Down to Earth is a podcast about hope. As climate change collides with our industrial food system, we focus not on doom but instead on people who are developing practical, innovative solutions. We invite you to meet farmers, ranchers, scientists, land managers, writers, and many others on a mission to create a world in which the food we eat is healthy—for us, for the land and water from which it springs, for the lives and livelihoods of the producers, and for the planet.
Episode 43 – Envisioning a post-carbon food system
Many assume that renewable energy will seamlessly replace fossil fuels. But what if that’s not the case? We talk to Dr. Jason Bradford, author of the new report, The Future is Rural: Food System Adaptations to the Great Simplification from the Post Carbon Institute.
Episode 42 – Incentivizing healthy soils through sensible policy
Healthy soil is a win-win for everyone, but converting from conventional to regenerative agriculture is a process that needs to be incentivized. Land Core is an organization that’s doing just that.
Episode 41 – Zombie Agriculture
Industrial agriculture looks like it’s alive, but often the soil is dead, animals are living in excruciating conditions, and the food looks good but is not as nutritious as food grown from living soils in humane circumstances.
Episode 40 – Farming While Black
That’s the name of Lean Penniman‘s new book, and it’s a profound and wide-ranging exploration of everything from the practical details of how to start a farm, to the rich history of African-heritage farming.
Episode 39 – Rounding up the evidence on Roundup
Carey Gillam is a veteran journalist, researcher and writer with more than 25 years experience in the news industry covering corporate America. Since 1998, Gillam's work has focused on digging into the big business of food and agriculture.
Episode 38 – The little rodent that could…
"In Eager, environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America’s lakes and rivers."
Episode 37 – Regeneration in the rockies
Glenn Elzinga is a rancher on mostly public lands in the Idaho Rocky Mountains. He’s also a forester, and his wife is a botanist…and together they have developed a practice of cattle grazing called “inherding”.
Episode 36 – Reawakening our instincts for healthy eating
If we were left to our own devices with a large selection of healthy food choices, how would we choose? Would we make healthy choices? What about livestock, and wildlife?
Episode 35 – On Pasture Magazine: bringing science to the farm
We talk this week to On Pasture magazine founder Kathy Voth, whose mission is to make science accessible to people who need it–and to help keep them from being bamboozled by the latest agriculture fads.
Episode 34 -Why is so much topsoil disappearing, and how can we reverse the trend?
Research scientist David Johnson from New Mexico State University tells us. He’s a leading soil scientist, and he knows what we need to do to reverse soil loss patterns–and what the many benefits are to restoring healthy soil on farms and rangelands.
Episode 33 – Coyotes, hawks, and minks — just some of the wildlife living and thriving in Chicago
Gavin Van Horn‘s new book, The Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys of the Urban Wild, reflects on the relationship between the city and the land surrounding it — and how we can each play a role in rewilding and cultivating our corner of land, no matter how small.
Episode 32 – Think like a chicken: transforming the poultry industry
Reginaldo Haslett Marroquín‘s team observed chickens for a year before engineering a prototype for an efficient and humane poultry farm...
Episode 31 – Restoring Texas prairie land: From big ag to a prosperous family farm
Jonathan and Kaylyn Cobb found a healthier way of farming when they rejected industrial methods and embraced regenerative practices. They tell the story of restoring degraded land through trial and error–and a big paradigm shift.
Episode 30 – Bringing regenerative meat to the marketplace
What does it take for a retail brand to make a commitment to sourcing meat from ranchers who are regenerating the land? We talk to Gina Asoudegan, of Applegate Natural and Organic Meats, and Katie Forrest, cofounder of EPIC Provisions about how they work with producers.
Episode 29 – Money where your mouth is: Investing in a healthy food system
Why is it that so many investors want a healthy planet and a sustainable food system, but aren’t actually putting dollars into it? Rancher-investor-philanthropist Sallie Calhoun tells us — and offers a different model.
Episode 28 – Converting from industrial to regenerative agriculture: White Oak Pastures
Sixth-generation farmer Will Harris has led his farm back to its 19th century roots — and built on that to create a closed-loop, no-waste farm using regenerative practices and revitalizing their small Georgia town in the process.
Episode 27 – Working at the “Radical Center”
Working at the “Radical Center”
How do adversaries find common ground? How do they work together to find ...
Episode 26 – Food, faith, and farming — the Good Tree Farm
Food, faith, and farming — the Good Tree Farm
Dr. Hisham Moharram founded The Good Tree Farm and Good ...
Episode 25 – Pasturemap: High tech on the range
Christine Su is CEO and co-founder of Pasturemap, a tool that helps ranchers increase productivity on their rangelands. We talk about the synergies among soil health, grass abundance, profitability, carbon sequestration, and intergenerational–and inter-regional–information sharing.
Episode 24 – Practicing regenerative agriculture
Practicing regenerative agriculture
Nicole Masters is an agroecologist who teaches, writes about, and consults
Episode 23 – Planting the seeds of local agriculture
Planting the seeds of local agriculture
Bill McDorman is executive director of the Rocky Mountain Seed ...
Episode 22 – Cattle grazing, community building, and ecosystem restoration
Cattle grazing, community building, and ecosystem restoration
Ariel Greenwood and Guido Frosini are ...
Episode 21 – Eating wild foods in the industrial age
Eating wild foods in the industrial age
What’s the difference between one head of lettuce and another? A lot, ...
Episode 20 – Saving the Gunnison Sage Grouse: Community Conservation in Action
Saving the Gunnison Sage Grouse: Community Conservation in Action
In Gunnison, Colorado, there is an ...
Episode 19 – Fowl play: our insane poultry system and how to fix it
Fowl play: our insane poultry system and how to fix it
Why is it that poultry breeds in the US grow so fast ...
Episode 18 – Science, Spirituality, and Agriculture: The Faithlands Initiative
Science, Spirituality, and Agriculture: The Faithlands Initiative
Religious leaders as farmers, ...
Episode 17 – Laura Ingalls Wilder — the story of the land behind the Little House stories
Laura Ingalls Wilder — the story of the land behind the Little House stories
Caroline Fraser just won the
Episode 16 – Does Money Really Grow on Trees?
Does Money Really Grow on Trees?
Author and sustainability ecologist Tony Juniper talks about his book, What ...
Episode 15 – Organic production agriculture in Montana: Scaling up at Vilicus Farms
Organic production agriculture in Montana: Scaling up at Vilicus Farms
Doug Crabtree and Anna Jones Crabtree ...
Episode 14 – Science on the range: studying wide open landscapes in the American West
Science on the range: studying wide open landscapes in the American West
Geographer Nathan Sayre talks about ...