Ep. 41: Live recorded at Harvard’s Let’s Talk About Food festival – we host a discussion about “Systems Thinking in Food Production” with founder of New Entry Farming Project – Jennifer Hashley, and CEO & Founder of Big Picture Beef – Ridge Shinn ||

Get this.  What if I told you it wasn’t the cow that was the problem, but instead the management shortcuts that are causing concerning environmental impact.  Properly orchestrated food animal management can actually have a net positive impact on the climate! That’s right.  Despite being counterintuitive to everything you’ve heard, it’s actually a straight forward leap to return to natural order.  More broadly, it’s just another example of an awakening to systems thinking on a shrinking planet.  In this 45 minute conversation expert guests will describe a few different systems thinking scenarios that will drastically evolve food production to positively impact future food systems, and our planet.
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Sourcing Matters ep. 41: “Systems Thinking in food production”– live recorded at the “Let’s talk about Food” festival at Harvard University – looks at harmonizing with more natural systems, and evaluates better management practice that could be used to produce our food in the future. Host Aaron Niederhelman will guide the discussion to cover diverse topics.  Not the least of which a process that’s being used to sequester carbon through reengaging the natural system of our living soils – on the hoof.  Additionally, one of the most under valued workforce in food production – pollinators.  And, it’ll be a conversation that clearly detail how what you eat is the most impactful vote you have to positively benefit your health and that of your family, to increase global stability and to mitigate climate change.   So, If you’re an environmentalist, a humanitarian, a patriot, a doctor, or even that you just want to look and feel better – tune-in and learn how your grocery budget can change the world.
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@JHashley || @NewEntry

@RidgeShinn

@Lets Talk About Food

 



Ep. 40: Live recorded at Harvard’s Let’s Talk About Food festival – we host a discussion about “Ocean Farming” with CEO of Ocean Approved Bri Warner, and Perry Raso, founder of Matunuck Oyster farm & bar ||

Our seas are under threat.  Floating plastic islands are but icing on the cake of a much bigger problem – how we manage the oceans.  It’s a complex discussion with a simple solution.  You see, we’ve got 92% of global fisheries already stressed, and large population densities are tied to some of these soon to reach exhaustion. The continued contamination from the waste we spew into these channels of our food, and all the supporting natural systems of the oceans will soon reach a ceiling.  And, it’s going to hurt.  With 3 billion reliant on sea-proteins as their main caloric intake for the day, if we have only dirty or no fish we’re all due for a rude awaking no matter where you call home.  We’ve begun farming fish in all reaches of the planet.  In fact, today 50% of fish consumed is farmed raised.  But, most of that farm raised stuff is nearer feedlot beef as compared to the clean and healthy moniker that open caught seafood had long-since enjoyed.  That it’s all changing is an understatement.
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Sourcing Matters ep. 40: “Regenerative Ocean Farming”- live recorded at the “Let’s talk about Food” festival @ Harvard University – Host Aaron Niederhelman speaks with two dynamic New England leaders in shellfish and seagreen production to learn what it takes to farm our waters.   Similar to a terrestrial grass-fed beef brethren – there’s been increased interest in regenerative ocean farming.  Regenerative effectively means everything is renewed in the process of using it. It’s ecology down to trophic level, and up-throughout the interchange of vast systems which do include food animals, mollusks and ourselves.  For those who do tend to the farmed fresh food from the ocean, alot of the hope for the future is being spawned in our clean cold waters of the Northeast. These local (ocean) farmers have developed models that give back to their natural environment to reap the benefit of a better crop.  It just makes sense.  By (i) addressing sea level rise and storm surge, (ii) alleviating hunger in impoverished areas, (iii) creating local jobs near highly populated areas, (iv) sourcing clean seafood as preventative human health care, (v) stabling natural environments in keystone areas (vi) motivated champions to fight for a cleaner environment – Regenerative Ocean Farming has vast potential for all coastal communities everywhere in the world.

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@OceanApproved

@MatunuckOyster

@Lets Talk About Food

 

 



Ep. 39: Scott Murphy – VP of Compliance & Security at MA-based marijuana cultivation & dispensary facilities – Revolutionary Clinics, and President of Veterans for Safe Access to Compassionate Care (VSACC) ||

According to HHS.Gov – in the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. Increased prescription of opioid medications led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.  Easy access to highly addictive drugs now has 11.4 million consumers misusing prescription opioids.  Directly correlated, nearly 1 million folks now use heroin, and 130 people die everyday from opioid-related causes.

