A simple decision about what to order for lunch can have profound effects on others.

“Food is interesting because it touches so many other communities,” says Samantha Noll, an associate professor of bioethics in the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs at Washington State University. “When we decide that we’re going to eat that falafel sandwich, or that burger, or that salad, we’re impacting others with that seemingly simple choice.”

Samantha Noll headshot with blue tintSamantha Noll
(Courtesy WSU School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs)

In this episode, Noll talks with Washington State Magazine writer Becky Kramer about how her childhood on a farm shaped her views of food and some of the environmental and socio-political implications behind our food choices.

Noll recounts how wealthy New Yorkers forced immigrants to give up keeping livestock, triggering the Piggery War. She discusses the complicated history of avocados in the United States and the “food miles” traveled to bring people their daily cup of coffee or piece of chocolate.

Noll encourages people to eat mindfully, considering how their decisions around food can align with their values.




Some of Samantha Noll’s favorite food podcasts:

The Sporkful

Gastropod – Food with a side of science and history

A Taste of the Past – Where food, culture, and history meeting in a podcast



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