Rag Radio: Are We Cooked?’ Raj Patel & Tom Philpott on Food and Climate Change

Award-winning author and educator Patel and sustainable food writer Philpott join in a provocative and timely discussion.


Thorne Dreyer’s guests are Raj Patel and Tom Philpott and the topic is “Are We Cooked?: Ways of Thinking About Food and Climate.” Raj Patel is an award-winning writer, activist, and academic. He is a Research Professor in the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin, and a Senior Research Associate at the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU), South Africa. Tom Philpott is food and agriculture correspondent for Mother Jones and the co-founder of Maverick Farms, a center for sustainable food education in Valle Crucis, North Carolina.

On Rag Radio, Raj and Tom discuss issues involving climate change and food — including the national and international significance of global warming on the food supply — with topics including the California drought, about which Tom has written; how GMOs are a bad response to the global crisis; and ways to grow and distribute food that don’t involve the industrial food system.

[This show was first broadcast on Rag Radio on Nov. 21, 2014, and was rebroadcast on KOOP-FM in Austin on April 1, 2016.]

Raj Patel has degrees from the University of Oxford, the London School of Economics and Cornell University, has worked for the World Bank and WTO, and protested against them around the world. Raj co-taught the 2014 Edible Education class at UC Berkeley with Michael Pollan. He has testified about the causes of the global food crisis before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee and was an advisor to Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. In addition to numerous publications in economics, philosophy, politics, and public health journals, his writing has been published widely in leading mainstream outlets. His book, The Value of Nothing, was a New York Times bestseller. He is currently working on a groundbreaking documentary project about the global food system with award-winning director Steve James.

Tom Philpott was a columnist, food editor, and senior food writer for the online environmental site Grist and his work on food politics has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, the Guardian, and numerous other publications, and he has been interviewed by Terry Gross on Fresh Air. Philpott previously worked as a financial journalist in Mexico City and New York, most recently writing daily dispatches on the stock market as equity research editor for Reuters.com. Maverick Farms has been featured in Gourmet and The New York Times, and Food & Wine named Philpott one of “ten innovators” who “will continue to shape the culinary consciousness of our country for the next 30 years.” In 2011, Utne Reader named him one of “25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.”

Tom Philpott was previously our Rag Radio guest on June 7, 2013. Raj and Tom also do a regular show on public radio station KUT-FM in Austin and their podcasts can be found here.

Rag Radio is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The host and producer of Rag Radio, Thorne Dreyer, is a prominent Austin-based activist and writer who was a pioneer of the ’60s underground press movement. The show’s engineer and co-producer is Tracey Schulz and the staff photographer is Roger Baker. The syndicated show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on KOOP in Austin, and is later rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., on Houston Pacifica’s KPFT HD-3 90.1-FM, and by KKRN, 88.5-FM in Round Mountain, CA — and is a featured podcast at VT. All Rag Radio podcasts can be found at the Internet Archive. Contact: ragradio@koop.org



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