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Today we welcome a Veteran with some answers in how to deal with this Opioid Epidemic crippling many communities and families with its mighty grasp.  What’s so interesting – Scott uses many of the same soil management practices that we do in food. Scott Murphy is currently VP of Compliance & Security at Revolutionary Clinics. Previous to this, Murphy was Chief of Compliance / Director of Operations at Garden Remedies – where beginning in 2014 he built-out one of Massachusetts’ first professional marijuana grow, processing & value-ad facilities. Scott is also an Army combat veteran who served from 2006-2010.   Murphy was deployed to Iraq with 3rd Infantry Division as part of the “Surge” from January 2007 to April 2008.

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Last, Scott Murphy serves as President of Veterans for Safe Access to Compassionate Care.  An organization fighting for smart, just pain management programs for their brethren; for every community, and for every family as a proactive plan against this epidemic.

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@VSACC1

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Ep. 38: Judith Schwartz – Author of “Cows Save the Planet” & “Water in Plain Sight” ||

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Acclaimed author Judith Schwartz joins us for Sourcing Matters episode 38 – One on Land, a second on Water. Schwartz has written two transformative books which get under the hood of vast ecological systems, and their impact on us.

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First, in “Cows Save the Planet” – she takes a look at restoring large scale ecological systems through holistic planned grazing of herbivores.   Basically, by keeping animals on the parterre lands, in natural environments we evolve our management practice to actually harmonize with natural order. This kick starts natural environments that can have vast net positive impact on the climate.  Soil everywhere becomes a thriving carbon bank – by first stabilizing natural exchanges, then sucking-up excess carbon we spew into the air.  Judith shares her thoughts on the current state of affairs with this approach & mindset, and some new discoveries since publishing the book.

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In her most recent work “Water in Plain sight.  Hope for a thirsty world” – Schwartz goes into the often forgotten, but supremely complex natural systems that sustain and maintain clean water.  She makes a direct connection of her past work studying living soil, and its ability to store, lever and interchange life with water.  The lifeblood for all living things, water is set to have vast and drastic impact if we continue to manage our natural resources like this.  Water is now, and maybe at one point was an actual tip of the iceberg thanks to climate change.
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Tune-In to our 40 minute discussion as Schwarz brings it all full circle with her latest work – hitting us all close to home.

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@JudithDSchwartz

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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 we welcome an icon in our field who has long since promoted cleaner food animal production throughout the US.  Bob Martin is Director of the Food System Policy Program at Johns Hopkins Center for a livable Futures (CLF). Operating within the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Martin and his team at the CLF have embraced their role in systems leadership. They’ve begun curating a revolution in food production and healthier eating through a deeper understanding of planetary boundaries and by defining a common language of ethics in food.  Tune-In to be part of the change.

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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 a seminal moment of awareness in US production, food systems and supporting a shared one-health. It’s been a significant part of our realization that the approach we’re using to raise animals has broad reaching human and public health impact that needs immediate attention.

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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.

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Our engaging 45 minute conversation ranges broadly in subject matter.  From food animal wellbeing & living environment, Superbugs, the more general concept of investing in a shared Onehealth, the power of convening diverse stakeholders – and much, much more.  Without a doubt it’s the concept of systems thinking and design that underpins our discussion.   As it relates to all other conversations on the show – that’s the take away from this latest episode. If you want to get a bit under the hood, to learn more about what’s really going on thanks to the many shortcuts used in raising animals in our modern food system – this will be an enlightening conversation for many to hear.

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@livablefuture



co-host:

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

Ep. 36: Shauna Sadowski – Head of Sustainability, Natural & Organic Operating Unit at General Mills ||

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On episode 36 we welcome Shauna Sadowski – Head of Sustainability, Natural & Organic Operating Unit at General Mills. “The way we manage agricultural lands is driving many environmental and social challenges and I seek to create solutions that account for a more balanced, triple-bottom line (people, planet and profits) outcome. I care deeply about the food that ends up on your plate and work to create a healthy and balanced system for people and the planet” explains Sadowski about our role in properly managing natural resources to feed ourselves moving forward.

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Throughout the 45 minute conversation Shauna shares some interesting anecdotes of situations that have arisen in her time at as VP at Annie’s, and most recently while managing the organic allotment of General Mills’ vast arsenal of products.  “I believe that food companies have an opportunity and a responsibility to play a significant and positive role in creating a more sustainable food system. I work cross-functionally and throughout the industry to create programs that enable transparency to the farm and a deeper understanding of how our agricultural and farming systems connect to the foods we eat.”  

