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Food and Wellness

Lectures related to the Food, Cooking, and Human Health.

  • Researchers are learning more and more about the detrimental effects of too much screentime on our mental health, and especially our children's. At the same time, we are gaining a deeper understanding of the importance of playtime for all animals, including humans.

    Join Cambridge Forum as we bat around the most recent research including the upside of boredom for kids: guests are Dr Michael Rich, director of the Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders at Boston Children's Hospital and Professor David Toomey from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst who has just written a new book on why animals play.
    Partner:
    Cambridge Forum
  • Researcher and author Timothy A. Wise explains why industrial agriculture (Big Ag) is more a threat to the planet and humanity than a solution to hunger.
    Based on his book Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Battle for the Future of Food, he explains numerous issues associated with corporate agriculture, including the impact of excess fertilizers, pest toxins, and GMOs. He also describes the best farming strategies that will feed the planet and help to restore global environment, economies and health.


    Partner:
    Science for the Public
  • Cambridge Forum digs into the underbelly of the typical American diet, an astounding 60% of which is made up of ultraprocessed foods – like cereals, breads, yoghurts and frozen dinners plus sweets and soda. There is mounting scientific evidence that UPFs are not just potentially addictive but also linked to our rocketing rates of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. We know that food can be either medicine or toxin; so how do we recognize “junk” food and make better eating choices?

    We examine the links between diet and disease, zoning in on the addictive alchemy of certain combinations that make up HPF (hyper-palatable foods) which are irresistible to our taste buds. We ask three experts in the field for their advice. Jerry Manda, CEO of Nourish Science and Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Tera Fazzino, Assistant Professor or Psychology and Associate Director of the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment at the University of Kansas, and Larissa Zimberoff, freelance journalist who covers the intersection of food, technology and business, and also the author of "Technically Food: Inside Silicon Valley's Mission to Change What We Eat".

    Join the discussion about who is responsible for the food environment we find ourselves in and whether the FDA should do more to regulate the labelling of highly addictive foodstuffs with health warnings.
    Partner:
    Cambridge Forum
  • Cambridge Forum delves into a controversial topic – the state of singlehood.
    Lots of health research indicates that people who live alone, have higher health risks and are generally unhappier. Well, not so, according to Bella DePaulo (Ph.D) author of a new book, “Single At Heart”. DePaulo is a 70-year old psychologist, who in addition to being single all her life, has also studied the state of being single from a professional standpoint and she is adamant that there are multiple myths about her chosen way of living.

    “I could be living at a time or in a place where the prospects for staying single for life would have been much more daunting. Maybe it would have been nearly impossible for me to support myself financially without a spouse. Maybe attitudes toward single people would have been even more disparaging than they are now.  That would have been a profound loss. For people like me who are single at heart, the risk is not what we’ll miss if we do not organize our lives around a romantic partner, but what we’ll miss if we do. We would miss the opportunity to live our most meaningful, fulfilling and psychologically rich lives by living someone else’s version of a good life instead of our own. We would not get to be who we really are.”

    Joining DePaulo will be Fenton Johnson, who has written extensively about the state of marriage and the state of solitude. He is author of three novels and four works of creative nonfiction, most recently At the Center of All Beauty:  Solitude and the Creative Life, a New York Times Editors’ Pick. At various times a contributor to NPR, Harper’s Magazine, and the New York Times Magazine, he has received numerous literary awards. Johnson has taught in the nation’s leading creative writing programs and is Emeritus Professor of the University of Arizona.
    Partner:
    Cambridge Forum
  • Legendary French chef, Jacques Pépin--author, television personality and educator.is in the GBH Studios with award-winning BostonChef Jeremy Sewall, partner of Row 34 Restaurants, will touch upon Jacques’s career and culinary experiences cooking in some of the finest French restaurants in Paris and New York City. You'll learn more about Jacques’s friendship with chef and GBH television personality Julia Child, his involvement in a dozen PBS television programs and much more!

    Jacques Pépin also shares more about his newest book, Cooking My Way, published in September 2023. He will be signing copies of this book during the post-reception in our Atrium that follows the formal program.

    The event is moderated by Stephanie Leydon, Executive Producer of Digital Video at GBH News.

    Photo credit: Tom Hopkins
    Partner:
    GBH Events
  • We’re tidying up our gardens as we await a cool fall breeze. Then, the brilliant colors of changing leaves start to appear. Autumn is a stunning season, but it’s also a messy one with wilted plants, overgrown weeds and fallen leaves. So, what is a gardener to do? Fall clean-up seems like a lot of work, but it’s actually quite manageable. Public gardening expert Karen Daubmann will guide you through a list of to-do’s to keep your garden in peak condition all year-round.



    Karen Daubmann is committed to creating effective and longstanding change to public gardens throughout her 25-year career. She joined Massachusetts Horticultural Society (MHS) in March 2022, where she brings her experience in advancing the operational and planning scale of public gardens. In the development and execution of exhibitions that have welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors, Daubmann focuses her work on encouraging guests to connect and interact with gardens through art, nature and culture. Prior to joining MHS, she worked for 14 years at the New York Botanical Garden, culminating in her position as vice president for exhibitions and audience engagement. She has been featured in Jennifer Jewell’s The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants and has contributed essays for Kusama: Cosmic Nature, 2021 and Frida Kahlo's Garden, 2015.




