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THE CULT, CULTURE & BUSINESS OF FOOD

Food isn’t just fuel. It’s a part of culture. A ritual we share with others. A unifier. Cornucopia will explore these meanings and myths, the influencers and the influenced. Why people eat this and not that, shop here but not there and. Food is big business too. We’ll also look at that, follow the seed and the store, how food is grown, processed, packaged, marketed and sold. Oh yeah two more things.  It will be funny, too. But don’t expect any recipes.

Matt Levine

MATT LEVINE

Co-Creator + Host + Writer + Food Industry Expert

“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”  — Groucho Marx

BACKGROUND

Despite a passionate childhood love affair with iceberg lettuce and anything sugary, Matt Levine has spent 30  years in the natural and organic foods business.  Born in Stamford, Connecticut, he lived in some of the grungier areas of New York City before moving to the Elysian Fields of San Francisco in 1989.  His career has spanned retail, wholesale and market research.

After graduating from college with honors, he drove a taxicab in Manhattan, a decision he credits with his father’s refusal to co-sign a loan to open a natural foods store in his hometown.  Matt tries to make those who would listen believe that said store of his dreams would have sold to Whole Foods for millions of dollars.  Regardless, his love for his father remained and he is only occasionally bitter, mainly for dramatic effect.

He currently works as a freelance research analyst and publishes the much–loved but under–visited Natural Business News.  In his free time, he mentors at-risk youth and follows his beloved New York Mets with more passion than makes sense. He has been HIV positive for thirty years and is a regular contributor to Positivelite.com.

JEREMY SPIRO-WINN

Co-Creator + Host + Writer + Audio Engineer

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” — Michael Pollen

BACKGROUND

Jeremy grew up in suburban Connecticut, but don’t hold that against him. Once he hit 18 he fled north to the republic of Vermont where he spent four year smoking weed and studying political science and not necessarily, but probably in that order.  His grades declined when he discovered radio, going on to found The No Rules Variety Hour (which was actually two) on WRUV  which his mom considered groundbreaking and others considered at least noteworthy

After leaving Vermont, Jeremy ended up living in China, where he worked in the propaganda ministry as a news editor for CCTV before deciding it was finally time to come home.

After a stint in New York, he wandered out west to beautiful, sunny Oakland California for a brief vacation from which he never left.  The winters are much nicer there.

Jeremy’s eaten platefuls of duck heads in Beijing, raw goat parts in Addis Ababa and a few big macs here and there.  He enjoys short walks in the snow, bad puns, and awkward food and wine pairings.

Jeremy Spiro-Winn

ASHLEY ELLIS

Host + Writer + Co-Producer

“Mo pie mo problems.”

BACKGROUND

Ashley grew up on Nickelodeon and Hot Pockets in Southern California and Northern Florida.

She began college at Emory University in Atlanta, where she discovered the magic of radio, and had a grand old time hosting Mr. and Mrs. Radio Hour with her beloved fake husband. But when she heard that her friends at UC Berkeley were taking a class from Michael Pollan, she decided to repatriate to California for the second time in her young life. At Cal, Ashley studied sustainable food systems and produced a news show on KALX.

After college, Ashley had a brief 3 year stint as an urban farmer in San Jose, where she learned that farming is really, really hard. She now works at a natural foods retailer and questions her life choices every day.

Her favorite things are Halloween, good produce, and the New Parkway movie theater in Oakland.

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