Welcome to the Real Organic Podcast!
All of our episodes are available as both audio and video interviews and are posted right here on our site. You can also find our podcast on your favorite players or on our YouTube channel. However you choose to watch or listen, we ask that you subscribe/follow and leave us a review when you can, so that we can grow our meaningful movement and help to reclaim organic!
New Episodes Released Each Tuesday
Episode 099: Paul Hawken Pt 2: In Favor Of Complex Systems
The second half of our conversation with Climate activist, author, and our EcoFarm keynote speaker Paul Hawken touches on many subjects, including the importance of complex soil systems for health.
Episode 098: Paul Hawken Pt 1: Social Dynamics Of Food, Farming, and Climate Change
Climate activist and author Paul Hawken talks regenerative agriculture, carbon schemes, and the sobering effects the weather will have on corporate greenwashing.
Episode 097: Javier Zamora: Helping Farm Workers Succeed In California
Standout California organic farmer Javier Zamora plays an active role in connecting farmworkers to the resources they need to launch their own operations.
Episode 096: Ronnie Cummins: Connecting Organic Food And Climate Activism
Lifelong activist Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association and Regeneration International, talks about food, climate, and the new buzzword: regenerative.
Episode 095: Dru Rivers: Organic As A Farmer To Farmer Movement
Full Belly Farm’s Dru Rivers talks about recapturing the activist nature felt throughout the early days of the California organic movement.
Episode 094: Zach Wolf Part 2: The Basic Rights Of Eaters
In the second half of our conversation with Zach Wolf we talk about how agriculture effects life on Earth for all, and why eaters should become educated and involved with the organic movement.
Episode 093: Zach Wolf Part 1: Understanding On-Farm Carbon Cycles
(Former) Operations Manager of Al Gore’s Caney Fork Farms and Demeter board member Zach Wolf explains how carbon sequestration is only part of the story in agriculture.
Episode 092: Gary Hirshberg Part 2: Saving Organic Family Farms
In Part 2 of our interview with Stonyfield’s Gary Hirshberg, we discuss the 2021 Horizon dairy contract cancellations in the northeast and Gary’s new organization focused on increasing active support for local organic dairies.
Episode 091: Gary Hirshberg Part 1: Northeast Organic Farming Movement
In Part 1 of our interview with Stonyfield’s Gary Hirshberg, he talks about the early days of the organic dairy movement in the northeast and beyond, as we delve into what has led to the steep decline in operating farms today.
Episode 090: Hugh Kent: The Broken Business Of Blueberries
Florida Blueberry farmer Hugh Kent explains the difficulty he faces in trying to keep his superior-tasting, soil-grown, real organic blueberries on store shelves amid the swelling sea of faux-ganic, hydroponic competitors.
Bonus Episode: Dan Barber Interviews Dave Chapman At Stone Barns
Chef, author, and Real Organic Project ally Dan Barber hosted our co-director Dave Chapman to address his staff of chefs about the importance of defending the organic movement if they want access to true flavor.
Episode 089: Guy + Matt Choiniere: Embracing Generational Changes On The Farm
Organic and environmentally-friendly dairy farmers Guy and Matt Choiniere of Highgate, VT talk about herd and pasture management.
Episode 088: David Zuckerman: Vermont’s Political Farmer
David Zuckerman of Full Moon Farm, a diversified veggie and organic pork operation in Hinesburg, Vermont, has a long history of public service, including the role of Vermont’s Lieutenant Governor.
Episode 087: Davey Miskell: Keep The Soil In Organic
Davey Miskell, a longtime organic farmer and co-founder of both Real Organic Project and Vermont Organic Farmers, talks about the early days of the movement and the formation of our add-on label.
Episode 086: Lisa Stokke: Food Democracy Now! And Forever
Longtime organic food activist Lisa Stokke talks us through founding a heavy-hitting organization to push for GMO labeling and her thoughts on food activism today.
