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Farm To Table Talk

Farm To Table Talk

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Is it best that our food is Local and Organic or Big and Conventional? Our view is “Both, and..” We don’t come to the table with a bias, except that good farming like good food comes in all shapes and sizes. Farm to Table Talk explores issues and the growing interest in the story of how and where the food on our tables is produced, processed and marketed. The host, Rodger Wasson is a food and agriculture veteran. Although he was the first of his family to leave the grain and livestock farm a ...
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58% of the energy intake in the American diet is from ultra processed foods and not coincidentally nearly 40% of the population is considered obese, facing growing rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and dementia. It’s not that all processed foods are bad since many highly nutritious foods are minimally processed and maybe canned, jarred, froz…
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Water restrictions in California will cause large acreages of farm land to be fallowed, potentially producing nothing. Fortunately a new crop is being introduced that uses very little water, making more available for thirstier tree, vine and row crops. That new crop, a new spirit, is California Agave. Stuart Woolf has been to Mexico and brought bac…
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Consumers are more confused than ever about what are the best food choices for themselves and their family. This is the case inspite of the fact or because of the fact that social media, traditional media, books and TV are filled with strongly asserted points of view. Why is establishing the right path so confusing? Amy Myrdal Miller is a registere…
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More money is spent lobbying the Farm Bill than is spent lobbying for America’s Defense industry. It’s not just about producing food. Over 80% of the farm bill is for nutrition programs, such as SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The bulk of the lobbying investments are made by AgriBusiness that sells inputs to farmers and the grocery…
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The demand for meat will keep growing because the world’s population will keep growing out of poverty and with a hunger to add meat to their diet. Now more meat can come from more sources , including animal, plants and mycoprotein. Paul Shapiro is CEO of the Better Meat Company and author of “Clean Meat”. Growing micycrobial fungi called “mycoprote…
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A successful consumer brand can be built from the farm while prioritizing community well-being. Organic style farming existed long before chemical intensive farming became the norm. Four generations of Matt Mclean’s family were citrus farmers in Florida, beginning before federal organic certification became a law. Recognizing growing demand , Matt …
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Economies of scale will continue to push farming operations to get bigger over time. While big farms getting bigger is not likely to change, value added farming is a different matter. Another decline in net farm income is projected according to the Spring 2024 Missouri Farm Income Outlook released by the University of Missouri’s Rural and Farm Fina…
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The new ways of raising livestock and meat production are increasingly drawing from old ways when pastures were more prevalent than large metal confinement buildings. Brittany and Bill Sullivan own and operate Sullivan Farms, just outside of Fayette, MO. Their primary business is pork. All their pigs are raised and rotated on fresh regenerative pas…
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Although funding and knowledge is available to create better food systems, it is the active choice of doing nothing that is impeding progress. We keep educating the public on the problem and offer no solutions says Zack Wyatt, CEO and founder of the Carolina Farm Trust. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, he’s now driving change to improve access t…
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Cities keep growing but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to be around a farm. In fact when you can’t live in the country then how about bringing the farm to the city? That’s what Clayton Garrett shares is happening in Houston and other cities. It may be surprising to farmers who have experienced mixed results when city folks move to the country and …
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Local agriculture has become an extraction economy and to change there will have to be change in who has power. Food system power is largely in the hands of 'Barons' according to Austin Frerick, the author of "Barons - Money, Power, and The Corruption Of America's Food Industry." The case is made by examining powerful barons in grain, grocery, dair…
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Knowing what we're really hungry for depends on becoming the authority in our own body, empowering us to eat what we love . Kim Shapira, M.S., R.D. is a renowned celebrity dietitian, nutritional therapist, and author holding a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Master's degree in Human Metabolism and Clinical Nutrition. In her new book, This …
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Houses of faith are becoming powerful agents and actors of improving food security in their own community in ways that go beyond charity. It is organizing the hungry and not just feeding the needy.The largest institution in the Black community, the Black church, replete with offerings to fill multiple needs., from the physical grounds, to classroom…
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Farmers have the support of customers who want to be a part of something sacred, noble, righteous and healing. Joel Salatin has experienced that first hand and has helped thousands of farmers all over the world discover it for themselves. Although it is daunting to start farming and encourage a more viable local food system, it is happening because…
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What it takes to start farming the right way could be a trip to North Dakota to hear from GabelBrown. That was a key for Rachelle and Jordan Meyer who made the trip to a life changing field day. Back home in Minnesota they started applying what they learned and today with their seven chldren are making it work and sharing what they've learned with …
