Real Organic Podcast

Real Organic Podcast

Farmers interview scientists, activists, politicians, and authors engaged in protecting USDA organic food against an active corporate takeover. As the Real Organic Project releases its add-on food label in stores and markets in 2021, we want to introduce eaters across the United States to our movement and its allies. In this podcast series, you'll meet the best organic and regenerative farmers around, as well as journalists, climate experts, policy makers and chefs (former VP Al Gore, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Paul Hawken, Leah Penniman, Bill Mckibben, Alice Waters, Dan Barber, Karen Washington, Eliot Coleman - to name a few!) who support our mission and have lent their voices and insights to explaining the importance of keeping corporate cheaters out of the real food movement. As bad players aim to redefine what food is for the sake of their own profits, we believe there is too much at stake for both human and planetary health today and into the future. Feed the soil, not the plant!!


September 19, 2023 58 mins

#134: Hannah Smith-Brubaker,  aReal Organic Project farmer and the Executive Director of Pennsylvania-based  sustainable agriculture organization PASA, shares what her peers are learning as they ramp up efforts to collect data from on-farm organic trials and experiments.

Hannah Smith-Brubaker married into the farm family at Village Acres  farm, a highly-diversified, organic operation founded in the 1980s in Juniata County ...

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#133: Retired Minnesota berry farmer and founder of the International Organic Inspectors Association Jim Riddle discusses his time on the National Organic Standards Board, including observing the culture of a revolving door of corporate lobbyists.

Jim Riddle is the founder of Blue Fruit Farm, an organic blueberry farm in Minnesota, as well as the Winona Farmers Market and the International Organic Inspectors Association. H...

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September 5, 2023 25 mins

132: Longtime organic farmer Dru Rivers speaks to the crowd at the 2023 EcoFarm Conference about the future of food, and the important role activism plays in farming.

Dru Rivers is an original founding farmer at Full Belly Farm in California and has played an important role in both the EcoFarm Conference and CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) since their beginnings.

To watch a ...

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#131: Farmer Mark Kimball and his wife, author Kristin Kimball, almost everything that's been in their heads recently, as their journey at their year-round, CSA-model farm in Essex, New York continues to evolve. Dave caught up with the Kimballs at the NOFA New Hampshire Conference last February, where they all discussed the future of food production, late-stage capitalism, and the organic movement.

Mark Kimball found...

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#130: Peter Donovan of the Soil Carbon Coalition shares his thoughts on the true value of carbon sequestration in agricultural settings, and how it differs from the ideas being pushed by industrial players who stand to benefit from carbon credits and offsets.

Peter Donovan has a long history working in agriculture, specifically managing livestock, pastures,  and soil. He has authored numerous articles and given lectures on...

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#129: Zach Cannady of Prema Farm joins Dave to discuss the inspiration he found working as a produce manager that led him to start his own farm, dedicated to growing crops that his community was asking for and could not find locally. Dave and Zach dive deep into conversation about Prema's composting and cover cropping practices, as well as the use of simple, human-powered farm tools that allow them to minimize soil disturbance...

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#128: In the second half of our interview with Dr. Dave Mortensen, we hear about the events that  led to his resignation from the National Organic Standards Board, as well his thoughts around the off-base claims of "environmental consciousness" being presented today by Big Ag companies.

Dave Mortensen heads the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems department at the University of New Hampshire. He was the Dist...

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#127: Longtime researcher and plant ecologist Dave Mortensen brings to light the increased use of herbicides and pesticides in modern agriculture. Through our nation's dedication to monocropping practices and planting fence row to fence row, we have eliminated natural defense systems in the majority of our fields, which cannot be solved through conciliatory cover cropping programs. 

Dave Mortensen heads the Agricultur...

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#126: Dave sits down with therapist Dick Schwartz, the founder of Internal Family Systems, to discuss how acknowledging and caring for the various "parts" within ourselves and others can serve us as individuals, business leaders, and social activists.

Dick Schwartz is a well-known psychotherapist who founded Internal Family Systems in the 1980s, a treatment approach based upon the concept that humans are made up...

