What do organic tomatoes, horn worms and Olympic figure skating legend Dick Buttons have in common? To find out, tune into this week’s show, as Allison Turcan, Stormie Velarde-Hamill and Scott O’Rourke of Deep Roots and DIG Farms, discuss what it takes to run a suburban farm. Learn about WOOFING, and no it doesn’t involve dogs howling, as well as what the difference is between organic and certified organic products. We chat about creepy, crawly and utterly gross worms which attack tomatoes and turns them truly rotten. Local farms supply the booming green markets in the NY metro tri-state area, and Scott, Allison and Stormie are not only growing amazing produce, they are working with kids, via food literacy programs, to educate them about growing delicious and healthy food. For more info go to facebook.com/DIGFarm
The food wars rage on. Good things are happening. We as consumers are getting savvy about what’s in our food and the path it takes to get to our table. Here is a quick look at some of the funny, poignant, and entertaining clips I love. Humor gets the point across like no other. As Mark Twain said, “Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.”
The more we share these clever ideas, the more it will reach an audience, open a door, and perhaps, start a conversation and a new way of thinking.
Cuke Vador? Ham Solo? My kids love this video and it makes me chuckle every time I see it. The Grocery Store Wars is perfectly timed to circulate again with the new (and old) audiences o Star Wars. The props are funny; the lines are cheeky and clever.
This video captures the ridiculous concept of marketing and the power of the written word. Every time I shop, I laugh and gasp at corporations’ claims that their product is “all natural.” After reading the ingredient list, there’s nothing natural about the preservatives, the dyes, and unpronounceable things that start with “p.” I giggle at the amazing pull of advertising and marketing to make us all feel better about paying for close-enough to organic products. Great script. Hilarious.
This video is clever. The satire is on the mark. Simply and with razor-sharp wit, it questions why we had to mess with nature at all. Guess the job just wasn’t up to Monsanto’s standard.
Climate Change Deniers Anthem: Beau Bridges plays the Koch brothers; the singers gather to offer up an anthem, We are the World style, that we’re just fine. The climate’s not changing – polar bears are fine; Al Gore’s a liar; and the earth’s temperatures are not rising. We’re fine!
When something’s funny, it hits a chord. The power of video can spread consciousness in a way that isn’t so preachy. Humor may save us all, as nothing can stand against the wave of its assault. Watch and see.
This weeks episode takes us to the Global Women’s Climate Justice Day of Action at the UN, sponsored by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN). This event was attended by women from over 50 countries. To have such a collection of amazing women in one place, who presented stories of courage and resilience in combating climate change was deeply touching. Women play a key role in adapting solutions to climate change, and it was an honor to speak with WECAN founder Osprey Lake, environmentalist visionary Sally Ranney, as well as Neha Misra founder of Solar Sister, Harriet Shugarman Executive Director of ClimateMama, Executive Director of CELF Katie Ginsberg and student Coreena, and Patricia Gualinga-Montalvo, Indigenous Leader of Ecuador, whose interview was translated by Amazon Watch’s Executive Director Leila Salazar-López. For more information visit wecaninternational.org
“Between its celebrations of privilege, and the angst of its reckonings, human life gathers unto itself a chaos of contradictions… If we are ceaseless tamperers, we are also from time to time unobtrusive, Though we shout, so may we whisper.” (Michael Charles Tobias, quote from his work, After Eden: History, Ecology and Conscience) My guest this week is Michael C. Tobias, President of Dancing Star Foundation, who is a global ecologist, humanitarian, explorer, author, filmmaker, educator and animal rights activist. 195 nations are set to converge in Paris, a city recently struck by incomprehensible acts of terrorism, for the COP 21 (Conference of Parties), with the hopes of reaching an agreement to to set limits on carbon emissions to reduce the detrimental effects of global warming. Rich and poor nations must gather to form partnerships to be agents of change, rather than agents of destruction. Negative ideology has to be redirected, and ethics, compassion and morality, along with science and technology must lead the way to solutions. For more information go to www.dancingstarfoundation.org
Billions of people around the globe are affected by the changes in climate every day. There are many stories that need to be told and many stories that need to be heard. My guest this week, Dayna Reggero, project director for the Climate Listening Project, has gathered stories from a variety of individuals and businesses about the direct effect of climate change on their lives and communities. Farmers, scientists, faith based and environmental groups are working towards solutions to adapt and build resilience to the extremes of climate change. We must connect actions to our words and work towards building a cleaner, greener world. Dayna has also been involved with the Showtime Series, Years of Living Dangerously, and has partnered with Laura Lengnick, author of the book Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems in a Changing Climate. Dayna and Laura conduct storytelling workshops at colleges via the Cultivating Resilience Tour. For more info go to: daynareggero.com, @DaynaReggero and facebook.com/climatelisteningproject.
