A 30,000 Foot View of Our Food, Health, and Education System (aka the Sanitization, Medicalization, and Technification of Nearly Everything) with James Connolly

  • by

James Connolly is a film producer (most recently – Sacred Cow), co-host of the Sustainable Dish podcast, avid reader, and passionate about food. It’s hard to encapsulate this conversation in a description – we cover a lot of ground. At its core, it’s the broad strokes of just how we ended up in our current paradigm. We start about 150 years ago, where we follow threads of the move from rural to urban environments and how the idea of ‘cleanliness’ begins to take hold. We cover the Great Grain Robbery and the formation of commodities that would change the agricultural world and how technology has played a role in these early formation of food systems and how it’s playing a role now, leading into a conversation of techno-utopias. James covers school systems, as someone who has run a non-profit for schools in New York, and how we’re taught what to think, not how to think and the compulsory education experiment. We also dive into the history of medicalizing the human experience using some personal anecdotes around grief to explore the world of psychiatric medication and beyond. All of this leads into a discussion of the techno-utopia that we’re often being marketed and the shape of the current food system. It’s a big, rolling conversation filled with all the book recommendations you need to keep it going.

We also talk about: 

  • Butchery through the lens of two butchers
  • The vilification of meat 
  • Effective Altruism 
  • & so much more (seriously, so much more)


09:30: The Sanitization of Humanity 

18:54: The Poison Squad

33:03: The Great Grain Robbery + Commodities 

44:24: Techno-Utopias The Genesis of the Idea that Technology is the Answer

55:01: Tunnel Vision in Technology, Carbon, and Beyond

1:02:00: Food in Schools and Compulsory Education

1:11:00: Medicalization of Human Experience

1:51:00: Effective Altruism 

2:11:00: Butchery 

2:25:00: More Techno-Utopias 

Find James: 

Twitter: @jamescophoto 

Instagram: @primatekitchen

Podcast: Sustainable Dish 

Reading/Watching List 

The Invention of Capitalism by Michael Perelman

Daniel Quinn’s Works

The Poison Squad by Deborah Blum

Mister Jones (film)

Shibumi by Trevanian 

Dumbing Us Down: the Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto

Three Identical Strangers (film)

Related Mind, Body, and Soil Episodes:

Dr. Anthony Gustin (for more on decentralizing food systems)

Will Reusch (on the education system and teaching kids how to think)

Brett Ender (mentioned throughout the podcast)

Current Discounts for MBS listeners:

  • 15% off Farm True ghee and body care products using code: KATEKAV15
  • 15% off Bon Charge blue light blockers using code: MINDBODYSOIL15
  • 10% off Home of Wool using code: KATEKAVANAUGH

Join the Ground Work Collective:

Instagram: @kate_kavanaugh

Find a Farm: nearhome.groundworkcollective.com

More: groundworkcollective.com