Quality Assurance & Inventory Control Specialist, Earl's Organic Produce, San Francisco, CA
Three women who have made organic food their career show us that sustainable food production and healthy agricultural practices have a tremendous impact on everything that food touches. Starting on the land with the farmer, these practices positively affect just about everything along the journey, and ultimately, the end consumer - all of us. In this episode, we celebrate the notion that life creates life, with Helge Hellberg.
Founder & CEO, The Ocean Agency, & Underwater Photographer, Chasing Coral, Sydney, Australia
Today we are entering a world that many of us will never witness – the stunningly beautiful world of Coral reefs. Like tropical birds under the water, Corals are strange, incredible, and, as we will learn today, critical in the overall ecology of the oceans. And, they are as threatened as so many other ecosystems and animals today. However, if you are not a diver, there are not many other opportunities to see Corals up close. Perhaps in an aquarium you can get a glimpse of their colors and beauty, but anyone who has had a chance to dive through a Coral reef often speaks of it as if it was a outer-world experience. We now have a chance to see this amazing underwater world up close and personal – thanks to a new documentary on Netflix, Chasing Coral.
Author, How to Raise a Wild Child, Vancouver, B.C.
American children spend four to seven minutes a day playing outdoors—that is 90 percent less time than their parents did. There is a significant physical, emotional, and mental price to pay for having such little exposure to Nature and unstructured playtime. What is at stake, how to bring Nature back into all of our lives, and specifically, How to Raise a Wild Child – that’s our topic in this hour of An Organic Conversation.
The summer months are here, with evening outdoor parties, and hopefully some leisurely slow weekends, perhaps with a glass of chilled Chardonnay, or a beautiful glass of Merlot – what ever your preference is. But do you know what’s in your glass, exactly?
We are expanding the notion of “Know your farmer” or “Know where your food comes from” to “Know how your food is being made” in this episode. What does it take to make a bottle of organic wine, and what goes into non-organic wine? Most of us who are following an organic diet as much as possible know the differences between organic and non-organic produce, the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in so called conventional production systems, and many other issues that organic production addresses, when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Today we are walking through every step of organic and non-organic wine production.
Professor and Director, Center for Translational Genomics and Oncology at Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX
There are foods that suddenly become super hip, such as Kale, or coconut water, or Spirulina, or Avocados. And for good reasons, as these foods are so called super foods – that’s a category of foods with exceptional nutritional value and benefits for our health. One of these foods recently added, is a powerful spice, a root of the Ginger family, called Turmeric. It’s component, curcumin, has been hailed in nutritional circles for decades, but only recently has Turmeric gained public notoriety as an incredible anti-inflammatory plant medicine. New research shows, Turmeric even possesses cancer-fighting properties, as we will learn today.
Very few business areas are as close to our skin, literally, and as unregulated, as the bodycare industry. Even though our skin is our largest organ, all of our shampoos, lotions, soaps, make-ups and other skin care products have little governmental oversight or production standards when it comes to our health. And right now in June, many of us begin to put vast amounts of sunscreen onto our bodies, and on the bodies of our loves ones. Children with their tendency to spend much more time outdoors than adults do, are especially at risk to get a sun burn, or to be exposed to unhealthy ingredients in our sunscreen products.
What do we need to look out for, what products and ingredients are best, and how to decode the Sun Protection Factor (SPF)? We’ll speak with an expert today, a concerned mother and nurse-turned-entrepreneur.
Today we are inviting you to come explore the world south of the border with us – the Mexican border, that is. We are taking it way beyond what is commonly known as tex mex food - Burritos, Enchiladas, Guacomole, and Tacos. Nothing wrong with that, but do you know what real, authentic Mexican cuisine looks like? Well, you’ll know after this hour! We are speaking with the author of a brand new beautiful cookbook on Real Mexican Food today.
CEO & President, Hawaiian Outrigger Experience, Wailuku, HI
There is a deep reverence and respect for the Elements of Water, Sky, and Earth, Sun and Moon that we’ll find when we engage with cultures that have developed in the middle of the ocean, away from the speed of mainland societies. Hawaiian philosophy does not consider the physical and non-physical aspects of the world to be separate, therefore, to heal one aspect, all must be healed. Hear from an Hawaiian elder about key lessons in life - how to be of service, honor your family, and always practice kindness.