Episode 085: Hydroponic Debate: ROP’s Dave Chapman takes on the OTA
A 2019 debate between ROP Co-Director Dave Chapman and Jo Mirenda of the Organic Trade Association, moderated by Jack Kittredge of The Natural Farmer.
Episode 084: Liz Henderson: Radical CSAs And Fair Wages For Farm Workers
Farmer, activist, and author Liz Henderson talks about the early days of organic, the decision not to include fair labor standards, and where to go from here.
Episode 083: Eliot Coleman, Dave Chapman, And Jack Algiere At Stone Barns
Eliot, Dave, and Jack address a crowd of chefs, doctors, nutritionists and other organic enthusiasts at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture about the importance of growing practices.
Episode 082: Jack Algiere: Modeling A Food System That Inspires
Director of Agroecology at NY’s Stone Barns Center Jack Algiere talks about how to create meaningful connections for people to growing food and stewarding land.
Episode 081: Jesse Cool: The Customer Always Comes Last
Celebrated Bay Area restaurateur and cookbook author Jesse Cool talks about what’s changed and what hasn’t in the organic farm-to-table dining scene since she opened Flea Street in the 80s (they recently celebrated their 42 year anniversary!)
Episode 080: Scott Park:Why Don’t More People Farm Organically?
California farmer Scott Park discusses his longtime success with organic growing practices that put nature at the helm, and the results of his no till and low till trials.
Episode 079: Doug Crabtree: Thoughtful Tillage Is An Important Tool
Montana grain farmer Doug Crabtree discusses thoughtful tillage, crop rotations, planned biodiversity, and how commodity farming limits good soil stewardship.
Episode 078: Ed Maltby:Organic Dairy Contracts Create A Code Of Fear
Ed Maltby of the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance talks us through how milk-buying contracts harm small farms and benefit buyers and processors.
Episode 077: Rosie Burroughs: A Call For Transparency + Fair Prices In Dairy
California farmer Rosie Burroughs explains how the system of brokers and processors setting prices has led to many organic dairies closing their doors for good.
Episode 076: David Weinstein: Owning And Fixing The Shortcomings Of Organic
Longtime produce dealer David Weinstein talks about the early days of building the organic movement, what went right, what went wrong, and how farmers and eaters can reclaim it.
Episode 075: Bob Quinn Pt 2: Lack of Research Dollars + Incentives Plague Organic
The second half of our interview with Montana farmer Bob Quinn touches on grain fraud, research funding, greenwashing, and other issues that are impacting the organic movement.
Episode 074: Bob Quinn Pt 1: Organic Grain Farming Vs. Chemical Grain Farming
Legendary Montana grain farmer Bob Quinn discusses the effectiveness of organic growing practices when dryland farming as compared to using chemical inputs.
Episode 073: Jim Durst: Fair Wages, Land Ownership, And Abundance Vs. Scarcity
California farmer Jim Durst talks about ecological growing practices and the organic movement’s opportunity to address social and economic injustices.
Episode 072: Mark McAfee: Raw Milk Proves Direct Marketing Works
Raw Milk Institute President Mark McAfee talks about the strengths of educating each customer, person-to-person, as they learn about what makes for superior dairy products.
Episode 071: Lindsey Lusher-Shute: Technology + Cooperation To The Organic Rescue
National Young Farmers Coalition co-founder Lindsey Lusher-Shute talks about why she chose to move the needle for organic farmers in the technology sector, with her platform coop app GrownBy.
Episode 070: David Bronner: Verifying Organic Supply Chains
Regenerative Organic and GMO Labeling champion David Bronner talks about the ongoing fight farmers and food activists face against global chemical companies.
Episode 069: Sidehill Farm: One Organic Dairy, Two Organic Businesses
Massachusetts farmers Amy Klippenstein and Paul Lacinski discuss why they chose to certify their dairy with USDA Organic, and then later, with the Real Organic Project.
Episode 068: Alan Lewis: Corruption and Anticompetitiveness in Dairy
Alan Lewis, organic advocate and VP of Policy for Natural Grocers, is back with plenty of revealing info about what happens behind the scenes in Big Dairy and how it affects the organic supply chain.
