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Every Saturday morning, from 9 to 10 a.m, join KSCO's Michael Olson for a discussion on local farm and agriculture issues.

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Journalist

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.

Business Person

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.

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Food Chain Radio News
Food Chain Radio Michael Olson
Urban Farming Agriculturalist
The Lost Food
Can farming return the nutrients missing from food?

Guest: Daphne Miller, M.D., author of The Jungle Effect and Farmacology

Following in the footsteps of Weston A. Price, physician Daphne Miller went looking for healthy people. Like Price, she found them in primitive cultures.

Among the elements that gave primitive people healthy bodies, and long lives, was the primitive foods they consumed. What made the difference was what was in primitive foods but not in civilized foods, and what was not in primitive foods but in civilized foods.
Food Chain Radio Michael Olson hosts Daphne Miller, M.D., author of The Jungle Effect and Farmacology

What both Price and Miller discovered was that primitive foods, though certainly not as pretty or as big as civilized foods, contained a higher concentration of essential nutrients. Thus primitive people could eat less food and yet get more essential nutrition.

What was not in the primitive foods, but in the civilized foods, were the additives that gave civilized foods taste and shelf life, including processed sugars, partially-hydrogenated oils, chemical preservatives, and so on.

Considering the consequences of eating foods in which essential nutrients have gone missing, and in which synthetic elements have been added, both Price and Miller concluded that eating civilized foods can lead to sickeness and disease.

This observation leads us to ask…
Can farming return the nutrients that went missing from our food?

Comment (0) Hits: 161

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Food Chain Radio News

Decertifying the UFW
Should government count the vote to decertify the UFW?
Guest: Silvia Lopez, Farm Worker, Gerawan Farms

The great state of California is now a one-party state controlled, for the most, by its labor unions.

Though not among the most powerful of unions in terms of the amount of money it contributes to government, the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) is certainly among the state’s more popular for its advocacy of those who harvest the nation’s food.
Food Chain Radio Michael Olson hosts Silvia Lopez, Farm Worker: Should government count the vote to decertify the UFW?

Food Chain Radio Michael Olson hosts Silvia Lopez, Farm Worker: Should government count the vote to decertify the UFW?

Formed in a grape-worker strike in the mid-1960’s that blossomed into a nation-wide grape boycott, the UFW has come to represent a consensus that those who work the fields and harvest our food should be treated and paid fairly.

Thus, it likely comes as a surprise for those of us in the city who eat the foods harvested by farmworkers, to learn they have voted to decertify the UFW.

It certainly must have surprised other unions to hear of this threat to the UFW, which may well explain why California’s Agriculture Labor Relations Board has refused to count the farmworkers decertification vote. The ALRB’s refusal to count the votes leads us to ask…
Should government count the vote to decertify the UFW?

Comment (0) Hits: 201

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Food Chain Radio News
Food Chain Radio Michael Olson
Urban Farming Agriculturalist
MAN OR BEAST?
Which is most cruel: man or beast?

Guest: Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Author of Beasts: What Animals Can Teach Us About the Origins of Good and Evil

We sit transfixed as right there on one of television’s nature channels a pride of lions ambushes a zebra, kills it, and eats it. Switching channels, we find ourselves shivering in terror as Shark Week fills the screen with giant great whites turning the blue water red in feeding frenzies.
Food Chain Radio Michael Olson hosts Jeffrey Masson, Author of Beasts

‘Wow,’ we think, ‘those animals are really cruel! But they do have to eat.’

Then we switch to the evening news and watch as people blow each other up with bombs filled with nails.

‘Wow,’ we think, ‘those people are really cruel! I wonder why?’

The televised carnage we watch leads us to ask: What is the nature of animals in the wild? How does the nature of animals in the wild compare with that of people in civilization? And…
Which is most cruel: man or beast?

Comment (0) Hits: 271

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Food Chain Radio News
   Food Chain Radio Michael Olson
Urban Farming Agriculturalist
TO CATCH THE THIEVES
Can the stealing be stopped?

Guest:  Sheriff’s Sargeant Michael Chapman, Fresno County Ag Task Force

Imagine all the gold in Fort Knox sitting unguarded out in the open for all who pass by to see.

