If your favorite food truck switches from kimchee tacos to meat loaf and mashed potatoes, maybe you should talk to your stock broker about divesting. Even when the economy looks rosy, consumers trending back to comfort foods is a sign of “fearfulness” says Suzy Badaracco, the President of Culinary Tides. She spots trends on the distant horizon, a swell in the ocean before the tide breaks, that will be clear to all in two years. Trends change what we order, what is on the menu or in the stores, what farmers grow and how they grow it. The big trends are reflected in the behavior of all generations, but the pre-millennial Generation Z will be profoundly impacted by Sustainability. This is the first generation that is born in to Sustainability; it’s all they have ever known. Their household has always recycled in big blue tubs on the curb, filled with recyclable containers for the Organic foods they grew up with. Older, Millennial or Gen Y generations bought food with a story when they could afford it but these kids will cut back somewhere else rather than make tradeoffs on their food. A close look at the Trends Shaping the Food Industry (www.culinarytides.com) is in the “Shifting Sands Forecast” and discussed in this episode with Suzy Badaracco on Farm To Table Talk.
In the middle space between the farmers and the plates on our table, are stores where we shop to find tasty foods that are nutritious and sustainably produced. Unfortunately, the aisles may be also cluttered with less healthy and less sustainable products. Mike Teel wants to see that change; in fact Mike Teel wants to change the world one plate at a time. He is the owner and CEO of Raley’s, a supermarket chain of over 120 stores in Northern California. Change in existing supermarkets takes time so with Mike’s lead Raley’s is opening a brand new healthy, sustainably focused retail concept, Market 5-one-5. In this smaller scale store consumers will find a concentrated assortment of organic, healthy, local foods that are earth friendly. Proving that consumers really want this ‘better for you and the earth’ approach will lead to more of these stores by Raley’s and their competitors. On this Farm to Table Talk, Mike explains why it matters to farmers and consumers to “change the world, one plate at a time.” www.market5-one-5.com
What do you really want to do with your life? Sooner or later that question occurs to most of us and for some the answer has to do with farming. Melissa Phillips grew up in the UK then she and Jack came to Texas for work that came to an abrupt end, forcing them to consider what they really wanted from life. To search for the answer they climbed in their van with their baby and their dog and took off on a journey that zig-zagged across the West before they found an opportunity to be WOOFers (World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farming) at the Kern Family Farm in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Their story is inspiring. For others who have already realized some of their dreams, perhaps by becoming farmers, there are new dreams. Farmers often dream of a longer season. Our second guest on this Farm To Table Talk, Andrew Mefferd, has some answers. He is the editor and publisher of Growing For Market and the author of The Green House Hoop House Grower Handbook. Hoops could make the difference in the challenge of stretching the season for delicious, local produce. www.growingformarket.com www.kernfamilyfarm.com
Farm to Table journeys are not just stories of this century. Early in the last century a young, poor girl in New York dreamed big and ultimately launched an American tomato industry that surpassed the traditional global dominance of Italy. From modest beginnings in the big city Tillie Lewis achieved wealth and respect around the world as a female captain of industry, in a misogynistic male environment. Along the way tomato farms were established in California, thousands of minorities were employed, global trade was shifted and consumers were given a new source of their favorite cupboard staple, tomatoes. Farm To Table Talk explores this story of a remarkable pioneering woman, with Kyle Elizabeth Wood, the author of “Tillie Lewis, The Tomato Queen”.
