SeedChange staff picks: What to read, watch and listen to

March 28, 2020

We’re all doing what we can to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Here’s what SeedChange staff are reading, watching and listening to right now.

What to read

Farming While Black by Leah Penniman

The Third Plate by Dan Barber

Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

The Everything Seed by Carole Martignacco, illustrated by Joy Troyer

What to watch

Victorian Farm (available on Youtube)

This six-episode BBC series follows Ruth, Peter and Alex as they bring a Victorian era farm in Shropshire, England back to life and run it for a year as it would have been run in the 1880s.

Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6

The Biggest Little Farm (available on Netflix)

John and Molly Chester’s work to develop a sustainable farm on 200 acres outside of Los Angeles is documented in this feature-length film.

Salt Acid Fat Heat (available on Netflix)

Chef and food writer Samin Nosrat travels the world to explore four basic keys to wonderful cooking, serving up feasts and helpful tips along the way, in this four-part series.

Chef’s Table (available on Netflix)

Meet culinary stars around the world who are redefining gourmet food with innovative dishes and tantalizing desserts. Aside from being beautifully shot, this series delves into the connection food has with land, culture and people around the world. Careful, it will make you hungry!

Cooked (available on Netflix)

This series, hosted and co-created by Michael Pollan, will get you thinking about not only what you’re eating but how it is cooked and where it is sourced.

SEED: The Untold Story (available through streaming rental)

This feature-length documentary follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and Indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food. An abridged version is available for free on TVO.

The Magic School Bus and The Magic School Bus Rides Again (available on Netflix)

This wonderful animated series from the 1990s and it’s 2017 reboot is for kids but we bet you’ll learn something too. Both the old and new shows are available on Netflix but one of our favourite episodes from the original series, “The Magic School Bus Goes to Seed,” is here for free.

What to listen to

All My Relations is a podcast based in the United States, hosted by Swinomish and Tulalip artist Matika Wilbur and Cherokee scholar Adrienne Keene. The second episode, “Food Sovereignty: A Growing Movement,” features guest Valerie Segrest.

Red Man Laughing is a podcast based in Canada, hosted by Anishinaabe comedian Ryan McMahon. Its extensive episode list includes some great episodes involving food sovereignty, including:

  • The Sugar Bush Family” features efforts in Fort William First Nation to revitalize the community’s sugar bush practices.
  • The Wild Rice Wars” features James Whetung’s efforts to restore wild rice in Curve Lake First Nation’s lakes and the conflict with settler cottagers he has experienced as a result.
  • Food Sovereignty and Nationhood” features Anishinaabe scholar Dr. Joseph LeBlanc on Indigenous food systems and the issues with capitalist market-based solutions to northern and remote communities’ food realities.
  • Celery Not Salary” features Nêhiyawpwat (Plains Cree-Nakota) scholar Mylan Tootoosis on Indigenous resistance to settler colonialism, land access, and localized community-led gardening efforts.

Toasted Sister is a podcast based in the U.S., hosted by Navajo radio producer and journalist Andi Murphy. Almost all the episodes are with Indigenous chefs, farmers, hunters, food lovers, and more!

The Fridge Light is a CBC podcast hosted by food writer Chris Nuttall-Smith about the hidden stories of the things we eat. Each episode chows down on one food phenomenon, revealing unexpected cultural ingredients.

The Urban Farm Podcast features conversations with regenerative farmers and home gardeners, interviews with up and coming urban growers, and inspiration from healthy-food visionaries around the globe. A recent episode discusses SeedChange work with small-scale farmers around the world, with our executive director, Jane Rabinowicz.

The Ruminant is a podcast “pondering the best way to agriculture.” It has a vast back catalogue that will keep you busy for a while—including an episode on participatory plant breeding with Alex Lyon, a University of British Columbia postdoctoral fellow who works with our farmer-led Canadian seed breeding program.

The Duolingo Podcast’s main purpose is to help English speakers expand their French language skills through storytelling—but it includes some lovely food and agriculture stories too!