That pile of Fort Knox gold would pale in significance if compared to the bounty of agriculture, which is in fact sitting unguarded out in the open for all to see, and for some to simply take.
STOP AG THEFT – Food Chain Radio Michael Olson hosts Sheriff’s Sargent Michael Chapman, Fresno County Ag Theft Task Force

STOP AG THEFT – Food Chain Radio Michael Olson hosts Sheriff’s Sargent Michael Chapman, Fresno County Ag Theft Task Force

The soaring value of agricultural commodities, and infrastructure, is spawning an invading army of thieves throughout agriculture’s fields of plenty, from the fumbling drug addicts who strip copper wire from well pumps to the calculating teams of truckers who drive off with a quarter million dollar loads of nuts. 

Those who farm must fend off this invading army of thieves, or lose control of their farms and our food.  This fight over the bounty of agriculture leads us to ask…
Can the stealing be stopped?

Comment (3) Hits: 1092

Recent comments

  • Ask government if stealing can be stopped. They steal from everyone.
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  • I suppose that theft from farms is made easier by the large unsecure area of the farms. Perhaps having guard dogs will be a cost-effective solution.
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  • Guest - ParkerSmith

    I enjoyed reading it. I need to read more on this topic...I admiring time and effort you put in your blog, because it is obviously one great place where I can find lot of useful info..
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Food Chain Radio News
          Food Chain Radio Michael Olson
     Urban Farming Agriculturalist
KNEADING SOME DOUGH
Which is most important: food safety or food sovereignty?
Guest:  Mark Stambler, Pagnol Boulanger

Knead water, salt, yeast and flour together and what do you get?  The food safety police.
At least, that was what Mark Stambler got when the homemade breads baked in his backyard wood-fired oven became famous throughout Los Angeles County.
For decades, Stambler’s bread baking was a hobby that won him blue ribbons at the Los Angeles County Fair and the California State Fair.  Then he decided to take the leap from avocation to vocation, and so began selling his breads at select retail locations. 
Food Chain Radio Michael Olson hosts Mark Stambler, Pagnol BoulangerStambler's Bread
Food Chain Radio Michael Olson hosts Mark Stambler, Pagnol BoulangerStambler’s Bread
Word of Stambler’s breads spread from hungry mouth to hungry mouth, and in 2011 the LA Times featured the breads in a full page article.  Stambler’s fame, however, was short lived, as the very next day the food safety police showed up to shut him down.  Stambler the baker then became Stambler the cottage food activist.
With the help of a friendly politician and a lot of fight, Stambler championed a “California Homemade Food Act,” which was passed into law.  In January of 2013, eighteen months after being shut down by the food safety police, Stambler became the first person in Los Angeles County to sell homemade food legally.

Stambler’s fight for the right to sell homemade foods leads us to ask…
Which is more important:  food safety or food sovereignty?

Comment (0) Hits: 221

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Food Chain Radio News
              Food Chain Radio Michael Olson
             Urban Farming Agriculturalist
         A GMO STOMACH STUDY
Who is telling the truth about the safety of GMOs in our food?

Guest:  Howard Vlieger, Crop and Livestock Nutrition Advisor

There have been many studies as to the safety of genetically modified organisms in our food.  Some studies say GMO foods are safe, others say they are not safe.

The question of GMO safety has become an industrial War of the Truths, with just about everything you can possibly imagine at stake.

When I first met Howard Vlieger at a Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance conference in Bastrop, Texas, it did not take very long to figure out which truth he represented. 
Food Chain Radio Michael Olson hosts Howard Vlieger – A GMO STOMACH STUDY: Who is telling the truth about the safety of GMOs in our food?

Food Chain Radio Michael Olson hosts Howard Vlieger – A GMO STOMACH STUDY: Who is telling the truth about the safety of GMOs in our food?

Having met him, and listened to him speak out against GMOs, it did not surprise me when a study he commissioned crossed my desk entitled:  “A  long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and (GM) maize diet.”  What did surprise me, however, was what the study claimed about the long-term feeding of GMO foods to pigs.  Listen to some of the claims from report’s “Abstract”…

“The GM diet was associated with gastric and uterine differences in pigs.”

“GM-fed pigs had uteri that were 25% heavier than non-GMO fed pigs.”

“GM-fed pigs had a higher-rate of severe stomach inflammation with a rate of 32% of GM-fed pigs compared to 12% for non-GMO-fed pigs.”

“The severe stomach inflammation was worse in GM-fed males compared to non-GM fed males by a factor of 4.0, and GM-fed females compared to non-GM fed females by a factor of 2.2.”