    Daubmann lives and gardens with her husband Matt and dog Klaus in coastal Rhode Island.


    This event will be hosted and moderated by GBH News, David Epstein who provides daily weather updates on Morning Edition and founder of Growing Wisdom that provide video tips for home gardeners.


    This event is presented is in partnership with Massachusetts Horticultural Society.



    Photo credit: Massachusetts Horticultural Society



    At Ask The Expert, get access to experts specializing in a wide variety of topics, learn something new about a subject you are passionate about or discover a new interest. GBH invites you to drive the conversation by asking questions during the live event directly with our expert. It’s always interesting, and it’s always free!

    In partnership with:
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  • A clear explanation of how conventional agriculture damages soil and reduces the nutritional value of crops. David Montgomery and Anne Biklé discuss how regenerative agriculture restores the soil, improves food nutrition, and ultimately health. What Your Food Ate is an essential resource for all those who care about the well-being of humans and environment.
    Partner:
    Science for the Public
  • Fears of global food shortages have followed Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted grain shipments from the major grain producer. But what about countries and regions that were suffering before this impending shortage? How is famine defined, and how is it different from simple food shortages? What if any remedies are there? Join us to learn more about global famine and hunger when we host a virtual discussion with Kimberly Flowers, international development consultant and former Director of Global Food Security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and Alex de Waal, Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation.
    Partner:
    WorldBoston
  • While the last few tumultuous years have heightened uncertainties about our food supplies, there’s some good news coming out of the regenerative agriculture movement. Regenerative practices restore degraded land, increase soil productivity, sequester carbon and store water. Because protein is needed by people of all ages, and a decrease in protein could exacerbate health problems among the poor and especially in children, access to a consistent supply of healthy meat is important. This presentation outlines proven, science- based practices for producing grass-fed beef that can be adapted to climatic conditions anywhere in the US. Widespread adoption of regenerative grazing of beef cattle can shorten supply chains and make every region of the country more resilient to shocks to the food system, such as pandemics, fire, ransomware attacks, war and extreme weather events. Instead of the current centralized beef-production system, whereby a number of states in the Corn Belt are largely devoted to growing grain that is trucked long distances to feedlots, we can raise and fatten healthy beef cattle region by region, entirely on grass and forage, with no grain. We will describe the principles and benefits of regenerative grazing, and offer a model that farmers and ranchers all around the US can adopt in order to supply healthy, 100% grass-fed beef to nearby communities: stores, restaurants, CSAs, and institutions. This talk is part of the series "Life Saves the Planet" produced with Biodiversity for a Livable Climate. ### Resources [Link to the book Lynne and Ridge co-authored ](https://www.chelseagreen.com/product/grass-fed-beef-for-a-post-pandemic-world/) [2 Simple Maps That Reveal How American Agriculture Actually Works - Huffpost.com ](https://www.huffpost.com/entry/largest-crop-each-state_n_6488930) [Regenerative grazing triples biomass production ](https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479722001499?via%3Dihub) [Health-Promoting Phytonutrients Are Higher in Grass-Fed Meat and Milk](https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs.2020.555426/full) [Chris Gill, “Desert Grasslands Restoration: Manejo Holistico in Chihuahua–Las Damas Ranch,” June 15, 2015, Pitchstone Waters, ](https://pitchstonewaters.com/manejo-holistico-in-chihuahua-las-damas-ranch/) [https://pitchstonewaters.com/manejo-holistico-in-chihuahua-las-damas-ranch/.](https://doi.org/10.2489/jswc.71.2.156) [Jennifer Hayden, “Cattle Are Part of the Climate Solution: A Conversation with Rangeland Ecologist Richard Teague, PhD, Analyzing the Role that Adaptive Multi-Paddock Cattle Grazing Plays in Sequestering Carbon,” Rodale Institute, August 28, 2020,](https://rodaleinstitute.org/blog/cattle-are-part-of-the-climate-solution/) [Peter Bruce-Iri, “Methane Sources, Sinks, and Uncertainties,” Research Gate, Technical Report, October 2021](https://www.researchgate.net/publication/355789160_METHANE_Sources_Sinks_and_Uncertainties?channel=doi&linkId=617e29f20be8ec17a9505975&showFulltext=true)
    Partner:
    Biodiversity for a Livable Climate
  • The Jonathan Samen Hot Buttons, Cool Conversations Discussion Series gets off to an exciting start. Michael Twitty is the James Beard award-winning author and culinary historian of The Cooking Gene and the recently released Koshersoul: The Faith & Food Identity of an African American Jew. He has baked challah with Jewish cooking maestro Joan Nathan and guided Padma Lakshmi of "Top Chef" fame on southern cooking. As a Black, Jewish, gay man, Twitty embodies many identities. Food is where he brings his whole self. Michael Twitty is in conversation with Robin Washington, an acclaimed veteran journalist and The Forward's Editor-at-Large.
    Partner:
    JCC Greater Boston