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What You're Eating
The real deal behind plant-based burgers, shrimp, coffee, and more
Alissa Quart recently wrote an insightful article for the Columbia Journalism Review about the “journalism of privilege,” which focuses more on the pleasures of certain sectors—namely posh restaurants and real estate—rather than reporting on “ordinary people’s experiences of essential human needs (and pleasures) like food and shelter.” (I was quoted in the piece.)
I thought about that piece here, because our aim is to focus on the spectrum of reporting about food, from “joy,” let’s call it, to more serious matters, like terrible jobs, poisonous food, environmental damage, all linked to America’s food system.
And so we wanted to point you to another outlet where you can get more views about food from every angle. (Don’t worry: We, too, remain committed to the serious side of things.) So: Your “foodprint” is the result of everything it takes to get food from the farm to your plate, and, of course, many of those processes are invisible to consumers. And FoodPrint, the site, and its accompanying podcast, What You’re Eating, hosted by the excellent Jerusha Klemperer, aims to do just that, to make those processes more visible, while keeping our sense of pleasure about food alive. The hope is that with that visibility will come action.
It’s hard to start a podcast. We’ve been working on ours for more than two years now and growing it (unless you’re Jason Bateman or whoever) takes a long time. So we want to lend some love and support to What You’re Eating, which is interesting, and important—and if you’re here reading this, would probably be of great interest to you.
We recently posted about an episode of What You’re Eating that focused on PFAS, also called “forever chemicals,” because they last that long. And they’re in your raincoats, your straws, your medical devices, maybe even your water—the latter is the focus of the episode we talked about. Multiple farms in Maine were found to have PFAS in their water and it derailed their businesses to an existential level.
Other recent episodes have focused on the history and future of “plant-based eating,” now a term that doesn’t mean much, including an interview with the writer Alicia Kennedy; food packaging and single-use plastics and how we can finally solve this ongoing problem; why our obsession with buying local tends not to extend to our coffee; how our global agricultural system is the primary driver of species loss (have you noticed there are fewer dead bugs on your windshield?); and why, despite being the catalyst for major environmental and humanitarian issues, people continue to eat so much damn shrimp.
Have a listen to one of these, or any of the other episodes of What You’re Eating and let us know what you think. I think you’ll find some new conversation topics for your next (shrimp-free) dinner party.
Finally, because we’re committed to transparency, we wanted to let you know that we’re getting compensated to promote this podcast. Not a lot, but some. We try tried to be thoughtful about how we make money, and so we only partner with brands and organizations that we know well and believe in. FoodPrint is one of those, and we’re glad to have reasons to promote them. Hope you enjoy the podcast.