Given the scientific principles upon which this study was designed, and the credentials of those who conducted the study, and the credentials of  peers who reviewed the study, it becomes very difficult to dismiss the study as purely partisan.  Yet many do.

This from the blog BIOtechNOW:  “It (the study) reaches conclusions that are diametrically opposed to the great preponderance of the scientific evidence gathered from hundreds of independent food and feed safety studies that found no difference in between animals fed GMO or non-GMO diets.”




Who is Telling the Truth About the Safety of GMOs in Our Food? -Guest:  Howard Vlieger, Crop and Livestock Nutrition Advisor

Comment (0) Hits: 186

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Food Chain Radio News
              Food Chain Radio Michael Olson
             Urban Farming Agriculturalist
         GMO Free Cheerios
Should General Mills reveal whether its foods contain GMOs?


Guest:  Gregory Conko, Executive Director, Competitive Enterprise Institute

If you knew the oats contained were GMOs, would you go for the “toasted oat goodness of Cheerios?”

Apparently some would not, because General Mills has announced it will sell a line of Cheerios that “contain no GMOs?”

To date, the food industry has spent upwards of $100 million dollars to convince consumers to defeat GMO labeling laws in California and Washington.  In each state, industry has won the battle to defeat GMO labeling.

Though no law has yet passed to force its hand, General Mills has agreed to the labeling of its Cheerios line.  This labelling would seem to indicate a decided turn in the war over whether foods containing GMOs should, or should not, be labeled as such.  Industry may be winning the battles, but losing the war!  This leads us to ask…

Should General Mills reveal whether its foods contain GMOs?

Comment (0) Hits: 166

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Food Chain Radio News
Food Chain Radio Michael Olson
Urban Farming Agriculturalist
Feeding the 60 Million
Who will feed the 60 millions should government go belly up?

Guest:  Rachel Sheffield, Policy Analyst, DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation

According to Jack Kerouac, the Naked Lunch title he suggested for a William Burrough’s novel, “means exactly what the words say: a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of the fork.”

Here’s some naked lunch…

According to the USDA, one in five now receive food stamps from the federal government.   What we can all see on the end of this fork is 60 million people who now rely on a government $150 trillion (give or take) in debt for their food.

Here’s more naked lunch…

The number of people on food stamps, and the size of the federal government’s debt, are both rapidly escalating.  In fact, the number of people on food stamps (SNAP) has nearly doubled in the last 5 years, while the size of the government’s current account deficit, which does not include its unfunded liabilities, has increased by over 70%.   What we can all see at the end of this fork is the simple fact that the numbers cannot continue to grow as they are growing without something giving way.

Who will feed the 60 million should government go belly up?






Comment (0) Hits: 157

More Articles...

  1. The Saturday Food Chain with Michael Olson- January 25th 2014- What Will We Reap When We Sow Cannabis Normalica? Guest: Erik Altieri, Communications Director, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
  2. The Saturday Food Chain with Michael Olson- How should we treat the animals we are to eat? Guest: Dr. Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University
  3. The Saturday Food Chain with Michael Olson- January 11th 2014-EATING DISORDERLY Can One Bring an Eating Disorder Back Into Order? Guest: Dr. Elizabeth Esalen from the Lotus Collaborative
  4. The Saturday Food Chain with Michael Olson- SOIL, FOOD AND FAITH- Can soil and food feed one’s faith? Guest: Fred Bahnson, Director of the Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative, and author of "Soil and Sacrament"
  5. The Saturday Food Chain with Michael Olson- December 28th 2013- Is it possible to throw plastic away?- Guest: Captain Charles Moore, Founder The Algalita Marine Research Institute
  6. The Saturday Food Chain with Michael Olson- December 21st 2013- OUR OCEAN TRASH PATCHES- Is it possible to throw plastic away? Guest: Captain Charles Moore, Founder The Algalita Marine Research Institute
  7. The Saturday Food Chain with Michael Olson- December 14th 2013- THE CROP DUSTER: FLYING IT ON-Are crop dusters now essential to agriculture? Guest: Bert Atwood, Author of "My Father Was A Crop Duster"
  8. The Saturday Food Chain with Michael Olson- December 07th 2013- SLAYING NATURAL FOOD-Should any food be labeled “Natural”? Guest: Stephen Gardner, Director of Litigation Center for Science in the Public Interest

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