Saturday Food Chain

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

Metrofarm.com

 

 

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.

Download File

Urban Farming Agriculture
              Food Chain Radio Host Michael Olson
                        #937 •  September 21, 2013  •  Sat 9AM Pacific

                         Guests:  Thomas AmRhein, Vice President, Naturipe Berry Growers

              Cynthia Mathiesen, Global Intellectual Properties Manager, Driscoll’s Berries

 
THE RIGHT TO OWN A PUBLIC FOOD
Should a private party be allowed to own a public food?


Consider an item of patented food, like the strawberry:  You can touch it, smell it, and eat it, but you may not own it because it contains the intellectual property of someone else.

For even more enjoyment, consider the “Vegas Strip Steak.”

In 2012, the American Bar Association magazine reported the filing of a patent by Oklahoma State University on the method by which a “Vegas Strip Steak” cut of beef might be extracted from a carcas.  This method was apparently unknown by milleniums of butchers until discovered by an OSU meat specialist.

If the patent for the “Vegas Strip Steak” is granted, anyone who wishes to extract the cut from a carcass would be required to get a license from the patent holder– OSU.  In simple terms, obtaining a “Vegas Strip Steak” patent would give OSU control over the cut of meat in every beef cow on the planet.  Were your neighbor to butcher his cow and offer you a “Vegas Strip Steak” for your having aided in the endeavor, the two of you would then become common thieves.

This brief consideration of food as intellectual property leads us to ask: How does an item of natural food become the intellectual property of a private party?  How does the private party maintain control of this intellectual property; and…

 
Should a private party be allowed to own a public food?

Comment (0) Hits: 167

Download File

Food Chain Radio News
Urban Farming Agriculture
    Food Chain Radio Host Michael Olson
       #936 •  September 14, 2013  •  Sat 9AM Pacific
Guests:  Professor Marion Nestle

 
EAT, DRINK, VOTE!
For whom should we vote to lead us to good eating?
Fortunately, this is an off year, which means there are no major elections to distract us from considering the politics of food.

(Of course, we could discuss the politics of food in an election year, but then our considerations would be hardened by you being on one side of the fence, me on the other, and the both of us would be throwing apples across the fence at each other!)

So here we are, with no apples in hand, nor any political fence to divide us, to calmly discuss how to vote for someone, or something, to lead us to the eating of good food.

Given the number of diets we engage in, the number of times we engage in those diets, and the fact that we keep getting bigger and bigger, and requiring more and more medical care, its plain to see we need someone to lead the way.  Should we vote for Democrats?  Should we vote for Republicans? Or, should we vote for something else?

 
For whom should we vote to lead us to good food?

Comment (0) Hits: 464

Download File

         Food Chain Radio News
            Urban Farming Agriculture
              Food Chain Radio Host Michael Olson
                        #935 •  September 7, 2013  •  Sat 9AM Pacific

                         Guests:  Joann S. Grohman, Author of Keeping a Family Cow
HAVE A (GREEN) COW!
Have you ever tasted raw milk?
“Don’t have a cow!”

Some complain that cows cause global warming by passing too much gas, and demand they be eliminated from the human food chain. Before we herd cows out the door, however, perhaps we should consider this: The family cow can be the perfect one-stop food factory.

Through the wild fermentation of the rumen, a cow can turn the grass upon which we would starve, into a high-protein food more perfect than any food we could buy in any supermarket.  And we need not chop down any forest, divert any grain, nor fight any wars to get food from a family cow.

When the cow has aged, and no longer produces milk, we can process her into meat and fill the family’s freezer.

Bottom line:  No food comes more complete, at less cost, then the fresh, whole milk we can get from the family cow.  And though her milk may be white, the family cow can be very green!

 
Do you think cows be green?

Comment (0) Hits: 327

Download File

Comment (0) Hits: 211

Download File


THE EROSION OF CIVILIZATION


Food Chain Radio Show Host Michael Olson #928• July 22, 2013 • Sat 9AM Pacific

Professor David Montgomery, author of Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations


Why is civilization losing its soil?


“A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt

Soil is like money in the bank.  We can spend our soil as we please, but only to the extent the soil we spend is replaced.  If we spend all the soil without replacing it, we will bankrupt our civilization.
The elemental economy of soil is etched into the history of civilizations come and gone, from the Golden Triangle of Mesopotamia to the hillsides of classical Greece, from the terrapretta of the Amazon basin to the alluvial plain of the Nile Delta.  Where soil is rich, civilization is florescent; where soil is spent, civilization is senescent.

In terms of arable soil, the United States is the richest land on earth. Thus, in a very short period of time, its people blossomed into one of the earth’s wealthiest civilizations.  But in fact, the U.S. is spending soil faster than it is being replaced.  Though this loss is hard for you and I to see on a daily basis, it is being pointed to with concern by geomorphologist Professor David Montgomery, who leads us to ask…

Why is civilization losing its soil?

