Food: Worldwide struggles and local solutions


This week we bring you an episode from our archives about food: an ever timely topic. Ever wonder why food is so cheap? No? Well, it may surprise you when sociologist Michael Carolan explains the true cost of our cheap food in an interview that delves into the enormous cost the environment and developing countries bear so that individuals in wealthy nations can chomp cheap pizza. And, pedalling permaculture enthusiasts well aware of unsustainable agriculture systems will share their local solution to global problems in an interview about the Victoria-based bicycle-powered compost company, Pedal to Petal!

Episode link.

Pedal to Petal
Pedal to Petal is a Bicycle Powered Compost Pickup Company located in Victoria B.C. They are a carbon-negative social enterprise that’s found a unique way of transforming kitchen waste into treasure, and livelihood. They describe themselves as “a permaculture-based collective of bicycle loving food security activists who are taking direct action to reduce carbon emissions and landfill waste and to feed the soil and the city’s hungry”.  They do this through a bike-powered kitchen scrap pick up service, building edible landscapes, and composting. Trevor Van Hemert of Pedal to Petal talks to Terra Informa about innovations in compost set-up and how to run a business that thinks outside the box.

Real Cost of Cheap Food
Michael Carolan is a sociologist with some fascinating things to say about how our food is made. Food certainly looks cheap at the supermarket, and the average north American pays far less for food relative to incomes than people did only a generation ago. But Michael Carolan argues that this extraordinarily cheap food is a product of bad agriculture policies that make the environment, other countries, and future generations bear the real cost. Michael Carolyn is based at Colorado State University, and just published a new book called The Real Cost of Cheap Food. He joins us today to talk about his work.

The Thinking Garden                                                                                                                         ‘The Thinking Garden’ is a beautiful, thought-provoking, and uplifting documentary film about South African women’s grassroots efforts to combat food insecurity, climate change, structural poverty, and HIV/AIDS. They are currently in the homestretch of an indie-gogo funding campaign and would love your help to finish the documentary!

The link to the campaign:



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