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Food Matters

Food Matters

Giving science a seat at the table

Food on Film

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From “Food, Inc.” to “Super Size Me,” the making of America’s food is a popular topic for documentaries. Starting in September, PBS is debuting their own take on the subject, with the new half-hour series “Food Forward TV.”

The series will feature pioneers across the food chain—from scientists to chefs—who are testing out new ways to mitigate some of the unwanted social and environmental effects of food production. I caught a preview of the first episode, “Go Fish,” and found it full of interesting characters who are excited about their ideas for feeding their communities without depleting the future’s fish supply.

In Washington, a group of fishermen is returning to older pole and line methods of catching tuna, which allow unintentionally caught fish of other types to be thrown back. On the other side of the country, an aquaculture company is raising fish high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Pretty interesting stuff. And it doesn’t hurt that the show has a fun flair of catchy music and lots of personality.

With 13 episodes in all, the series documents a variety of other innovators in the food world. One episode focuses on the future of food, featuring drones that could help farmers monitor their crops from above, while another episode takes viewers to Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab to learn about food and the brain. A pilot for the series aired on PBS in 2012 and was nominated for the James Beard Award.

If you think this series sounds like some food for thought, you can check the PBS schedule for your area or stream it online starting September 1. In the meantime, cook up a batch of one of these fun and unusual popcorn recipes, and take a look at this preview, courtesty of PBS.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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