In Perspective

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May 19, 2015

What Are We Eating?

By: Rebecca McInroy

This episode explores historical and contemporary attitudes about the food industry and our food traditions. Our discussants share the major topics that affects the food industry today.

The Discussion

Tom Philpott is a Food and Agriculture Correspondent for Mother Jones.  While studying food and cooking traditions around the world, Tom noticed that American food traditions were being lost to fast food and food processing companies. Tom questions how we can hold onto our food traditions when so much of our food industry is controlled by a small number of companies and their lobbyists that manipulate the federal government. Tom discusses the regulation systems in place that still allow for potentially harmful additives in our food.

Raj Patel is a research professor in the LBJ School of public affairs at UT-Austin, and the author of “Stuffed and Starved” and “The Value of Nothing”.  Raj encourages the globalization of food traditions, emphasizing that many food traditions evolved out of the mixing of cultures.  Raj also focuses on issues of food and national identity.

Marla Camp is the owner and editor of Edible Austin.  She is motivated to bring awareness about food back into the community surrounding and connect them back to where their food comes from.  Marla emphasizes education as a way to strengthen people’s relationship to their food and to the understanding about the true value of food to our body.

What is your perspective?

Food traditions shift and change to adapt to the systems in place to get it to our dinner table. How will the food systems in place today affect our food traditions of tomorrow?

With all the information out there about what to eat and what not to eat, how do you approach the food that ends up on your dinner table?