Local Bites Podcast
Local Bites is a podcast produced by Local Futures/International Society for Ecology and Culture, tracking the rise of localist movements and ideas from around the world. Listen to individual episodes below. You can also subscribe to the podcast here, through iTunes, or by joining our emailing list for monthly updates.
Humanity has lost nearly three-quarters of its agricultural biodiversity in the last century. Now, in the face of an increasingly volatile climate, conserving the remaining seed diversity is a matter of survival. In this episode, Local Bites interviews ecologist and renowned seed conservationist, Dr. Debal Deb on the value of traditional seeds in an unstable world. Deb argues that traditional seeds are vitally important, not just to ensure food security, but also for protecting local food sovereignty against the corporate control of food systems around the world. Deb shares insights from his work conserving and sharing over 900 indigenous seed varieties in eastern India, and he talks about why ecological farming, a communitarian ethos, and localization are all key components of his conservation efforts. Learn more about Deb's work here, or watch these short films by Jason Taylor of The Source Project: "The Farmer, the Architect and the Scientist" (made for The Gaia Foundation), and "Food Web Theory".
Image credit: Jason Taylor
In this episode, Local Bites interviews Stacy Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance to talk about the multiple social, economic and environmental benefits of local business ownership and community-scaled financial institutions. Mitchell lays out the evidence for why local ownership matters, and provides a thorough debunking of the idea that large, global corporations are more efficient or create more jobs than smaller-scale, community-rooted enterprises. After warning listeners about the growing consolidation of economic power in the hands of fewer and fewer global corporations, Mitchell exposes the policy decisions that have led to such concentrated ownership. She concludes by highlighting several promising initiatives from the growing localization movement, and articulating the key components of a 'localist policy agenda'.
In this extended episode, Local Bites interviews scholar/activist, Ashish Kothari about his book, Churning the Earth: The Making of Global India, co-authored by Aseem Shrivastava. During the first half of the interview, Kothari provides a truly sobering account of the social and environmental impacts of globalized development in India, arguing persuasively that the costs far outweigh the benefits, and calling into questions a number of taken-for-granted assumptions about "economic growth", "progress", and the so-called inevitability of urbanization.
In the second half, Kothari highlights a diverse range of localist alternatives taking place in communities throughout India, forerunners to what he calls 'radical ecological democracy', that can "take us all to higher levels of well-being, while sustaining the earth and creating greater equity."
In this episode Local Bites host Brian Emerson interviews Dr. M. Jahi Chappell of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy on the question, "What kind of food and farming system do we need to feed a growing world population in an ecologically sustainable and socially just manner?"
In this episode host Brian Emerson interviews Helena Norberg-Hodge on how "free" trade treaties undermine local communities, economies and democracies around the world, and why localists need to join the global resistance against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA, also known as TTIP). Norberg-Hodge ends her interview by suggesting an alternative international framework for supporting more democratic, localized solutions to global problems.
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