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Earlier this year Annie’s and General Mills launched a wireframe for their regenerative scorecard.  The objective of the scorecard tool is to encourage producer commitment and consumer awareness to soil health.  It seems a shared language would be a big win for food values.  Now, heading up Sustainability and Organic brands for a fortune 500 company with 38,000 employees – Shauna continues to demonstrate her commitment to moving the industry more regenerative through creatives approaches that bridge a production divide.    It’s interesting stuff – have a listen:

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@SJSadowski

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Ep. 35: Jonathan Lundgren – founder of Ecdysis Foundation & Blue Dasher Farm lab ||

After 11 years at the USDA, responsible for his own lab and a good sized staff, the career of this well-regarded scientist and author began to fall apart when he published research that cautioned against the use of pesticides approved by the federal agency.  How deep into the pockets of the USDA that big business reached, and to what extent science is compromised is surprising hear about.

A whistleblower case was filled against the USDA – stating the actions of USDA leadership suppressed his voice; compromised his science.  Penalized for these actions, Dr. Jonathan Lundgren was soon forced out of the USDA as retaliation against those scientific findings, and mostly for not backing down. For episode 35 you get to hear how this brave and honorable scientist is setting a path forward for a more just, prosperous and well informed tomorrow.

 

Dr. Lundgren had done extensive research into the pesticide Neonicotinoid (neonics), and their impact on bees. Lundgren discovered that one kernel of GMO corn has enough neonics to kill 360,000 bees. These potent neurotoxin synthetics are now the most used pesticides in the world. Used on mass and vast scale stateside – his research showed that we were wiping out 150% (after re-queening ) of our hives annually.

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Lundgren stood tall and let the pieces fall as they may. “The planet is facing some pretty serious issues right now, and we need people to stand-up and do the right thing for the right reasons.”  Lundgren states in explaining his actions.  So, if not Jonathan, than who was going to step forward, and risk their career for something they’d believed in; for something that is true and just?  As it turned out, Lundgren proved to be a pioneer in his efforts.  The USDA was later hit with 200 additional cases by whistle blowing scientist who corroborated Lundgren’s claims that the agency tampered or muzzled their findings. The ripple effect of Lundgren’s actions are being witnessed in realtime throughout broader federal agencies where scientists, public servants and concerned systems thinkers are standing tall for what’s right.

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Today, Dr. Jonathan Lundgren is the founder and director of the Ecdysis foundation.  He’s set on changing the minds of farmers around the world backed on the research he does at the Blue Dasher Farm Lab. Through the support of his community and supporters Lundgren crowd-funded his research lab focused on the future of regenerative agriculture.  In our 35 minute conversation we cover subjects including planetary stability, professional science, future food & farming, and much more.  Have a listen you what this truthteller has to say.

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@buglundgren

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Ep. 34: Dr. Daphne Miller – author of farmacology  -ft. co-host: Jennifer Hashley of the New Entry Farm project ||

On Sourcing Matters ep. 34 Jennifer Hashley joins me for an interesting discussion with physician and author Dr. Daphne Miller.  We get under the hood connecting soil, human & planetary health.  Dr. Miller offers these reasons why physicians must become involved in future food and agriculture:

  • The frontline of knowledge – “Doctors can tailor agriculture to be health centered.”
  • Access to resources – “Health care has the deep pockets in this county. If we started to do the math on the true cost of our food system to health – this spending at the end-effect of our care could be better invested earlier on (in food & soil).”
  • Advocacy – “People in health care are excellent advocates in changing things.”  Dr. Miller cites emissions, car safety, Tobacco – all environments where Drs. were agents of change uniting communities and eventually our society behind a precautionary principle. “We need people in health to weigh-in on the food system.”

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Dr. Daphne Miller is a practicing family physician, author and Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California San Francisco. For the past fifteen years, her leadership, advocacy, research and writing have focused on the connections between food production, ecology and health.
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Miller founded WholeFamily MD, San Francisco’s first integrative primary care medical practice, in the Fall of 2001. Her mission was to reclaim the heart of medicine by focusing on her patients rather than on the business and red tape of medical practice.  Over the ensuing years the practice has grown, but Dr. Miller has not strayed from her early vision.
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When she is not seeing patients or teaching, Dr. Miller writes books and articles related to food, farming, the environment, and health. She has authored two best-selling books: The Jungle Effect: The Healthiest Diets from Around the World, Why They Work and How to Make Them Work for You (HarperCollins 2008) and Farmacology: Total Health from the Ground Up (HarperCollins 2013).
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Miller is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Medical School and completed her family medicine residency and an NIH-funded primary care research fellowship at UCSF. She is also a Bravewell Fellow with the University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine. Since 2005, she has consistently been elected by her peers for inclusion in Best Doctors in America.
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@drDaphneMiller



co-host:

