DiscoverTED Radio HourThe Food We Eat

The Food We Eat

Update: 2016-11-185
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Food is more than nourishment. It's a source of pleasure — and guilt — and an agent of change. This episode, TED speakers explore our deep connection to food, and where it's headed.

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support for this podcast in the following message come from concur a service where employees get simplified expense reports and business leaders get full visibility into their company spending habits expense travel invoice learn more at concurred dot com slash Radio Hour this the the is the Head Radio Hour each week the groundbreaking Ted talks Technology Design at Stanford delivered and Ted conferences around the world gift of the human had to believe in impossible the true nature of reality beckons just beyond those talks those ideas adapted for radio NPR guy Raj so how does one do this week should we just eat well room were very good on route I hope we can do potatoes and root crops and carrots and fruit bomb the salad crops they beat roots in the in the leaks and all manner of things this is Pam or cursed by the way on a number that comes from Tubman ten which is a small town in West Yorkshire Morton told my dad is in the north of England T O D M O ahh the ad it turns out it's one of the best places to be a great time suffered just a little bit hungry so a great honor as brazen black currants and white currants and Logan berets and strobe rays and also some of the crops herbs and kale it beans we do a load of beans edible flowers and all sorts of things pretty good for poles and bad can even grow melons and obedience oh yeah there's there's no shortage of great things the the all that stuff grows in cold gray and rainy time more and when we say in time order well you look in the middle of the town you come along that can down the food going in I decide all the time Chad was probably food to show you what to a police station and as maize growing in the front at least the organization absolutely absolutely in raised beds in private God's people are growing a heckuva lot in front of college we go to the railway station we put in the pop but alone grasp edges we surrounded the health center with vegetables if I'm walking through through time Morgan and I just like a house like a bell pepper growing in his pic after eating it nobody's going to say Hey what are you doing this my bell pepper was a no no then out with a really interesting thing is it's it's helped throw back some attitudes that individual's behavior because they say we got them in the railway station all over the place we got big sign to say Fu to Shaq wow if you want to rock it all you want it to market so you went to the Pepperell whatever is that it's yours to pick and the truth is no good pics everything that pick enough and that's a The The Martin has been like this for a decade or so ever since Pam started a movement there to bring the community together around food and that is how her movement incredible edible was born the idea for it came to her train ride one afternoon when she's coming back from an environmental conference I no intentions of doing anything different on that day I just sat in the audience and listened and it just suddenly stop me wad i just goal and start to do things differently I got an A train I just made up incredible edible and it was a really simple model really simple and it was just imagining whatever we live in a neighborhood or town a village whatever it was a tiny scale we planted edible landscapes everywhere that we could be just like empty lots and just start planting stuff that just want to plant food right eye and then we got pictures of that show people what's growing that sometimes we ask permission more often we might mount huge blocks of time on a summer time you're going to juicy fruits and vegetables growing everywhere yet you absolutely ah but you know this isn't I often say this in Kew Gardens you know it's not the most beautiful thing you'll ever see but we do of flipping back o the kids up and explained it on the Ted stage the novice is rocket science it certainly is not clever and it's not original but it is joined oh and it is inclusive faith is not a movement for those people who thought themselves out anyway this is the movement for every mom with tomato eight year in the uh then come across culture practicable yes it most certainly is reputable more than thirty towns in England which ever way they want to do it that alone coalition they're trying to make their own lives differently worldwide we got communities across America is incredible isn't it I mean what can America and Japan New Zealand people after the earthquake museum visited oath in order to incorporate some of these public spirited is a rare local growing into the heart of Christ yet we may be invented a new form of terrorism is called vegetable tourism and believe it oh no people come from all over the well to poke around in our raised beds even when there's not much going to stop the conversation I knew no one on doin it coz the boys would do it because we want to start a revolution which I juz a simple question Can you find a unifying language because of age income and culture that will help people themselves find a new way of living spaces around them differently I think about the resort's they use different life interact differently and the answer would appear to be yes and the language would appear to be from the the the the the stress just go the supermarket to get the plastic bag of lettuce sure a shrink wrapped styrofoam tray of meat and get home make dinner but we always think about how that food got there or how certain forces shaped the choices we make in the supermarket so the show ideas about how we connect with food why we eat certain things and not others in the future of food may look rather like the one thing Pam or Hearst showed in time Orton was no food could spark a change in every part of people's lives plant food tell people what's that I might go on facebook ask them help themselves and that stands to reshape the look of the Tavern and then the next day so that's the first at this next phase let's show people how to collect show people had to go that show people what's in season and then let's talk to some of the older citizens who know how