Date of Award
This professional project explores the popular and relatively new media communications vehicle of podcasting to engage and inform the general public about the complexity of the food system. It has involved background research on the dynamics of podcasting from production to marketing and distribution, including surveys of academic literature and existing podcasts in the subject area, as well as informational interviews with several podcast producers. It has also included development and sample production of a potential podcast series, starting with a weeklong podcast training and concluding with a fully produced pilot episode, plus additional scripts using material from 11 audio interviews with practitioners and subject experts.
The resulting Follow Your Food is positioned as an immersive podcast about the influences on and impacts of our food choices on us, our communities and the Earth. Each episode will explore a different aspect of the big question: Can a plant-based diet save us? My approach has leveraged transdisciplinary food systems research combined with journalistic practices to investigate, dimensionalize and humanize this question. Preliminary response to the sample episode and overall concept demonstrates strong potential for a podcast series that brings to life for listeners the potential impacts of a livestock-free eating shift on the environmental, economic and socio-cultural landscape of Vermont, and also explore the ethical and health implications for Vermonters. More work needs to be done on evaluating communication efficacy of the podcast, including comparing different lengths, and developing a plan for production and marketing.
Pasanen, Melissa K., "Follow Your Food: An Investigation of Podcasting to Communicate the Complexity of Food Choice and How It Impacts us, Our Communities and the Earth" (2020). Food Systems Master's Project Reports. 12.