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!!

Episodes

August 16, 2022 48 min

#077: California dairy farmer Rosie Burroughs remembers when there were 23 organic dairy farms in her county; today there are only 2. As a member of the Western Organic Dairy  Producers Alliance, she knows the personally heartbreaking stories behind why these farms closed, and identifies for us the deep, systemic causes that need to be addressed - including the roles of brokers and processors in price-setting. 

Rosie Burroughs has b...

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#076: Longtime produce dealer David Weinstein takes us on a tour of the organic movement's beginnings and how it's fallen short of early aspirations. Policy change, re-localizing food systems, and breaking up monopoly producers and sellers are all potential solutions on his mind.

David Weinstein is Director of Marketing for Heath & Lejeune, a Los Angeles-based full-line wholesaler of organic fruits and vegetables. He ha...

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#075: In the second half of our interview with Montana grain farmer Bob Quinn, the discussion moves towards the challenges of international grain fraud, lopsided funding for agricultural research, and whether the term "regenerative" can weather the greenwashing storm heading its way.

Bob Quinn is a renowned organic Montana grain farmer, author, and a pivotal figure in the introduction of ancient grains to American farming. ...

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#074: Bob Quinn, a longtime grain farmer from Montana, shares his thoughts on organic growing practices for dryland wheat farming vs. using chemical controls and why the discussion often focuses on yield instead of the farmer's net return.

Bob Quinn is a renowned organic Montana grain farmer, author, and a pivotal figure in the introduction of ancient grains to American farming. He co-authored the book Grain by Grain: A Quest t...

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#073: Jim Durst shares what he's learned about land, labor, and markets while growing organic food in Yolo County, CA since 1988, including the injustices perpetuated by our economic systems and the benefits of fair wages for all. 

Jim Durst is a fourth generation farmer and the first in his family to to use organic practices on their land. Along with his wife Deborah, Jim has been growing a diverse variety of crops in northern ...

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#072: Mark McAfee shares his knowledge of the organic dairy industry, along with his perspective as a raw milk dairyman. Raw milk dairies often sell direct to customers and use education as the foundation of their marketing plans.

Mark McAfee is the founder and CEO of Organic Pastures Dairy Co, a raw milk dairy brand, and chairs the board of the Raw Milk Institute. He speaks about the nutritional benefits of raw milk and the microbi...

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#071:  Lindsey Lusher-Shute, co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition and the "other half" of Real Organic Project certified Hearty Roots Farm in NY, speaks to us about her next venture - the GrownBy App, a cooperative tech solution for direct sales that give farmers full control.

Lindsey Lusher Shute is the co-founder and former Executive Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition (2009-2019). She lives and ...

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#070:  Regenerative Organic and GMO Labeling champion David Bronner talks about the ongoing fight farmers and food activists face against global chemical companies.

David Bronner is an organic food and farming activist and the leader (Cosmic Engagement Officer) of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, a company founded by his grandfather. David is active in campaigns for fair trade, sustainable agriculture, animal rights, and played a key...

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#069: Amy Klippenstein and Paul Lacinski of Sidehill Farm in western Massachusetts discuss their decision to become a certified organic dairy, and then soon after, to certify with Real Organic Project. They also share the story of separating their creamery from the farm and creating two viable, less-stressful businesses.

Sidehill Farm is a Real Organic Project certified dairy farm and creamery in Hawley, Massachusetts. After co-fou...

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#068: Policy expert and organic advocate Alan Lewis of Natural Grocers is back, this time  to discuss the ways that Big Dairy, including conventional co-ops and processors, is able to control the pricing and availability of organic dairy products in stores.

Alan Lewis is the VP of Government Affairs, Stakeholder Relations, and Organic Compliance at Natural Grocers. His 2019 talk at the first annual Real Organic Symposium blew a lot...

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#067:  Real Organic grain farmer Anna Jones-Crabtree of Vilicus Farms in Montana shares her farm's vision for a more sustainable approach to their land and local food system. Through diversifying their plantings and income streams, and focusing on customer relationships that offer them more protection than is typical of commodity farmers, Vilicus is primed to become a model farm for organic and sustainable grain production. But...

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#066:  The second of our two-part interview with Bernward Geier, the former longtime director of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), this episode covers organic success stories in Asia, including the state if Sikkim in India which has banned the growth and sales of food grown with chemicals.

Bernward Geier  is the former director of IFOAM (The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movemen...

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#065:  Bernward Geier, the former longtime director of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), fills us in on organic's progress outside of the US, where exciting wins are gaining momentum. The first of a two-part interview, this episode covers good news from Europe, along with many thoughts about US farmers' struggles with the USDA's limiting hold on the National Organic Program.

Bernward ...

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#064:  Food and Water Watch Research Director and Policy Analyst Amanda Starbuck shares what it takes to get your products into the supermarket today: a lot of money and plenty of marketplace power. But what does this mean for those of us looking for real, nutritious, and climate-friendly foods?  


Amanda Starbuck  is a Senior Research Director and Policy Analyst with Food and Water Watch in Washington, DC. She earned her Masters deg...

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#063: Dairy farmer Earl Ransom, who owns and operates Strafford Creamery along with his wife Amy,  recalls the history of the organic milk market in Vermont. Here he shares the good price times, the bad price times, and how corporate interests and ownership came in and engineered the market to their liking. Although Earl and Amy bottle their milk on the farm and sell direct to customers, they are not immune to the market trends tha...

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#062: Real Organic farmer Paul Muller of California's Full Belly Farm, shares what it will really take to reclaim and rebuild the organic movement: activist farmers of all ages, engaged consumers, scientists, and university programs that are passionate about improving our soils.

Paul Muller is a co-owner and co-founder of Full Belly Farm in Northern California's Capay Valley where, along with three partners, he grows 80 div...

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#061: Young Farmers Coalition & Greenhorns Co-Founder Severine Von Tscharner Fleming talks us through the battle for fair pricing, good policies, and healthy ecosystems facing seaweed farmers in Maine.

Severine Von Tscharner Fleming is a farmer, activist, and organizer based in Downeast Maine. She runs Smithereen Farm, a MOFGA certified organic wild blueberry, seaweed, and orchard operation which hosts summer camps, camping, an...

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From the Real Organic vault - a 2020 interview with climate activist and author Paul Hawken. 

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#060: Dairy farmer Francis Thicke returns to share a behind the scenes (in the field) look into how he manages his cows and pasture on his organic, grass-fed creamery in Iowa. He also discusses operations that run counter to his family-farm approach; the large-scale confinement dairies  also selling milk under the USDA organic label, who utilize an industrial-factory approach with the help of some key government subsidies.

Francis T...

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#059: Investigative nutritionist and host of the Food Sleuth Radio Show, Melinda Hemmelgarn, uncovers a bounty of insights about our food system, including how the rampant use of antibiotics in animals is actually intended for weight gain and how organic food is Non-GMO but not vice-verse. She also shares how in her mind, cooperation, connection, and re-localization are the keys to saving our soils and our health.

Melinda Hemmelgar...

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