A new podcast out of Geyserville delves into stories of food, culture, and place.
Like many media projects, Delicious Revolution, a radio show and podcast about food, culture, and place, was inspired by dissatisfaction. In this case, a dissatisfaction with existing academic and formal conversations about food—how it works, how to cook it, and how to create more just and sustainable food systems.
“They just felt a bit flat and devoid of creative possibility, “ says Devon Sampson, who produces the show out of Geyserville with cofounder Chelsea Wills.
Sampson, 33, is a scientist by training. He has a Ph.D. in environmental studies from U.C. Santa Cruz, where he studied, in part, how small-scale farmers make a living in increasingly unpredictable climactic and economic conditions. Wills, 31, also comes from an academic background, with a graduate degree in education from U.C. Berkeley. In addition, she’s an artist and a fellow at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. As you would imagine, the two have attended their fair share of academic conferences.
Wills’ interest in “places in flux” and the people inhabiting them lends an appealingly heady but down-to-earth process of inquiry to her interviews with people like Anna Lappé, a food justice activist, journalist, and founder of Real Food Media. Listening to the show is like eavesdropping on a conversation between two smart, young people with much good knowledge and wisdom to share.
That was the point, according to Sampson. He says the goal starting out was to recreate the energy of informal, passionate conversations about food justice, equity, agriculture, climate change, and farming that happen in private settings outside of stiff conference halls. Delicious Revolution uses the democratizing medium of podcasting as a means of a wider audience, translating those highbrow concepts into something the average person might want to listen to.
“We’d have amazing conversations about [the food system] over meals and outside of the formal context of these conferences, and they would be creative, and inspiring with a much wider set of perspectives and experiences,” says Sampson.
He and Wills launched Delicious Revolution in November 2015. The first episode features a sharp, engaging conversation with Caiti Hachmyer, the owner (and sole farmer) at Red H Farm in Sebastopol. In the interview, Hachmyer speaks frankly about the very real challenges of running a farm in Sonoma County, no-till soil management, and her work as a food systems researcher. Subsequent locals featured on the show’s three seasons include Joey Smith of Let’s Go Farm, Tim Page of F.E.E.D. Sonoma, writer Jonah Raskin, and farmer and seaweed wild crafter Heidi Herrmann. The show’s archives are a smorgasbord of ideas, musings, and thoughts from food system movers and shakers from the Bay Area and farther afoot in California.
Sampson is excited about the show’s upcoming fourth season, which they’ve just started scheduling. It’s being funded by a grant from the California Humanities Council and finds Delicious Revolution partnered with Food First, the Oakland-based organization founded by Frances Moore Lappé and Joseph Collins. For one episode, Sampson interviewed Ron Reed, a traditional dipnet fisherman and cultural biologist for the Karuk Tribe in Humboldt County, about efforts to revitalize the traditional food knowledge of his homeland.
“We’re interviewing some amazing people across California, and we’re going for a broader set of voices than is usually represented,” says Sampson. “The food movement is made up of lots of different kinds of people—farmers, chefs, artists, activists, fishers, researchers, cooks, journalists, and more. We’re capturing a more diverse and unexpected set of voices about how the food movement came to be.”
Subscribe to Delicious Revolution on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcast apps, or listen locally at KOWS 107.3.