Comment (0) Hits: 695

Download File

THE VANISHING OF OUR BEES-   BEE COLONY COLLAPSE


Food Chain Radio Show Host Michael Olson

Chensheng Lu, Ass Professor Environmental Health, Harvard Univ.

David Hackenburg Sr, Beekeeper, Hackenburg Apiaries

••••
Who, or what, is causing our bees to vanish?

Who, or what, is causing our bees to vanish?

****
This right out of science fiction: You wake up one morning to discover that every single person in Chicago has simply disappeared without a trace, leaving their breakfast on the kitchen table!  Poof!  Gone!

*******
Then everyone in Denver, Tuscon, and Charlotte disappear, leaving nothing behind to say why they left, or where they have gone.

Hard to believe something like that could happen, but it is happening to our bee colonies.  One day the bees simply disappear, leaving their eggs and food behind.  Poof!  Gone!

What makes the collapsing of our bee colonies especially interesting is the fact that bees are responsible for one-third of the food we eat.  If bees disappear – and bees are disappearing  – then our supply of food will diminish, and its costs will increase.

So who, or what, is causing our bees to vanish?

•••••••••••
Some say the causes are natural, and include global warming, trachial mites, and malnutrition.  “Its just nature,” they say.
•••••••••••
So who, or what, is causing our bees to vanish?

•••••••••••
Others say the causes are man-made, and point the finger at neonicotinoids (“new nicotine pesticide”) like acetamiprid, clothianidin and imidacloprid.

•••••••••••
The “neonics,” as they are called, are extremely efficient killers of invertebrate insect pests, and consequently are now used to coat most of the seeds planted in commercial corn and soybean crops.  Though not considered pests, bees are invertebrate insects and vulnerable to neonics.  “It’s people,” they say.

•••••••••••
Thus we have a difference of opinion on an issue of major significance to our food chain…

********
Who, or what, is causing our bees to vanish?

Comment (0) Hits: 321

Download File

Food Chain Radio News Topic

OUT OF POVERTY INTO AFRICA

Food Chain Radio Show #925 • June 22, 2013 • Sat 9AM Pacific

Michael Olson hosts:  Larry Jacobs & John Graham, Del Cabo Cooperative

••••

Can organic prosper in Africa?

Chances are you popped one of those organic cherry tomatoes into your mouth in the dead of a winter and, without a thought as to its origin, bit down to pop its sweetness.  Let’s give that tomato a thought…

*******

Your cherry tomato may well have carried the Del Cabo brand, which means that it was the product of a cooperative of 400 small, organic farmers near the town of San Jose Del Cabo in Baja California, Sur.  In fact, you may well have looked down on those farms while flying in to Cabo San Lucas to enjoy some winter fun in the sun.

In 1985, Larry and Sandra Jacobs, organic farmers from Pescadero, California, decided to package some of that winter sunshine into organic cherry tomatoes and ship them north.  But rather than growing the tomatoes themselves, they enlisted 10 small farmers to grow for them, and with that agreement, the Del Cabo Cooperative was born.

By working together through the Del Cabo Cooperative, and with the partnership of Jacobs Farm in California, the small farmers of Baja were able to increase their annual incomes from $3,000 to $20,000.

Today, the Del Cabo Cooperative consists of 400, give or take, small farmers in Baja, and the Jacobs Farm has grown into a company with over 60 employees in California.

The Jacobs have now taken this economic model to Africa, which leads us to ask …

•••••••••••

Can organic prosper in Africa?

Comment (0) Hits: 429

Download File

FARMER ASSURANCE PROVISION /
MONSANTO PROTECTION ACT


Food Chain Radio Show #924 • June 15, 2013 • Sat 9AM Pacific

Michael Olson hosts: Terry Wanzek, Farmer & North Dakota Senator

They say there are two sides to every story, and that is most certainly true when it comes to the story about the genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in our food chain.

*******
There is the side of producers, and there is the side of consumers.

For producers, the technology of genetic engineering has made the job of growing food much easier.  Before GMOs, a farmer had to go out into the fields to cull weeds and pests by hand and machine.  With GMOs, crops can be sprayed with herbicides and infused with pesticides, and thus one farmer can now grow thousands of acres of crops with no weeds or pests.

To protect this transformative technology, biotech agriculture lobbied government for a “Farmer Assurance Provision” that would allow their GMOs to be planted anywhere at anytime without interference from laws or courts.

For a significant number of consumers, there is uncertainty with respect to the efficacy of eating foods that have been saturated in herbicides and infused with pesticides, and they have taken to calling that government Provision the “Monsanto Protection Act.”

Two sides of the story: Farmer Assurance Provision or Mansanto Protection Act.”

And so we ask…

•••••••••••
What does agriculture hope to accomplish with its Farmer Assurance Provision?  Why do many call the Farmer Assurance Provision the Monsanto Protection Act?  And…
..
What’s to eat in the Monsanto Protection Act?

Comment (0) Hits: 373

2300 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, CA

JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use Google Maps.
However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser.
To view Google Maps, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options, and then try again.