Food from China
Andy Dayton, Associate Web Producer
Last week, while taking a break from updating the Web site for our program "The Ethics of Eating" I decided to see if I could find any images that would be useful for an upcoming program about China.
Next thing I knew, I found myself reading about ethical eating once again, stumbling upon the image above, which was used in a blog post about organic food products from China. The post briefly discusses the questionable certification of organic foods coming from China, and quotes a 2006 article from the Dallas Morning News:
Fred Gale, a senior USDA economist who has researched Chinese agriculture, said it was “almost impossible to grow truly organic food in China.”“The water everywhere is polluted, and the soil is contaminated from industry and mining, and the air is bad.”
The story continues:
The USDA National Organic Program does not certify foods as organic; it certifies organic certification agencies. Forty of these are in foreign countries.
Many of the responses we’ve received for the recent rebroadcast of Krista’s conversation with Barbara Kingsolver were skeptical, to say the least. While this article by no means proves that all organic foods from China are fraudulent, it reaffirms for me that this sort of skepticism is probably necessary for this issue. Our cultural relationship with food continues to need reevaluation, but a larger solution may not be so simple as growing food on your own land (if you’re lucky enough to own land) or buying items stamped “organic” at the grocery store.
(Photo: Mike Licht/flickr)
Ancestors at Meal Time
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor
Yesterday, Krista had an early evening interview with the chair of the Asian Studies department at the University of Sydney, Mayfair Yang. Thankfully, within the first five minutes (before I had to leave and perform my parental duties), I was able to capture this endearing story.
Her tale about cuisine was a perfect continuation of Krista’s interview with Nicole Mones a few days earlier. I’m trying to find expedient, thoughtful ways of including our readers and listeners in the production process. The product is a bit rawer, but, from what I’ve gleaned from the response to our unedited interviews, people appreciate hearing the savory elements that might not be as polished.
Right now I’m able to film, edit, and upload this video using my Nokia N95 mobile phone. In the coming weeks though, I hope to stream our cuts-and-copy sessions live using this same phone and a great third-party service. I’m testing it now and am astounded at how well it works. In the meantime, please let me know what you think of our endeavors. Post a comment here.
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor
Sitting behind the glass during one of Krista’s ISDN interviews remains a thrilling experience for me. So, I have no problem convincing myself that others may find pleasure in gaining access to material before it makes its way — hopefully — into a radio broadcast. (By the way, I’m struggling to find a better way to say that since a growing number of our listeners are podcasters and streamers. Audio program sounds pretty droll. Got any ideas?)
And, as journalists in public broadcasting, we have the onus of disclosing more and sharing more with our audiences. So I’m doing just that. Armed with a Nokia N95 — the Swiss army knife of mobile phones for collecting, producing, and distributing content — I shot and edited this clip of Krista interviewing novelist Nicole Mones for a potential program about contemporary Chinese society and their reverence for cuisine as a necessary means of relationship and connectedness, guanxi.
Oh, and the tapping your hear in the background is Colleen transcribing a rough copy of the interview for us to reference when we start editing and producing the program.