Director, Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI), University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, Columbia, MO
*Originally Aired on 3/28/16. Chosen as "Best of 2016"
Anyone who has ever loved an animal knows the sublime quality of a relationship built upon unconditional love. Increasing evidence suggests that beyond the bonds of companionship, human-animal relationships can also be life saving. Tune in to learn about how animals across species are healing a spectrum of human ailments - and how animals improve their health at the same time.
Internist & Author, The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction, Hawaii
The average American consumes about 150 pounds of refined sugar a year. That almost half a pound of refined sugar each day. Refined sugar is in everything, not just in sugary drinks, but even in our cut meats, and in our bread, and in most everything else. It’s there for two reasons – it makes things taste better, and, it gets us hooked, because sugar is addictive.
Today we are talking with an expert on sugar, a doctor who has made unhooking from sugar his life’s career.
Lenca-Poton Indian, Member of the Indigenous Cuxcatan Collective
Indigenous people’s rights have been violated since the beginning of time. But one would think that by now, we would have seen and understood the injustice of the past and revised our stands and approach to land use in general, and in particular, when it includes land of the First Nations or any other indigenous groups in this country, or anywhere else in the world.
Unfortunately, not so. The developments around Standing Rock in North Dakota where an oil pipeline is supposed to go through sacred land, including underneath the Missouri River - the longest river in America - has raised massive political, cultural, environmental, and ethnic concerns. This week we are speaking with a Native American elder about what is happening and what is at stake at Standing Rock, and what the lessons are, that so urgently need to become a much greater part of our way of life.
Founder & Jolly Ol' Soul, The Living Christmas Company, California
It’s that time of year again when we celebrate family, loved ones, food, the end of the year, and hopefully count all of our blessings. It’s Christmas, and where ever you may be listening to the show, at least the thought of a Christmas tree most likely will have occurred for you.
Millions of trees are being cut, and then, a couple of weeks later, thrown away. It’s a huge loss, so massive, in fact, that it has an impact on our global climate, as we will learn today. But, ho ho ho, there is a real alternative!
Executive Director, Frey Vineyards, Redwood Valley, CA
Katrina Frey is one of the leaders and one of the heroes of organic agriculture. As a young woman she and her husband Jonathan followed their conviction and took on the challenge to create the first organic and biodynamic vineyard in the country – Frey Vineyards. Her wines have won numerous awards in national and international wine competitions, not just in the organic category, but overall, even in taste tests against highly acclaimed European wines in Europe. Today, Host Helge Hellberg and Katrina Frey are talking about the human side of organic agriculture, how a daily engagement with Nature shapes one’s life.
Author, Scratch: Home Cooking for Everyone Made Simple, Fun, and Totally Delicious, PA
From trends and specialty diets to indecipherable food labels, from expensive equipment in food reality shows on TV to ingredients in processed foods that have nothing to do with nourishment, it is remarkable how complicated food has become.
Today we are reversing the clock – a new book is bringing us back, to the future.
Beyond food, there are a whole host of products that we consume that we know little about when it comes to their ingredients or how they were produced. Today we are dedicating this hour to understanding the amazing world of producing alcohol, in this case "eco-positive" Rum.
2016 Brower Youth Award Winner, Engineering Possibility for Impactful Change, Irvine, CA
We commonly say that we have inherited this world from our fathers and grandfathers. But another way to look at our responsibility for this planet in this lifetime is that we are borrowing our world from our children. Today we are hearing about an initiative that promotes and celebrates the next generation for their genius ideas and sustainable solutions to save the world.
Beyond diets and health benefits, food has a specific function. It can make us sleepy, or wake us up. It can make us fast or enduring. It can make us focused, or calm. It can make us feel warm, or cold, it can make us feel great, or awful. The better we know how food acts in our bodies the more it can positively influence our lives. How can we learn what to pay attention to? Today we are starting that conversation.
In this presidential election, we have heard nearly nothing close to a real conversation on the concern for the environment. From energy to climate change, how do all four candidates hold environmental responsibility and what are their platforms for environmental leadership? We'll find out today.
Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Did you know that Monarch Butterflies lay their eggs on one single plant that protects the next generation from parasitic infection? Or that primates swallow whole leaves without chewing to literally scrape parasites from their stomach? This hour uncovers stories of nature's brilliance as it manifests in animal intuition for preservation of the species - and what we as human beings can learn from them.
