Our secret ingredient, for this special live taping, is SXSW! We wanted to explore the future of food on this show, and what better way to ask questions about the future of anything, than through the lens of this tech heady conference that descends on Austin, Texas every March.

What will it mean to eat food in the future? What will food look and taste like? Will things like fake meat, Soylent, and Quorn, replace the Sunday dinner of rump roast, potatoes, and collard greens? And if they do, would that really be so bad?

In this episode Raj Patel argues the case for Soylent green, Rebecca McInroy asks if GMOs are going to kill us all, and Tom Philpott illustrates what’s really at steak, and in your steak, when talking antibiotics.

Enjoy the show!


What is Golden Rice? If you know the answer to that question, chances are you have a strong opinion about it. That’s because a lot of the rhetoric swirling around Golden Rice is heated, but many times ill informed.

Golden Rice is a technology that was developed in the 1990s to try to make the endosperm of rice contain beta-carotene. It’s been hailed as having nutritional possibilities that could, “save a million kids a year,” according to Time Magazine.

Yet, as Tom Philpott asks in his article for Mother Jones, “If golden rice is such a panacea, why does it flourish only in headlines, far from the farm fields where it’s intended to grow?”

In this edition of The Secret Ingredient we talk with Dr. Glenn Davis Stone. His research on environmental anthropology, political ecology, food studies, and science & technology studies, takes a deep look into the world of GMOs and the science behind them.

Scoville scale says … “It’s time to talk peppers!” They’re grown all over the world, bear cultural meaning and can satisfy your tastebuds like little else. Why do we eat them? Why can your grandma pop a habanero in her mouth and you pass out when a simple jalapeno meets your lips? And what’s up with Hillary Clinton eating them? In this edition we talk capsaicin with Gary Nabhan, author of “Chasing Chiles – Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail,” “Why Some Like It Hot: Food, Genes and Cultural Diversity,” and “Cumin, Camels, and Caravans: A Spice Odyssey.” Nabhan is an internationally-celebrated nature writer, food and farming activist, and proponent of conserving the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity. He is also the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Arizona Southwest Center, where he works to build a more just, nutritious, sustainable and climate-resilient foodshed spanning the U.S.-Mexico border.