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Latitudes: Global Buffet

Spices for sale in an Iranian marketplace. (Flickr/wamu885)
What to eat? Where does our food come from?  What are its true costs? And is there enough of it to feed the whole world? Our food gives us a lot to think about. In Latitudes’ Global Buffet special, we give you a taste of these issues. 

Raj Patel: Stuffed and Starved

Researchers say if every country in the world became as fat as the United States, it would be the same as having an extra billion people on Earth. But at the same time, more than 50 million Americans don’t have enough to eat. 

Raj Patel thinks there is plenty of food in the US and the world as a whole—if only we had better ways to grow and distribute it. He says we need to rethink the true value of food—like a hamburger, which he says would cost $200 if we factored in its hidden environmental and health costs.

Egypt’s Celebrity Chef

The Arab Spring didn’t only change who was in the President’s seat in Egypt. It also changed who was on TV.
Ghalia Mahmoud labored for years as a cook and domestic worker for an upper-class Egyptian family to support her two daughters.  But events in post-revolutionary Egypt have catapulted her to fame as a celebrity chef.

The feisty 33-year old now hosts her own TV cooking show where she dishes up more than delicious and affordable fare. She offers viewers homespun advice on just about everything. Some of her fans have even suggested she  run for president herself. Her show is broadcast on TV25, a TV station  opened on January 25th, 2011, the day  President Hosni Mubarak fell.

In Cairo, reporter Dale Gavlak caught up with Ghalia and Mohamad Gohar, the TV executive who discovered her.

Veteran Farmer

Alexander Sutton is a poultry farmer based in Jackson Springs, North Carolina. He’s also a decorated and disabled war veteran. Alex spent 13 years as a sniper in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007, he lost his legs to a roadside bomb. He walks on titanium legs now, and takes more than 15 medications for post-traumatic stress. 

For Alex, farming has offered a path to healing, helping him move forward, one step at a time. Producer Alix Blair is currently working with Vittles films on a documentary film about Alex Sutton and other farmer veterans.  You can find more information about the film and links to other groups helping veterans through farming here.

Flavor of Sound

What does sweet sound like? How does your music taste? And can music make your food taste better? A group of scientists, chefs, and sound designers teamed up in the UK to test the connection between sound and taste.

Russell Jones is the Creative Director of Condiment Junkie, a sonic branding company that has worked with restaurants to integrate sound into their menus. He discusses how sound might be used to fool our sense of taste—and make our food healthier.   

University of Gelato

Italian ice cream, that unctuous delight called gelato, has been around in some form for 5,000 years. But modern techniques have taken it to new levels. In fact, a special university in the city of Bologna has been teaching people from all over the world the latest secrets of gelato making. With a microphone in one hand and a cone in the other, reporter Dany Mitzman investigates.


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