Medium Food

We’re all talking about our relationship to food lately, thanks to everyone from Michael Pollan to Oprah (even Michael Pollan on Oprah). Fast food, slow food, smart food, food miles, food pyramids, food security. Yes, we’re joining the fray, but turning the tables a bit to look at how food and food movements are a medium for forms of change—personal, social and otherwise—especially in the big city, where we so often rely on others for our food. We take the show to San Francisco, visiting the foggy gardens of the Sunset and the sunny fruit stands of the Mission, and even the rooftops in the Tenderloin. We talk to a new breed of urban farmer and we meet an earth scientist, a chef, a Salvadorian emigrant, a city rat, a country mouse, and a whole class of third graders. In our last segment we return to Stanford to find out how students are changing their own relationship to the their environment through our new favorite medium, food.

Host: Natacha Ruck

Producers: Natacha Ruck, Charlie Mintz

Music: Bibio, Alessandro Ricciarelli, Gerd Baumann, Ken Grobe

Featuring: Page Chamberlain, Susannah Poland, Caitlin Brown, Maya Donelson, Rebecca Alonzi, Tree, Suzi Palladino

Links: Garden for the Environment, Graze the Roof, The Free Farm Stand, Stanford Gleaning Project, Glean Map

Release Date: 2 March 2010


Story 1: It’s not Just about Food

The physical experience of farming took host Natacha Ruck back to a memory of her childhood. It also triggered an epiphany about what food and food movements mean today.

image via flickr


Story 2: The Garden on the Rooftop

In one of San Francisco’s toughest neighborhoods, tender shoots are growing on the rooftops of the Tenderloin. By tender shoots we mean fifth graders, who are learning to grow and prepare their own food.

Featuring: Maya Donelson, Rebecca Alonzi


Story 3: The Rhythms of Nature and the Beat of the City

We visit the Garden for the Environment to experience how the rhythms of the natural world can jive the beat of an urban landscape.

Featuring: Suzi Palladino


Story 4: The Free Farm Stand

Urban farmers in the Mission District in San Francisco are trying to create a new kind of exchange with their neighbors using brussels sprouts, salsa and seedlings.

Featuring: Tree


Story 5: The Savvy Gleaner

In which we visit a farm, or rather, the Farm. It’s easy to forget that Stanford actually produces its own bounty of edible fruits and vegetables. You just have to know where to look.

Featuring: Susannah Poland, Caitlin Brown


Story 6: A Society of Abundance

We return to the man who started this hour, Page Chamberlain, a professor in the School of Earth Sciences, at Stanford. He tells us what the food movement is really about.

Featuring: Professor Page Chamberlain