Episode 067: Anna Jones-Crabtree: Our Organic Supply Chain Needs A Makeover
Grain farmer Anna Jones-Crabtree of MT’s Vilicus Farms discusses diversifying income streams and building creative relationships to help sidestep the limitations of subsidies and crop insurance.
Episode 066: Bernward Geier, Pt 2: Asia – Where Organic Is Winning
In the second half of our interview with former longtime IFOAM director Bernward Geier, we continue our world tour of organic policies and successes, visiting the state if Sikkim in India.
Episode 065: Bernward Geier, Pt 1: Europe – Where Organic Is Winning
Bernward Geier, former longtime director of IFOAM, takes on a tour of organic success stories while discussing the USDA’s missteps.
Episode 064: Amanda Starbuck: Corporate Consolidation + Our Food System
Amanda Starbuck of Food and Water Watch explains how supermarket shelving works under consolidated corporate power and what that means for eaters, their communities, and their landscapes.
Episode 063: Earl Ransom: Big Dairy Always Intended To Exploit Small Farms
Organic dairy farmer Earl Ransom of VT’s Strafford Creamery walks us through the rise and fall of prices and standards in Vermonts organic milk market since the 90s.
Episode 062: Paul Muller: Farmers Need Consumers To Help Rebuild Our Food System
Real Organic farmer Paul Muller of CA’s Full Belly Farm speaks about what it will take to reclaim the organic movement: farmer activists, enlightened consumers, scientists, journalists, and university professors. All hands on deck!
Episode 061: Severine Von Tscharner Fleming: Who Controls Seaweed Farming?
Aquaculturist and activist Severine Von Tscharner Fleming, of the Greenhorns and Smithereen Farm, goes deep into the policies and practices that shape our food systems in the sea.
Bonus Episode Two: Paul Hawken: Project Drawdown And Regeneration
Our first ever interview with climate activist and author Paul Hawken.
Ep 060: Francis Thicke: The Importance Of A Farmer-Led Movement
Real Organic dairy farmer and former National Organic Standards Board member Francis Thicke speaks to the difference between his grass-fed pasture operation and large-scale CAFOs.
Ep 059: Melinda Hemmelgarn: Connecting Nutrition to Soil
Investigative nutritionist and Food Sleuth Radio host Melinda Hemmelgarn speaks to the need to connect more societal roles, such as physicians, nutritionists, and teachers, to local farmers and soil health.
Ep 058: Eliot Coleman + Dan Barber Discuss Organic vs. Regenerative
Farmer Eliot Coleman and Chef Dan Barber have a lively conversation about the future of food, climate, tillage, and which growing practices the public should embrace for a healthy planet.
Ep 057: Kevin Engelbert: Calling Out Corruption In Organic Dairy
Former NOSB member and the first certified-organic dairy farmer in the US, Kevin Engelbert, speaks about the insurmountable effects of corruption today in organic dairy.
Ep 056: Paul Hawken: Regenerating “Take, Make, Waste” Systems
Author and climate activist Paul Hawken contemplates capitalism’s historic influence on the degeneration of our planet, food and labor systems.
Ep 055: Leah Penniman: Ecological Healing Means Putting Land Back Into Indigenous Hands
Activist farmer Leah Penniman considers what true healing of our lands, food systems, and communities would take and who should guide the way.
Ep 054: Senator Jon Tester: Farmers Need Capitalism With Competition
Organic grain farmer and US Senator Jon Tester of Montana discusses the impact of lobbyists and multinationals on our policies and food system.
Ep 053: Michael Pollan: Antitrust and Democracy At Your Dinner Table
Author Michael Pollan has been well-versed in agriculture and food system’s issues for decades. Here he share the powerful, underlying themes that have come to light in today’s fight.
Ep 052: Mark Kastel: An Organic Watchdog Goes After Big Dairy
Cornucopia Institute and OrganicEye co-founder Mark Kastel is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the fraud, corruption, and best ways to apply pressure on Big Dairy.
