how the Covid-19 food crisis is different than previous ones, and how diversity, in all of its forms, is essential to building a resilient food system. This episode was originally broadcast on 25 March 2021. For more info and full transcript, please visit:...
Published 05/12/22
On 8 December 2021, TABLE hosted an open-ended discussion about power in the food system with representatives from civil society, academia, media and the private sector.  At TABLE we recognise that our own biases and perspectives will influence how we think about power in the food system so the purpose of the event is to hear a range of different views and understandings of power. This kick off event helps us think about who and what shapes, controls and influences past, present and future...
Published 04/28/22
In this episode we explore the role of power in multistakeholder partnerships (MSPs) with two people who are no strangers to this topic - Herman Brouwer and Joost Guijt, at Wageningen University and Research. In this conversation we ask: what are MSPs, do they actually work, and what are the different ways that power plays out in them? We learn how different food stakeholders perceive MSPs differently, whether the UN Food Systems Summit could be considered a successful MSP, and what are some...
Published 04/07/22
In the third episode on power in the food system, we speak with Dr Channa Prakash, professor of crop genetics, biotechnology and genomics at Tuskegee University in the United States. Channa has been actively involved in enhancing the societal awareness of food biotechnology issues around the world. We speak with Channa about who decides what ends up on our table, discuss how his personal story connects to the Green Revolution, and unpack how he sees ideology as getting in the way of science....
Published 03/17/22
In our second conversation exploring power in the food system, we speak with Julie Guthman, professor and food geographer at UC Santa Cruz. We ask her: how is Silicon Valley trying to transform the food system, who within Silicon Valley has the most power, and how does their vision compare with the Organic food movement? We discuss the different ways 'sustainability' is understood in these two different worlds and the broader structures that define or limit their competing visions. We also...
Published 03/03/22
In the first Feed episode about power we speak with Phil Howard, author of Concentration and Power in the Food System, a book that asks "who controls what we eat?" We dive right into big questions, asking whether Phil Howard’s ideal food future is compatible with capitalism. We also talk about the rise of organics, how is power distributed within corporations, how a US farmer’s prospects about staying a small and diversified operation has diminished over time, and how food corporations intent...
Published 02/17/22
We kick off our second season introducing our new theme power in the food system. Across the season we’ll speak with researchers, farmers, activists and others to dig into what kind of power shapes food systems, if this needs to change, and how. Send us an e-mail to [email protected] with what aspects of power you’d like to us to explore and which guests you’d like us to speak to. For more info and transcript, please visit: https://tabledebates.org/podcast/episode19
Published 02/03/22
What does it actually look like to influence large companies to change their practices? In this conversation with shareholder advocates Annalisa Tarizzo and Thomas Peterson from Green Century Capital Management, we discuss how food systems investors use their unique leverage and work with other stakeholders including agribusiness, NGOs and policymakers to build a sustainable food system. This episode is part two of three of a mini-series on COP-26. For more info and transcript, please visit:...
Published 12/22/21
Why was food absent from the climate agenda in COP-26, the global gathering that took place in Scotland in November 2021? In this bonus episode, we speak with different people who attended or advocated at COP for food to be more central to the climate agenda. We hear from a youth activist (Vera Röös), a representative of civil society (Pete Ritchie at Nourish Scotland) and a politician (Secretary of International Affairs Marta Suplicy in São Paulo), who say we cannot reach emission reduction...
Published 12/09/21
Just three decades ago, the world looked very different: smartphones wouldn't appear for another 15 years, and in the world of food, the organic and local farming movements looked very different than they do today. Moving three decades into the future, what might food systems look like in 2050? We speak with Charles Godfray, director of the Oxford Martin School, and Pat Mooney, executive director of the ETC group, and ask what their ideal food future is, how to get there and what they are...
Published 10/26/21
In the final episode of our first season, we share our main findings and reflections from the past 14 conversations we had about Scale in food systems. We present our guests' different views on whether local or global food systems are more sustainable and resilient, and if that is even the right question to ask. We discuss the need for a diversity of scales and why both small and large farms and long and short supply chains are important. And we caution about the long shadow of the...
Published 09/30/21
In our conversation today with three researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Elin Röös, Robin Harder and Johan Karlsson), we discuss what food systems models can and cannot tell us about what type of future food system we'd like to create, previous projects modeling food systems at different scales (bioregion, country, continent), and how our values influence what questions we ask from a model and how we interpret its results. For more info and transcript, please...
Published 08/26/21
In our conversation with Felipe Roa-Clavijo (author of The Politics of Food Provisioning in Colombia: Agrarian Movements and Negotiations with the State), we discuss different narratives around food provisioning in Colombia, and find out which groups are promoting these different visions - to feed the village, feed the nation and feed the world. We talk about what it was like to be in the room during the negotiations between agrarian movements and the government, how Colombia's food system...
Published 07/29/21