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Regenerative is a change in the food system that must be shown to mean more than just conventional farming systems with cover crops that are ultimately treated with chemicals. Organic rice grower, Lundberg Family Farms believes that true regenerative systems are often context-specific and will need certification rather than a one-size-fits all syst…
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Just when our public discourse seems hopelessly divided, we can find hope in the discovery of common ground. Josh and Rebecca Tickell are film-makers who bring us the story of regeneration that will repair the degeneration humans have caused the earth. That message is the documentary film, Common Ground, the highly anticipated sequel to Kiss the Gr…
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The cause of climate change is not animals or fossil fuel. It is how we manage all resources and we can start with grasslands of the world. Allan Savory, the founder of the Savory Institute, is a renowned ecologist and pioneer in holistic land management. His work focuses on regenerating degraded landscapes through innovative practices that integra…
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Earth needs friends who care about a more healthy and just world. Kendra Klein, the Deputy Director of Sciecne for Friends of the Earth understands that the challenges facing our planet call for more than half measures, not merely treforms that are politically easy. Sometimes, this involves speaking uncomfortable truths to power and demanding more …
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Since good food is good medicine, it makes sense for Hospitals to source protein and produce from healthy soils as close by as possible. At UC Davis Health the food landscape has been transitioning into a true farm-to-fork healthy food program . Visitors, patients, and employees are now able to enjoy locally sourced, tasty menu options from the ins…
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Regeneration is what to do when just Sustaining is not enough. Regenerative agriculture embodies the idea that we must regenerate our degraded systems, rebuilding the resiliency that we need. When farmers transition in to a regenerative system there are a lot less input costs because the biology and diversity is providing the medicine sick soil req…
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Successfully growing crops or livestock is a lonely enterprise without some help. In many industries that help in the form of research, education and promotion is funded by a state or federal checkoff. While everyone must financially support this work, too few people step up to volunteer their time and judgement to plan and oversee the work done fo…
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Putting farmers and marginalized communities first prioritizes ethical sourcing, economic development, responsible innovation, fair compensation and sustainability. Raffi Vartanian, CEO of Ziba Foods is shaping a business model that combines success with societal betterment in Aftghanistan. Working with small farms and Coops to process and export d…
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Healthy farms, crops, livestock, families and communities are a priority beyond the farm gate to the tables. Tables are also where strategies are developed to make communities better. For over 100 years, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) advisors, specialists, faculty, and staff have been committed to the better he…
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Power comes from the food we consume and the choices we make from farm to table for consumers, farmers and those in between. When it comes to power for transportation and cultivation, captured methane from farms can reduce a powerful green house gas from further polluting Earth's atmosphere. The methane from manure can be captured and ultimately pr…
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The only thing we should ask is: what is the right thing to do? That is what the Earth requires of us according to author/philosopher Wendell Berry. "We have the world to live in and the use of it to live from on the condition that we take care of it. And to take good care of it we have to know it and we have to know how to take care of it." We hav…
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To survive today as an organic farmer of modest scale requires being very intimate with local customers--taking real good care of them and communicating why they should pay a fair price when large scale, legacy farm brand organic production is often available for less at discount retailers. Tom Willey has been a leader in the Organic farming commun…
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COP 28 was widely expected to call for drastic reduction of meat consumption in Western Nations. That didn't happen! Instead it was decided that the world needs to scale up productivity growth of livestock, implementing best practices around the world. "Livestock plays a crucial economic role ....high quality protein ...essential for good health". …
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The next generation of farmers of color are being inspired and empowered to grow high quality seasonal vegetables for local urban communities. It's a mission of We Grow Farms and the Ujamaa Farmer Collective to grow food regeneratively, ensure secure land tenure and promote equitable access to resources for historically underserved farmers of color…
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Many segments of Agriculture are experiencing changes to increased focus on regenerative, sustainable, more earth friendly farming practices. Although farmers usually prioritize doing what is best for their soil, today's changes are being hastened by major food companies such as Mars and WalMart requiring confirmation of the practices that their co…
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The peak of freshness is often best achieved by freezing. The advances in freezing technologies is allowing consumers to enjoy breeds, varieties, climate friendly production practices and geographical differences in food products both at their favorite store and direct to their door from farmers around the world. Ruben Cortez and Wesley O'Brien, co…
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Raising pigs for pork today is different than yesteryears. Pig farms are much larger and more specialized with "sow farms" artificially inseminating females, farrowing pigs and supplying 'wean to finish' pork producers with weaned 15 pound pigs to grow to market weights of about 280 pounds. On Cheryl Walsh's family's sow farm fresh boar semen is de…
