36 episodes

A better food system starts with one thing: vision. Food Lab Talk gives global food system changemakers a platform to articulate their vision for the future of food.

The series features interviews with inspiring individuals who are working on the frontlines of many of our most pressing food issues: reducing food loss and waste, enhancing food system transparency, facilitating shifts toward more balanced plant-forward diets, enabling informed individual choices for sustainable lifestyles, and accelerating the transition to a circular food economy. 

Join Google’s Michiel Bakker to meet the leaders taking bold action and answering what each of us can do to create a better food system for us all.

Food Lab Talk Michiel Bakker

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

A better food system starts with one thing: vision. Food Lab Talk gives global food system changemakers a platform to articulate their vision for the future of food.

The series features interviews with inspiring individuals who are working on the frontlines of many of our most pressing food issues: reducing food loss and waste, enhancing food system transparency, facilitating shifts toward more balanced plant-forward diets, enabling informed individual choices for sustainable lifestyles, and accelerating the transition to a circular food economy. 

Join Google’s Michiel Bakker to meet the leaders taking bold action and answering what each of us can do to create a better food system for us all.

    33. Deb Eschmeyer, Original Strategies

    33. Deb Eschmeyer, Original Strategies

    A food systems policy expert and social impact entrepreneur, Deb Eschmeyer has dedicated her career to the betterment of society. From co-founding the national nonprofit Food Corps, to serving as Executive Director of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, and driving change in the food industry, her efforts have permanently influenced the way we think about food and health. In this episode, Deb shares her journey as a changemaker emphasizing agility and persistence, finding your “zone of genius”, and balancing perspectives and patience to achieve long-term change.

    Deb Eschmeyer: “Don't take no for an answer and just keep pushing and speaking up and showing up. And it’s sometimes really uncomfortable. There's so many people who don't like public speaking. There's so many people who are brilliant and just have fabulous ideas… Speak up, show up, and develop lines of empathy. To be a better change maker is to understand all the different avenues of change it takes to get things done.”

    00:00 Intro to Deb
    01:44 From farmhouse to the White House: be relentless, speak up, show up
    06:30 How empathy and a diverse set of experiences can help you find your “zone of genius” 
    09:21 Why school nutrition reform can spark system-wide change 
    13:03 Focusing on the long view and the direction of travel
    15:35 Embracing collective responsibility to drive meaningful systems change
    18:20 Complexity and the impending food crisis
    21:01 Why trust, accountability, and collaboration are key to impactful change
    25:10 Deb’s advice: embrace uncomfortable spaces, focus on your strengths, and keep pushing forward
    28:25 Takeaways for changemakers

    Links
    FoodCorpsLet's Move! InitiativeAmeriCorpsASU Swette Center for Sustainable Food SystemsHealthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
    Keep in Touch
    Subscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.com
    Follow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn

    *The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.

    • 30 min
    32. Olivia Thomas, Boston Medical Center and Rewire Health

    32. Olivia Thomas, Boston Medical Center and Rewire Health

    Olivia Thomas is a registered dietitian, entrepreneur, and the co-founder of “Rewire Health”, a culinary medicine platform that simplifies healthy home cooking and expands access to teaching kitchens. In this episode, Olivia shares her experiences building a culinary medicine startup, including how active listening and a multidisciplinary approach can lead to impact-focused solutions. 

    Olivia Thomas: “We need to be focusing on how resources, especially within food as medicine, can be used to reinvest into disinvested communities... I have been redefining how I work on projects based on the impacts. What foods am I marketing? Who is it benefiting? How is the data being used? And the idea of sovereignty is important and making sure that it aligns with the communities we're focusing on and working with.”

    00:00 Intro to Olivia
    01:09 From childhood cooking to culinary medicine 
    02:13 How food-based interventions help manage chronic disease
    04:50 Overview of Rewire Health from pitch to startup
    07:58 Cultivating a culinary medicine platform
    09:49 Enabling personally relevant food choices
    11:22 Investing in local communities to impact the whole food system 
    12:30 Embracing change and using technology to stay ahead
    14:24 Why navigating complex systems requires a multidimensional approach
    17:00 The role of collaboration and community building
    18:14 Using culturally affirming recipes to empower choice
    20:51 Accelerating behavior change with personalization, practice, and insight
    23:37 Shifting perspectives on the role of food’s impact on health
    25:44 Creating sustainable habits
    28:15 Redefining problem-solving
    29:23 How active listening builds trust and drives impact
    30:13 Looking towards the future of culinary medicine 
    32:23 Takeaways for changemakers

    Links
    Rewire HealthPursuit AppBoston Medical Center’s Teaching KitchenThe Teaching Kitchen CollaborativeCorbin Hill Food ProjectBoston Medical Center: Eat to Treat
    Keep in Touch
    Subscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.com
    Follow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn

    *The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.