There are plenty of challenges to food production, including access to land, the availability of clean water, and, the right infrastructure so that the farm can be functional and productive for months and years to come, for example, access to electrical power for irrigation pumps, a cooler for appropriate post harvest handling, and so much more.
Today we are exploring the intersection between ecology and technology in the form of a company that has developed a complete off-grid toolkit for operating a farm anywhere there is some land and some water.
In this life, in this world, you would think that we might run out of ideas, or stories, or goals - that the human capacity will at one point exhaust itself, that all songs might be written one day. Well, clearly not so. We’ve come across this incredibly wonderful movie, as slow as a wheel chair, and as deep as human inspiration can lead us – in this case up the mountain, into the heart and soul of the viewer. It’s called 4 Wheel Bob: A True Tale of Strength, Courage, and Wisdom.
It’s filmed in the San Francisco Bay Area, where this show is produced, and it was nominated as one of the Bay Area’s most important Environmental Film Contributions this year at the San Francisco Green Film Festival. We are speaking with the film maker today, and with the star of the documentary.
A carrot seed is far less than a millimeter in size, a tiny speck of dirt, dust in the wind. And yet, it contains the DNA to sprout, and to grow big, orange, beta-carotene-rich carrots, given darkness and moisture and the right temperature. Seeds have been the foundation of life, and for life, for millions of years.
Seeds are an incredible invention by Mother Nature – preserving life from generation to generation, often thousands of varieties of the same species, able to withstand and learn from draught, or other weather conditions, incorporate soil quality, and other environmental factors. Seeds are a living database of the growing history, to make sure the next generation of seeds is even better equipped than the generation before.
Seeds are food, diversity, and resilience. There is a new film available that is talking about the role Seeds play for society, and for life itself. We are speaking with the directors and producers today in this insightful episode on life itself.
Writer, Director, Producer, The Age of Consequences, Brooklyn, NY
When we hear about climate change we may think of harsher storms, flooding, or extreme drought. Those are the immediate consequences of weather on land and sea. But few have ever explained to us just how far reaching the ripple effects go from there. Drought means people in hunger, large populations moving, social breakdowns, and possibly war.
A new film is focused exactly on that interconnectedness of problems, causes and effects. It’s called The Age of Consequences and it is playing in film festivals all around the country right now. We are speaking with the film maker today, in this not to be missed episode.
Author, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation and Reset Your Body, New York, NY
It’s April, which means Earth Day month, happy temperatures, spring blossoms, and fresh veggies. The bunnies are out, and so should we! This is a time to get a healthy dose of Nature back into our lives, get moving, and help your body transition from Winter to spring and summer. The best way to do that is to detoxify from the sluggish, dark, inward months behind us! So today, we are creating that sense of health and abundance and vibrancy, for all of us, by learning about all the things to consider when we do a mental and physical inner spring cleaning! Happy Earth Day everyone!!
In the world of news and politics and social and environmental justice we, as a culture, often focus disproportionately on what is not working. From a deeply human prospective, the film Love Thy Nature brings the balance back in focusing by reminding us of the beauty of this planet and the blessing to be alive. Host Helge Hellberg is speaking with the filmmaker of Love Thy Nature today – an incredibly powerful conversation and the essence of why we are doing this show, what it means to be human, our opportunity for one another, and our responsibility for this one planet that we all call home.
In honor of the San Francisco Green Film Festival, we are covering a handful of outstanding documentaries, new films that are as brilliantly produced as they are critical to know as they are – hopefully – shaping our society and our way of life. We are starting today with Riverblue - a close look at the unbelievable environmental implications of fast and cheap fashion. The destruction is so extreme, overwhelming, and so visible, that even our show title, usually a hopeful note, speaks of the insane conditions in which the world produces garments. Host Helge Hellberg is interviewing both the Director and Producer of Riverblue in this week's episode.
Professor of Cognition and Neural Science, University of Utah, Park City, UT
If you live in a city and spend a significant amount of time on your devices, this show is for you. New research has found that a cellphone is addictive, literally. The best antidote? Nature! The temperatures are warming, a big spring cleaning is around the corner, and with it, we allow the energy of the natural environment to re-enter our lives. What does that really mean and how important is it? Just how much does the world of technology and the world outside really affect us? Today we’ll find out with new research done by Dr. David Strayer, a Professor of Cognition and Neural Science, who will speak with us about just how much our environment becomes us.
