99 episodes

Down to Earth is a podcast about regenerative agriculture, and it’s for everyone who eats. We invite you to meet the people shaping a healthier food system—farmers, ranchers, scientists, land managers, writers, and many others. Designing a future that draws on both tradition and innovation, they’re on a mission to change the paradigm so that the food we eat is healthy and long-term sustainable—for families and growers, for wildlife and water, for climate and planet. downtoearthradio.com

Down to Earth: The Planet to Plate Podcast Quivira Coalition and Radio Cafe

    • Education
    • 4.7 • 84 Ratings

Down to Earth is a podcast about regenerative agriculture, and it’s for everyone who eats. We invite you to meet the people shaping a healthier food system—farmers, ranchers, scientists, land managers, writers, and many others. Designing a future that draws on both tradition and innovation, they’re on a mission to change the paradigm so that the food we eat is healthy and long-term sustainable—for families and growers, for wildlife and water, for climate and planet. downtoearthradio.com

    A matter of conscience: Will Harris on regenerating an industrial ranch

    A matter of conscience: Will Harris on regenerating an industrial ranch

    Will Harris's ranch, White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia, has been in the Harris family for over 150 years. His ancestors had a polyculture farm, but when industrial tools came to ranching, his father, and then Will, went all in––corporate ranching allowed their family to make a good living. But one day, in a life-changing moment of clarity, Harris saw that the animals were suffering from the moment they left his ranch until their brutal deaths, and that the land itself was suffering from an overuse of chemicals and extractive grazing practices. He set out then and there to change the way he ranched, and without even having heard terms like "regenerative agriculture" and "rotational grazing" started down a path that made him one of the pioneers of American grassfed beef. Now a Global Savory Hub, White Oak Pastures is helping to educate others about restoring land with livestock.
    In his brilliant new book, A Bold Return to Giving a Damn: One Farm, Six Generations, and the Future of Food (which he authored with the help of the wonderful writer Amely Greeven), Harris tells the story of converting from industrial to regenerative practices on his ranch and the many challenges and adventures opened up by his decision to treat his animals and land with the respect they deserve. Helping to create a market for grass-fed beef, getting into supermarket chains and educating consumers, building a work force, helping to revitalize his rural town, educating solar entrepreneurs––these are just some of the topics he covers with an inimitable combination of simplicity, humor, and deep, land-based intelligence.

    • 1 hr
    The robber barons of today's food corporations

    The robber barons of today's food corporations

    Austin Frerick grew up in Iowa, which in his youth had a robust regional food system that offered abundant produce and meat from family farms. But because of one "baron"––that's the name Frerick calls the men whose monopolistic corporations profoundly reshape markets and communities––rural areas were hollowed out, farmers were driven off their farms and into factories or other professions, and the quality of life had declined precipitously, from toxic pollution to low wages, to unhealthy food.
    Frerick's wonderfully readable new book, Barons: Money, Power, and the Corruption of America’s Food Industry, published by Island Press, uncovers the havoc wrought by these barons in the sectors of hogs, grain, coffee, dairy, berries, animal slaughter, and groceries––some of whom are well known, while others are purposefully secretive. Their power is vast, and they stand in the way of a truly competitive, farmer-centric regenerative food system. And yet Frerick offers solutions and hope, and ways that each of us can participate.
     

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Farm Aid: Food, festivity, and fighting for farmers

    Farm Aid: Food, festivity, and fighting for farmers

    In 1985 Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young organized a concert to benefit farmers and spread awareness of the crisis U.S. farmers were facing. The concert raised $7 million and spread awareness across the country. Since then Farm Aid has become a force advocating for farmers, promoting healthy, farm-grown food, providing a hotline and resource network, and giving a voice for policy change that benefits family farms over corporate conglomerates. They continue to produce a concert in a new location each year, and in recent years the concerts have become festivals featuring locally grown food and a goal of zero waste, sustainability and food organizations from all over the country, and of course abundant live music.

    • 43 min
    Healthy fish snacks––what cod be better?

    Healthy fish snacks––what cod be better?

    Nick Mendoza grew up in a cattle ranching family in New Mexico, but when he moved to San Diego he fell in love with the ocean and got hooked on fish and marine science. Taking the lessons from regenerative cattle production to the oceans, he studied Environmental and Marine Resources at Stanford University, and earned a graduate degree in graduate degree in Sustainable Aquaculture. But eventually he veered away from a career in science when he realized that he could make more of a difference by actually doing science-informed fish production. He founded Neptune Snacks, which produces four types of fish jerky––with more products on the way. Balancing transparency, science, health, sustainability, and flavor, he's part of a new generation of entrepreneurs working to transform the food system from the inside. 

    • 48 min
    The Carbon Credit Conundrum

    The Carbon Credit Conundrum

    Carbon credits were designed as a market mechanism to incentivize projects that sequester carbon and reduce carbon emissions. The idea is to pay people who are doing climate friendly projects, and sell credits to emitters. But do they work? Is there independent verification that carbon is really being sequestered? What does it mean when people are being paid for projects they would have been doing anyway? And who's really profiting? Ecosystem scientist Jane Zelikova, director of the Soil Carbon Solutions Center at Colorado State University, guides us through these questions and more.

    • 36 min
    At The Table: Chefs advocating for a better food system

    At The Table: Chefs advocating for a better food system

    Katherine Miller, author of At The Table: The Chef's Guide To Advocacy, began her work toward a healthier food system with a deep background in political advocacy. She trains chefs to use their position as influencers to make change on issues like healthy and regenerative food sourcing, food waste, sustainability, fair wages, anti-sexism and -racism, and better mental health––in ways that engage the community and work with their already busy schedules.

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
84 Ratings

84 Ratings

Trailrunnergal ,

The BEST!

If you only listen to one podcast this month, even if you have no connection to livestock production or agriculture, please, please listen to this one!!!

JWeybright ,

The radical middle

This is a great podcast, from a great organization that is doing regenerative work with farmers and ranchers in the US west. They don’t preach, they just bring together people with different backgrounds to find common ground. This model is not new, but it has the potential to save us from ourselves!

Odin Farmer ,

Favorite

Thoughtful, intelligent and knowledgeable moderator makes each podcast a joyful learning experience. As a farmer, I appreciate how prepared Mary-Charlotte is for each guest which allows her to more deeply explore the agricultural or natural world with her guest, and subsequently, her listeners.

Thank you,
Steve

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