Can we feed the world without wrecking it? Are we farming ourselves out of food? My guest, Joel K. Bourne Jr. and I delve into those questions on this week’s show. Joel’s new book, THE END OF PLENTY: The Race to Feed a Crowded World, discusses the world food crisis, as it relates to population increase and environmental concerns. Farm land is becoming decimated, as water shortages are spreading globally, thus reducing growth of crops needed to feed the populace. Political unrest and revolutions have occurred in various hot spots around the world, as wheat crops have failed, which has lead to tightening grain supplies. Lives are lost as fights break out over bread. Will 3D printing of food save us? Probably not, but there is hope, as farmers are using innovations in food irrigation, as well as conservation methods to solve some of the problems. A new land ethic must be put into place to feed the world. For more information go to joelkbournejr.com and amazon.com for his book, THE END OF PLENTY.
Neither rain, nor fog, nor soggy dew could dampen the spirit of the Clearwater 2015 Festival. We spoke to many environmental activists and green entrepreneurs who are creating ideas, and spreading the message about the need to be proactive stewards of Mother Earth. Music echoed throughout the festival, with many performers motivating the populace to take a stand and raise their voices on environmental and social justice issues. Music icon David Crosby, sang new songs with lyrics that commented on the nation’s current state of affairs, and implored people to email, call or show up at the offices of their elected officials and make some noise. Pete Seeger would have been proud to see his vision perpetuated. For more info go to clearwater.org.
This week’s program features Jesse Ash, principal and lead producer at Greener Media, an eco-conscious production company based in NYC. We discuss how storytelling via digital and film mediums, is an essential tool in helping raise awareness about environmental and social issues. Jesse has won a Webby for his animated short Magical Cure, and his current project, Common Ground, was recently screened at the United Nations and at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C. In addition, Greener Media’s short documentary, Man in the Maze, was a winner of the Sundance Short Film Challenge this year. To find out why Bette Middler has been deemed the “Queen of Green” and why it is helpful to have a celebrity name attached to a particular cause, you have to tune in. For more information go to: greenermedia.com
What is Eco-art and how does it differ from conventional western art and mediums? For the answer, tune in to this week’s program, as Eco-artist, educator, author and curator, Linda Weintraub and I discuss how eco-artists connect to the natural earth via photography, performance and public art, and much more. These cutting edge artists help transform our way of life, through their unique approaches and unconventional methods, which set out to transform our environmental consciousness. From the use of microbes, which ebb and flow into divergent patterns of life forms, to a sunflower which is equipped to photograph the sun as it follows it in the sky, this burgeoning art field helps raise awareness of the environmental impact, both positive and negative, that we humans are having on the planet. For more information about Linda’s work and her book: To Life! Eco-Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet, go to lindaweintraub.com.
Be Kind to Animals, Don’t Be Cruel, Eat Your Veggies. All these phrases come together on this week’s program, as we celebrate vegetarian cuisine and cruelty free living at the New York City Vegetarian Food Festival. We spoke with Zoe Weil, Co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education, Nora Kramer, Founder and Executive Director of YEA (Youth Empowerment Action) Camp, Annie Hauck Lawson, Founder of Brooklyn Mompost, Susan Hargreaves, Founder of Animal Hero Kids, and Isis Phillips, Executive Director of Indy Kids. It was a pleasure speaking with all this dynamic and amazing women, who do so much to make the world a better place. For more information on these organizations go to humaneeducation.org, solutionaryschoolnyc.org, yeacamp.org, brooklynmompost.org, animalherokids.org, indykids.org and nycvegfoodfest.com
Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot – Tom Butler’s new large format coffee table book, tells the story of how population increase, and the rise of the industrial complex, has led to social, economic and environmental problems world wide. The phrase ” a picture’s worth a thousand words” is most evident in the photos taken during this three year journey to expose man’s quest to dominate the planet, and leave sprawl, over growth, disease and destruction in its path. We over indulge, over-plug, and over saturate this beautiful planet, with blatant disregard for the other species who live on earth. Tom and I discuss how we can resolve and build solutions to these problems. This unique approach, which uses powerful photographs, illustrates that humankind must do better, we must stop drilling, stop building and stop decimating the earth. Mother Nature is not happy, but we can do things to make her smile again. Go to populationspeakout.org for more information.
The Clearwater Festival was like stepping into a time warp and re-living moments of Peace, Love and Understanding through music, activism and innovation. It was wonderful to roam the festival grounds at Croton Point Park with my co-producer Abba Carmichael, my sound engineer Brian Horowitz, and summer research assistant Marco Spodek. We met and chatted with wonderful musical artists Dar Williams, Tom Chapin and more. The festival was dedicated to the late and legendary, Pete Seeger, who was the original founder of the festival. Various versions of the song Wimoweh/The Lion Sleeps Tonight, a song near and dear to me, filled the air throughout the day. I highly recommend attending the festival, so check out www.clearwaterfestival.org to jot down the date for next year. In the second half of the show we hear previously recorded studio performances from two activists who use music to share their message, Sharon Abreu and Morgan O’Kane.