Michael Olson produced, wrote and/or photographed feature-length news for a variety of media, including the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner newspapers, Skiing and Small Space Gardening magazines,NBC, ABC, Australian Broadcast Commission, and KQED Public Television networks. His production and photography helped win a National Emmy nomination for NBC Magazine with David Brinkley. Olson is the author of MetroFarm, the Ben Franklin Book of the Year Finalist and Executive Producer and Host of the syndicated Saturday Food Chain radiotalk show, which received the Ag/News Show of the Year Award from the California Legislature. He recently authored Tales from a Tin Can, which is the oral-history of a World War II US Navy destroyer that earned a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly.
Olson designed, blended and packaged a fertilizer for container-grown house and garden plants; certified and registered the product as a “specialty fertilizer” with the State of California; and sold the product to the national lawn and garden market. Olson has over two decades of broadcast media management and, as General Manager of newstalk radio stations KSCO & KOMY in Santa Cruz, California, has helped hundreds of locally-owned businesses compete against national chains. Olson is currently a partner in the MO MultiMedia Group of Santa Cruz, California.
The Saturday Food Chain with Michael Olson- May 25th 2013- Cocaine + Caffeine= Coca Cola- Guest: Mark Pendergrast, Author of "The Definitive History of the Great American Softdrink and the Company that Makes It"
Cocaine + Caffeine= Coca Cola - Guest: Mark Pendergrast, Author of "The Definitive History of the Great American Soft Drink and the Company that Makes It"
Mark Pendergrast joins Michael Olson to discuss the history of the iconic American soft drink. Learn about the trials and errors of one of America's biggest companies. To find out more about Mark and his book click here: http://markpendergrast.com/coca-cola
****** This discussion, which took place in Chicago at the International Bio convention in front of an audience of biotech people from biotech companies like Monsanto and DuPont, quickly became a tug of words between organic and conventional agriculture. One of the panelists, Dr. Bob Goldberg, was the author of the ballot argument against California’s Proposition 37 GMO Labeling initiative, and so had lots of words with which to tug, and was very good at tugging.
******* Nevertheless, I was there to tell the audience why I think people are uncertain about their technologies, and the foods those technologies produce, and so offered up something like this: … “You have at your hands a marvelous new technology which has the capacity for ultimate good, and ultimate bad. You have made it possible for one farmer to grow thousands of acres of food crops with no weeds, and therefore have made their lives much better, and yourselves, much wealthier. But what did consumers get? They got food drenched in herbicide and infused with pesticide. And some of those consumers are starting to ask, ‘What’s to eat?’” … Those who manufacture herbicide-resistant plants say that the herbicide saturated foods are safe for people and mammals to eat. The herbicides go right straight through us, they say, and they have the science to back up what they say. And who am I to doubt the wisdom of their science? … Then I ran across the following in the journal Entropy: “… glyphosate is the “textbook example of exogenous semiotic entropy.” And… “Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.” … This leads us to ask the author of that Entropy article… … Is the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) safe to eat?
Food Chain Weekly News Topic FOOD OR MONEY? Food Chain Radio Show #917 April 27, 2013 • Sat 9AM Pacific
Michael Olson hosts: Kathy Kozer, National Family Farm Coalition; Eric Munoz,
Oxfam America; Mary Kay Thatcher, American Farm Bureau Federation
Should we send the hungry food or money?
When possible, the United States sends the surplus crops of its farmers to feed the world’s hungry. ****** The Obama administration is planning to change this traditional way of aiding the world’s hungry: Instead of sending the surplus crops of its farmers, the administration wants to send the surplus money of its taxpayers.
******* The reason put forth for this change of plans is simple: Sending surplus U.S. crops to the hungry destroys the market for local agriculture. After all, the reasoning goes, local farmers cannot compete with free crops from abroad, and when local agriculture is destroyed, the hungry become even hungrier. … But others say sending surplus U.S. taxpayer money to foreign farmers will undermine the competitiveness of U.S. farmers and related industries. After all, the reasoning goes, what U.S. farmer can compete with foreign farmers receiving free U.S. taxpayer money? ••• This disagreement over how the U.S. should administer its food aid leads us to ask… •••• Should we send food or money?
Food Chain Weekly News Topic SUPER WEED Food Chain Radio Show #918 April 4, 2013 • Sat 9AM Pacific
Michael Olson hosts: Scott Kennedy, FarmaSea
•••• Is seaweed a good food for the human body? * I was introduced to the nutritional properties of seaweed by Robin, a dedicated gardener from South Africa. “I have a few boxes to take to the flea market,” he said, “May I have a lift?” ****** When I saw that the boxes contained kelp Robin had drug home from the nearby beach and shredded by hand, I said, “Robin, you have got to be kidding me! Who in their right mind is going to buy that seaweed?”
******* “Oh,” Robin replied, “You’ll see!” … After running a few errands, I decided to swing by the flea market to see how Robin was doing peddling his boxes of seaweed. I found him standing there with a confused look. There were no boxes of seaweed to be seen anywhere. … “Robin,” I said, “Did you really sell those boxes of seaweed? “ … “No,” he replied, slowly and sadly swinging his head from side to side. “I went to the restroom and when I came back the boxes were gone. Somebody just took them!” ••• The theft of Robin’s boxes caused me to wonder about the value of the seaweed, and later, to buy tons of it to manufacture an organic fertilizer called Soil Essence. It would be fair to say that I became a believer in the nutritional properties of kelp. ••• That being said, the following claim gives me cause to pause: “The people that eat it (kelp) every day or maybe even three times a week, are the healthiest and longest living people in the history of mankind.” ••• This claim leads me to ask… •••• Is seaweed a good food for the human body?
Food Chain Radio Show #916 April 20, 2013 • Sat 9AM Pacific
Michael Olson hosts Diana Reeves, GMO Free USA •••• Why boycott Kellogg’s for selling GMO cereals? Having spent nearly $800,000 to defeat California’s GMO labeling initiative, Kellogg’s has positioned itself firmly in opposition to those who want to know about the GMOs in breakfast cereals. ****** When I asked Kellogg’s to join me on the Food Chain Radio show to discuss the GMO Free USA-led boycott of their breakfast cereals, spokesperson Kris Charles suggested, in a friendly sort of way, that everyone should just “go eat Kashi.”
******* What Kellogg’s was saying, in effect, was that it provides the marketplace with a line of cereals that are organic and Non-GMO Project Verified, and if that is what consumers want, that is what they can get with Kellogg’s cereals. … Today, the soothing properties of cannabis are claimed to be medicinal, and people now demand from the powers-that-be the right to grow and consume their own medicine. Their demand leads us to ask… •••• Why boycott Kellogg’s for selling GMO cereals?