    • 34 min
    31. Jack Bobo, University of Nottingham Food Systems Institute

    31. Jack Bobo, University of Nottingham Food Systems Institute

    Jack Bobo is the Director of the University of Nottingham’s Food Systems Institute which brings together transdisciplinary researchers to address some of the most pressing food systems challenges. He is also the author of the 2021 book “Why smart people make bad food choices.” In this episode, Jack shares how breaking down silos can foster collaboration, why reframing your thinking can help navigate tradeoffs, and how small shifts in language can impact people’s perceptions.

    Jack Bobo: “I believe less in right and wrong and good and bad, and more in thinking in terms of choices and consequences. And if you can help to lay out the consequences of actions, I think in many ways you can lead people to knowledge instead of sort of beating them up with science. Researchers and academics love to tell people what to do and they like to tell them the answer. I think it's much better to be able to help people to understand the consequences of different choices. And then you may end up getting a different outcome, but at least they understand the consequences of it and it's an informed decision.”

    00:00 Intro to Jack
    01:14 Overview of the University of Nottingham’s Food Systems Institute
    03:44 Taking a systems approach to lead global change 
    05:18 Why consensus is important for problem solving
    06:45 Addressing the “language barrier” in food systems solutions
    08:38 How shifting from “should” to “could” focuses on opportunities and solutions 
    11:40 Leading people to knowledge by framing the consequences of choices
    13:56 Building trust by understanding confirmation bias and the misleading nature of our brains
    17:38 The paradox of improved nutrition research and rising obesity rates
    20:00 How to overcome the invisible influences on food choices 
    23:14 Changing the food system by focusing on social norms
    25:51 The importance of word choice for effective change making
    27:59 Why networking and storytelling are life skills
    29:39 Balancing the continuum of local vs. global sustainability 
    31:37 Takeaways for changemakers

    Links
    University of Nottingham Food Systems InstituteThe Nature ConservancyBook: Why smart people make bad food choicesTEDx: Why We Fear the Food We EatFuturity Food
    Keep in Touch
    Subscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.com
    Follow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn

    *The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.

    • 34 min
    30. Salaam Bhatti, Food Research and Action Center

    30. Salaam Bhatti, Food Research and Action Center

    Salaam Bhatti is the SNAP Director at the Food Research and Action Center, a 501(c)(3) that uses advocacy and strategic partnerships to improve the health and well-being of people struggling against poverty-related hunger in the United States. Tune in to learn how to bring together diverse perspectives, challenge established norms, and seek innovative solutions for modern society. 

    Salaam Bhatti: “The best way to find change is to go out and find like-minded people. Create a coalition to make that change happen. But if you want to perfect that, then you have to find people who disagree so that you can really understand why you believe what you believe. And maybe there are things that just need education, that just need more facts to help bring them to your side. Or maybe you were wrong and you can come to a compromise or an agreement. But until you get out of your comfort zone, the change you will try to make will only be fleeting and never systemic.”

    00:00 Intro to Salaam 
    01:25 From law to public benefit activism
    04:50 How sparking joy drives passion in food justice
    06:09 Addressing food insecurity for an equitable food system
    08:20 How zoning and economic inequalities exacerbate food insecurity
    10:55 Why building strategic alliances can bridge divides to pass policy reform
    14:28 Exploring the ripple effects of SNAP program changes on the economy
    18:00 Overview of the Food Research and Action Center
    19:14 Addressing poverty related hunger solutions and challenges
    21:20 How choice and increased access improves health outcomes
    26:17 Reimagining food policy for modern needs
    28:22 Why getting out of your comfort zone can lead to systemic change
    31:11 Takeaways for changemakers

    Links
    Food Research Action Center (FRAC)Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)Report: Household Food Security in the United States in 2022Quantifying the Impact of SNAP Benefits on the US Economy and Jobs
    Keep in Touch
    Subscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.com
    Follow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn

    *The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.

