#63: How Do We Build A New Pipeline of Sustainable Farmers?

In Episode 63, Quinn & Brian ask: How do we build a new pipeline of sustainable food growers?

Our guest is Dena Leibman, the Executive Director of the Future Harvest Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (or Future Harvest for short), a non-profit that works to build a sustainable Chesapeake Foodshed from farm and fishery to table. But Dena is one to practice what she preaches – or a workaholic – so the Leibman family also started ZigBone Farm Retreat, a 100-acre sheep and goat farm in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains that they are slowly converting into a naturally built retreat center and event space.

And you know what’s really cool? Food without a bunch of shit in it, literally and figuratively; food that keeps us healthy instead of making us sick; food that makes us stronger, faster, and generally more like The Six Million Dollar Man. Today, we learn where our current food pipeline fails us – and what we can do to start supporting more sustainable farming and distribution practices today.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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Important, Not Important is produced by Crate Media

#57: Make Food Great (Nutritious) Again

In Episode 57, Quinn & Brian discuss: Why more food ≠ more nutrition.

Our guests are Professors Kristie Ebi and Irakli Loladze. Dr. Ebi is the Rohm & Haas Endowed Professorship in Public Health Sciences at the University of Washington, where she has been conducting research and practice on the health risks of climate variability and change for over twenty years. She focuses on understanding sources of vulnerability, estimating current and future health risks of climate change, and designing adaptation policies and measures to reduce the risks of climate change in multi-stressor environments. Dr. Loladze is a professor of health sciences at the Bryan Medical Center at Bryan College, where he applies mathematical, computational, and statistical methods to life sciences – which is to say, he’s a math biologist.

Dr. Ebi recently testified in front of Congress – specifically, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology – in the first of a series of hearings on climate science and why it matters (a series of conversations we’re pretty surprised and excited are actually happening at all, if you need any more evidence that your vote matters). She was speaking about the health implications, which Dr. Loladze has also spent much of his life studying. In fact, he linked rising CO2 levels to the quality of human nutrition and obesity, revealing that some of the advancements that allow us to grow more food also reduce the nutritional quality of those foods.
But you want to know what’s really screwed up about the whole situation? These two don’t have any funding for this potentially world-saving research.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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Important, Not Important is produced by Podcast Masters

#49: Can The Huge Food Companies Pivot to Sustainability?

In Episode 49, Quinn & Brian ask: What can the HUGE food and beverage companies do, right now, to improve U.S. food systems and drive trends towards a more sustainable future?

It’s a big and complicated question, but our guest Jennifer Mleczko is going to share the one simple thing you can do to address all of it at once. Jennifer is a consultant at the World Bank focused on sustainable development, specifically agriculture and, even more specifically, livestock.

There are environmental, social, economic, and political implications to the food systems we’ve created here in the United States; globalization, international trade, market consolidation, and the ways we produce food affects communities all around the globe. We aren’t always aware of how buying a package of dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets from Walmart affects a small farm halfway across the country or the world, but every choice we make has consequences – and the more we work to bring awareness to these choices, the more we can do to transition to a more sustainable food system.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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Important, Not Important is produced by Podcast Masters

#44: Is Food Waste the Stupidest Thing We Do (& How Do We Cut it in Half)?

In Episode 44, Quinn & Brian ask: Is food waste the stupidest thing we do, as a species, and how can we cut it in half? (or: avocado toast is about to go off, son)

Our guest is Dr. James Rogers, founder and CEO of Apeel Sciences and one of our most mind-blowing guests yet. You may think you know about avocados, but you have no idea.

Apeel Sciences is an agricultural innovation company that creates plant-based technologies to extend the shelf life of fresh produce – like an organic rinse that keeps produce fresh twice as long! These innovations are vital for our survival because, as we said in the title, food waste is quite possibly the stupidest thing our species does. And all of you American Exceptionalism fans out there will be pumped to know that we are the very best, wasting about $165 BILLION of food every year. That means almost 40% of the food produced in the U.S. is never eaten. It’s staggering and a little heartbreaking, but Dr. Rogers is here to help.

To listen to the episode go here. To read the transcript, go here.

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#20: How the hell are we gonna feed 10 billion people?

In Episode 20, Quinn and Brian wonder: How the hell are we gonna feed 10 billion people?

Enter Fred Iutzi of the Land Institute, where they’re focused on the incredibly modest goal of working to displace the predominant industrial, disruptive system of agriculture by providing staple foods without destroying or compromising the cultural and ecological systems upon which we so very much depend. So.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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#14: How do we improve America’s agriculture system?

In Episode 14, Quinn (because Brian abandoned him) asks himself: How do we improve America’s agriculture system?

On the mic, Emily Cassidy, the Sustainability Science Manager at the illustrious and beautiful California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and a leading member of their new climate action initiative, Planet Vision.

Emily's the co-author of a highly cited paper called “Solutions for a Cultivated Planet”, investigating how to sustainably feed 9 billion people. 

Today we put Emily’s long background in natural resources science to use and discuss the steps America, and Americans, need to take to improve our food system, and make it healthier. For the air, for the land, for the water, and for each of us, inside our bodies.

Also: Jane Goodall, and cow farts vs. cow burps.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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