Ep 051: Chellie Pingree: Failures & Opportunities of US Agricultural Policies
Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree believes the lack of enforcement of the organic standards by the USDA is a “dereliction of duty” and that the solutions lie in local food.
Ep 050: Dave Chapman: Founding A Farmer-Led Movement
Our milestone 50th episode features an interview with our co-director Dave Chapman about his life as a farmer and the build up to co-founding Real Organic Project.
Ep 049: Encore: All About Real Organic Project
To celebrate the launch of our second podcast season and the bevy of exciting interviews ahead, we’re revisiting why Real Organic Project exists and how it came to be.
Ep 048: Kris Nichols Pt 2: Carbon Sequestration Is Our Responsibility
In our continued conversation with Dr. Kris Nichols she shares her deep knowledge of soil carbon sequestration using organic farming practices.
Ep 047: Kris Nichols Pt 1: Farm-Geeking Out On Soil Biology
Soil microbiologist Dr. Kris Nichols takes us underground to celebrate the evolution of mycorrhizae, the mysteries of glue-like glomalin, and the life-giving role of carbon in our soils.
Ep 046: Michael Kilpatrick: Small Farms Can Earn Good Livings
Farmer and Thriving Podcast host Michael Kilpatrick offers business advice for the struggles small farmers face today, along with observations about the unsettling state of organic.
Ep 045: Eric Sideman: Organic Means You Must Love Soil
Longtime organic farmer, ecologist, ag policy expert, and MOFGA technical agent Eric Sideman shares his observations of the organic movement’s slow collision with the organic industry.
Ep 044: Alan Lewis: Why Real Farm Food Is Rarely Found In Stores
Alan Lewis of Natural Grocers offers a (pretty disturbing) take on how consolidation in distribution and supply is playing out on store shelves, to the disadvantage of small farmers.
Ep 043: Woody Tasch: Investing In Your Local Soil With Slow Money
Founder of Slow Money and Beetcoin Woody Tasch shares his enthusiasm for grassroots community investing and the strength of zero-percent loans for organic famers.
Ep 042: Anne Ross: Investigating International Grain Fraud
Anne Ross of the Cornucopia Institute walks us through her years-long investigation and exposure of massive grain fraud under the USDA organic seal.
Ep 041: Ben Dobson: Luddites, Take-nologists, + 4th Grade Climate Science
Real Organic farmer Ben Dobson of Stone House Grain and Hudson Carbon offers clear explanations of how our agricultural practices effect natural cycles and Earth’s climate.
Ep 040: Jennifer Taylor: Infusing Farmers With The Organic Experience
Advocate, academic, and Real Organic farmer Jennifer Taylor shares her experiences serving a 5-year term on the NOSB and her success in role-modeling organic practices for farmers at Florida AMU.
Ep 039: Walter Jehne Part 2: The True Costs Of Cheap Food
The second half of our conversation with soil and Climate scientist Walter Jehne focuses on the rise of health costs and decline of available nutrients connected to industrial agriculture.
Ep 038: Walter Jehne Part 1: Hydrology, Desertification and Climate
Austrailian soil microbiologist and Climate scientist Walter Jehne shifts the conversation away from carbon emissions and towards restoring healthy water cycles to heal Earth.
Ep 037: Didi Pershouse: Water, Water, Water And The Soil Carbon Sponge
Medical practitioner turned regenerative soil advocate Didi Pershouse dives into the critical roles played by water and the soil carbon sponge in staving off the Climate Crisis.
Ep 036: Nora Taleb: Lessons From Europe’s Add-On Food Labels
Nora Taleb of Germany’s Naturland provides insight into the success of Europe’s food labeling system and how it has helped to define and strengthen the organic landscape.
Ep 035: Michael Phillips: Restoring Degraded Lands With Outrageous Biodiversity
Author, Real Organic orchardist, and fungal network devotee Michael Phillips speaks about biological practices that allow all species to play their intended role on Earth.
