Sarah Elton

The big food question is this: How will we sustainably feed the world’s population?

Journalist and Author of Locavore and Consumed

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Sarah Elton | Journalist and Author of Locavore and Consumed
Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Sarah Elton is the bestselling author of Consumed and Locavore. In her work as an author and journalist, she documents the innovative and inspiring new ways people around the world are producing food—and how we can secure a sustainable future for healthy, local food in the face of climate change and population growth. 

Sarah Elton is an award-winning author and journalist. Her most recent book, Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet, made the national bestseller list in its first week. Consumed has been described by internationally renowned food journalist Michael Pollan as “a terrific new book.” Food writer Naomi Duguid called it “A must-have for anyone interested in food.” The American Library Association's Choice Magazine recognized Consumed with a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award. Elton’s first book Locavore: From Farmers’ Fields to Rooftop Gardens, How Canadians Are Changing the Way We Eat is a national bestseller and won Gold at the Canadian Culinary Book Awards. It was also named one of’s top 50 books of 2010 and is a David Suzuki Foundation Book Club pick. Her new book for kids, Starting from Scratch: What You Should Know About Food and Cooking, “is an intelligent introduction to food and cooking meant for children 10 or older but useful for adult beginners as well” (The New York Times) and was a finalist for the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading Red Maple Award.


“For anyone who gives thought to what we consume at our meal tables, this book will take you on a heart-warming trip around the world and return you home enlightened, informed and inspired.”

— Gill Deacon, author of There’s Lead in Your Lipstick

Elton is an instructor with the Fellowship in Global Journalism at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. She is also known for her passion for home cooking and inspiring people to cook from scratch. She is the host and co-creator of the web TV series Slice n Dice on Bell Local Channel 1217. She has written for Maclean’s Magazine, The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, and The Atlantic. She is also the food columnist for CBC Radio One’s Here and Now and has hosted and produced three national CBC radio specials including one program focusing on the future of farming in Canada. She has also spoken at TEDx at the University of Guelph and has debated alongside Mark Bittman of The New York Times at the Conference Board of Canada Food Summit. Elton is a Lupina Junior Doctoral Fellow in the Comparative Program in Health and Society at the Munk School of Global Affairs and a PhD student in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. 

Speech Topics

Consumed Food for a Finite Planet

Sarah Elton travelled around the world to research her new book Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet and found a social movement that is working quickly behind the scenes to change the way we eat. In this talk, Elton tackles the big question of how we will be able to feed our growing world population at a time when climate change is making the status quo untenable. She tells stories of hope that she found on her travels: real-life working examples of how people are combining innovation with an ethos of sustainability to create better ways of getting food to our plates. The good news is that if we look to the creative ideas springing from the grassroots, we may be able to find a path into the future that is both sustainable and delicious.

Connect With Your Food, Connect With the Planet

In this talk, Sarah Elton invites you to connect with what you eat as a step towards building a better culture of food—the kind of culture we need during this time of climate change. Drawing on stories from her books, Elton details the benefits of paying attention to where, and how, food is grown, as well as to the seasons that not long ago determined what we ate. She argues that by engaging with food, by doing things like cooking from scratch or growing a tomato plant, we can rediscover an important part of what makes us human and remind ourselves that we too are part of the cycles of nature. We are, after all, what we eat.

Starting from Scratch What Kids Should Know about Food and Cooking
Beginning with an exploration of taste and the way it works, author and food activist Sarah Elton breaks down the science of food and cooking into bite-sized and easily digestible pieces of information that cover everything from the chemistry of heat versus cold, fat versus acid, and salt versus sweet. Both practical and philosophical in its approach, this talk demystifies food and cooking by boiling it down to the basics. It’s a manifesto on food that will help kids—and adults—relate to what they eat, whether on special occasions or every day, inspiring both budding chefs and budding food lovers in the process. It will inspire kids to eat better, try new flavours, and understand what’s on their plate. They will leave with an improved sense of where food comes from and be able to join in on a conversation that continues from snack time to dinnertime.