Feed The Future – Gbola Adesogan

How will we feed the world in the future when we are doing such a poor job of it now? Many of us are fortunate enough to not worry that our own families will get enough to eat. And some are fortunate that they can do something to improve the prospects of feeding the world. One of those fortunate enough to make a difference is Dr. Gbola Adesogan, Director of the Feed The Future Innovation Lab at the University of Florida. Dr. Adesogan joins Farm To Table Talk and explains the current and future state of the world. Animal-source foods are commonly lacking in the diets of the poor and vulnerable in developing countries, particularly children and women who need them most. Due to their high content of quality protein and bio-available micronutrients, increased consumption of animal-source foods can improve the nutritional status as well as the growth, psychomotor functions, cognitive development, and health of children–especially infants under the age of two. Dr. Adesogan’s work focuses on sustainably improving livestock productivity and marketing and animal-source food consumption using appropriate improved technologies, capacity development, and policies, in order to improve the nutrition, health, incomes and livelihoods of vulnerable people while reducing the environmental impact of livestock systems “Regenerative agriculture” will change the conversation about livestock and climate change. Progress will improve household nutrition, food security, and incomes, in addition to the competitiveness of smallholder livestock systems—feeding the future.

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Love My Market – Ben Feldman

 

Farmers Markets could be the best thing to happen to Agriculture this century. Some will argue that point because they don’t see how conventional agriculture with large scale commodity production, supplying supermarkets and restaurant chains, benefits from the over 8,600 local farmers markets that have sprung up all over. The simple answer is that the markets have been the catalyst for the Farm to Table movement-triggering curiosity, understanding and respect in the ways our food is grown. Most everyone that shops at their local farmers market also shop at supermarkets and eat at restaurants where they are becoming accustomed to seeing information about the farms and farming systems that produced fresh, canned, jars and frozen foods. These conversations matter a great deal and are added incentive for food producers and farmers to share the story of how they are constantly improving. Additionally Farmers Markets foster a community spirit with direct interaction between the farm and the community. Don’t miss visiting a Farmers Market this week. It is the 20th Annual Farmers Market celebration. This year, the Farmers Market Coalition is highlighting the important role that farmers markets play in fostering entrepreneurship: providing a low-barrier to entry, maximum return on investment, and immediate feedback on new products for small businesses. The executive director of the Farmers Market Coalition Ben Feldman joins the Farm to Table Talk to celebrate the progress and the future of the markets we love. #LoveMyMarket www.farmersmarketcoalition.org

Livestock On Our Side – Sarah and Josh Ison

Can we grow up, get a good education, find a job, start a family and still raise livestock? More and more are doing just that. While attention is focused on how old the average farmer is, there is a movement a foot with more young people finding a way to supplement there post education careers with raising livestock on the side.  Sarah and Josh Ison are pursuing that journey from their home in the Ohio River Valley.  Separately they discovered that they loved animals from their beginnings with 4-H projects and years later after each achieved PhD’s from Texas Tech they returned to their home country where they are producing angus cattle for their CincyBeef enterprise–supplementing their scientific careers. Beyond their off farm work, there are cattle chores to do (with their kids) and weekends at Farmers Markets. Farm To Table Talk covers their journey, their hopes and their advice for other young families who share the dream of raising livestock on the side. www.cincybeef.com

The Cloud Answers – Martha Montoya

Being A Blessing With Food – Rabbi David Azen

“There is no box outside of which to think.” This is a motto of the founder of Fresher Sacramento, Rabbi David Azen and perhaps his response to the admonition to Abraham in Genesis to be a blessing to all the families of the Earth. Rabbi David Azen gets that point and is starting in Sacramento where he has founded and serves as CEO of Fresh Sacramento, a CA based non-profit which has launched the Fresher initiative to bring healthier prepared meals and fresh produce to underserved neighborhoods. Fresher Sacramento combines fresher foods sales, nutrition and cooking classes, job training and asset building in one comprehensive model. Rabbi Azen has had a varied career, serving congregations of various sizes while also working outside of synagogues as a writer, actor and producer.  He has been building Fresher as a replicable model for empowering youth as agents of constructive change – training over 500 youth to become nutrition educators and advocates, and enabling them to develop workforce skills, entrepreneurship and financial literacy–distributing hundreds of thousands of servings of fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved neighborhoods, as well as putting in garden beds and establishing a gardening curriculum at the Sacramento County Youth Detention Facility.

