Ep. 63: Lucas St. Clair – Founder of the ‘Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument‘  -ft. co-host: Jay Vilar of Nourish ||

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120 years ago Teddy Roosevelt started the US national park system to protect and preserve shared resources. We’re hard pressed to believe that in our current political landscape – and with a compounding national debt – that our Federal Government would acquire any new large swaths of land for ecosystem and natural environment conservation.  In fact, it been the exact opposite as more conserved land gets squeezed with every congressional cycle.  Well,  there’s a guy in the Maine woods who’s got a solution for this problem.  Lucas St. Clair’s has adapted an innovative approach of succession that could attract more good folks of resources to look at land preservation as their way of giving back, and for planning for a more stable future.

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On episode 63 we welcome Lucas St. Clair – the founder of ‘Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument’ –  a U.S. National Monument spanning 87,563 acres of mountains and forestland in northern Penobscot County, Maine, just off the eastern border of Maine’s Baxter State Park.

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We begin our conversation discussing St. Clair’s extensive efforts to turn Maine Woods & Waters into a national monument. We learn of the communities in Maine’s 2nd. Of the logging empires, and of their recent demise. We learn more about his run for Congress in 2018, and what drives him to serve at the will of the people.  A native to the Maine woods, we hear a bit of the lineage of the iconic brand his family spawned – ‘Burt’s Bees’.  It sounds like good values were adhered to in both the household, and the brand.
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Joining as cohost is Jay Vilar, founder and a Practitioner at ‘Nourish’ – a bespoke consulting company with a mission to educate, teach, and train people on the benefits of using food to heal your body and optimize your health.  He attributes his success to principles he learned studying health, nutrition, and business principles on increasing your energy, sharpening your mind, being a more productive human being.
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TUNEiN to this conversation.

@LucasStClair

 



co-host:

Jay Vilar

  • Founder of Nourish
  • A focus on Nutritional Therapy
  • Rodale Institute Fellow
  • Host of  ‘listen to your mother’ show

@twitter

Ep. 62: Natasha Lamb – Managing Partner & Portfolio Manager at Arjuna Capital ||

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Sustainable investing starts with the understanding that a just society, a healthy environment, and competitive financial returns are all “bottom line” issues – explains our guest for ep 62 – Natasha Lamb – Managing Partner & Portfolio Manager at Arjuna Capital. The Arjuna Capital team brings five decades of sustainable investing experience to their vision of better tomorrow. “Together, we invest in the kind of world we want to live in.”
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Arjuna Capital works with high net-worth individuals, families, and foundations to create a suite of sustainable investments that makes sense to and for the client. At the heart of these relationships is an ongoing, in-depth conversation about the ways clients want their money put to work.
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Lamb has quickly become a powerhouse in Stakeholder Activation. Her efforts have some of the biggest companies in the land adhering to changing societal norms and common sense action. Her work in the last few years has instigated pay equality for women and minorities at giants like: Apple, Intel, Microsoft – financial institutions: J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Mastercard, and retail players – Amazon, Nike, Starbucks.
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In our 40 minute dialogue we discuss place-based investing, divesting, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors, sustainable Ag, and more. TuneIn to hear how this rising star with an impressive track record has set her sights on food & the environment.

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Arjuna Capital

 

 

 



Ep. 61: A.G. Kawamura, Founding Member Orange County Produce -ft. cohost: Scott Soares, former Mass Ag Commish & shellfish farming leader  ||

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A.G. Kawamura is third generation fruit and vegetable grower and shipper from Orange County. He is the former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (2003-2010). As a progressive urban farmer, A.G. has a lifetime of experience working within the shrinking rural and urban boundaries of Southern California. Through his company, Orange County Produce, LLC, he is engaged in building an exciting, interactive 21st century 100 acre agricultural showcase at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA.

 

In our 45 minute conversation we discuss California’s massive impact on our food system. We also discuss climate, water, citrus, berries & produce, the Government, and the system as a whole.

Joining-in as cohost is the talented and knowledgable Scott Soares. Soares is former commissioner of Massachusetts Agriculture, and served as the Director of USDA Rural Development for Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for the Obama administration.  Scott has 15 years of fishery and aquaculture experience prior to that – including early in his career serving as the 1st Massachusetts coordinator of aquaculture for nearly a decade.  TuneIn.

