Down to Earth

We all know the term carbon “footprint.” Well, Foodprint takes this idea and broadens it to apply to our food system; they explore how the foods we eat affect not only carbon emissions, but a whole range of things, like livestock and wildlife, soils and water, communities and human health.
Foodprint is a project of the GRACE Communications Foundation, and in today’s episode we talk to its director Jerusha Klemperer, who is also producer and host of their podcast, “What You’re Eating,” and Urvashi Rangan, Chief Resident Scientist at GRACE and co-chair of Funders for Regenerative Agriculture.

Food photo by Shayda Torabi on Unsplash

2’18 what is a “foodprint”
3’51 explaining regenerative agriculture to those who are just hearing about it
4’46 looking at the true cost and the true benefit of each thing you do in the food system–going beyond “do no harm” to actually reversing the damage and improving the system
6’45 shifting mindset from the consolidates industrial system to a more local/regional one––which we saw was a lot more resilient during the pandemic
7’59 name the podcast
9’11 “plant-based” fake meat is highly processed extractive factory food and not particularly environmentally friendly
11’44 old-school veggie burgers are whole foods, and a lot healthier than fake meat
12’38 animals play important role in good agriculture –– integrated crop systems, healthy land, healthy animals
14’32 regeneratively produced meat is a lot healthier and nutrient dense
16’08 Foodprint recipes and ideas
16’54 large meat companies getting into fake meat as a way to make money, not to reduce meat consumption
19’02 the various standards from organic on up, and the variety within organic production
20’41 small and mid-size farms are often doing the most regenerative work, and large operations are often harming rural communities
23’06 the trouble with crop insurance––it doesn’t recognize regenerative practices
23’50 the role of consumer demand
24’18 see the Foodprint label guide
25’55 the history and reliability of food labels, which have meaning and which don’t
30’30 USDA Organic is both reliable and easy to find
32’00.0528 people often more interested in their own health over planetary health –– so it’s a challenge to get them interested in the importance of regenerative
35’55 eating seasonally and locally is more nutritious and lower carbon footprint
36’21 we import and export so much food, instead of keeping it more local
37’27 using regional food distribution systems like CSAs
38’40 true cost accounting and externalities––how do you internalize externalized costs, and how do you build benefit into the system
39’59 these conversations are happening more outside the US than inside
41’15 UN’s TEEB agrifood program
44’52 labeling will help us call the bluff of food companies