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Yes a well raised vegetable can taste great, but it’s not ice cream. What if every time you dig into ice cream, you could be supporting the next movement of farming, positively changing our planet for a better future: removing harmful carbon from our air; creating water-retaining soil; building biodiverse and nutrient-rich topsoil. Alec Jaffe taugh…
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Keeping family farms viable will require higher technology and diversification that goes beyond past experience. Tomorrow's farmers may need to learn robotics or global trend analysis and how to create non-traditional income streams, outside of agriculture. Dino Giacomazzi considers these options as he reflects on his experience that started on a C…
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If we can't bring the city to the farm, bring the farm to the city. That's what Organic farmers did during Climate Week. Right in Rockefeller Center a pop up farm was created complete with tractor, barn, cows (sort of) and real farmers, including Ohio dairy farmer Jordan Settlage. Since the US is losing 100,00 family farms each decade it's time to …
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QR codes can add important farm and ranch stories to menus wherever increasingly curious customers are purchasing food. Coming out of the pandemic, consumers began seeing QR codes with menu selections that allowed them to order at the new outdoor sidewalk venues without handling traditional menus. Although restrictions have eased, QR codes have not…
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Nine per cent of all green house gas emissions in the US are from Agriculture and cattle are responsible for 2%. To identify the magnitude of the challenges, EPA does an annual inventory of the GHG contributions from each industry. In the effort to achieve carbon neutrality, Methane from cattle production has become a major target; however per capi…
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Getting to know a farmer is how caring consumers should start and if you’re a farmer “get known” by being available to answer questions that explain how and why you do what you do. For this mission Dana DiPrima founded For Farmers, a movement designed to recognize and support small farmers by sharing their stories, dispelling myths, and providing t…
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“We are the ones we have been waiting for” to improve the food system says Chef and farmer Mollie Englehart. Rather than wait for a government agency to fix what’s wrong, consumers make the vote that counts when they purchase food grown right from farms or restaurants they can trust. Raised on a small farm in New York state there was college, music…
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Oil is just one letter short of being a four letter word as processed foods in general are widely condemned. Yet there are good-for -you virgin oils such as walnut, olive, grapeseed, avocado, sesame and others that are not fully refined, stripped of nutritional benefits. Matthieu Kohlmeyer knows good oils start with good farming. He set out from Fr…
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The public is concerned about the accuracy of food marketing, particularly antibiotic usage in animal products according to research by Food Forward. Promoting the illusion of exceptional animal treatment and practices while masking industrial conditions under which animals are raised and slaughtered, is called humane washing. Andrew DeCoriolis, Ex…
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For local food, what if the Farmers Market could come to you? That's the idea that Rachelle Gould had when she started a multi farm CSA in Red Bluff CA with the concept of collaboration over competition. There was an immediate response from neighboring towns and counties to receive local produce and protein from area farms. The multi farm CSA model…
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Reducing methane reduces warming. Methane is nothing more than energy that instead of off-gasing in to the atmosphere can be captured to use for transportation and other benefits--converting a liability into a utility. Livestock, not only cattle, contribute to methane off-gasing now but less in the future when as a result terperatures will be go do…
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As radical weather continues, Earth friendly protein may increasingly be found on shopping lists and menu plans. If the taste and nutrition of bovine products without concerns over the potent Green House Gas methane is a priority, Ostrich will earn a try. Alexander McCoy discovered Ostrich when he was working in Africa and preparing for an iron man…
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A carbon neutral food system can become the shared goal of farmers, consumers, processors and retailers. Marcus Lovell Smith, the CEO of Neutral Foods believes we can drive more change with food than anywhere else and that decarbonizing food is essential to our future. Consumers are ready to improve their own personal carbon footprints and their fo…
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The true cost and true value of food should consider more than just price and yields. Saving our food systems from collapse will need smaller farms, regenerative practices, multiple species and strong enough markets says Matt Maier the chief farmer/owner of Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed 100% Grassfed Beef. Nourishing soil, plants, cattle and peopl…
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If you want a small sustainable farm but don't have the land why not grow shrimp? Shrimp is a popular food but travels a long way to the table, changes hands frequently, is frozen and thawed repeatedly and likely has been raised in less than ideal circumstance. Steve Sutton had a vision of a better way as he learned shrimp farming in Asia before es…
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Over 60 years ago Rachel Carson warned of "Silent Spring (s)" to come from the harms of indiscriminate use of pesticides. Since then the threatening big picture has broadened to position the Earth in the current period of the Sixth Extinction. Extinctions are gradual but silence can be sudden as it seemed to honey bee veterinarian Elizabeth Hilborn…
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People dream of farming and then when that dream is realized, they dream of their own processing and distribution under their own brand. John & Sukey Jamison have lived that dream and are in transition to a new stage of their journey, without sheep in the meadow and without their own USDA inspected processing plant. Their Jamison Farm journey west …
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