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Farm to Table Talk

 

 

 

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 after five generations farming in America, he’s continually worked for and with farmers though-out America and around the world. From directly managing commodity boards and councils to presently building the strategic consultancy, Idea Farming. www.idea-farming.com .   The Farm to Table Talk podcasts have been created for anyone interested in individual journeys within the food movement, the modern food system and stories behind our every bite.

The tables are turned as Rodger shares his journey and why the Farm To Table Talk podcast was created in the following Urban Farmer podcast with  the Urban Farmer himself, Greg Peterson, www.urbanfarm.org.

Crocks of Change – Suzy DeYoung, LaSoupe

 

 

 

One of the most unfortunate dilemmas in the food chain is that all over the world, including the US, children are going hungry and yet we waste over 40% of the food we produce.  A comprehensive political solution is not at hand but progress is happening in local communities–utilizing food that was bound for landfills even though it is still safe and nutritious.  The existing cycle of waste is an indefensible contributor to climate change and hunger.   LaSoupe is showing a different path forward. It’s founder, Suzy DeYoung, is an experienced Chef who decided that ‘enough is enough’; something must be done to waste less and recover food that can be  re-directed to needy families.   Food pantries and other non-profit food distribution agencies are not new; however LaSoupe goes further inmany ways, including tapping the creativity, generosity and compassion of Restaurant Chefs who want to help. Volunteering Chefs are pitching in to prepare delicious soups from foods that were otherwise destined to be wasted; then sharing  through a “Bucket Brigade” to those in need. The result? Food is not wasted; hungry kids are fed; Cooking talents are shared with the less fortunate; young people are inspired; and selfless individuals realize the satisfaction that comes from helping others.  Suzy DeYoung joins the Farm Table to share the keys to this admirable farm to table journey. www.lasoupecincinnati.com

Local Food Connections – Alice Chalmers, Ohio Valley

 

Restaurants and food stores  succeed when they meet the needs and interests of their customers.  When those customers want local foods, they must oblige and connect with local farms.  Not so easy!  “Hubs” have been created to bridge that Farm To Table gap connecting the farms to the restaurants, stores or direct to consumers. A great example of these enterprises is the Ohio Valley Food Connection in Newport, Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. It was founded in 2015 by Alice  Chalmers to connect local food producers and buyers. In 2005, after a career in Finance and Strategic Planning, Alice starting looking into the economics of rural communities, land use planning and the future of agriculture near metropolitan areas.  She spent three + years as Executive Director of Future Harvest CASA (Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture), promoting local sustainable farming, and creating connections between consumers, businesses and local farmers in the Chesapeake Bay area.  From her East Coast beginnings to her current home in the Ohio Valley, she has worked tirelessly to help local farmers with their most pressing challenge: marketing. Farmers, retailers and consumers benefit when smooth connections link the field to the fork. http://www.ohiovalleyfood.com

Outside Inside Farm Futures — Kip Tom’s Farms & Irving Fain’s Bowery Farms

 

Farming is changing. Whether your food comes from smaller local farmers, large scale commodity farmers, self grown or imported from the other side of the world, it is inevitable that new ideas will play an important part in the quality and quantity of what the world has to eat. When societies stopped using washboards and started using washing machines, there were skeptics and to this day there are some who believe that we would be better off using horses instead of tractors. Mistrust of the intentions, greed and/or unintended consequences is primary reasons for concerns. Still, smart use of new technology keeps advancing. Tom Farms in Northern Indiana was started in 1837 and has changed with the times. Kip Tom joins Farm To Table Talk to talk about generational adaptation through the years and the future of farming. To sustainably feed a global population of over 9 billion people, even more creative solutions will be required, both outside and inside. New ‘inside’ farming ventures are indoors, hydroponic, near large urban areas and housed in warehouses or abandoned factories. With a concoction of water, nutrients, genetics, light and ingenuity urban retailers and restaurants have a supply of select produce right in their backyards. Irving Fain, CEO and Founder of Bowery Farms, joins Farm To Table Talk to explain the premise and the promise of Inside Farming.

 

 

Technology Tsunami – Gordon Rausser and James Davis, UC Berkeley

 

 

There is a massive wave of technology that is sweeping over the food and farming landscape of the world–a virtual tsunami.  The ForbesAg Tech Summit in Salinas has linked global  food/ag leaders and Silicon Valley to mark the prospects and the promise of this impressive wave.  Summit Keynoters, US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Steve Censky and Steve Forbes shared enthusiasm for what this means to innovators, farmers, chefs and consumers. UC Berkeley Ag Economists, Gordon Rausser and James Davis join Farm To Table Talk discuss the significance of the $10 Billion dollar investment in changing how we farm and what we eat. The major technology categories include: Precision Agriculture, Agricultural Biotechnology, Vertical Farming, Alternative Animal Products, Decision-Making Tools and Supply Chain Management. Not all of the new technologies will be successfully adopted, but those that will could change the landscape of food and farming forever.