Biographer, Historian & Founder of RachelCarson.org, Bethesda, MD
Under much scrutiny from chemical companies, environmentalist and activist Rachel Carson released her book, Silent Spring, on September 27th, 1962. It shook the public and brought the environmental world into focus. Environmental protection became a real, ongoing topic, and what has followed since is the largest environmental movement the world has ever seen. What was Rachel Carson’s message, and is it still true today? What have we learned - and what are we still learning - about our impact and responsibility, about chemical products and their effect on all of life? Today Helge Hellberg speaks with a historian and biographer who has made studying Rachel Carson her career.
Just as with other large predators, from Grizzly Bears to Wolves, humans have hunted these species and in many regions of the planet have brought them to near or complete extinction. New scientific studies show the critical importance that those animals had and have on the ecosystems that they were or are a part of. As for the oceans, sharks play this critical role. There are over 400 shark species in the world, and in this episode we will hear about their function, their challenges, and what is being done to protect them.
Co-Author, Forks Over Knives Family, Los Angeles, CA
We all know that a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables and unprocessed, whole foods is the foundation for overall health and well being. And we also know that even before children are born, they are already exposed to hundreds of chemicals and heavy metals, a toxic burden that could compromise the children’s health and development. And from there our young ones, just as we are, are exposed to toxins in our food and environment as they grow older. Today we are learning just how important a healthy diet is in balancing this exposure to toxins, and what a healthy children-specific diet looks like.
Co-Author, The Healthy Bones Nutrition Plan and Cookbook, Topanga, CA
Food is thy medicine, again today. Osteoporosis, or loss of bone density, is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and many other Western Societies. The common answer to bone loss is usually Calcium. While Calcium has an important role in our overall bone health, there is much more to the story. In this hour, we are speaking with a physician about how to prepare and combine whole foods to prevent and treat Osteoporosis naturally.
Food is everything – from the fields to the grocery store, from our plates to our health, from community to personal and professional re-integration. We all need to eat, every day, and because of it, being trained in any aspect of food production, preparation, or nutrition, will provide a foundation for one’s life that a person will be able to stand on forever. That is the idea behind our guest today, an amazing non profit that offers food service training as a way to re-integrate people back into society – and, as we will learn, have society benefit from it in a very tangible way in return.
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.
Integrative Psychatrist & Author, Breakthrough Depression Solution: Mastering Your Mood with Nutrition, Diet and Supplementation, Walthan, MA
We are what we eat – this old saying about how much our food intake affects our physical health is now being expanded into our mental health as well. In recent years, research has been showing the direct connection between what we eat and what – or how – we think. In other words, our mental capacity and our mood are the direct result of our diet. Today Helge Hellberg is speaking with a Psychiatrist specifically about how to best address Depression through your diet.
Today we are talking with the creator of The Stash Plan: Your 21-Day Guide to Shed Weight, Feel Great, and Take Charge. It’s not just a path toward optimal nutrition, but also incorporates the entire body and your energy centers through specific exercises and stretching.
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.
There is a small county just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area that has shaped the organic food and agriculture movement throughout the country – if not the world – forever. As the nation's only all-organic county, Marin sets an example for the future of organic farming and the evolution of the industry. How did this happen and what can be learned from this model? Listen to one of the true leaders of the organic movement, Warren Weber, owner of Star Route Farms.
Author, Pawpaw: In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit, Pittsburgh, PA
How could a tropical fruit native to North American soil go under the radar for generations? Such is the story of Pawpaw - and many other plant species nearly forgotten by US agriculture. Find out what made these fruits so special to Native Americans and early settlers and what is being done today to revive the existence of indigenous nutritious foods throughout our country.
Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut have all adopted GMO labeling laws. So what does that mean for the rest of the country? And what can we take away from the fact that major food corporations like Campbell's and General Mills have agreed to institute nationwide labeling policies for their products? Get the scoop from one of the most influential people advocating for our right to know, Chairman of the Just Label It campaign.
"If you want to teach people about the nature of being human, you don't take them to a prison; you take them to a park where they can see families and people being free. If you want to teach people about the nature of elephants, you don't take them to a circus." A passionate documentary about man's relationship to elephants is inspiring a movement to release our world's largest land mammal from grueling entertainment and save multiple species in the process. Tune in this week for our interview with HBO's filmmaker and a renowned expert on elephant captivity.
Founder & Director, Insight Garden Program, Berkeley, CA
A small garden plot within the concrete walls of a maximum security prison does more than just engage prisoners; it improves behavior and reduces reincarceration. Hear data and feedback from a national nonprofit whose gardening and permaculture programs promote responsibility, opportunity, and motivation.