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Farm to Table Podcast

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Aptos, CA


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 Inc., the Farm to Table Talk podcast has been created to satisfy the curiosity of today's engaged consumers.




Menu For Change -- Greg Drescher, Culinary Institute of America

Farm to Table means different things to different people but many would agree that restaurants and their chefs have led the way on our Farm to Table journey. Chefs might say that they have been led by their own customers who have shown a preference for food with a story all the way back to the farm: the farmer, unique varieties or breeds, production practices and overall sustainability. In this episode of Farm To Table Talk we are joined at the table by Greg Drescher, the Vice President of...

Duration: 00:24:41

Growing Community -- Chanowk & Judith Yisrael Family Urban Farm

All over the country there are pockets of struggling neighborhoods who are working to improve their situations. Increasingly food production is central to these community efforts to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. The Yisrael Family Urban Farms is in the middle of one of those underserved communities where 17% are food insecure, 46% receive food assistance, 34% are below the poverty rate and 18% are unemployed. Chanouk and Judith Yisrael started growing food for themselves before...

Duration: 00:25:00

Ethical Cocoa Sourcing, Peru to Congo -- Emily Benson, Theo Chocolate

More and more we want to know where are food was produced, what farming practices they followed, who are the farmers and are the farmers and workers along the way treated fairly. That’s easier if the farmer is your neighbor, but what if that farmer is half a world away? For many products, such as cocoa or coffee, there are no local grower options. Our guest today on Farm To Table Talk, Emily Benson works with cocoa farmers in the Congo and Peru to positively impact social, environmental...

Duration: 00:28:30

Local Produce All Year -- Neal Parikh, Bright Farms

Sometimes local produce is available, but most of the time it's not due to the seasons. There is a new brand established to change that by growing local, perishable produce for area retailers in hydroponic green houses year round. Neal Parikh of Bright Farms explains how they are sustainably achieving a goal of decentralizing Agriculture-- vertically building, owning and operating hydroponic greenhouses throughout the MidWest and East Coast for Supermarket partners.

Duration: 00:18:00

Earth, Hunger & Bottomlines -- Eileen Hyde, Dir. Hunger & Healthy Eating, Walmart Giving

As much as consumers want to take advantage of lower costs for their food, there is certain amount of anxiety about "Big Food" or "Big Ag", globalization, Wall Street, industrialization, "Big Government". Trust is hard to come by for large brands and one of the biggest retail brands in the world is Walmart. It’s a company that keeps surprising the skeptics as it takes big steps to influence sustainability through their own supply chain all the way from the farm through the products they...

Duration: 00:26:50

Sustainable Dream Regulatory Nightmare -- John Duarte, Farmer & Nurseryman

Every farmer is proud to explain the improvements they've made in sustainability. Tragically that progress doesn't insulate them from existential threats of over regulation. John Duarte, farmer and President of Duarte Nursery, is one of those unfortunate enough to successfully purse the dream of sustainability, only to be laid low by Federal legal action that threaten the five generation family operation. The Army Corps of Engineering has taken the Duarte's to court, but John Duarte still...

Duration: 00:27:04

Farm To School, Cities and Tables -- Alice Waters, Karen Washington, Matthew Raifford

Some would say that Farm To Table started 50 years ago when Alan Chadwick established the Organic Garden at the University of California at Santa Cruz. That Garden led to one of the first bona-fide Organic Farms and over the past 50 years has propelled a food movement. This episode of Farm To Table Talk is at UC Santa Cruz, where its Center of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Farm & Garden. Fittingly, illustrious former apprentices, students...

Duration: 00:14:46

Making A Farm Mystery Movie -- Annabelle Stephenson, Christina Moore, Alex Ranarizelo

Well told stories about farmers and farming are few and far between. Too often those stories are dry and boring documentaries to the general public. You can't say that about the movie, Pray for Rain. Where documentaries preach to the choir, this movie instead wraps a message in to a very entertaining murder mystery, down on the farm. The star, Annabelle Stephenson; writer Christina Moore; and director Alex Ranarivelo join Farm To Table Talk to share what they learned in farm country while...

Duration: 00:24:01

Minimalists Raising Sheep -- Paul Rodgers, VA Farmer/Am Sheep Industry

Millions of people are now committed Minimalists, seeking a simpler, scaled down life style. They are discovering backyard chickens, so what about sheep? It turns out many have and are raising their own sheep in large back yards or small fields at city's edge. Paul Rodgers, the Deputy Director of the American Sheep Industry, has been raising sheep on the side at his place in Virginia. Today there are inquiries from coast to coast about how to get started with sheep. In this Farm To Table...

