Science & Tech, Home & Lifestyle, Community & Government

Food As Activism

Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 08:47 min

You can become an activist today by choosing what you buy and what you eat. Learn how changing some small habits in your food consumption can have far-reaching effects on our environment.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Eating Seasonally & Locally • Urban Farming • Going Vegetarian


When I was growing up, we lived from season to season. And at certain seasons, you looked forward to them, because this would be the time for ripe peaches. This would be when you could get strawberries. This would be the time when certain vegetables came in the season. And you lived that way, and sometimes like apples, you can pick them in season and we used to dry them and they get a little bit shriveled, but they taste delicious. So these were stored up for the winter. But today people can buy food that's grown thousands of miles away. We don't get the seasons anymore. We can buy exotic tropical fruit, but at what cost? What about the thousands of miles and the waste of fossil fuels? And do we really need always to be able to get just anything we want at any time just because we pay money for it? And do we ever think about the often forced child labor that's being used to grow some of these foods so that we can get them cheaply because the labor is cheap? Or even not paid for at all. It's certainly true, but one of the ways that we can help the environment is by what we buy by choosing what to buy, by thinking about where it came from. And one of the really hopeful trends is growing food locally and the farmer's markets where all the small family farms can come and sell their organic produce. And it's an opportunity for these farmers and those buyers who care about what they eat and what their children eat to get together and talk. I mean, these farmers markets are wonderful places. And they're everywhere. Everywhere I go there are farmers' markets and it does your soul good to go from a busy city to a farmer's market and see the farmers there and see this beautiful organic produce. And yeah, maybe it cost a little bit more, but you feel so good because you're buying it. It's basically voting for a better future for your children. [MUSIC PLAYING] One very encouraging sign, and it's all around the world now, is urban farming. Because how can you be sure that the food you're eating is free from all contamination? By growing it yourself. And of course, many, many people don't have a garden where they can grow food. But I've been to many places in a city where there are window boxes. And at least some food is being grown. People are growing their own tomatoes. And somebody said to me just yesterday that if you grow your own tomato and you pick it straight off the plant, it tastes completely different from the tomato that you buy in a store. Although that may be cheaper. But this move towards urban farming, it's doing several things. It's providing good pesticide-free food. But it's also greening up an area. It's good for our spirit, our soul. And it's providing us with that contact with nature that so often is sadly missing. [MUSIC PLAYING] When I first went to Gombe, that was in 1960. I don't think that in...

About the Instructor

There is still a window of time. Nature can win if we give her a chance. In her first ever online class, Dr. Jane Goodall teaches how you can conserve the environment. She also shares her research on the behavioral patterns of chimpanzees and what they taught her about conservation. You'll learn how to act locally and protect the planet.

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Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism.

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