“When it comes to breastfeeding the ideal of choice verses the illusion of choice are two very different things,” argues Kimberly Seals Allers when talking about her new book, “The Big Let Down: How Medicine, Big Business and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding.”

In this edition of The Secret Ingredient, with Raj Patel, Tom Philpott, and Rebecca McInroy, Allers makes the distinction between choices and options, and illustrates the confounding paradoxes when it comes to babies, mothers and health.

If one’s only knowledge about the Greek economic crisis of the early 2000s came from the television news or the New York Times, the complexity of the situation and what it means to the Greek people could well have been lost.

On this edition of The Secret Ingredient, Raj Patel, Tom Philpott and Rebecca McInroy recorded a show in front of a live audience at the Cactus Cafe in Austin, Texas with the eminent economist James K. Galbraith author of, “Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe.”

Galbraith was an advisor to the former finance minister of Greece, Yanis Varoufakis, during the crisis, and his account of the events, discussions and nuances of the process shed a critical and urgent light on the Eurozone – and the future of Europe – as he talks about inequality, the Greek debacle, prospects for social democracy in America and more.

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The response to the crisis and austerity measures from Greek artists and poets is significant. Karen Van Dyck’s “Austerity Measures”  and Theodoros Chiotis’ “Futures: Poetry of The Greek Crisis” , offer poignant and cutting insights. Chiotis was kind enough to send along one of his poems from his new collection to include here.

Perfusion by Theodoros Chiotis

1.

Yes –

perhaps in utero

but it was in another machine

I became this:

the result of a thousand

mechanised eyes.

2.

Laura Mars

furiously click-clicking

her way into endurance.

A riot scene like magnets colliding:

the result of high population densities expanding

and then imploding across minute distances.

3.

The perfect grip of a hand

that is no longer of any use

landscapes the present.

 

“We can produce all the great food in the world, but if we’re not working to transform the very nature of the relations of power in the food system, having good food will be null and void.” -Blain Snipstal

On this edition of The Secret Ingredient Raj Patel, Tom Philpott, and Rebecca McInroy talk with peasant farmer Blain Snipstal about Agroecology, food sovereignty, and class struggle.

 

“Pathogens are in someway, something of a mirror of our civilization,” says Dr. Rob Wallace, evolutionary biologist and author of “Big Farms Make Big Flu: Dispatches on Infectious Disease, Agribusiness, and the Nature of Science.” However, most of us avoid gazing at this intense reflection for too long, much to our peril.

In this edition of The Secret Ingredient, Raj Patel, Tom Philpott and Rebecca McInroy talk with Wallace about his, more than a decade long, search behind the microscope, where he discovered the disturbing connections between our relationship with pathogens and how colonization that’s still happening today affects that relationship.