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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

Seeds of Food’s Future — Allen Van Deynze and Andy Pon


First comes the seeds to grow the crops that fill our tables with foods that satisfy, nourish and sustain us at generally bargain prices. Seeds from new and improved varieties often take 5 to 10 years of research before they prove their worth to farmers, chefs, food processors and consumers. Farm to Table Talk backs up to the beginning of the process, where plant breeders give Mother Nature a helping hand; then Greenhouses start the seeds for transplanting into the fields of the Central Valley.  UC Davis Plant Breeder, Dr. Allen Van Deynze guides us along the path from the seed of an idea to delicious tomato products years down the road.  Today tomato seeds seldom go straight to the farm; instead they are started in greenhouses and then taken to the farm where they are transplanted. Andy Pon the General Manager of Westside transplants, walks us through the transplanting stage of  what will eventually be an important part of “what’s for dinner”.

HyperLocal Dinner – Matthew Fleischmann and Lars Fuchs

Most of us eat food that comes from all over the world, but supporting local food production for all kinds of reasons is a growingly popular idea. Of course it’s not always possible. Some foods only grow in the tropics or Mediterranean climates. On the other hand local Farmer’s Markets, certain Supermarkets and lot’s of Farm To Table restaurants are making it possible to find more local foods than ever. There is some confusion about what actually is local, since some say it’s up to 350 miles away and others say 50 miles. Would it be possible to draw the circle even smaller and source entirely within city limits?

That’s the idea behind “Food City” a short film about creating a hyper-local meal, with every item farmed, fished or foraged within the city limits of New York City. Film Directors Matthew Fleischmann and Lars Fuchs set out to discover the rich diversity of fish, foul and produce grown in the five Buroughs of New York and to ultimately serve a 4 course meal for eight lucky guests.

Matt and Lars flew from New York to the Sacramento Food Film Festival, where their film was featured at the festival sponsored by the Food Literacy Center. Following local food bites from top Farm to Fork chefs, presentation of featured films and a discussion with the food lovers in attendance, Farm To Table Talk follow Matt Fleischmann and Lars Fuchs back stage to discuss their journey to create a “hyperlocal” Link to Food City:  meal.

Here’s Our Bill – Sam Fromartz FERN

We all know of other times at other tables where we ask for the Bill.  This nation of farmers and consumers have a Bill coming due. It’s called the “Farm Bill”.  Since over 80% of the billions of dollars go to assist consumers rather than farmers, it’s probably mis-named. Every five years a new Farm/Food/Nutrition/Conservation law has to be re-created and passed by Congress. Like everything else political these days, it’s more partisan than ever–not just between Democrats and Republicans,r but also between City and Rural areas where increasingly needy families are as easy to find as are farm families.  The Farm Bill touches us all and confounds many of us. Fortunately there are still journalists helping sort through the myths and the facts.  Foremost among those producing  investigative  journalism about food and environmental issues is the Food and Environmental Reporting Network. Sam Fromartz is a veteran journalist and the editor-in-chief who joins Farm To Table Talk to explain pending policy issues and the role of Ag communicators in today’s partisan climate.


Feeding the World – Jessica Eise, Purdue




How do we get adequate and nutritious food to  billions of tables? We better figure it out because by 2050, there will be ten billion mouths to feed in a world seriously impacted by environmental change. How can we meet this challenge? A diverse group of experts from Purdue University break down this crucial question by tackling big issues one-by-one and cover it in a book entitled, appropriately, “How To Feed The World”. They cover population, water, land, climate change, technology, food systems, trade, food waste and loss, health, social buy-in, communication, and, critically, the ultimate challenge of achieving equal access to food. To help us through the key topics and  the  complex web of factors that must be addressed to assure global food security, the co-author, Jessica Eise is our guest on Farm To Table Talk . A doctoral candidate in Purdue’s Brian Lamb School of Communication, Jessica Eise is a former  guest on Farm To Table Talk when she talked about how Agriculture needs to improve it’s image and trust with better communications. “….these are not simple problems, yet we can overcome them. Doing so will require cooperation between farmers, scientists, policy makers, consumers, and many others.”