@twitter



co-host:

Scott Soares

  • Former Commissioner MA Agriculture 
  • Dir. USDA Rural Dev Northeast for Obama administration
  • 15 years of fishery & Aquaculture experience
  • Served as 1st MA coordinator of aquaculture for a decade

@SjSoares65

 

Ep. 60: John Bullard – Former Regional Administrator, Great Atlantic Regions NOAA Fisheries & past Mayor of New Bedford, MA  ||

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As Regional Administrator of the Greater Atlantic Region for NOAA fisheries – John Bullard helped manage 44 fish stocks, including scallop and lobster, which – according to NOAA are worth $500 million each.  During his tenure, Bullard oversaw efforts to reduce entanglements for marine life in the Atlantic Ocean and helped develop strategies to repopulate rivers in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. In 2016, John approved the Mid-Atlantic Council’s deep-sea coral amendment, which protected 15 deep-sea canyons totaling 24 million acres.  Additionally, and probably what many of our listeners will be familiar with is your work investigating notorious fisheries mob-boss Carlos Rafael.

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In episode 60 of Sourcing Matters John Bullard also shares some interesting stories about his roles prior to the Greater Atlantic Region at NOAA Fisheries. John Bullard (1) was past mayor of New Bedford, (2) he had a lead role at NOAA Sustainability within the Clinton administration, (3) he was past president of Sea Education Association, and as younger man he received a BA From Harvard and Masters in Architecture from MIT.  An engaging dude with some interesting stories to tell.

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I hope our listening audience that are out on the water everyday listen to this conversation with John.  You’ll be especially interested to hear his POV, and to learn whose corner he’s truly in.   Tune-In

 



Ep. 59: Bernie Rollin – author & Distinguished Professor of philosophy, animal sciences & biomedical sciences at Colorado State ||

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Bernard Rollin is a distinguished professor of philosophy, animal sciences, and biomedical sciences at Colorado State University. Rollin is a leading scholar in animal rights and animal consciousness. Dr. Rollin has authored numerous influential books in the field, including Animal Rights and Human Morality (1981), The Unheeded Cry: Animal Consciousness, Animal Pain and Scientific Change (1988), Farm Animal Welfare (1995), and Science and Ethics (2006). Bernie joins us for episode 59: Our Animal Consciousness.

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Bernie Rollin helped co-author the 1985 amendments to Animal welfare Act – which was originally signed into law in 1966 by Lyndon Johnson.  In our 45 minute discussion Rollin shares what has and hasn’t changed in the thirty year since penning the key amendments. The inclusion and awareness of Rollin’s work has change laws and practice relating to animal suffering in food production, laboratory work, and within societal norms. In the five decades he’s been at this – his work has literally aided hundreds of billions of animals.

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Tune in to hear what this matter-of-fact agent of change has done to better this place.

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Ep. 57: Gabe Brown – Innovator, farmer, businessman, author and soil health pioneer  -ft. co-host: Jay Vilar of Nourish ||

 

On episode 57 we welcome Gabe Brown – farmer, businessman, author and soil health pioneer.   Gabe, along with his wife, Shelly, and son, Paul, own and operate a diversified 5,000-acre farm and ranch near Bismarck, N.D. Their operation focuses on farming and ranching in nature’s image. The Browns holistically integrate their grazing and no-till cropping system, which includes a wide variety of cash crops along with multi-species cover crops and all-natural, grass-fed beef, poultry and sheep. This diversity and integration has regenerated the natural resources on the ranch without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides. Over 2,000 people visit the Brown’s ranch annually with visitors from all 50 states and 16 foreign countries.

 

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Brown has recently released the book “Dirt to Soil” – which described their personal voyage into regenerative agriculture.  This insight gained over a these decades has established a knowledge-base.  In his this first book Gabe Brown has distilled all that complexity into five (5) principles of a healthy soil-ecosystem.

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  • No disturbance (no-till, no-synthetics)
  • Bolstering Soil’s Natural Defense (the outer-layer protecting all that life)
  • Bio-diversity (marrying nature’s way keeps the system healthy)
  • A living root in the ground as long as possible (covercrops & seasonal diversity)
  • Animal & Insect integration (nature relies on the entire system working together)

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Nutritionist Jay Vilar joins again as co-host.  Vilar is the founder, and a practitioner at ‘Nourish’ – a bespoke consulting company with a mission to educate, teach, and train people on the benefits of using food to heal your body and optimize your health.  Jay has always been on the forefront of using optimal health techniques, and bio-hacking his nutrition to achieve remarkable results in his career. Jay now spends his time teaching people how to use food to heal their body and speaks to businesses on how to optimize focus & productivity using nutritional and behavioral science.  Jay recently completed a Fellowship at the Rodale Institute, and just relocated from DC to join our crew in Boston.
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It’s a fascinating 45 minute conversation with a guy who has a unique ability to tell it like it is.  To clarify and simplify some pretty sophisticated subject matter so that we can all better appreciate the broad-reaching values that soil health and regenerative agriculture can bring to our world.

