“Most of all I would like more coming to terms with what happened…I think what needs to be done is for all of my fellow citizens in this country to understand what happened and to be able to say, this is what was done and now we must think about how to make the playing field level for all of us in this country, and by some ways for all of us eventually in the world. Because we can’t live by ignoring that past.” –Sidney Mintz

In this bonus edition of The Secret Ingredient, Raj Patel, Tom Philpott and Rebecca McInroy revisit the conversation with anthropologist Sidney Mintz about his seminal work “Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar In Modern History.”

The interview took place in September of 2015 and later that year on December 27th Dr. Mintz passed away.

In this extended interview, Mintz not only takes us through our prehistoric relationship to sweetness–from the bloody history of slavery and sugar production to our current state of the mass production and consumption of sweetness worldwide, but he also talks about his development as an anthropologist and thinker. He discusses his time as a student of anthropology and how he was able to study in Puerto Rico, along with who was influencing his thinking at the time. He also talks about how factories developed on the sugar plantations and the way slavery developed in the New World, as well as the role this brutal past plays in current volatile racial relations in the U.S.

As hurricanes continue to wreak havoc on the Caribbean and our hearts go out to all those who are suffering, we look to Mintz for wisdom and guidance in the days ahead.

“The history of slavery in the Caribbean is traumatic. It’s a difficult legacy and I don’t think that it’s been well processed. So the serving of tea becomes this way to sort of address that. To consider, how can we move forward? What does it look like to think about healing in a space like that?” -Annalee Davis
Annalee Davis is a Barbadian artist and activist, whose work addresses the complicated legacy of slavery in the Caribbean. On this edition of The Secret Ingredient Raj Patel, Tom Philpott and Rebecca McInroy enjoy her serving of (Bush) Tea at the KUT studios in Austin, Texas where she was preparing to open her show This Ground Beneath My Feet – A Chorus of Bush in Rab Lands at the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her exhibition is on view until December 15, 2016.

“There isn’t a single aspect of what we eat that is not touched by industry spin.” –Anna Lappé

There are so many logistical barriers to healthy, fresh, ethically produced and farmed foods — from food deserts to our busy daily schedules — that managing to eat well is a challenge. But there is another layer to the story of our food and that is “Spin.”

Companies spend billions of dollars on messaging to convince consumers that their products are good for us, even when they are packed with everything from high-fructose corn syrup to saturated fat and salt.

In this edition of The Secret Ingredient Raj Patel, Tom Philpott and Rebecca McInroy talk with the award winning founder of the Small Planet Institute and The Small Planet Fund and author of Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, Anna Lappé about the work she is doing to combat “Spin.”

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.

Soda. We’ve all had it. But why is it so difficult to find accurate information on soda consumption? How did the industry get to where it is today, and what advocacy groups and consumers are doing to fight back. In this edition of The Secret Ingredient, we talk with Marion Nestle about her latest book “Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning).” You can find out more about Marion on her website: http://www.foodpolitics.com/

We talk with anthropologist Sidney Mintz about his seminal work “Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar In Modern History.” Mintz takes us through our prehistoric relationship to sweetness–from the bloody history of slavery and sugar production to our current state of the mass production and consumption of sweetness worldwide. He talks about how factories developed on the sugar plantations and the way slavery developed in the New World, as well as the role this brutal pasts plays in current volatile racial relations in the U.S..