Food politics don’t yet have much of a presence on the Food Network — nothing kills a food-porn barbecue buzz like invoking the factory farms those ribs came from. But PBS is now airing a half-hour TV program produced by a new “media and education initiative” that targets the growing number of “regular” Americans (ie, not just us foochebags) who are hungry to know where their food comes from, in particular young people and families.
Hosted by Cameron Diaz — the former host of the green-travel MTV series Trippin’ — Nourish features interviews with an all-star cast of the sustainable/real/we-know-it-when-we-eat-it food movement. Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, Jamie Oliver, and Anna Lappé (pictured, right) are all involved, along with such everyday food soldiers as organic farmer Nigel Walker (whose CSA I used to belong to). PBS began airing Nourish in October; you can still catch it this month in some areas (schedule).
“When we think about global warming, we think about transportation, how we heat our houses, but in fact, how we eat has just as big an impact on climate change,” Michael Pollan says in the trailer (below; watch more short videos from Nourish here). Funded by the WK Kellogg Foundation and Heifer International, the Nourish initiative is produced by Wordlink and includes a DVD for sale, middle- and high school curriculum materials, and a website intended to become a hub for information and action.
While Nourish is certainly not going to displace shows like Outrageous Food in the Nielsen ratings, it’s heartening to see connections like the one Pollan makes above getting out to a more mainstream audience.