Jennifer Hashley

  • Founder of Tufts New Entry Sustainable farming project 
  • Owner of Pete & Jen’s backyard birds
  • Evangelist | Activist| Innovator
  • Eisenhower Fellow 2016

@JHashley

Ep. 33: Ridge Shinn – CEO of Big Picture Beef ||

On episode 33 we welcome Ridge Shinn, CEO of Big Picture Beef – a businessman making us all a little more regenerative through a smarter regional production approach.  In 2010, Time Magazine cast Ridge as the original  Carbon Cowboy.  He lives with that mantra everyday.

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It’s as fundamental as investing in animal well-being for the betterment of our planet’s wellbeing and your health.  As the financial landscape in production continues to evolve, Shinn sees a sustainable business model for future food being of more regional production – an approach that he believes others will soon follow. Founded in 2015 – Based out of Hardwick, MA – Big Picture Beef’s mission is to establish an environmentally sustainable and economically viable model of producing beef through managed grazing—no feedlots and no grain, ever. Shine & Big Picture envision a system that produces healthy animals, healthy food, healthy soils, and fair wages for farmers.

“We work with numerous farms in the region that produce young stock according to our standards. Then we aggregate these cattle for fattening on several large finishing farms, also in the region, that are staffed by skilled graziers. A variety of regenerative farming techniques, notably rotational grazing to foster soil health and fertility, are key to our success. We harvest the finished cattle and sell 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef and beef products to wholesale customers.” – Ridge Shinn

In our 40 minute conversation we discuss topics ranging from bioregions; consumer’s role as change agents; drawdown; and one-health of animal, planet & consumer.   Ridge offers insights into an operating model that seeks to be benefit diverse stakeholders interested in preserving a regional provenance, and commitment to a production approach.  Decades of experience offers Shinn assurance that all of that hard work developing protocols in the fields are now queueing market interest.  It’ll be fascinating for all, but if you live in the Northeast – you should give it a listen.

@RidgeShinn

photo credit: Jason Grow
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Ep. 32: Usman Javaid – CEO & co-founder of Ricult ||

On episode 32 we welcome Usman Javaid – CEO of Ricult. This startup spawned out of MIT sets to change the paradigm in global agriculture by rejiggering how folks who grow our food in all corners of the world can access resources, and sell their resulting crops to benefit themselves and their consumers.  Ricult is unique as they aim to fix the agriculture value chain through simple mobile tools that can be overlaid on modern technology platforms. By improving the value chain, Ricult is enabling farmers to pull themselves out of poverty while tapping a multi-billion dollar market.
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“We are not a charity; we are an empowering community transformation. This is the basis for a brighter future, built on hand-ups, not handouts” describes Javaid, an entrepreneur with 15 years of experience in Telecom, Mobile Banking, Mobile Agriculture in Pakistan/Bangladesh – who is now equipped with an MBA from MIT Sloan.  Usman leveraged his past experience selling petrochemical fertilizers at Exxon, and time spent with Pakistani dairymen while at Nestle to better understand and appreciate the perils of small stakeholder farmers around the world.  While at Sloan school he helped organize a team of global thought-leaders equally interested in changing global agriculture through defining a new paradigm focused on the farmer first.  And, that’s what they’ve done.

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Their Bill and Melinda Gates foundation backed company has now architected and framed a system which alleviates many of the issues within current supply chains for small farmers.  Supply chains for the billion small stakeholder farmers throughout the globe are often controlled by their investors, who maybe be better described as loan-sharks and present limited interest in feeding a shrinking planet nor looking out for the best interests of their debtors.  From Clearinghouse -to- Financier -to- Marketplace preserving production qualities – it’s RIcult that has stepped in to re-introduce potential for small stakeholder farmers to make a fair living through growing our food.

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The solutions they seek set to address vast global problems like food shortage, malnourishment, poverty, and rural unemployment.  Javaid and his leadership team at Ricult have decided this must begin by investing in the smallholder farmer. Their promise is to give these farmers the tools they need to be better informed, and to empower economic actors which will help more farmers work their way out of debt & poverty. As Usman states – “The world is ready for farming to be revolutionized and become more inclusive by liberating the very people who form the backbone of this industry.”
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No matter where you’re from. where live, or what you’ve done – have a listen to our 40 minute conversation. This discussions impacts us all.
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@contact_Ricult

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