Show #231 – Food Sovereignty with Farmer and Author, Tammi Jonas


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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? 

Other helpful links:

Know more about Tammi and her passion on farming: and

You can also find her on Instagram @tammois and on Facebook

This week’s show Sponsors

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Plenty of businesses are cashing in on the trend towards natural and organic products, but if those companies are cutting corners to be the first to market – whether in their packaging, their supply chains, their ingredients, or their staff welfare – they won’t be featured here. This isn’t something you can check by visiting a website, so we go behind the scenes to investigate the company’s entire DNA.

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Make your food choices delicious and ethical. –  Jacqueline Arias

GIVEAWAY: Win your custom-tailored year’s worth of coffee – 2 lucky winners will have the chance to jump onto the Republica Website and choose $200 worth of products from the Republica range. 


Enjoy the show and thanks again for taking the time to rate and review the show on your app – it’s like tipping the bartender and it means the world.

Low Tox. Happy us. Happy planet


Comments 9

  1. I would love to win the Republica giveaway for my workplace! Our amazing bossess supply coffee and a machine for the team, but I’d love to give them a trial of the wonderful tasting and more sustainable option of Republica in the hope they will purchase them for the team in the future.

  2. I would love to win the Republica Organic coffee giveaway because I LOVE coffee and its part of my morning routine. I love that Republica Organic stay true to their cause especially in the current shopping climate – and not only does the coffee taste good but gives you a pretty good feeling knowing so many peoples lives are better because of their commitment to Fairtrade and Organic – doing better by people and the planet. <3

  3. I would love the Republica prize. I have tried the beans and loved the coffee. I would love to share with my family and try the decaf range as well.

  4. I would LOVE to win the Republica prize! I am caffeine sensitive and have recently discovered their decaf instant coffee…so so yummy! Would love to share the rest of their range with my family

  5. I would love to win the Republica coffee prize! I do love my morning cup of coffee and have discovered in the last few months how much of my joint pain is mould related. Alexx totally had me at ‘never had a reaction to this coffee!’ I was in Costco the other day and bought a bag of beans so looking forward to trying this. Also just discovered the instant decaf my MIL bought to leave at our house is Republica. Win! Definitely looking forward to exploring more of this brand.

  6. I would be over the moon if I won one of the Republica Organic coffee prizes. Whilst I do not consume coffee at all, as it sets my gastrointestinal system off, it would be wonderous to try Republica to see if it set me off or not. Second to this, my husband is very passionate about his coffee, as well as my barista mother who has won several competitions for her skills. They have never tried Republica, it could be a new coffee chapter for us all. Thank you and good luck to all.

  7. I would be thrilled to win the Republica Organic coffee giveaway as I am very sensitive to coffee and had to give up at the beginning of this year. I really miss my coffee and would love to find a coffee that doesn’t have such a negative diuretic effect on me. I have Hashimoto’s so trying to reduce toxins in my Life and eat/drink organic as much as possible.

  8. Aside from the free giveaway…..THIS EPISODE! It was so good. Thanks for bringing it to us. It was as honest and down to earth as your guest Tammi. So much good info and a real and practical approach to the subject. We need more like her and more interviews like this.

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