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@twitter

 



co-host:

Jay Vilar

  • Founder of Nourish
  • A focus on Nutritional Therapy
  • Rodale Institute Fellow
  • Host of  ‘listen to your mother’ show

@twitter

Ep. 56: Sylvia Wulf – CEO of AquaBounty -ft. Jay Vilar of Nourish ||

 

On episode 56 we welcome newly appointed CEO of AquaBounty, Sylvia Wulf for an engaging conversation that explores a new frontier of food production.  Wulf is an industry leader who’s directly responsible for coaxing large scale production and distribution to become more sustainable, more responsible and more appreciative of market trends of a modern consumer over the last 25 years.
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Prior to AquaBounty, Sylvia was President of StockYards, SVP of Merchandising, and President of the Manufacturing Division for US Foods.  A $23 billion broad line foodservice distributor, US Foods is the the 2nd largest foodservice distributor in the US.  Wulf was responsible for the P&L of the $10 billion protein and produce categories and the $1 billion Manufacturing Division of U.S. Foods Meat, Seafood and Produce operations. While leading this anchor division, Wulf developed a source to sale strategic approach that not only improved profitability but drove growth in market share at 3X the industry average. In her numerous roles responsibilities included the P&L of Perishables categories, centralized sourcing/replenishment, 15 manufacturing facilities for Meat and produce.
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As of January 2019 Sylvia Wulf has taken the reins at known salmon producer and seafood innovator – AquaBounty.  For the past 20 years AquaBounty has sought federal approval for their transgenic engineered fish which sets to localize domestic production while reducing the use of synthetics and antibiotics in their approach of farm raising fish.  It’s not the molecular scalpel used in tweaking RNA expressions as we’ve learned about with CRISPR, it’s DNA manipulation. But, it’s done for a different purpose and with different intent than we’ve seen with past GE or GMO crops so prevalent in seed production. The IP AquaBounty is interested in moving is a methodology for producing fish, cleaner and healthier fish they say.  It’s surely not designed to move more harmful proprietary chemicals sterilizing soils and the planet. And, BTW – the fish they produce are sterile, so there’s no concern with cross-pollination with natural stock.
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It’s fascinating to explore this from a few different angles.  No doubt it’s a pressing and timely subject with a stigma.  We must all appreciate that this is being rolled out, now – through-out the US.  AquaBounty has FDA approval and will soon be part of our current food production system. What needs to be determined is how it’s labeled.  They’ve instituted numerous fail safes and they have a compelling message to why they believe the time is now to use their technology to clean-up many of the approaches used in farming fish.  So, how do we all find commonality?  How do we evaluate all the biological, ethical, social and environmental issues reaching our plate?  Tune-In to hear more.

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‘Nutritionist to The Hill‘ Jay Vilar joins me as a first-time co-host.  Vilar is the founder, and a practitioner at ‘Nourish’ – a bespoke consulting company with a mission to educate, teach, and train people on the benefits of using food to heal your body and optimize your health.  Jay has always been on the forefront of using optimal health techniques, and bio-hacking his nutrition to achieve remarkable results in his career. Jay now spends his time teaching people how to use food to heal their body and speaks to businesses on how to optimize focus & productivity using nutritional and behavioral science.  Jay recently completed a Fellowship at the Rodale Institute, and just relocated from DC to join our crew in Boston.
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Sylvia Wulf knows large-scale production and food distribution.  Throughout her career she’s worked diligently to elevate standards and improve the experience for a broad swath of consumers and food animals.  Tune-In to hear what she’s up to in her latest venture – for many reasons I know our audience will find intrigue in this 45 minute conversation.

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@SWulf

 

 



co-host:

Jay Vilar

  • Founder of Nourish
  • A focus on Nutritional Therapy
  • Rodale Institute Fellow
  • Host of  ‘listen to your mother’ show

@twitter

Ep. 55: Gray Harris – Senior Vice President of Food Systems @ Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI)  ||

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On episode 55 we welcome Gray Harris, Senior Vice President of food systems at Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) in Brunswick Maine.  Harris is responsible for the strategy, development and implementation of action-oriented business initiatives in the agriculture, food systems, and aquaculture and fisheries sectors. In her role, Gray assesses sector needs and identifies sources of specialized technical assistance and financing for start-up and expanding food businesses; this includes spearheading the development of funds for sector-specific lending and investing at CEI.
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In our 45 minute conversation we discuss the ins and outs of investing in regional and sustainable food systems of the Northeast and beyond.  CEI is a mission-driven lender and investor specializing in rural business development and financing. In Maine, and throughout the U.S., CEI helps to create economically and environmentally healthy communities in which all people, especially those with low incomes, can reach their full potential.  CEI is unique with its dossier of offerings which include business loans, micro-loans, new market tax credits, sub-debt loans, SBA 504 loans, business plans, marketing plans, business advising, financial advising, and public policy leadership.
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Gray Harris  is a former director of the Maine Farms for the Future program, a statewide business planning and grants program for Maine farmers. She participates in numerous action-oriented initiatives statewide, including the boards of Wolfe’s Neck Farm and the Maine Harvest Credit Union,  the Tech Board of the Maine Technology Institute, and she’s a marathon runner!  This all comes in handy with her role of conducting Maine’s Value chain.

