Love our new show tune in the intro/outro? It’s talented Australian independent artist Melanie Horsnell’s song “Birds”. So proud to support this wonderful Aussie artist and have her grace the show with her wonderful words and song!
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And on this week’s show!
Confused about food and the planet? This week continuing our people and planet series with the president of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, Tammi Jonas – a farmer, author, and in the throes of writing her PhD on the biodiverse and decolonising practices of agroecological farmers, and the technical, social, and legislative enabling conditions for an agroecological transition in Australia. Tammi has been president of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) since 2014. For 10 years, AFSA has worked as a collective of individuals and organisations to promote everyone’s right to nutritious and culturally-appropriate food produced and distributed in ethical and ecologically-sound ways, and our right to democratically determine our own food and agriculture systems. On today’s show, Tammi helps us navigate the complex world of food from a beliefs and preferences perspective, to what the planet thrives on, to animal care, health care and more. Enjoy the show!
The questions I asked Tammi:
- What was your experience as a child, growing up – were you taught that you were a part of an ecosystem, or did you live a disconnected-from-nature and her systems life?
- Did you always want to be a farmer and what do you farm today?
- What is, by definition, Food Sovereignty? What is the work of the ASFA?
- You mentioned you farm pigs in the mix… so many people believe that for a healthier planet we need to not farm animals, yet this is not about the what it’s the “how”: What is the role of farmed animals in a healthy ecosystem?
- Can someone eat a diet where nothing dies at the expense of their need for nourishment?
- When I was researching my next book on food, I discovered that in some parts of the world, a woman is allowed to own a cow, but not land and that brought up for me the privilege of choosing to claim a diet and to claim its superiority – how do diet wars keep our energies wasted, where they’d be best spent on real food system injustice and planet care?
- How does well managed animals benefit biodiversity, ecology, and carbon sequestration, and how factory farming does the opposite?
- Something that no doubt lobbyists have contributed to is the focus on meat as singular biggest the agricultural evil, while everyone eats their smug wheat buns and tofu-based patties often from foods or ingredients farmed conventionally with pesticide, herbicide, or genetically modified seeds: How can we get a mainstream acknowledgement that the high use of chemical inputs and monoculture farming is something we should very much focus on?
- What are some of the ‘innovations’ being tabled at the moment with major governments and scientific ag advisers worldwide in the ‘feed the world’ quest, that aren’t perhaps the best way forward or as you put it, on ‘the right side of history?
- How do we reconcile the stolen land truth of the past in developing food sovereignty?
- SARS, MERS, Ebola, Nipah, Zika, SARS-COV-2 – all of our latest outbreaks in recent years – have been diseases passed on from animals to humans. What is this trying to tell us that needs to change? I was fascinated by Rob Wallace’s “Big farms make big flu” – so how on earth do we go about decentralising big farms and re-localising, allowing local communities to reclaim sovereignty?
- Something that frustrates me no end, is that while we take all the crisis-measures our world has become now strangely used to, with masks, vaccine development and roll out, hospital upgrades to cater for the task at hand… there has been next to no focus on what we might learn from this pandemic. As is often the case with crises “now is not the time to talk about how to fix this…” – how can we become solution focused in our day to day to become more robust in the face of future pandemics as a society? I’ve done a show on what that looks like from an immune and respiratory standpoint with a doctor, but what about the biggest picture solutions?
- What can urbanites do to support food sovereignty in our day-to-day?
- Something I get asked a lot is about the price of organic, regen ag sourced foods: How can we make things more cost effective in the long run? Govt subsidy? Redefining ‘expensive’ vs health care and planet costs in the long run?
- What is the best way forward for a conventional farmer to take initial steps to assessing a transition to agroecologically sound methods of farming into the future and what will the benefits be to them? The customer? And the planet? (Just to finish on an ‘everyone wins message when we focus on this)
- How can we best support the ASFA and other action networks like you around the world?
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Low Tox. Happy us. Happy planet