Bonus Episode One: Paul Hawken: Food, Climate, And The Time For Regeneration
In celebration of the release of Paul’s new book Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation, we’re sharing a conversation about food and climate from late 2020.
Ep 034: Francis Thicke: Unpacking The Industrial Takeover Of Organic
Real Organic dairy farmer and former National Organic Standards Board member Francis Thicke goes deep on how the USDA bowed to corporate players and what that means for us all.
Ep 033: Annelise Orleck: Invisible Farm Workers + Unconscious Consumers
Labor historian and Dartmouth professor Annelise Orleck explains the rising popularity of goods produced by invisible hands in western society and the negative effects on our food system.
Ep 032: Karen Washington: Growing Diversity In The Farming Community
Farmer and community activist Karen Washington speaks to the importance of growing visible diversity at agricultural conferences and in our fields.
Ep 031: Fred Provenza: What Animals Eat And Why Should We Care?
Biologist and animal behaviorist Fred Provenza shares his lifetime of research on the innate nutritional wisdom displayed by grazing animals and why we humans should take note.
Ep 030: David Grinspoon: Childhood’s End: What Kind Of Planet Changers Do We Want To Be?
NASA astrobiologist, professor and author David Grinspoon wonders if humanity can develop enough self-awareness about its role as a geological force to stave off the next mass extinction.
Episode 029: John Ikerd, Part Two: Scaling Organic Farms To Fit Nature And Communities
The second half of our conversation with agricultural economist John Ikerd dismantles the assumptions around standards and efficiencies on real organic farms.
Episode 028: John Ikerd, Part One: Industrial Food Can Never Be Sustainable
Agricultural economist John Ikerd spells out the true meaning of a milk glut and how it sets the stage for a market takeover, as seen in the Horizon/ Danone contract cancellations of August 2021.
Episode 027: David Montgomery: Clever Modern Technology vs Ancient Soil Wisdom
Geologist and author David Montgomery speaks to the relationship between soil degradation and the collapse of civilizations throughout time.
Episode 026: Anne Biklé Part Two: From Soil to Gut
In our continued conversation with author, biologist, and gardener Anne Biklé, focus shifts to the human microbiome and its complex relationship to foods grown in soil.
Episode 025: Anne Biklé Part One: Digging Into the Soil Microbiome
Author, biologist, and gardener Anne Biklé takes us on a tour of the characters and processes that give life to our soil, and ultimately to our food.
Episode 024: Bill McKibben: Winning the Climate Argument But Losing the Fight
Climate activist and author Bill McKibben discusses what it takes to build a movement big enough to topple Big Power and why organic needs one.
Episode 023: Allan Savory: Regreening the Planet with Livestock
Allan Savory, the founder of Holistic Management International, lays out how the management of grazing animals is our most-effective tool against Climate Change (above fire).
Episode 022: Arran Stephens: Fighting the Lobbyists Who Dilute Organic
The co-founder of Nature’s Path, Arran Stephens, sells us on the beauty of being an activist-business person hybrid and why the organic food world needs more brands like his family’s.
Episode 021: Stuart Hill: Sustainable Farming, Intuitive Knowledge + Feedback Loops
Social ecologist, professor, and author Stuart Hill of the University if Western Sydney shares deep insights about the state of science, farming, and knowledge in today’s world.
Episode 020: Jean-Paul Courtens: To Till Or Not To Till
Biodynamic farmer JP Courtens discusses organic farming practices in our changing climate and the complex layers of the tillage conversation for those growing vegetables.
Episode 019: Enid Wonnacott: When the Organic Floor Became a Ceiling
Longtime director of NOFA Vermont Enid Wonnacott shares her observations of how the organic playing field has changed since the drafting of the Organic Foods Production Act in 1990.
Episode 018: Vincent Stanley: The Power of Private Companies Working to Protect Earth
Co-author of The Responsible Company with his uncle Yvon Chouinard and longtime Director of Marketing at Patagonia, Vincent Stanley talks about the role of B Corps and the future of organic.
