Want to learn more about strawberries and food production?
In this week’s podcast, we are joined by Julie Guthman, geographer and professor of social sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has taken particular interest in the evolving character of the alternative food movement as it confronts race, class, and bodily difference.
More recently, she has explored the intersection of knowledge practices and political economy in the construction of healthy food and bodies, especially in light of emergent science on non-nutritional pathways to metabolic illness.
She retains an abiding interest in the history and geography of California agriculture. These themes converged in her recent research on the California strawberry industry, first inspired by a contentious fight over the soil fumigant methyl iodide, which is a replacement for ozone-depleting methyl bromide and has possible epigenetic effects.
In This Episode:
How Julie got started in research 3:01
What her research process looks like 5:42
How the strawberry industry impacts workers 16:22
How much money strawberry farmers actually make 27:10
Dynamics of the wholesale model 33:35
What’s happening with organics in California 35:24
The kind of research Julie has done on tech and tech’s investment in food and agriculture 40:50
About the Guest:
Julie Guthman is a geographer and professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she conducts research on the conditions of possibility for food system transformation in the US.
Her most recent book, Wilted: Pathogens, Chemicals, and the Fragile Future of the Strawberry Industry, was the recipient of the 2020 American Association of Geographers Meridian Award for outstanding scholarly work in geography.
Her prior publications include two multi-award winning monographs, an edited collection, about fifty peer-reviewed journal articles and dozens of other book chapters, book reviews, commentaries, and public-facing pieces. Currently, she is the principal investigator of the UC-AFTeR Project, a multi-campus collaboration exploring Silicon Valley’s recent forays into food and agriculture.
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