The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsible. Awards are granted to outstanding American food producers and the farmers who provide their ingredients. Recipients push their industries towards craftsmanship and sustainability while enhancing the agricultural landscape and building strong communities. At the 2018 Awards held in San Francisco, we visit with one of the winners, Samantha Genke co-owner of BoxCarr Handmade Cheese from Cedar Grove, North Carolina. First we’re visiting with the Founder of Good Foods, Sarah Weiner. Sarah tell us about the Good Foods Awards and how they promote the delicious and the responsible, all over America. www.goodfoodawards.org boxcarrhandmadecheese.com
Hope for farming and climate comes from regenerating our soils. Agronomist, Ray Archuletta “Ray-the Soil-Guy” says it’s not just about cover crops, it’s about changing minds and health. Ray was a keynote at a rousing EcoFarm panel moderated by Dr.Tim LaSalle of Chico State who make sense of legitimately decelerating climate change with a carbon-farming revolution that is spreading across millions of U.S. acres. They share a story of hope, encouragement and empowering call to action for EcoFarmers and EcoConsumers. “Humbled by what the Earth wants to teach us if we can payt attention, with proper soil ecology we can feed a world of 9 billion people easily. A few years ago few seemed to care but a recent check of Google shoed that there have been over 790 million hits on “soil health”. In this Farm To Table Talk podcast Ray Archuletta and Tim LaSalle introduce each other and then introduce listeners to progress and a future that matters to the Earth. www.eco-farm.org
Is it Farm to Fork or Farm to Table? Sacramento Chef/Owner Patrick Mulvaney probably votes for the former since he is a leader of the Movement in California. Patrick and Bobbin’s restaurant, surprisingly named Mulvaney’s Building & Loan (inspired by It’s a Wonderful Life) represents everything we love about Farm to Table, er Fork: delicious food, wine, atmosphere, farmer connections, friendly staff and a place to connect for great table talk. Our table talk was accompanied by great wine (Schafer Vineyards & Goldeneye Winery), crusty bread (Manresa) and wonderful cheese (Boxcarr Hand Made Cheese). Listeners will have to add their own refreshments, but this conversation walks through the dream, the farmers, happy consumers and the launch of a true food movement. Bon Appetit! www.mulvaneysbl.com
What’s with all of the talk about “Regeneration”? We all can probably use some regenerating, but why should we be regenerating our soil? How do you do that and what does it mean for farmers, consumers and the future hungry population of the Earth? David Johnson has the answer to those questions. Dr. Johnson says that everything in our life is dependent on micro-organisms. He is the Director of Sustainable Agriculture at New Mexico State University and he joins Farm To Table Talk to explore a world of biological opportunity right under our feet–ultimately producing more food with less or Zero inputs when we manage for the microbes and fungi in a Bio-enhanced Agriculture.
For more information: Soil Carbon Cowboys – (12 minutes) https://vimeo.com/80518559;
One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts – (15 minutes) https://vimeo.com/170413226;
For interest on the composting process:Johnson Su Bioreactor PDF
and Composting Bioreactor https://youtu.be/DxUGk161Ly8
David Johnson is on the EcoFarm panel January 25, entitled “Regenerating our Soils Hope For Farming & Climate.”
People are interested in knowing how their food is produced and sometimes dream of being a farmer themselves. Many want their food from happy animals and they just assume the farmers are happy too. Maybe they could be happier themselves if they could just farm. That vision is crushed by the depressing news that farmers can be depressed and shockingly have much higher rates of suicide than any other occupation–more than double that of returning veterans. Why? What should be done? Farm to Table Talk sheds light on this sad situation in this conversation with Dr. Michael Rosmann, a psychologist and Iowa farmer. His life’s work involves improving the behavioral healthcare of the agricultural population. He’s been widely featured in media and the New York Times said “he speaks the language of men and women on the verge of losing their place on the land”. Beyond the turmoil some farmers face, farm life can also provide “excellent joy”.
It is being said that livestock production for meat and dairy consumption is a major threat to our Environment. While these claims are based on a wide range of often questionable data, it is leading to anti-animal agriculture calls to eliminate or at least substantially limit meat consumption. Recent Proceedings of the National Academy of Science suggests that blaming animal agriculture for climate change may be misplaced. In the middle of these controversies about climate change and livestock production for protein consumption is Dr.Frank Mitloehner, a Professor and Air Quality Specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences at UC Davis. He traces much of the public confusion over meat and milk’s role in climate change to mistakes in a 10-year old United Nations report, titled “Livestock’s Long Shadow.” The language was immediately challenged and corrected by the authors, but the original language still lives on line. Since over 70% of the world’s agricultural land is marginal and cannot be used for growing crops, the UN says that the only way to feed the world is through “sustainable intensification”. That means intensifying production systems throughout the world so that we satisfy the global demand for animal protein without depleting our natural resources. Dr. Mitloehner believes “If you improve efficiency in whatever food production system, then you reduce the environmental foot print” (or hoof print). Questions arising from points raised in this podcast can go directly to email@example.com .