    • 33 min
    29. Christopher Gardner, Stanford School of Medicine

    29. Christopher Gardner, Stanford School of Medicine

    Dr. Christopher Gardner is a nutrition scientist focused on what foods to eat and what foods to avoid for optimal health, as well as the forces that can successfully motivate people to improve their food and beverage behaviors. His recent research interests include: “stealth nutrition,” which focuses on shifting diets through the integration of non-health related approaches, like the connection between food and climate change; institutional food; and the microbiome.

    Christopher Gardner: “I would say the biggest thing for me is humility. I am a nutrition scientist. I understand the mechanism. You should eat that. [But] there is the business aspect, the marketing aspect, the legal aspect, the policy aspect, the cultural aspect, the historical aspect, the storytelling aspect… The humility to recognize how many other disciplines and factors are tugging at people's tongues and hearts and brains, has really been the greatest learning experience for me.”

    00:00 Intro to Dr. Gardner
    01:03 How nutrition research becomes a Netflix documentary 
    04:22 Using humor to inspire retention
    06:09 The road from philosophy to nutrition science
    07:20 The dissonance with access to nutrition information
    09:21 Food & Society: External motivators and behavior change
    14:51 Why institutions have a powerful role in food systems transformation
    16:55 The "instead of what" and "with what" approach to behavior change
    21:26 The complex nature of food choice
    25:50 How “stealth nutrition” influences choice
    29:34 Embracing humility and creative storytelling in science communication 
    32:18 Takeaways for changemakers

    Links
    Stanford School of Medicine Nutrition Studies Research GroupNetflix Documentary - You Are What You EatThe Game Changers DocumentaryCardiometabolic Effects of Omnivorous vs Vegan Diets in Identical Twins A Randomized Clinical TrialMichael Pollan’s Omnivore Dilemma Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, MiracleEric Schlosser's Fast Food NationMarian Nestle's Food PoliticsCIA’s Greg Drescher on Using Deliciousness to Drive Change | Food Lab Talk Episode 13

    Keep in Touch
    Subscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.com
    Follow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn

    *The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.

    • 34 min
    28. Wendy Lopez and Jessica Jones, Diabetes Digital

    28. Wendy Lopez and Jessica Jones, Diabetes Digital

    Wendy Lopez and Jessica Jones are nationally recognized Registered Dietitians and Certified Diabetes Educators. They are the founders of Food Heaven – a multimedia platform originally founded for women and communities of color experiencing barriers to food, healthcare and nutrition education - and the newly launched Diabetes Digital - a trusted source for virtual personalized nutrition counseling dedicated to diabetes and prediabetes. In their highly successful podcast, videos, books and more, they dive deep into health and wellness topics with a lens on inclusivity and cultural competency.

    Wendy Lopez: “Needs vary based on what community you're talking about, what country you're in, what neighborhood you're in. Talking to the people that are impacted the most by the food system to learn more about what their needs are, what they would want out of a food system, is really important because they're the main stakeholders.”

    Jessica Jones: “It's also making sure that people have access not only to health promoting foods, but also culturally relevant foods. Because so often people want to come into communities and say, you should be doing this, or, these are the foods that are helpful. And it's like one list. But it's more effective, and we've seen this firsthand, trying to incorporate foods that people enjoy that are part of their cultures and not demonizing those foods.”

    00:12 Intro to Wendy and Jess
    01:55 The evolution of Food Heaven to Diabetes Digital
    03:46 How prioritizing cultural relevance builds inclusive, sustainable food systems
    06:35 Celebrating diversity to reduce stigma and shame
    08:09 Socioeconomic and cultural factors influence on choice
    10:42 Improving access to healthy, sustainable foods 
    12:50 Building trust through science and lived experiences
    15:01 How motivational interviewing balances nutrition advice and personal preferences 
    18:11 Embracing life’s fluctuations
    21:08 Why growing a diverse support community can enhance impact
    24:14 The importance of embracing “fun” in business development
    26:47 Takeaways for changemakers

    Links
    Food HeavenDiabetes DigitalDiabetes Digital PodcastMotivational Interviewing: An Evidence-Based Approach
    Keep in Touch
    Subscribe, rate, review the show at foodlabtalk.com
    Follow Food Lab talk on YouTube and LinkedIn

    *The views expressed by the guests in this podcast don't necessarily represent the host’s views, nor those of his employer.

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

taytay1983---.. ,

Packs a punch

These short interviews deliver impactful new perspectives from inspiring leaders.
Michael has a way of finding guests who have inspiring stories/messages (Paul Newnham was a favorite) AND are able to share in such an entertaining way

BernieFoodTank ,

Great podcast!

The food tank team looks forward to every episode. Incredible guests.

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