Half Story Half Food All Good – Chef Rob Connoley

 

The story of a place has to include the story of it’s food: what was grown and what they ate. Taking that to heart, the owner Chef of Bulrush Restaurant in St. Louis, Rob Connoly, is finding a delicious way to share the story of a special place with special food traditions from the Ozarks.  Rob is establishing the Ozark foodway by resurrecting ingredients, practices and recipes of the past. He’s doing so through foraging, hunting, farming and creating extensive partnerships with organizations including the Seed Savers Exchange, Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis Archivist Association, and the Osage Nation Historic Preservation Office. Guests dining at his restaurant have an opportunity to try unique cuisine often from before the Civil War with ingredients such as paw paws, cattails and acorns.  New technologies accompany the old ingredients with video stories of each course provided to guests before dinner through QR code links. Dinner with Chef Rob Connoly is half story, half food and all good!   www.bulrushstl.com

Poor Air Poor Nutrition Poor Us – Dr. Kristie Ebi

 

Climate change effects will go way beyond receding coasts and shrinking farm  regions to to include the quality of air that plants need to produce nutritious foods. When carbon levels in the air increase, the nutrition from foods will decline by up to 30%, severely impacting human health.  Dr. Kristie Ebi  is the Founding Director of CHanGe, the Center for Health and The Global Environment at the University of Washington. She works to highlight the role of health and wellbeing in climate action and to facilitate climate resilience in the health sector.  So far the public worries about “carbon” have been it’s effect on creating a green house around the earth but the increased levels of carbon in the air that we and our crops breathe matters too. Our table talk leads us to understand that “feeding the world” is much more than just sufficient calories when nutrient content is depleted. http://fgobalchange.uw.edu

Women Farming and Leading— Kristyn Mensonides and Lynne Wheeler

 

Well educated young women who could do anything are choosing to farm, and to lead.  Equal gender opportunities do abound in agriculture, including the opportunity to give leadership to controversial issues like climate change. Krysten  Mensonides and Lynne Wheeler both graduated from universities and had career choices before they decided farming was their future. Now that future includes joining with their fellow dairy farmers  in Washington state to achieve carbon neutrality (or better) on their farms by 2050.  The dairy industry currently accounts for 2% of total Green House Gas emissions in the US.  They share their journey back to the farm and on to the front lines of farmers addressing climate change. #mensonidesdairy  #coldstreamfarm www.wadairy.org

 

GMO Deregulation — Greg Jaffe

For better or worse there has been substantial deregulation happening in the US Capitol, now including genetic engineering (GMO/GE).  Greg Jaffe is the Biotech Director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). They believe that GE products deemed safe through an independent science-based assessment have a place in our food system and have long advocated for USDA to revise its regulations to establish a streamlined and efficient regulatory process. However, they have also called for such a system to remain science-based and to address real potential risks posed by GE plants (such as preventing the development of resistant weeds or pests). A new USDA Rule falls far short as it “eliminates any independent, science-based regulatory review by allowing developers to self-determine their products to be exempt from oversight”.  CSPI and others are calling on USDA to revisit these provisions and, until they do, “calling on all GE plant developers to commit to requesting USDA confirm any self-determinations they make”. cspinet.org

 

 

Ag’s New World – Kristine MacRae, Deborah Wilson

 

 

 

Agriculture may be 10,000 years old but it’s a new world. Farmers and Ranchers are facing the new challenges  with new technologies and new philosophies, enpowering the big and the small. This comes at a time when consumer interest in how their food is produced has never been higher–a fact not missed by food manufacturers, retailers and chefs. Deborah Wilson and Kristine MacRae join Farm To Table Talk host Rodger Wasson to explore that new world. In addition to being a rancher, Deborah Wilson of TrustBix leads a Canadian verification program supporting Cow Calf, feedlot/backgrounder, packer/processor, Retail (McDonalds) and certified Canadian sustainable grain fed beef for sale in China, utilizing Block chain. Kristine MacRae of West Sky Technology helps ranchers track cattle life cycle, monetize public land grazing practices, work with small meat processors and engages customers and sales partners through a virtual hub.

