Author Amanda Little investigates the future of our complicated food system


What will we eat in a bigger, hotter and smarter world? In her book “The Fate of Food,” environmental journalist and professor Amanda Little travels the world to share the stories of the farmers, fishermen, scientists and engineers at the forefront of answering these questions. Little joined SalonTV’s Manny Howard on “Salon Talks” to discuss how climate change is impacting our global food system.

There are plenty of people who are excited about sustainability and getting on board with the farm-to-table, sustainable food movement, but as Little points out, they’re often wealthy with the time and resources to invest in a backyard vegetable garden like hers. “How are we going to feed everybody?” Little wondered. It just so happened that Michael Pollan was passing through town and he was stopping in for dinner, so Little put the question to her dinner guest.

“I was worried about and wondering, as these environmental pressures kick up and climate change begins to put more and more pressure on food systems around the world, how do we do sustainability on a grand scale?” Little recalled. “He kind of said, ‘That's a really interesting question. Someone should write that book.’ Or, that's what I heard him say.”

In researching “The Fate of Food,” Little visited a Norwegian salmon farm battling mite infestations and laboratories in California growing duck muscle in a dish. She met with people rediscovering the ancient superfood Moringa and adapting this vital food source for the modern palate, as well as folks programming 3-D printers to make new foods. All attempt to answer the question—will there be enough good food for all the people to eat and what will it be?

Watch the episode above to learn more about the double whammy challenge we faced today with food, including addressing the flaws of our industrial food system and beginning to prepare for the intensifying pressures climate change is bringing. Plus, Little addresses meat alternatives and what questions we should we asking about how they fit into building a more sustainable future.


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