Podcast Series | 2023-2024 | Episodes 13 – onwards

The Feeding City Lab introduces its new podcast sub-series, Voices from the Food Frontlines: Sustainable Foodways. Episodes focus on social and ecological resiliency, sharing stories from the field, highlighting grassroots actions, and bringing listeners new research on sustainable foodways and what’s needed to make them possible. With insights from the Feeding City Lab’s local and global partners, Voices from the Food Frontlines: Sustainable Foodways offers a view into community collaborations and creative and cutting edge innovations from across the world — from the cultivation of heritage foods and ethnocultural crops to the food work and small enterprises that enable farm-to-table connections. Stay tuned for episodes, starting in Spring 2024!

This project is generously funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Partnership Development Grant on Resilient Urban Communities & Local Food Systems after COVID-19 and the University of Toronto’s Sustainable Food and Farming Futures (SF3) Cluster.

Visit our online platform to access all episodes in the Voices from the Food Frontlines podcast.

To learn more about the first series of the podcast (episodes 1-12), click here.

Listen and Subscribe on PodBean and Spotify. 

Food Frontline Voices: Sustainable Foodways Podcast Series 

Production Team Credits 

Feeding City Lab PI: 

Dr. Jo Sharma 


Dr. Jaclyn Rohel 

Student RAs and Interns (Winter 2024): 

Daphne Berberyan 
Emma Wan
Jasleen Sohal
Rayah Flash 

Sound Credits 


Changing Seasons by Ketsa, licensed with permission from the Independent Music Licensing Collective (https://imlcollective.uk/).  

Wounds by Ketsa, licensed with permission from the Independent Music Licensing Collective (https://imlcollective.uk/).  

Sound Effects: 

Sound effects for this Sustainable Foodways series are sourced from Zapslat (https://www.zapsplat.com). 


— New Episodes Coming Soon — 

Episode 13 | Connecting Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Food Production in Kerala 

Photo Credit: Dr. Jo Sharma

How can grassroots efforts in environmental conservation go beyond their local context to help bring about lasting global impact? In this episode on climate-smart food and farming futures, Dr. Jayeeta Sharma of the Feeding City Lab spotlights the Lab’s collaboration with Thanal in South India. Listeners will learn how the Thanal Trust got its start in 1986 as a collective dedicated to the conservation of rivers and biodiversity to then become a leader in community-based “demand-led research,” opening up pathways of agroecological production for small farmers throughout Kerala. The episode highlights Thanal’s current efforts to recover climate resilient ways of cultivating traditional rice and heirloom millet, linking biodiversity to economy to support sustainable foodways and rural livelihoods. This episode features an interview with Dr. Jayeeta Sharma (recorded in January 2024) and field quotations from Jayakumar of Thanal (recorded in October 2023).

[Additional sound effects from https://www.zapsplat.com.]
Episode 14 | Resilient Farming through Collective Action: Reviving Heirloom Grains in Tamil Nadu

Photo Credit: Geetha Sukumaran

With climate change and increased rural-urban migration, how can communities become self-reliant to ensure nutritious food security? In this episode, Feeding City Lab graduate intern Geetha Sukumaran brings listeners along on the Lab team’s recent research trip to South India. They met with local cooks, food retailers, farmers, and farmer collectives to learn about the challenges they face, the solutions they are implementing, and the changes that theyadvocate in order to create more resilient foodways. The episode spotlights Sheelu, President of the Tamil Nadu Women’s Collective, a grassroots organization that brings together more than 100 000 women from across the local food system, including farmers and agricultural labourers, fishers, salt pan workers, cooks, and food processors. Sheelu describes how the Women’s Collective has evolved over the past three decades to focus on the effects of climate change and on finding ways to support farmers.* Heirloom crops – such as the traditional millets that reliably grow even when the rains fail – play a key role. Listeners will learn how women farmers are working together through “seed democracy” to revive heirloom foods by conserving and exchangingseeds, by promoting access to land, grain processing facilities, and farming tools, by supporting the preparation and distribution of value-added products, and by sharing knowledge from field to kitchen. This episode features an interview with Geetha Sukumaran (recorded in January 2024) and field quotations from Sheelu of the Women’s Collective (recorded in October 2023). 

[* In March 2024, The Women’s Collective was recognized at the The Hindu World of Women Awards, receiving The Hindu Excellence in Agriculture & Rural Development Award.]