Duration: 00:29:29

Endless Summer Harvest -- Stuart Woolf, Tomato Farmer

It's harvest time for tomatoes and the journey to our plates begins here in the field. How are the delicious fresh flavors of summer produced and preserved? all the way from seed to our plates year round? Central Valley Tomato farmer, Stuart Woolf joins us in his family's tomato field and explains the wonder of continuous improvement -- sustainably growing more tomatoes with fewer inputs. Think of this story the next time you enjoy tomato products on your pizza, enchiladas, hamburgers,...

Duration: 00:21:14

The Changing Face Of Farming--Javier Zamora, JMS Farms

Javier Zamora was born in Michoacan, Mexico. From age 7, Javier helped tend the family’s vegetable plot and worked in his school’s 5 acre garden. Javier came to the States at age 20 where he earned his landscaping degree from San Joaquin Delta College and his organic production degree from Cabrillo College, and trained at the Agriculture & Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) in Salinas. He is now the proud owner and operator of JSM Organics, cultivating berries and unique varieties of...

Duration: 00:20:19

Somethings Fishy -- Hayley Nuetzel, At the Market

More people, eating more fish are more discerning about their choices; but is it really sustainably fished and is it the type of fish that it's advertised to be? This isn't a new question, but it is new that the ability to get honest answers is much more accessible. Hayley Nuetzel, is a PhD student, the daughter of a fisherman and already an experienced investigator--even engaging high school students in her surveys. Farm To Table Talk visits with Hayley at the WestSide Farmers Market...

Duration: 00:32:13

Food Is Medicine -- Cathryn Couch, Ceres Community Project

60% of deaths in the US have poor diet as a contributing cause--we're eating ourselves sick, says Cathryn Couch, the Founder and Executive Director of Ceres Community Project. If people just ate the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, mortality would be reduced by 40%. A 3 year medically tailored meal pilot project is setting out to prove that providing poor people with healthy meals will save millions of dollars in health care costs and more importantly save lives. Cathryn says...

Duration: 00:27:32

Ag Tech -- Steve Forbes

Steve Forbes is bullish about the future of food and feeding the world. We speak to him at the Forbes AgTech Summit where he challenged Silicon Valley and Agriculture to connect for long term sustainability.

Duration: 00:06:40

New Food Activism -- Julie Guthman, Author & Professor

We are witnessing the birth of a new food activism that is both oppositional and collaborative. Dr. Julie Guthman teaches and writes to encourage budding agrarians and the rest of us to pick a battle, take stances, be political work on policy or simply just work on something that looks to be really wrong. Her students at the University of California at Santa Cruz have completely changed from somewhat passive in the past to feeing total outrage now about the political environment. Dr....

Duration: 00:24:59

BPA -- Steve Hentges

BPA or the absence of BPA is a new point of information on food and beverage container labels--confusing to some and welcomed by others. Mistrusting agencies, manufacturers, technology and chemistry has led to marketing and labeling strategies that have created label lists of what's not in foods. BPA is one of those things that many don't understand but feel pressured to take a position. This episode of Farm To Table Talk has a conversation with Steve Hentges the Executive Director of the...

Duration: 00:29:56

Civil Eats -- Naomi Starkman

If you care about the food system you probably already know about Civil Eats and if you don't, you need to check it out after you listen to this podcast with Civil Eats founder and editor Naomi Starkman. Civil Eats has a fresh story daily that features work advancing improvements in the food system. Naomi was a lawyer, journalist and a farmer before launching Civil Eats. Along the way she's been inspired, mentored and be-friended by all of the pioneers of the Food Movement. She returns the...

Duration: 00:31:52

Pig & the City -- Malcolm DeKryger, Farm Adventures

Pork is the most consumed meat in the world, yet there are mixed perceptions on how pigs are grown--in animal "factories" or outdoors on small farms. Large scale pig farmer Malcolm DeKryger and Fair Oaks Pig Adventure are taking impressive steps in transparency to show just what happens in a modern large scale pig farming operation. Over 80,000 visitors this past year were able to observe through glass windows everything from pig birth. Less than an hour from downtown Chicago, a steady...

Duration: 00:34:26

Outstanding In The Field -- Jim Denevan, Founder

All over America and around the world people yearn to be “Outstanding in the Field”—connecting their food and the farmers that grow it. This is evident by Farm to Table dinners in every State, led by the pioneer of this trend “Outstanding in the Field”. Farm To Table Talk gets the story from founder Jim Denevan (; the featured chef for this event Brad Briske, Home Restaurant (; and winemaker Jeff Emery, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard...

Duration: 00:35:44

I.D.Investigations-- Peter Whoriskey, The Washington Post

The Washington Post headline laments “The labels said ‘organic.’ But these massive imports of corn and soybeans weren’t.” Conventional grain shipped to Turkey from the Ukraine, suspiciously became Certified Organic in transit to its final destination in the United States, through the port of Stockton. Another headline posts “Why your ‘organic’ milk may not be organic.” Consumers follow these stories because they care more than ever about how their food is produced and that there is honest...

Duration: 00:31:16

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