What You’re Eating Podcast

Whether it’s a salad, a hamburger or your morning egg sandwich, the way your meal gets made has an impact. What You’re Eating is here to help you understand how your food gets to your plate, and see the full impact of the food we eat on animals, planet and people. Join host Jerusha Klemperer, Director of FoodPrint, as they dive deeper to uncover the problems with the industrial food system, and offers examples of more sustainable practices, as well as practical advice for how you can help support a better system, through the food that you buy and the system changes you push for.

From practical conversations with farmers and chefs to discussions with policy experts on the barriers to sustainability, FoodPrint’s new podcast covers everything from the why to the how.

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Episode 1: That Cheap, Delicious Rotisserie Chicken

So many home cooking food hacks start with a cheap rotisserie chicken — you know the one, $4.99 from Costco or maybe a touch more somewhere else. But why is that chicken so cheap? How was it raised and what’s even in it? What would it look like for farms to raise a chicken you could feel good about and how much would it cost? What would it taste like? Where can you find one of these chickens now? And why is it so hard to find them?

In this episode we talk to everyone from food policy experts to food label certifiers to farmers and chefs to dig into the economics, agriculture and taste of chicken.

 

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Episode 2: Can Fake Meat Save the World?

Right now you can buy “plant-based” alternatives to burgers, bacon, and sausage anywhere from fast food chains to restaurants to grocery meat cases. The companies who make them say they are better for animals, the climate, and human health, too — that these products will drastically cut into meat consumption, curtail meat production and save us from the catastrophic effects of climate change. Are these products any different from the vegan products that preceded them? Are they actually good for us? And are they the best solution to our industrial agriculture problems?

We also examine what it means to compare these products with their industrial meat counterparts instead of comparing them to more sustainably produced meat, or to truly plant-based protein sources, like beans.

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Episode 3: Who Profits from Fake Meat?

In this episode we continue our look at “plant-based” meat and examine one of the industry’s central promises: that they are on track to replace factory-farmed meat.  Is there any indication that this is happening? As sales rise, are sales of meat declining? Or are they just a new revenue stream for tech investors and the biggest and most problematic meat companies — Purdue, Tyson, JBS — who are all now making these products? We also look at how these products taste and other options for what we could be eating instead of an ultra-processed “fast food” product.

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Episode 4: The Big Problem of Food Waste

The US wastes a shocking amount of food, roughly 40% of the food it produces, including in our own home kitchens, where each household, maybe even yours, is throwing away around 21% of the food it buys.

In this episode we talk to experts about why food waste is a problem and dig into some of the cultural reasons why our society treats food as disposable. Finally, we cover how you can reduce your own kitchen waste, getting advice from chefs for how to make changes in how you shop, cook and eat.

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Episode 5: Who Decides What’s Natural?

Have you ever seen the word “natural” on a pack of hot dogs and wondered what it means? You’re not the only one. The words “natural” or “all natural” on food packaging have been vexing customers and regulators for years.

In this episode we look at those words, claims, seals and certifications that show up on your food packaging. What do they tell us and is what they tell us real? Who are those labels for: companies or consumers? In particular we were curious about the labels that seem to say a lot — like “natural” — but don’t actually have much rigor. We talk to a few experts, check out some food labels ourselves and try to sniff out the good labels from the bad.

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Episode 6: Regenerative Mac and Cheese

Annie’s Homegrown, a subsidiary of General Mills, announced in 2020 that it was “going beyond organic” and “leading the packaged food industry toward regenerative agriculture” with pictures on the box of the farmers who had produced the ingredients with “regenerative” methods. Do customers even know what regenerative means? Do you?

In this episode, we bring together two of our frequent guests on this podcast, Dr. Urvashi Rangan and Patty Lovera, to help explain regenerative agriculture, its connection to climate, and why a boxed mac and cheese brand is committing itself to a set of agricultural practices and wanting to tell its customers all about it.

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Episode 7: The Search for Sustainable Salmon

Why should you look for wild salmon instead of farmed? In this episode we look at America’s favorite fin fish, salmon, and dig a little deeper into where it comes from, what’s farmed, what’s wild, and why some people want you to care about that distinction at all. We look at the pressures facing wild salmon and how to ensure its long-term survival. We get into the details of fish farming — of salmon, and other fish, too — and how it replicates some of the problems we see in land-based factory farms for animals like chickens and pigs.

We also ask the experts where we can buy wild salmon, any labels to seek out, how to make it more affordable, and how best to cook it.

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Episode 8: Centering Ohlone Food and Culture

For our episode on food waste we interviewed Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino who co-founded mak-‘amham, an East Bay organization and restaurant focused on reviving and strengthening traditional Indigenous Ohlone foods and sharing them back with their communities, as well as educating the public about Ohlone culture through cuisine. The restaurant was originally housed in the courtyard of Berkeley’s University Press bookstore that shuttered a few months into the pandemic. Now, two years later, Café Ohlone will be reopening on the UC Berkeley campus.

We were only able to share a small portion of our interview with Vincent and Louis for our food waste episode, but the full interview was so interesting and they were so engaging that we decided to run it in its entirety now, for our final episode.