Fossil-Free Food Systems

This 90 minute Roundtable podcast in Nate Hagens series the Great Simplification is fascinating.

There are so many lessons which are relevant to the UK.

To see the original go to

The four speakers are as small-scale farmer Jason Bradford, permaculturist and documentarian Andrew Millison, regenerative agriculture activist Vandana Shiva, and regenerative farmer and educator Daniel Zetah discuss the feasibility of a food system fully or mostly independent of fossil fuel inputs.

While a non-industrialized agriculture system is certainly possible (it was the norm for the majority of human history), what that will look like and how we even begin such a transition is daunting with a population of 8 billion humans to feed.

Jason Bradford has been affiliated with the Post Carbon Institute since 2004, first as a Fellow and then as Board President. He worked for the Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development at the Missouri Botanical Garden, was a Visiting Scholar at U.C. Davis, and during that period co-founded the Andes Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research Group (ABERG). He decided to shift from academia to learn more about and practice sustainable agriculture, and in the process, completed six months of training with Ecology Action (aka GrowBiointensive) in Willits, California, and then founded Brookside School Farm.

Andrew Millison is an innovative educator, storyteller and designer. He founded the Permaculture Design education program at Oregon State University (OSU) in 2009. At OSU Andrew serves as an Education Director and Senior Instructor who offers over 25 years of experience, and a playful approach to regenerative design. Andrew is also a documentary videographer who travels the world documenting epic permaculture projects in places such as India, Egypt, Mexico, Cuba, and throughout the US. You can view his videos and series on his YouTube channel.V

Vandana Shiva is a well known activist, author of many books, and is a global champion on regenerative local agriculture, biodiversity and nutritious food. She has a PhD in physics and 40 years ago founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, an independent research institute that works on the most significant ecological problems of our times. 

Daniel Zetah grew up on a farm in Minnesota where he learned to fix all manner of things driven from an insatiable curiosity about how things worked. He studied economics and business at university. After waking to our planetary predicament, he became a full time environmental activist, then moved to an off grid community in the mountains where he studied permaculture and built straw bale houses. He moved back to America to help steer culture in a more sane direction. He and his wife Stephanie moved back to the family farm in Minnesota where they are growing 80% of their calories, rebuilding the local ecology, and educating and empowering people to wrest back control of their sovereignty as human beings.

How do we teach people the skills they’ll need as fossil inputs become less affordable, reliable, and accessible? Can we create a cultural shift towards a slower lifestyle that is more connected to the land which provides us food? What do the people of a society look like where we are once again centered around agriculture and in tune with the flows of nature? How would our relationship with jobs and the land have to change?
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