Author, Healing Civilizations: The Search for Therapeutic Essential Oils & Nutrients, NY
Imagine there is a new world out there, a different dimension, right at your fingertips, that you could enter at any time, that can bring you joy, and pleasure, and healing. That world exists, and it is our topic in this episode - Essential Oils. We have had shows on scents and the importance of our ability to smell, and while we appreciate the beauty and comfort a nice scent can give to us, we were stunned when we came across a brand new book on Essential Oils and their therapeutic use. The book is called “Healing Civilizations,” and while that seems like a bold title, the book delivers on it. It’s a tour around the world with your nose, combining ancient wisdom with modern studies of therapeutic essential oils. In this episode, Helge Hellberg is speaking with the author, Dr. Nadim Shaath.
President Oke USA/Equal Exchange Bananas, Equal Exchange, West Bridgewater, MA
Luckily we have a solid foundation when we want to choose healthier food, grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and produced without thousands of potentially harmful ingredients and additives such as colorings, preservatives, flavor enhancers, or gmo’s, that are allowed in non-organic foods. The "organic" label is a federally regulated standard, focused on the healthy production of food. What organic does not address, however, is social equality, farm worker pay, or fair trade. For these aspects of food production, we are reliant on additional third-party certification agencies and organizations that have made social and environmental justice in food production their main focus. Today we have one of the leading associations with exactly this focus as a guest on our show – Equal Exchange.
Founder & Owner, Earl's Organic Produce, San Francisco, CA
The weather is on everyone’s mind. Record rainfall ending a 7-year drought in most places throughout California has had a significant impact on our food production. California feeds this country, or much of it, at least, and produce is in high demand, short supply, possibly water-logged, or otherwise affected by the rain. What does this all mean to us, the end consumer. How do we navigate this time of transition into spring, from knowing how to choose the right organic fruits and vegetables, to home storage, and how to best manage possibly high prices - it's time to bring in the expert!
Executive Director, Director of Science, Research and Academic Partnerships, Plastic Oceans Project, Wilmington, N.C.
It’s a heart-wrenching topic, and nevertheless a beautiful and absolutely critical documentary – A Plastic Ocean. This new film follows researchers across all oceans to examine just how much plastic pollution has been accumulated in the sea, how it behaves in the water, and what it does to the biology of ocean life, from fish, to mammals, turtles and sea birds – and directly to humans as well. Life on this planet depends on the health of our oceans. A Plastic Ocean captures this connection we all share with the sea, and brings us a serious - and very visual - warning of the plastic pollution problem that we are facing. It's staggering, and yet some early solutions to this problem are being developed already, as we will hear from one of the chief scientists of the film.
There is still a fairly great uncertainty as to what exactly causes breast cancer. From things that can be influenced, such as lifestyle, cosmetic use, diet, and alcohol consumption, to things that cannot be influenced, such as higher age, and a family history with breast cancer, the exact causes or the exact combination of causes that may result in breast cancer are still being researched. Regardless, over a quarter million women will get diagnosed with invasive breast cancer this year, and with that diagnosis, the long and difficult road to recovery begins. Today we are speaking with an expert about complementary treatment options and consider what additional support for a breast cancer patient may look like.
San Francisco, as one of the most progressive cities in the world, has led the nation in countless ways, from equal rights and social equality to environmental protection. However, can a city of 800,000 people become waste free? That was the goal set by San Francisco a few years ago – to be zero waste by 2020. And it is fair to say at this point that the goal will, in fact, be reached! How? We’ll find out today!
, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Los Angeles, CA
The average American consumes about 270 pounds of meat a year, making the United States the country with one of the highest meat consumptions per person in the world. We know of our love for meat, and most of us know at least about some connection between meat consumption and our health, particularly cardiovascular, or heart health. So how much healthier is a diet that is much more – or entirely – plant based, that avoids animal meat or animal products all together? New studies are out that are looking at the effect of plant-based diets on our health, both for vegetarian as well as vegan diets.
Many people, especially young folks, are dreaming of their own small piece of land, self-supported, away from the stresses of the city, to live a lifestyle of peace, based on a deep relationship to nature and self. Today, we are learning what it takes to make that dream a reality from people who have done it.
Can education be fun, safe, safe and affordable - even for low income families? A new preschool is using outdoor classrooms to provide quality education in reading, math and science affordable for families and to give children a joyful, nature rich childhood – one full of play, exploration and wonder.