www.freshersacramento.com

 

Evolution’s Diet – Lora Ianotti, Washington University

Human evolution has had its diet du jour for thousands of years. Through the ages one would expect that life expectancy, brain size and height would have improved with the advent of agriculture, 10,000 years ago. That assumption would be wrong. In fact for various reasons, at the advent of agriculture, life expectancy declined from 40 years to 20 years and there is evidence that height and brain size also declined. The E3 Nutrition Lab at Washington University in St. Louis sizes up humans’s dietary progress from three related perspectives: evolutionarily appropriate, environmentally sustainable and economically affordable. Lora Ianotti is the Diretor of E3 Nutrition Lab and Associate Dean for Public Health at Washington University. She takes Farm to Table Talk back millions of year and then forward again to consider the issues of today and tomorrow’s diets. https://e3nutritionlab.wustl.edu

 

Dairy’s Environmental Impact – Tara Vander Dussen and Krysta Harden

 

Farmer’s care about their image and they care about the environment. No matter what an individual farmer does to support the environment, if the industry has a bad environmental reputation it’s a black eye for everyone. So industry-wide organizations are getting involved to benchmark current performance and encourage their farmers to keep improving so that the story they can share with today’s sustainability attuned consumers adds environment to the traditional messages about taste, convenience and nutrition. To get a good story you have to be a good story and the Dairy industry has a good story that is told to Farm to Table Talk by Tara Vander Dussen and Krysta Harden.  Tara is a Dairy Farmer, Environmental Scientist and host of the New Mexico Milkmaid blog. Krysta Harden is the Executive Vice President of Global Environmental Strategy at the Innovation Center of US Dairy, the former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Georgia farm native.  www.usdairy.com

Coffee Cherry Pickings – Carole Widmayer

 

The next time you stare  into your morning coffee, stop to think that there is more to coffee than the ground beans. The fruit that surrounds the bean on the plant is highly nutritious and is now used to produce a high quality flour – “coffee cherry”. Carole Widmayer of the Coffee Berry Company joins Farm to Table Talk to discuss this surprising product and the company’s goal to combat food waste and create jobs by upcycling coffee cherries into a gluten-free, high fiber, antioxidant-rich food ingredient. They deliver economic and environmental sustainability for workers, communities, and the environment in coffee-growing communities using a patented process to upcycle coffee cherry pulp, the 45 billion lbs. of byproduct created annually from the production of green beans, into a functional product. The organization has bee recognized for taking leadership in helping achieve the UN’s Global Sustainability initiatives while improving the quality of life of coffee farmers.

www.coffeecherryco.com

 

 

Growing Together in Nepal – Katherine Parker

Just try to find anyplace in the world that doesn’t celebrate farm to table in one way or the other. It’s a challenge.  For example you can take a flight to Katmandu, then a propeller plane for another hour or so  and top it off with mules trailing up a mountain where you can still find farm to fork principles such as school gardens, seed distribution, coop formation and eating what they grow, locally. That journey is one often taken by our guest Katherine Parker.  Her personal journey included working with Concerned Farmers of Iowa after advanced studies as a conservation biologist. Today she is the Health & Community Transfomation Advisor for the United Mission to Nepal and a missionary for the Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. She shares a story of communities growing and sharing together, with help from around the world.

www.umcmission.org

NZ Deer to Table – Mark Mitchell

When New Zealand was settled, pioneers from the British Isles missed the red deer that they had hunted in Scotland. So wild red deer were corralled in Scotland and put on boats for the over 11,000 mile journey to New Zealand where they were released and to flourish in that beautiful country without predators. Today descendants of those original immigrant deer are raised on farms in New Zealand and the venison distributed to fine restaurants and specialty retailers all over the world. Farm to table demand is often local demand and there is New Zealand venison is certainly not local, but despite the food miles it is surprisingly sustainable according to Mark Mitchell, President of Broadleaf, a New Zealand based game processing and marketing company. “Shipping a pound of meat from Texas to New York produces more carbon emissions than shipping  it from New Zealand to New York by sea freight.” The deer graze on grass and hayh , in vast open pastures  and are never subjected to feedlots, confined spaces, hormones, antibiotics or corn-based diets.