Ep. 37: Bob Martin, Dir. of Food System Policy Program at Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF)  -ft. co-host: Ken Kaplan, Sloan Initiative for Health Systems Innovation (HSI) ||

On episode 37 of Sourcing Matters we welcome an icon who has long since promoted clean food animal production in the US – Bob Martin, Director of the Food System Policy Program at Johns Hopkins Center for a livable Futures.  Operating within the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Martin and his team at Johns Hopkins CLF have embraced their role as a leader and curator of a revolution happening in food production, and through deeper understanding of required planetary commitments.


Previous to beginning his work at the CLF in 2011, Martin was the Executive Director of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production.  Martin managed a comprehensive two-year, $3.6 million study that led to the publication of eight technical reports and a final 122-page report on the public health, environmental, animal welfare and rural community impacts of our conventional methods for producing meat, dairy and eggs. The report – “Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America.” defined that seminal moment of awareness in US production, food, and health.  It’s a realization that our approach to raising our animals has broad reaching human & public health impact.


Joining the conversation today as is co-host and friend Ken Kaplan. During his impressive 20 year career at MIT, Kaplan has been a visiting Scholar, a Senior Health System Advisor at the Sociotechnical Systems research center, and now acts as a Advisor the Sloan Initiative for Health Systems Innovation. Kaplan leverages his unique background in health, food systems and architecture to institute systems thinking on broader problems needing new perspective. Ken and Bob have been friends for over a decade, and that proves evident in the conversation as the two leaders share stories of each other’s commitment and accomplishments throughout our 45 minute chat.


Our engaging conversation ranges in subjects – from food animal wellbeing & living environment, Superbugs, the more general concept of investing in Onehealth, the power of convening diverse stakeholders, and much more.  Without a doubt it’s the concept of systems thinking that underpins most of the discussion, and is what should be considered the biggest take away from this latest episode. If you want to get under the hood a bit, to learn what’s really going on thanks to many of the shortcuts used in raising animals and food in the modern food system – this will be an enlightening conversation to tune-in.




Ken Kaplan

  • A systems engineer trained as an architect
  • co-authored transformative Child Obesity study 
  • The designer who reengineered the modern operating room 
  • Has been working on health care systems at MIT for the past dozen years

sourcing matters: © 2018