Future of Food


Re-weaving our connection to ancestral plant guidance: Food, DNA, Animating our Heritage to craft the desirable future…

“Let all natural facts be social strategy metaphors”

Caroline convenes Claire Cummings (environmental lawyer, journalist, and author of Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds), Melissa Nelson, Ph.D. (President of The Cultural Conservancy, indigenous scholar-activist, ecologist, writer, editor, and media-maker {Anishinaabe/Métis – Turtle Mountain Chippewa}), & Anna Lappé (renowned advocate for sustainability and justice along the food chain, author, and food justice advisor), that we may grieve what is lost, in order to re-weave and mend the fabric of creation.

(Bios below)

Listen live today at 2pm pacific (5pm eastern):

The Visionary Activist Show on KPFA  [KPFA Radio Live Feed]

Recording and download will be posted here & on KPFA soon after the live show.

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*Claire Hope Cummings is a lawyer, environmental journalist, and author of Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds which won both the American Book Award and an ethnobotany award. Claire combines her work with traditional indigenous groups over the last 40 years, including being a Founder of The Cultural Conservancy, with her experience in food and farming. As a journalist she has covered genetic engineering for 30 years in print, radio and television. She was at the 1999 meeting where the Pacific Declaration was written. Regular listeners to KPFA will remember Claire from her many years as Food and Farming editor on the Morning Show!



*Melissa K. Nelson, Ph.D. (Anishinaabe/Métis [Turtle Mountain Chippewa]), is an ecologist, writer, editor, media-maker and indigenous scholar-activist. Her work is dedicated to Indigenous rights and sustainability, biocultural heritage and environmental justice, intercultural solidarity, and the renewal and celebration of community health and cultural arts.  She actively advocates for Indigenous Peoples rights and resilient lifeways in higher education, nonprofits, and philanthropy, and is particularly passionate about Indigenous food sovereignty at local, regional and global levels. Melissa served as a professor of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University from  2002 to 2020. She is now Professor of Indigenous sustainability at Arizona State University and continues to work with the Cultural Conservancy, which she has led since 1993. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in the field of Ecology. Melissa is the editor of and a contributor to Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future (2008), and co-editor of and contributor to Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Learning From the Indigenous Practices for Environmental Sustainability (2018).  Melissa is also the writer and host of the Native Seed Pod, a podcast dedicated to Indigenous science and Native foods.  Melissa serves on the boards of directors of the Sogorea Te Land Trust, the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, and Slow Food Indigenous Terra Madre.

Recent Native Food article in Cultural Survival Quarterly

Native Seed Pod

The Cultural Conservancy


*Anna Lappé is a national bestselling author, a renowned advocate for sustainability and justice along the food chain, and an advisor to funders investing in food system transformation. A James Beard Leadership Awardee, Anna is the co-author or author of three books on food, farming, and sustainability and the contributing author to thirteen more. Anna’s work has been translated internationally and featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Oprah Magazine, among many other outlets. One of TIME magazine’s “eco” Who’s-Who, Anna is the Founder or Co-Founder of three national organizations including the Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund. In addition to her work as Co-Director at Real Food Media, Anna developed and leads the Food Sovereignty Fund, a global grantmaking program of the Panta Rhea Foundation. In more than 20+ years of organizing, Anna has helped direct more than $11 million to advocates for food justice and sustainability around the country and the world. Anna is an active board member of Rainforest Action Network and Mesa Refuge. She also serves as a founding Steering Committee member of the Castanea Fellowship and the Food and Farm Communications Fund and is a member of the advisory council of the Food Chain Workers Alliance. Anna’s research on food systems has taken her to more than 25 countries and 100 U.S. cities and her TEDx talks and FoodMythBuster videos have been watched nearly 2 million times. Anna regularly speaks to audiences around the world, from food-focused fundraisers at Sotheby’s to lecture halls at universities and global food conferences. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their two daughters.


Anna Lappé’s articles on The Guardian and Earth Island Journal

on Twitter @annalappe & @realfoodmedia


Recent Commonweal Podcast
The Future of Food: Exploring the Politics, Ethics, and Impacts of Genetic Engineering
Anna Lappé with Claire Cummings, Rebecca Spector, and Melissa Nelson



  1. It is good to know about Anna Lappé as well as her contribution. Wish her all the best.

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