Podcast: Flipping the Table

PHI’s Michael Dimock hosts dynamic and enlightening conversations with people who are flipping the table to create new ways to feed the world.

Honest conversations about food, farming and the future

Food production causes more damage to the planet than any other human activity, contributing to global warming, lost biodiversity, degraded soil, water, air and rural economies and epidemics of diet-related disease.

This podcast, hosted by PHI’s Michael Dimock, presents dynamic and enlightening conversations with people who are flipping the table to create new ways to feed the world. Their ideas will inspire action and positivity in our challenging times, and appeal to listeners and sponsors who strive to create healthy and resilient people, communities and economies.

Michael Dimock is director of PHI’s Roots of Change, a think tank-and-do tank working to ensure emergence of a sustainable food system in California.

michael dimock recording podcast

S5 Ep 8 - The Good Food Movement Is Advancing More Quickly Each Year

For the 100th Episode of Flipping the Table, Michael shares his perception of the advances being made by those seeking a healthier, resilient and just food system. He makes the case for remaining optimistic about our future.

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Carrie Balkcom, executive director of the American Grassfed Association

S5 Ep7 - What does Grassfed Meat Really Mean

Grassfed, grass finished, pasture raised are all terms you see on meat and dairy packages these days. But what do they actually mean? Can they be trusted? Michael Dimock dives into this question with Carrie Balkcom the executive director of the American Grassfed Association. AGA is the nation’s singular independent certification program that confirms livestock are fed only their natural diet for their entire lives.

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S5 Ep6 - Deep Connections: Healthy Soil Leads to Healthy Plants, Animals and Humans

Spencer Smith is a self-described soil nerd who has raised livestock his whole life. He believes California is a great place to produce grass-fed beef. His goal as a consultant is to help livestock producers optimize the health of their land in order to ecologically, humanely and profitably manage businesses that deliver healthy food for humans.

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three images of people

S5 Ep5 - Will California’s Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP) live on?

Since 2016, California has provided $30 million in matching funds to attract nearly the same amount from the USDA in order to provide SNAP families with matching dollars to support their purchase of healthy fresh and organic produce. Minni Forman, Valeria Velazques Duenas and Shawn Harrison, who manage nutrition incentive programs in their communities, share their work and the impact of both CNIP and the Market Match promotion of incentives offered at over 200 farmers markets and farms stands in California.

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person smiling in front of meat

S5 Ep 4 - Providing the Missing Middle Link in Creation of West Coast Regional Regenerative Meat Supply Chains

In the national effort to reanimate local and regional meat supply chains serving primarily organic and regenerative ranchers, the key is a what is known as a “cut and wrap facility.” These are where animal carcasses are skillfully cut into steaks, chops and roasts and ground into burger and hot dogs sought by shoppers, restaurants and cafeteria food providers. Cream Co, founded by Cliff Pollard, fills this vital niche on the nation’s west coast.

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headshot of Jacob Katz

S5 Ep 3 - Jacob Katz, Senior Scientist for the Nonprofit California Trout, Describes how Flexible Farmers are a Solution to Major Endangered Species Problems.

California has declared that species diversity is a major environmental goal. After 150 years of intensive agriculture, achieving that goal is a challenge, but there is a great example underway on the Sacramento River where endangered salmon are being saved by proactive rice farmers. Learn about the Nigiri Project to see an approach that has implications for crop and livestock operations across the state and the nation.

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Leonard Diggs

S5 Ep2 – Leonard Diggs and the Regenerator Project on cultivating the next generation of women and BIPOC farmers and ranchers

We need more farmers and many of them must be women, Black, Indigenous and other people of color in order to sustain the nation’s food abundance and heal the wounds of the nation’s persistent racism. After a 35-year farming career, Leonard Diggs, a Black farmer from California’s Great Central Valley, is fully engaged in supporting the emergence of that healing generation of new farmers.

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headshot of Rick Nahmias

S5 Ep 1 – Food Recovery at Scale: Rick Nahmias on the Birth and Growth of Food Forward

Food justice and climate change demand an end to good waste. Food Forward in Los Angeles is the most impressive food recovery program we’ve ever seen. Founder Rick Nahmias shares the story of how he and his team have delivered over 1 billion servings of food to 150,000 people per day.

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collage of four headshots

S4 Ep 12 - A Look Back at the Roots of Change story in its 20th year of existence

Hear PHI's Michael Dimock's conversation with four individuals who have been instrumental in the formation and evolution of ROC. It is a reflection on why the organization was created, what has worked, what has not and what the organization hopes might transpire with ROC and the larger movement to transform the food system into an engine for solving a host of challenges faced in this century.

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headshot of Maureen McGuire, CEO of Ventura County Farm Bureau

S4 Ep 11 - Update on the Achieving of Resilient Communities project and more with Maureen McGuire, CEO of Ventura County Farm Bureau

After talking about the day’s farm tour on the Oxnard plain of Ventura County to educate CalPolySLO engineering students working to keep drinking water cool for farmer workers in hot fields, Maureen and Michael explore how to solve the many complex challenges faced by farmers in a time of intense political polarization, climate change and escalating prices.

