This week in Episode 117 – Eat What You Are we look at our most intimate and daily relationship with nature: the plants and animals we eat. No matter how urban or 21st-century you are, no matter if the only nature you see all day is the plastic orchid in your cubicle, you’re still deeply connected to the web of life through the flora and fauna on your dinner plate. How healthy is our relationship with food? Where does it come from? How do we get it? Why do we make the choices that we do?
We look again at the role of invasive species in our lives. They’re taking over our parks and wild spaces, driving out the natives and tipping ecosystems out of whack. How are they affecting the foods we eat, and how might incorporating them into our diets help or hinder biodiversity? We also talk about the Tohono O’odham nation of southern Arizona and northern Mexico, who are dealing with a diabetes epidemic by reviving indigenous foods and weaving them back into their culture.
Speaking of indigenous food, another is making a comeback: seeds of the chia plant, sacred to the Mayan and Aztec cultures. A teaspoon of this superfood can keep an athlete running all day. And we look at an iPad game called “Pig Chase” that lets you play remotely with pigs on a farm, which entertains human and swine while educating people about the conditions these animals endure for the sake of our happy meals. Alison reviews the recent work of Estonian photographer Heikki Leis creating still lifes from rotten food, an art project that explores the boundary between beautiful and … not as beautiful. And we wrap up the segment with a discussion of “greenwashing” — the efforts companies make to seem greener than they are. Some of the big offenders are named, and we compare the spin to the reality, and how to tell the difference.
Does healthy organic food make you morally depraved? Or does comfort food make you altruistic? Does sugar make you dumb? Or do omega 3 fatty acids make you smart? Can you believe everything scientists say? Are you WEIRD? (We certainly are.) We tackle all these questions as we look at the cultural and political implications of what we eat and why.
In our Pro extension, we delve even deeper into the issues behind food, flora and fauna. What is the relationship between religion and diet? If you believe in reincarnation, could that hot dog be your grandma? Is there a subconscious religion that all meat-eaters share? We wrap up our show with a look at the Slow Food Movement, and how it’s bringing to light the interconnection between food, self, and community.
- Eating Invasives: Delicious or Dangerous?
- Native American tribe fights diabetes by turning to traditional foods
- Chia seeds: Health benefits, tips and recipes
- Playing With Pigs
- Afterlife: Making Rotten Food Beautiful
- Greenwashing Food: How to Smell a Rat
- Study Suggests that Eating Organic Foods Contributes to Moral Depravity
- Wholesome food and wholesome morals: does seeing organic make you act like jerk?
- Sugar Might Affect The Brain, UCLA Rat Study Reveals
Pro Extension Links:
- Celebrating Earth with Non-Violence
- Why People Who Love Animals, Eat Animals – And What You Can Do to Change That
- Curious Nature: Slow food: What fast food isn’t
- Opening and closing theme: “Dragonfly” by Brian Boyko
- “Einfach Sommer,” by Jonas Mantey
- “In Fielder,” by Miró Belle
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA License.
Tags: animals, diet, food, green, greenwashing, invasive species, native, organic, plants