to do all that but nobody's bothered asking them if you grow up seeing food all over the place and start to connect with it and if you know what to do with it you are to think about if you can support a new local markets the local farmers local food businesses rather than thinking and not meaning knit into the supermarket and buy something in a plastic bag has flown all over the world I'm curious because like to be able to do is untie morning that the North of England does not have like the greatest farmland in the world right this makes no noise is very marginal it's it's absolutely marginal but we just talk that fee to get people talking you know because at two A they'll be decreasing amounts of land in many parts of the world that we can draw food down but we still need to feed us out so we need think about coming on rooftops will of course we can come to the size of buildings one of course we kept and what I think it's that happened over the last nine years of people are suddenly on their eyes to space and seen their environments in a completely different way and thought the Grove it on that and it's fantastic so even in the north of England we can change the way we live by thinking about when we go things how we grow things in heavy shedding I'm totally moving to Ty Morgan the summer was great the worst that move then she started in time Martin and now in towns all around the world is called incredible edible because learn more about it in hands full to talk to Ted talk on the the case of fruits and vegetables in every corner and Todd Morton fats real food right the problem is that in most modern supermarkets especially in America that is not what we eat you know it's sort of hands how you define things but I would say a minimum of forty percent of the of the stuff in American supermarkets wouldn't really qualify as food by the dictionary definition forty percent wouldn't qualify as food well if you think of food food and the definition of food is something that sustains and nourishes and the definition of nourishment is something that increases your health so if something is not increasing health but making you ill it doesn't really meet the dictionary definition of food this food writer and cookbook author Mark Pittman his most famous cookbook actually won the Best selling of all time is simply called How to Cook Everything people how you an airport it's happens had not knocked off but yeah it's happened anyway Mike says that most of what we today isn't real food but was always like that market men on the Ted stage the hundred years ago guess what everyone was a local for every family had a cook usually a mom and those moms bought and prepared food it was like your romantic vision of Europe there was no snack food until the twenties until Clarence birds I came along there was no frozen foods margarine didn't exist in fact when margarine was invented several states passed laws declaring that had to be dyed cake so we all know that it was a fake there were no restaurant chains eating ethnic was unheard of unless you were back in those days there was no philosophy of food you just ate it and claim to be anything fats carbs proteins they weren't bad or good their food you ate hardly anything contained more than one ingredient because it was an ingredient corn flake hadn't been invented the pop tart the Pringle cheese with none of that stuff goldfish swam and again everyone a local in New York and Ahrens was a common Christmas present because that came all the way from Florida from the thirties on road systems expanded trucks took the place of railroads fresh food began to travel more are just became common in New York the South and West became agricultural hubs and other parts of the country suburbs took over form when the effects of this are well everywhere and the death of family farms as part of this puzzle as is almost everything from the demise of the real community to the challenge of finding a good tomato even in summer eventually California produce too much food to ship fresh so it became critical to market canned and frozen foods thus arrived convenience it was sold to proto feminist Housewives is a way to cut down on housework to cut down variety of food we ate as well many of us grew up never eating a fresh vegetable I for one and I'm not kidding didn't the real spinach or broccoli till I was nineteen twenty to tell me was everywhere what could be easier more filling are healthier for your family than broiling steak but by then cattle were already raised naturally rather than spending their lives eating grass for which their stomachs were designed they were forced to eat soy and corn they have trouble digesting those grains of course but that wasn't a problem for producers thanks to farm subsidies a fine collaboration between agribusiness in Congress soy corn and cattle became king and chicken soon on the throne the the Mac that man back in just a minute to explain why those foods have stayed so dominant for so long and why our relationship to food could be on the brink of another big change and I rise near listening to Ted Radio Hour from NPR the o Hey Everyone Just a quick thanks to two of our sponsors who help keep this podcast going first two stamps come with the holidays fast approaching the post office is getting busier by the minute avoid the hassle and use dance to come instead I'm stuck On You can buy in print official US postage for all of your letters and packages using just your computer and printer right now set up for stamps dot com and get the special offer for our listeners a four week trial plus postage and a digital scale stamps dot com click on the microphone and type in Radio Hour and B thanks also to one class maker of the new one plus three smartphone featuring powerful specs premium all metal build and dash charge and exclusive technology that sets a new benchmark in charge and to be a quick half hour charge will give you a full day's worth of battery life in the one plus three won't like you into restrictive carrier contracts get your hands I'm at one plus that it said Ted Radio Hour from NPR and I rise and show ideas about food connection to it and its power to change so much about the way we live the I just bought a bottle of water and on the label said gluten free in just the well and it says food writer Mark Pittman truth in advertising and marksman describing