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headshot of Grace Woodmansee and Tom Tomich

S4 Ep 10 - How Siskiyou County might save good ranches and healthy meat in the age of industrial concentration and climate change

You have probably heard how challenging it is to keep a farm or ranch alive in today’s industrial food system. Low prices, high barriers to market entry and climate impacts are killing off the family ranches that are the primary sources of meat. Big corporations are capturing the vast majority of the wealth and impoverishing rural communities. Hear about one attempt to turn the tide in one of the most rural regions of California, which is home to many good people and beautiful ranches seeking more direct relationship to urban eaters.

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headshot of Woodt Tasch

S4 Ep 9 - Woody Tasch, Slow Money and a Call to Farms

Perhaps no one has spoken so clearly about the problem of capitalism and its impact on our food system as Woody Tasch. He is the founder of the Slow Money Institute and the movement it supports. Hear about his latest written statement, A Call to Farms and the Beet Coin initiative launching on September 11, 2022.

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Headshot of Carmen Snyder

S4 Ep 8 - Carmen Snyder on the nation’s first Farm Trails map and promotor of local small family farms

Resilience requires access to local food. One model of how to sustain and promote local farms is Sonoma County Farm Trails. Launched in 1973, it is the nation’s first community-based organization with such a mission. Carmen Snyder, executive director, shares its story and about its upcoming event: the Gravenstein Apple Fair.

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headshot of Craig McNamara

S4 Ep 7 – Regenerative farmer Craig McNamara, son of Robert S McNamara, architect of the Vietnam War

Craig shares his dramatic life journey from the JFK White House to a farm near UC Davis, the challenge of loving a complex father and how his farm brought healing inside and with the Vietnamese people.

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headshot Dr. Steven Chen

S4 Ep 6 – Dr. Steven Chen on food as medicine and the future

The healing power of food has long been recognized by indigenous cultures and through much of human history. Yet only recently has modern western medicine begun to return to food as healing agent. Diet related disease and other factors ignited this change. Dr. Steven Chen from Alameda County's health system describes how produce prescriptions and medically tailored meals are moving front and center in the effort to heal our communities and create health equity.

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Two Young Regenerative Meat Producers

S4 Ep 5 – Two Young Regenerative Meat Producers Share Their Challenges and Solutions

Guido Frosini and Sarah Silva, members of the Bay Area Ranchers Cooperative, tell us what production and processing challenges they face and how they are solving these challenges even amidst global warming.

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headshot of three social justice leaders

S4 Ep 4 – Three social justice leaders share their views on the struggle for Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund

Community food projects and much more would be funded if we can place the Health Equity and Social Justice Fund in the California Budget. Mar Velez, Rod Lew and Ron Coleman, three veteran policy campaigners leading the charge, describe the fund, its uses and how we plan to win the Governor’s support.

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S4 Ep 3 – Let’s Feed LA County team reveals the power of community based organizations in our challenging age

Pandemic, heat waves, fires and storms demand robust public health infrastructure that includes networks of well resourced community based organizations (CBOs). The Let’s Feed LA County program that included 19 local organizations, Roots of Change, Center for Wellness and Nutrition and Wholesome Wave makes clear the need to permanently invest in CBOs on the frontline so they are ready when things get tough.

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headshot of John Krist

S4 Ep 2 – Protecting Farmworkers by Achieving Resilient Communities. Part II with John Krist

Michael talks with John Krist, retired CEO of Ventura County Farm Bureau, about the need and challenge of protecting farmworkers.

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headshot of Maricela Morales

S4 Ep 1 – The ARC (Achieving Resilient Communities) project. Part I with Maricela Morales of CAUSE. January 18, 2022.

A conversation with Maricela about the Achieving Resilient Communities project and her work with Central Coast Alliance for Sustainable Economy. Maricela is a social justice warrior and the project is a core initiative of Roots of Change and its partners at the Public Health Institute.

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About the Podcast

Flipping the Table - logoPHI’s Roots of Change’s (ROC) collaborative network of organizations, businesses and governments hopes to make regenerative agriculture and healthy food accessible to all people including individuals, community-based organizations, food producers and businesses, advocating nonprofits, government agencies and more. ROC is committed to improving our culture’s understanding of our food system from field to table, its production systems and markets, and the policies that guide its function. Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

Host: Michael Reid Dimock is the program director of Roots of Change at the Public Health Institute. From a leadership role in the global Slow Food Movement to leadership of winning policy campaigns, for two decades he has led catalytic work to transform thinking and laws governing our production of food and management of farms. He serves on the advisory board of the UCLA Law School’s Resnick Food Law and Policy Program as well as the nonprofit boards of Farm to Pantry and the Wild Farm Alliance. Author Katrina Fried and Photographer Paul Mobley feature Michael in their book Everyday Heroes: 50 Americans Changing The World. His global network of allies and social media followers links 140,000 individuals and organizations.

Producer: Courtney Grace is a sound designer, vocalist, and music producer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied Sound Design at San Francisco State University and started her music and sound business, Courtney Grace Music and Sound in 2015. She has worked on several podcasts, films, and songs, and has worked on projects with Google and Skywalker Sound. Aside from work, she is very passionate about social justice issues, video editing, graphic design, and enjoys healthy foods and adventurous hikes in nature.


Originally published by Roots of Change

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