A New Manifesto

Written by Lee Schneider

It’s time to launch Season Two of the Future of Food podcast. We are going into production on ten new episodes.

Here’s what’s changing. Future of Food will become a podcast about eating better for ourselves and for the planet. We’ll be interviewing activists and change-makers, visiting innovative restaurants, sampling food trucks and community kitchens. We will explore how the climate crisis is changing what we eat.

Eating less meat is part of how we must change. A plant-based diet would be better for ourselves and the planet. Producing meat on an industrial scale uses plenty of machinery and fuel. But Americans love meat, consuming more than 200 pounds of red meat and poultry each year. For many of us, eliminating meat is not something that we’d consider. But can we cut back? Seek alternatives? Try something new? I see this as a point of entry for the podcast: How can the Future of Food get you to eat something different? I wonder if an innovative chef, whether she is working in a kitchen or out of a food truck, can convince you.

And to complicate matters (because food supply chains can be complicated) eating fruits and vegetables that are grown industrially or shipped from far away can use almost as much fuel as producing meat and poultry. So cutting back on meat is just part of the story. The answer is to patronize smaller farms with shorter supply chains. The change we need is systemic and also personal. Which should come first? That’s what the podcast will get into.

Here’s an early look at some of the themes we’ll cover in Season Two:

  • How food heals
  • Feeding a family in the age of climate awareness
  • Innovators in the kitchen
  • Read the Label – food labeling and what it doesn’t reveal
  • Food authors and activists on the actions you can take
  • How to eat better step by step
  • OG Foodies – the LA Locals who started it all

We have huge appetites for fuel, a taste for industrially-produced and processed food, and a system of consumption that outstrips our resources. But there are also larger forces at play: Our appetites support an energy system that is historically intertwined with capitalism and the patriarchy. Address climate change? We must also address the system.

For decades, the bad practices of car manufacturers, energy companies, and our government, of urban planners and architects, have depleted the planet, pulled resources from the Earth, and spewed waste and pollution into the air and sea. Energy companies are still working hard and spending millions to confuse us about climate change or distract us from how it is happening. (See the work of journalist Amy Westervelt and especially her podcast Drilled for a deep look at this.)

As powerful as the disinformation distributed by energy companies can be, as hypnotic as the marketing messages we consume about industrialized and processed food are, our individual choices will light the way.

We have to start somewhere. Why not in the kitchen?

Production on the podcast starts next month. We aim to release a new trailer later this year, with the full season starting to release in January.