how out of the past fifty years corn and soy and wheat have become staples of the Western diet one thing led to another corner and we and soy were easy to trade an easy to ship an easy to sell an easy to process and the government through direct and indirect subsidies encourage the growth of what we now call mana cropping which means really really big fields are hundreds and hundreds of acres at a time planted in one crop in endless rows that are all cultivated and harvested mechanically them but if you look in the late nineteenth early twentieth century of what was being grown in Iowa Iowa's I think the country's biggest or second biggest producer of tomatoes it was a huge producer of apples I mean this is a place where almost anything can be grown and now I know I was just in Iowa and again you can't believe jar drive through miles of corn and soybeans and it's nothing else but corn and soybeans once you have that stuff is to figure out what to do with it guess so now the principal uses of those two crops are animal feed biofuels ethanol and then corn and soy oils for frying and highly processed food made of corn and soy so we got the beginning of the heyday of value added food which contains as many soy and corn products is could be crammed into a home cooking remain but its quality was down the tubes there are fewer meals with home cooked breads desserts and soups because all of them can be bought at any store not that there are any good but they were there most moms cooked like mine a piece of broiled meat quickly made salad with bottled dressing canned soup canned fruit salad may be baked or mashed potatoes or perhaps the stupidest food ever minute rice for dessert store bought ice cream or cookies my mom is not here so I can say this now this kind of cooking drove me to learn how to cook for myself wasn't all bad by the seventies forward thinking people began to recognize the value of local ingredients we tended gardens we became interested in organic food we knew where we were vegetarians we were all hippies either some of us are eating and good restaurants in learning how to cook well meanwhile food production had become industrial industrial sadly it was at this time that the family dinner was put in a coma it's not actually killed by the seventies home cooking was in such a sad state that the high fat and spice content of foods like mac nuggets and hot pockets and we all have our favorites actually made this the more appealing than the bland things that people were serving at home at the same time masses of women were entering the workforce cooking simply wasn't important enough for men to share the burden so now you got your pizza nights ago our microwave Knights got your grazing nights you got your fend for yourself nights and so on leading the way what's leading the way meat junk food she's the very stuff that will kill you will the YA mg like we were saying earlier a lot of it has to do with with the fact that I can say we ship food all over the world are a part of the problem is and this can go back to cooking because one of the palms with the way that we think about food right now is that we expect to have any food we want within minutes if you want the mango you're going to be able to get a mango if you want tomato you're going to be able to get a tomato well that is really not sustainable so if we start thinking more if we start cooking at home war with ingredients that are um I think appropriate might be the right word and I'm talking about more root vegetables in winter beets and turnips and potatoes and so on were really eating much more in tune with what nature is offering us and what nature is offering us His abundant it's just not everything so I mean you are an Amen for you eat everything but you you are a guy like people to look to and say OK we you know these books you are a fruit you like I think of Mark Pittman and food and so we want to know what we should kind of heat well I do think you know I did this book called the B six B in before six a few years ago and um basically it's a strategy the more plants by saying Let's be very strictly vegan until dinner time but you know I think that the rules are very very simple I think the rules are one define what food is often it's things that don't have labels and you know of the head of broccoli doesn't the label because the head of broccoli know what's in broccoli um define what food is eat only that and then lists in that category he does many plants as you can as you can eat that's it yet within those rules do what you like these and you're going to have a good eye from the over consumption of Adam also of course junk food is the problem along with our poultry consumption of plants now and there's no time to get into the benefits of eating plants here but the evidence is that plants and I wanna make this clear it's not the ingredients and plants it's the plants it's not the beta carotene it's the care of the evidence is very clear that plants promote health this evidence is overwhelming at this point you eat more plants you eat less other stuff you live longer not bet but back to animals and junk food we don't need either of them for health both have been marketed heavily creating unnatural demands were not worn craving whoppers or Skittles we have to take matters into our own hands not only by advocating for a better diet for everyone that's the hard part but by improving our own and that happens to be quite easy the simple formula eat food eat real food we can continue to enjoy our food we can continue to spin yarns about our favorite meals will reduce not only calories our carbon footprint we can make food more important not less and save ourselves by doing so we have to choose that path thank you I food writer Mark Pittman you can see his entire talk at Ted dot com The all willingly have to leave marks thank you thank you for doing this and I to the ones one of these are really missed being paid Leone after next who knows how long is a great recipe the Pratt years ago was a past as spaghetti sardines breadcrumbs oh yeah about the reuse of sardines a great how can you not eat pasta why the hell I even get sweet potato pasta which is which he'll come home from Boston to kill you Marcum is saying that like forty percent of stuff and grocery stores is a real food yet estimate what percentage of the stuff in grocery stores