The story of sugar in the Western world is sordid and bitter, however this past gets quickly candy coated in our day to day lives as consumers. In this special op-ed from the eminent economist, writer and historian James K. Galbraith we get a peak into the sickly underbelly of the sociopolitical and economic past of sugar.

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.