#53: How the Hell Do We Pull Clean Drinking Water Out of Thin Air?

In Episode 53, Quinn & Brian ask: How the hell do we pull clean drinking water out of thin air?

Our guest is Dr. Shing-Chung “Josh” Wong, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Akron In addition to pursuing bio-inspired materials research, he has worked on mechanical behavior and functional properties of polymers, electrospinning, processing-structure-property relationships, coatings, bio- and nano-materials, and composites. Dr. Wong has authored and co-authored over 70 archived articles in book, journal, and patent literatures, and in 2007, he was selected as a recipient for the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

There are a lot of words you may not understand in that bio – don’t worry, you’re not alone – but the reason Josh is awesome and we wanted him on the show comes down to one simple fact: he has invented some very cool shit that benefits anyone who enjoys being alive on Earth. He comes from a place of such moral integrity, constantly striving to use his capacity for innovation and discovery to help other people... a trait that is almost staggeringly uncommon these days, to our detriment.

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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Important, Not Important is produced by Podcast Masters

#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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