www.ncba.org/https://grsbeef.org/; www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/raising-beef/beef-sustainability www.farmcredit.com/community/young-beginning-farmers www.cdp.net/enhttps://www.indigoag.co                                                        ; www.crsb.ca; www.crsbcertified.ca; www.sustainablecrops.ca; www.virescosolutions.com; www.trustbix.com ; www.caain.ca

North American Food Strategy – Emily Broad Lieb, Harvard Law

The North American food system has succeeded in producing an abundance of commodities at relatively low cost, but it is failing in other ways that matter. Showing how law and policy should make needed changes is the purpose of “the Blueprint for a National Food Strategy”.  This work in progress is a collaborative project between the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School and Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic.  Some of the project’s recommendations have already been accepted in Canada and  will be considered in the next US Farm Bill.  Harvard Law Professor Emily M. Broad Lieb, Director of the Food Law and Policy Clinic, focuses her scholarship, teaching, and practice on finding solutions to some of today’s biggest food law issues, aiming to increase access to healthy foods, eliminate food waste, and support sustainable food production and local and regional food systems.Professor Broad Lieb shares her journey from Harvard Law to rural Mississippi and back as food system success, shortcomings and solutions are addressed. www.foodstrategyblueprint.org

Tomato’s Endless Season – Greg Pruett

 

Seasons are the rhythm of nature, naturally restricting the availability of fruits and vegetables.  That is except when it’s with a food such as tomatoes that are freshly preserved in diced, peeled or paste form to be part of  the worlds most popular dishes. Although some food products are just processed when quality is declining, processing tomato varieties, production and processing practices have been especially developed for prime preservation and use in popular canned and jarred products. As a nutritional bonus,  a powerful antioxidant, Lycopene, is even more bio-available in processed tomatoes than in fresh. This magic happens between the tomato fields and the end product. Greg Pruett leads us through tomatoes’ stop on the way to our table. Greg is a tomato grower and CEO of one of the leading tomato processors, Ingomar Food Processing in Los Banos, California that enables consumers to enjoy the taste of summer all year long.   www.ingomarpacking.com

www.tomatowellness.com

Care for Coffee? –Jay Ruskey

In every region farmers are finding ways to pivot from producing the same commodities that have always been produced on their land.  New farmers are also finding new ways to get started that includes trying different crops. In southern California coffee is being successfully grown on land formerly growing avocados and lemons.  Jay Ruskey planted a trial crop of coffee at his family-owned and operated farm in the hills of Santa Barbara, California called Good Land Organics, and is proving that coffee could be grown successfully outside of tropical regions –putting California coffee on the map! Farmer Jay is also the CEO of FRINJ Coffee a company set out to provide farmers an opportunity to diversify their farm portfolios. Today, FRINJ Coffee supports 65 farms in the coastal climates of Central and Southern California as it leads the California Coffee Movement. While you can’t grow coffee everywhere, Jay Ruskey shares a journey to innovative and regenerative farming practices that meets producer’s needs for a better share of the food dollar and the discerning expectations of today’s consumers. www.frinjcoffee.com

Bridging Food Streams – Troy Rice

There is a growing need for informational bridges between farmers markets, farm workers, shoppers, and farmers of every size shape and situation. Troy Rice established Farm Brigge to fill that need and create local food ecosystems.  Shoppers can go on line to find local farmers and farmers markets that have the food products they seek and the story behind the stories. Farmers can find farm workers and training  to establish “lean farming” practices. And everyone can find themselves to the virtual bridge that enables sustainable production, employment, marketing and food literacy. The story that Troy shares with Farm To Table Talk begins with his own family and fans out to bridging food streams from coast to coast.  www.farmbrigge.com

Kiss The Ground podcast – Josh Tickell, Author, Filmmaker

If you’re not yet a believer that we can create a climate stable future, you probably will be a believer after listening to Josh Tickell. He and his wife Rebecca wrote the book and produced the most uplifting film to date about regenerative agriculture and what it means for farmers and consumers. Over a year ago I read his book “Kiss the Ground”, listened to the audio version that he narrates, viewed the website, talked with several of the farmers he features and now after a long wait just viewed the film, “Kiss the Ground” that is now available on Netflix. I recommend that you see the film and here you can listen to the filmmaker as we explore the road to Kissing the Ground in a podcast we published last year when we thought the film release was just around the corner. Getting around the corner takes longer in 2020. www.kisstheground.com