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#125: Hans Herren and Barbara Gemmill-Herren join Dave to share their takeaways on the state of the global food system today. Through their extensive work in organic agriculture,  pollination, and the use of biocontrols (managing pests and disease with other living organisms instead of chemicals) they see that our world and food system never benefit from the use of biocides. 
Hans Herren has served as the President and C...

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#124: Steffen Reese, CEO of Naturland, the EU's most-prominent add-on food label and certifier, sat down with Dave last fall after announcing Naturland's partnership with Real Organic Project to  discuss the spread and preservation of organic agriculture across the globe. 
Steffen Reese is the CEO of Naturland, a well-known add-on organic and fair trade food label located in Germany that certifies farms and foo...

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#123: Kellee James of Mercaris Data Services sits down with Dave Chapman to discuss what her company sees today as they track pricing and performance in organic food and agriculture. 
Kellee James founded and runs Mercaris Data Services, a research company that tracks organic commodity prices and performance analytics.

To watch a video version of this podcast with access to the ful...

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#122: After 25 years of trials and experimentation, Scott Park shares his long view on the challenges and upsides of organic no till practices in vegetable production.
Scott Park, along with his wife Ulla, son Brian, and daughter-in-law Jamie, grows 1700 acres of organic mixed vegetable and grain crops in Meridian, CA:

To watch a video version of this podcast with access ...

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#121:  Dave Chapman spends an afternoon touring Pinnacle Organics with California vegetable farmer Phil Foster who explains the successes, failures, and still-unknown results of the organic no-till agriculture trials taking place on his farm. Pinnacle, along with a handful of other well-known CA veg farms, has been experimenting with no-till practices under the guidance of Chico State and UC Davis.
Phil Foster grows 60+ c...

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#120:  Miguel Altieri brings the concepts of Agroecology as a global movement that preserves traditional peasant knowledge and promotes a food system that works outside of the industrial system that dominates the US, to his conversation with Dave Chapman, as they explore the similarities and differences between the Organic Movement and the Agroecological Movement.
Dr. Miguel Altieri is a PhD entomologist and Professor of...

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#119:  Longtime farmer, gardener, and researcher Helen Atthowe joins Dave to discuss the findings that led to her new book: "The Ecological Farm: A Minimalist No-Till, So-Spray, Selective-Weeding, Grow-Your-Own-Fertilizer System for Organic Agriculture." By focusing on creating habitat plantings for beneficial insects, Helen learned how to implement living mulches, re-seeding cover crops, and organic no till practices.

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#118:  A look back with celebrated Vermont farmer Jake Guest to the beginnings of the organic movement. Jake, an early mentor of our host Dave Chapman,  speaks of his beginnings as a student protester at Dartmouth and as a US Army enlistee - and how that all influenced his decision to grow food. 
Jake Guest is a (now-retired) farmer and founder of Killdeer Farm in Vermont's Upper Valley, which borders New Hampshire a...

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#117:  Policy expert and organic advocate Alan Lewis (of Natural Grocers) shares his observations on the rise of the regenerative agriculture movement and what motivates different players to adopt different viewpoints about how to best move forward in our globalized food system.
Alan Lewis is the VP of Government Affairs, Stakeholder Relations, and Organic Compliance at Natural Grocers. His 2019 talk at the first annual R...

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#116: Lifelong organic farmer Ben Dobson joins Dave Chapman for a deep look into the double-sided coin of tillage, the rise of the regenerative agriculture movement, and the powerful hold the corn and soy model has on our nation's food and farming systems.
Ben Dobson is a lifelong organic farmer and longtime organic farm manager who now manages the agricultural research institute, Hudson Carbon, in upstate New York. ...

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#115: European Parliament member Sarah Weiner, who sits on the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, compares organic policies and markets in Europe with those in the US. The drive to reduce pesticide usage and increase organic acreage in the EU faces an easier path forward without an obstinate Secretary of Agriculture like Tom Vilsack to contend with.
Sarah Weiner is a German-Austrian celebrity television chef...

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