“Recent Developments in the California Food and Agricultural Technology Landscape”  http://giannini.ucop.edu/publications/are-updae/

#ForbesAgTech

Rent-A-F2T Chef — Roza Ferdowsmakan

How can we bring Farm to Table value to our communities and to society in a meaningful way? Roza Ferdowsmakan has found a way. She is a farm-to-table advocate who has been working with local farmers and chefs in Phoenix . She is also a foodie and tech founder of a free farm-to-table mobile app (Bites) that connects foodies with local chefs (professional chefs, culinary students, and home cooks) for in-home farm-to-table dining experiences. Roza is interested in giving visibility and support to urban farms, micro farms, co-ops, community gardens, backyard gardens, organic and family-owned small farms, as well as sustainable wine growers. She has been granted a sustainability award by the Arizona state university Walton school of sustainability for her efforts that have been featured in 25 different press publications. It is a journey to normalize farm-to-table for everyone, everywhere…and doing it as a bootstrapped tech founder who is interested in leveraging technology to do good in the world in an efficient way. Whether your home is modest or grand, you can host a table connects an inspired chef, caring farmers and your own “tribe” for a memorable experience.  www.bites.mobi

 

Smart Labels – Mark Baum, FMI

More and more of us want to know everything we can about the products we buy–especially when it comes to the food we consume with our friends and families. Whether motivated by worry, mistrust or just curiosity, consumers expect that they can rev up their search engines and find everything.  Food producers and retailers alike realize that while in the old days taste and price were what primarily mattered, today and from now on trust through transparency is essential. To facilitate this emerging demand, food industry leaders have created a “platform” that provides consumers with a an online path to practically everything they would ever want to know, from farm to table.  The new vehicle for this road to food knowledge is “Smart Label” and Mark Baum, Chief Collaboration Officer and Senior Vice President of Industry Relations for the Washington DC based Food Marketing Institute takes us on this journey to ultimate transparency on Farm To Table Talk. www.smartlabel.org

 

Craft Meat Revolution – Joe Heitzeberg

Some of us know quite a bit about the coffee beans in our coffee, including the farmers that grew the beans; but what do  meat-lovers really know about the meat on our plates? Joe Heitzeberg a founder of Crowd Cow and co-author of Craft Beef is stepping up to answer the questions of meat eating consumers who care. Crowd Cow works directly with independent farmers across the country to bring high quality craft beef to their doorsteps, complete with stories about the farm and farmers who raised it. Are the foods you eat “Craft” or “Commodity” and why does that matter?  Joe Heiteberg joins Farm To Table Talk to explain his passion for great tasting beef and to discuss the care, feed and breeds that satisfy our appetite,  and our conscience. www.craftbeefbook.com www.crowdcow.com

Caring Coffee – Edie & Andy Baker

Is there a direct relationship between the roaster of your coffee and the farmers who grow the beans.  It’s worth finding out and if the answer is no, it might be time to try a new source of your coffee.  Specialty coffee shops are springing up all over the place, often featuring their unique roasting process and proudly sourced beans from farmers they know or have carefully researched. Edie and Andy Baker, the owners of Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters in Sacramento, California meet directly with each farmer to see their farming practices and ensure that they have passion and care for their coffee. It’s a difference you can taste in every cup.  That first cup of coffee is an important start to every day for most of; so we should make sure it’s all we deserve.  Edie and Andy explain coffee from seed to cup in a way that makes you anxious to pour your next cup.  They bring coffee to the table on this episode of Farm To Table Talk.

Really Organic – Dave Chapman

 

Food labels and menu descriptions are just shorthand communications when we buy foods that tell us a story about origin, nutrition and production practices.  Organic is a description that many consumers look for, but some of the pioneering Organic farmers believe that today it falls short of what’s needed–especially when it comes to Hydroponics because they believe that the founding vision of the Organic movement was based on healthy soil.  Hydroponics are produced in a non-soil material in a greenhouse.  Attempts to make changes in the USDA certification standards failed, so efforts are underway to improve on the current standards addressing issues that now include animal care and other issues, beyond just hydroponic. Ultimately this could be an add-on label to the current USDA certified organic label to provide more transparency. Dave Chapman runs Long Wind Farm in Vermont and is a leader in the Real Organic Project. Dave talks with Farm To Table Talk about the concerns and solutions  to grow understanding of traditional organic values, practices and a sustainable future.  www.realorganicproject.org

Happy, Nourished & Grateful – Heidi Schauster

 

Our relationship with food doesn’t have to be so complicated. Listening to our body, enjoying the “well-grown” foods we love, mindfully connects body, mind and spirit. This is part of the common-sense advice of Heidi Schauster, MS RDN, CEDRD-S, the author of “Nourish”.  Honoring our body’s wisdom starts with accepting our own body type, rejecting diets, skipping the scales and practicing Mindful-eating:”…Eating with Gratitude. Appreciating the miracle and many steps that brought the food to your table (or desk) for just a moment before eating will not only slow you down and drop you into mindfulness, but it’s an antidote for all of the analyzing, counting, obsessing, and questioning that might precede a meal or snack. With your heart full of appreciation and gratitude for the plants, animals, and humans that made your food possible, you are better able to see eating as an act of self-care.”  Farm To Table Talk  is all about the stories behind every bite and Heidi Schauster brings a fresh view in this episode of the Farm To Table Talk Podcast.