has added sugar have to estimate seventy four percent while seventy four percent of all of the food in the store has been spiked with added sugar in some fashion is it hidden in plain sight oh absolutely the case is Doctor Robert let's take these at pediatrician and researcher at the University of California in San Francisco so there are fifty six names for sugar I mean did you know pay no tuition the whole point of them are are thus even the most famous now apple puree evaporated cane juice as my favorites because it came too so you know juice healthy right now what happens when you evaporate changes you get sugar tsp or less take studies sugar how it's managed to sneak its way into our diet and what it does to our bodies we've replaced a real food diet with a processed food diet because it's cheaper it's portable it's convenient kids like it and it's addictive mum and like any addictive substance Robert says sugar can be toxic especially because in so many of us eat too much of it the robber less taking on the Ted stage thus sugar causes diabetes everyone says well yeah but because of the calories sure and take hours that's the march it is not absolute truth sugar are toxic Keller's so here's the way to look at this prevalence of diabetes worldwide as we speak right now whose worst Saudi Arabia Kuwait UAE cutter in Malaysia why that no alcohol but the soft drinks like going outside because it's hot and water supplies question mark and no I know this is their word studies from Europe show that if you consume one soda per day your risk for diabetes goes up twenty nine percent irrespective of the calories irrespective of your weight irrespective of anything else you eat we've shown that for every hundred fifty calories you the world consumes diabetes prevalence goes up a total of zero point one percent which is nothing but if those hundred fifty cals happen to be a can of soda diabetes goes up eleven full we're not consuming one cancer were consuming two and half so twenty nine percent of all the diabetes in the world is due to sugar and sugar alone this study actually satisfies both the scientific and legal criteria for proximate cause you have to be able to show that something causes something else before you can do something about it well we've proven it we've shown it to the in the app actually get that well cause disease or one type two diabetes K number to heart to see K Number three fatty liver disease which is actually the biggest epidemic on the planet and finally to stay so there the four diseases where we have causation are two diseases where we have correlation and so I don't talk about those much but we have correlation for sugar and cancer and sugar and dementia wow but we don't have causation yet but people are working so so Friday's fire and IU light lots of fruit every morning so when you consume fruit you get in the fiber with it and that's what's important is that that fiber not be pulverized not be removed and of course that's a process food as you remove the fiber so basically get a hole for it yeah oh yeah absolutely let's say you didn't consume is for it let's say you consumed as a soda you can tap allies it fast enough as it's coming in and so the liver has a pop off valve has a way of dealing with the excess returns that sugar into fat liver fat and we now know that it's that liver fat that drives all the chronic metabolic diseases that we have discussed except for the tooth decay so what is the daily recommended limit for like a adult human for Mac smashing addition to having every day well depends on we ask the World Health Organization originally said six teaspoons of added sugar production sounds reasonable well it is actually reasonable its twenty five grams is not an enormous amount but it should be enough but but they were lobbied so severely by the industry so they actually ended up the liberal lies in it from six to twelve teaspoons of added sugar ok so to twelve teaspoons a day that sounds like a lot like I can imagine where the average sugar that an American or something West consumes every day we're now at nineteen point five so you know we are consuming about fifty percent more on average than our upper limit right now there are some people who are consuming thirty forty fifty teaspoons of added sugar per day so we've been sort of upping our sugar and tea for many many years of course that's why type two diabetes first became a huge problem in the nineteen twenties and heart disease in the nineteen thirties and then something happened in the nineteen eighties high fructose corn syrup happen so is his corn syrup effort is one of worst and cane sugar it's cheaper but they're both equally bad and they're both equally bad but it's cheaper than its worse and what that does is also makes sure cheaper because the competition plus that was exactly the same time the low fat directive came out of the USDA the FDA nineteen seventy seven the first dietary goals for Americans said eat less fat well if he eat less fat the food taste like cardboard the food industry knew that so they do they pumped in the show and now for this course it was cheaper so they could do it given example how this works my favorite product of All Time Lucky charms they're magically delicious they are right why are there marshmallows in the box has a delicious secondary by the marshmallows in the box because they're fun to eat cause marshmallows are cheap and boats are expensive hard to take up more room in the box they can sell him for more how great this new strategy The The The The so everyone says education public office tell them what's going on for one thing education doesn't work for any other substance abuse that Nancy Reagan's Just Say No work really so what does that leave us everyone says a second don't tell me what to eat well you know what you've already been told what to eat where were you for the last forty years as your food supply was being changed and your nose when you're protesting then everyone says the government out of my kitchen I don't want my kitchen either unless there's somebody more dangerous already there ok so the real question is who the hell do you want your kitchen the government who will take your freedom and your wallet or the food industry whose aw
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The Food We Eat

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