016 Eating Unprocessed and the Path to Food Sovereignty - Megan Kimble

 Photo of Megan Kimble, at left:  Steven Meckler . Top right: The celebratory (?) end to her year eating unprocessed. Bottom right: At the book release for   Unprocessed   in Tucson.

Photo of Megan Kimble, at left: Steven Meckler. Top right: The celebratory (?) end to her year eating unprocessed. Bottom right: At the book release for Unprocessed in Tucson.

At the beginning of my book, when I was trying to figure out where to draw the line—what makes food processed?—I stuck with this intuitive sense, which came from a line from Mr. Rogers...‘There is a difference between things people make, and things that are made.’
— Megan Kimble

Meet today’s guest, who might be called the Michael Pollan for the millenial generation: award-winning food writer Megan Kimble, now senior editor at Austin Monthly Magazine and the author of the book Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food. In this deep-dive journalistic memoir into her year-long journey of eating only whole, unprocessed foods, Megan set out to answer some seemingly straightforward questions: What does unprocessed mean in the modern world? Why does it matter? And how can we afford it in an age where time has become perhaps more precious than money? Yet the path to answer those questions proved anything but, sending Megan down the rabbit hole of our industrialized food system (spoiler alert: she learned to slaughter a sheep in the name of book research).

Now a few years down the road from her book journey and living in a new city (Austin, by way of Tucson), I was so excited to have the chance to check in with Megan to hear how she’s putting unprocessed into practice, as well as hear her long-term wisdom gleaned from a life devoted to urban food sovereignty. From food co-ops, equity crowd-funded breweries and tackling food insecurity to home mead-making, ancient bread-baking and respectful meat-eating in a modern society, this is a lively conversation you won’t want to miss! Enjoy!

Here's some of what we get into:

  • Megan’s recent move from Tucson to Austin, and the farm-to-table urban food scene
  • Shopping unprocessed in the city: CSAs and food co-ops
  • Falling down the rabbit hole of what it means to eat “unprocessed”
  • “The money we spend on food matters”
  • Ten Fifty-Five Brewing and the equity crowdfunding model
  • Making mead, bread and connecting to community
  • The problem with modern flour
  • Watermelon warehouses and food waste
  • Being raised by two scientists: Megan’s vegetarian childhood and growing up in a household where good food was a priority
  • Slaughtering sheep and meat-eating in a modern society
  • Food insecurity and cooking literacy
  • Megan’s vision for our food future 

Learn more about Megan and her other writings on her website. You can also follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And as we do, Megan loves buying local: Click here to see if Unprocessed is available at your local bookstore. (For those of you in far-flung places, click on the book image below to order a copy from you-know-where.)

If you enjoyed this show, subscribe on iTunes so you don’t miss the next one (and don’t forget to leave a rating and review). The theme music is by Paul Damian Hogan. Want to chime in on this episode or have an idea for a future show? Connect with me via my Instagram page, I’d love to hear your thoughts!