Hippies, Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs & Revolutionaries

by Rootstock Radio

Aug. 22, 2018

by Rootstock Radio


Jonathan Kauffman is a San Francisco-based writer who’s made food the subject of his career. For eleven years he reviewed restaurants in the Bay Area and Seattle as the staff critic for the East Bay Express and the Seattle Weekly. In 2015, he joined the food section at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he broadly covers the intersection of food and culture. Add to those accolades his 2018 book, titled Hippie Food, How back-to-the-landers, longhairs and revolutionaries changed the way we eat, has been described as “an entertaining fusion of Tom Wolfe and Michael Pollan” and examines the way the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s has profoundly affected the way we eat today.

In this episode Jonathan talks about how his upbringing contributed to his interest in the food of the counterculture movement. Raised in a liberal Mennonite family he was no stranger to tofu and brown rice. However, it wasn’t until he began to do research for his book, that he realized the depth and breadth of the history of these foods, and how the people who popularized them laid foundations for today’s trendy grain bowls and tofu stir fries.

Tune in to hear about

  • How Rootstock Radio regular Frances Moore Lappé is directly responsible for the widespread acceptance of tofu today (more from her here and here!)

  • How the introduction of chemicals and colorants in food produced the conventional food system as we know it.

  • What “back-to-the-landers, longhairs and revolutionaries” got right…and what they got wrong.

  • What Jonathan finds most hopeful about the way the 70s counterculture has morphed into today’s good food movement.