Episode 017: Hugh Kent: Allowing Hydroponic Berries Into Organic Is A Mandate
Real Organic blueberry farmer Hugh Kent shares the struggles and injustices he encounters competing in a market (organic berries) against corporate hydro growers who focus on price and not flavor.
Episode 016: Kat Taylor: How to Grow Good Money + Good Food for All
Green banker and regenerative cattle ranch owner Kat Taylor talks about the hard work involved in transforming capitalism into a system that allows all people and species on Earth to thrive.
Episode 015: Onika Abraham: Voting with Your Fork Won’t End Food Apartheid
NYC Farm School founder Onika Abraham delves into the long history and potentially bright future of growing good food in urban spaces where cooperation and access to the commons is vital.
Episode 014: Mark Schatzker: Deception and Dishonesty are Flavoring Human Nutrition
Author and journalist Mark Schatzker reveals how the flavor industry manipulates our tongues and steers our food choices, causing us to miss out on the superior taste and nutrition found in real foods.
Episode 013: Alice Waters: The Cost of Eating Fast Food Values
Renowned Slow Food chef Alice Waters delivers the long view on what our modernized, industrialized food system has really been feeding our society and why we’re eating it up.
Episode 012: Paul Holmbeck: How Denmark Went Organic
Policy expert Paul Holmbeck walks us through what it took for Denmark to embrace the concept that organic food production is good for all Danes, even those who don’t buy organic food.
Episode 011: Seth Godin: The Power of the Organic Story is Too Tempting for Big Ag
Stand-out marketer and prolific author Seth Godin helps us understand how farmers can tell their our own stories better than corporate deceivers and grow the Real Organic movement.
Episode 010: Joan Gussow: Tying Nutrition to Agriculture is Long Overdue
Luminary author, policy expert, and professor of Nutritional Ecology Joan Dye Gussow lets loose about processed foods, health statistics, and the dangers of Big Food’s grip on us all.
Episode 009: JM Fortier: Feeding the World with Small, Organic Farms
Proponent of hand tools, people power, and small-scale diversified farming JM Fortier (aka The Market Gardener) discusses the path ahead for replanting Organic back in the soil.
Episode 008: Eliot Coleman: Real Organic vs. Chemical Farming
Four-season farming icon, author, and early contributor to the national organic standards + program Eliot Coleman lends his views on what’s gone wrong at the USDA and why.
Episode 007: Emily Oakley: Living Next to a CAFO while Serving on the NOSB
Farmer Emily Oakley shares her experience serving on the National Organic Standards Board through the notorious 2017 hydroponics vote, as well as what it’s like living in CAFO country.
Episode 006: Peter Whoriskey: Uncovering Fraud in Organic Meat, Milk, Eggs, + Grain
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Peter Whoriskey brings us the behind the scenes story of his 2017 Washington Post exposés that revealed massive fraud in the (industrial) organic marketplace.
Episode 005: Al Gore: Climate, Agriculture, + Human Migration
Former VP Al Gore discusses his decision to certify his Caney Fork Farms of Tennessee with the Real Organic Project, as well as his take on how our movement can succeed in today’s world.
Episode 004: Leah Penniman: Revolution Based On Land
Farmer, activist, and educator Leah Penniman ties the history and recent history of America’s exploitative land grabs to the global resource takeovers happening today.
Episode 003: Dan Barber: Chasing Fertility + America’s Absent Food Culture
Chef, author and seed company founder Dan Barber gets to the heart of why our young country has yet to align its ecological needs with its agricultural demands.
Episode 002: Paul Hawken: Extractive Capitalism’s Toll on Food, Farming + Life
Climate activist and author of Drawdown Paul Hawken shares his observations about how Big Ag and Big Food are shaping the world for the worse.
Episode 001: All About Real Organic Project + The Real Organic Podcast
Find out more about why our movement was created to protect organic farms and food from corporate interests looking to take over the marketplace.