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Dutch-American agricultural economist Renée Vassilos joins again as our co-host.  Stemming from fifteen years of agriculture industry know-how with John Deere and the USDA, Vassilos leverages her global cross-functional experience to support the growth of sustainability-focused agriculture business.  We’re lucky to have her wealth of knowledge in the co-pilot seat for these types of conversations.
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Tune-In to hear more from our conversation which ranged from place-based investment, circular economies, Maine fisheries and we profile the vertical integration of some of the best beer you’ll ever get to experience with Lunch!

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@CEIMaine

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co-host:

Renee Vassilos

  • Agricultural Economist
  • Regenerative & Big Ag intermediary
  • past portfolio manager: Deere China
  • Bilingual Dutch / American citizen 

Full bio: Renée Vassilos is a Dutch-American Agricultural Economist with over fifteen years of agriculture industry experience. Her expertise ranges from strategic market analysis and product development to sales, marketing and distribution strategy. She has lived and worked abroad- three years in Amsterdam and six years in Beijing- contributing to her robust global experience, cultural competence, and network. 

Today, Vassilos is sharing her expertise through her consulting business. She utilizes her global cross-functional experience from working for the USDA and John Deere to support the growth of sustainability-focused agriculture businesses. She has a BS and MS in Agricultural Economics from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and University of California, Davis, respectively.

Ep. 54: Dr. Alan Goldberg – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health -ft. Jennifer Hashley of New Entry Sustainable farming ||

 

Dr. Alan Goldberg of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University joins us for episode 54 of Sourcing Matters. Goldberg is a professor of Toxicology, the Founding Director of the Johns Hopkins ‘Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing’, and a Principal of the Berman Institute Global Food Ethics Policy Program. In 2007 he was appointed to the Pew Commission on the Impact of Industrial Farm Animal Production.

 

Goldberg has served in several Administrative positions at Johns Hopkins. He was The Associate Chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Director of the Division of Toxicology, and for 15 years was the Associate Dean at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. As a Dean, he was responsible for Research with specific responsibility for technology transfer, conflicts of interest, & work with the private Sector.
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Ethics are: A set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values.  Basically – “A guiding philosophy”.   Dr. Goldberg’s work over the last 50 years has reframed our perspective on ethics in food and animal management, and what the resulting impact means to each stakeholder.  In 2007, Dr. Goldberg served as a PEW Commissioner on the study of the Impact of Industrial (US) Farm Animal Production, on issues of public health, environment, animal welfare and social justice.  Listen-in and learn what Dr. Goldberg has to say about this monumental report which has reframed our approach to production and consumption of proteins, yet unexpectedly it’s had almost no impact on our public policy.  It’s been the consumer acting as the agent of change in adopting ethics on the plate.
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In early November 2018 Goldberg hosted The “ChooseFood” symposium in Baltimore.   It was a gathering to evaluate some of the core ethical questions of food and its production. Top brass speakers shared insight on ethics of in food labor, environmental impact, externalities, animal welfare, health risk factors & new tech – all were on the docket.  Coming it at from the food animal side It was a fascinating exercise for me to see how far we’ve come since the 2007 PEW commission report, what more needs to be done with food animal production, and how broad the aperture has grown to encapsulate ethics into our food and global production.
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Joining again as co-host is Jennifer Hashley – founder of the The New Entry Sustainable Farming project, and Pete & Jen’s Backyard Birds on the renowned Codman Community Farm in the heart of Lincoln MA.
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Tune-in for our fascinating 45 minute conversation about all things related to food ethics.


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ChooseFood offered an opportunity to learn from leaders with a vested interest in food and how we produce it.  Hearing from these diverse stakeholders fighting a similar battle reminded me how much our food is so deeply intwined into family, beliefs, culture and society – no matter where you come from on the planet.  I left the symposium wondering if food ethics could be that common development language which would transcend many of the current differences we find in each other?   We’re so much more alike than different– could food ethics be a reminder if not the primary ingredient for this panacea? Not sure, but a goal to find some insight and codify better practices that harmonize us and our surroundings on a shrinking planet just seems like a good idea!

 

@JohnsHopkinsSPH

 



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