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What Doesn't Kill You

Food production is a curious business; it's nuanced, layered, complex, and political. In What Doesn’t Kill You, host Katy Keiffer endeavors to identify and explain some of the key issues in our food system through interviews with journalists, authors, scientists, activists, and industry experts. Water rights, meat and agricultural production, food waste, labor issues, and new technologies are just some of the topics explored so we can better understand how to feed the future.

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Episode 33: Paul Lightfoot, Ceo Of Brightfarms Urban Ag

What could be more ‘local’ than buying produce that was grown at your supermarket? On this week’s episode of Straight, No Chaser, Katy Keiffer is talking with Paul Lightfoot, CEO of BrightFarms. BrightFarms designs and builds greenhouses that use hydroponics to grow produce such as tomatoes and leafy greens at supermarket retail locations. Because there is a lack local food to fill the demand, Paul is taking a large-scale approach to create a system to provide healthy, local food at a reasonable price. Hear about how terms like ‘locavore’ have entered the mainstream lexicon, as well as the importance of creating an avenue for local food in poorer communities. Hear about BrightFarms recent business deal with A&P, and how Paul hopes it will provide healthier food for a larger section of the population. To learn more about BrightFarms, tune into this week’s Straight, No Chaser! This episode has been brought to you by White Oak Pastures. “If you put a tomato on a truck starting in Mexico and it bounces all the way to Chicago, that’s about the worst thing you can do to a tomato.” “In most supermarkets across the country, ‘local’ is a hugely successful strategy in the marketing departments, but isn’t getting any traction in the produce department.” — Paul Lightfoot on Straight, No Chaser


1 Jul 2012

Rank #1

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Episode 105: Big Pork with Ted Genoways

What does Hormel have to do with the water supply in Nebraska? What are the issues facing workers in the pork industry? Find out on a pork-themed episode of What Doesn’t Kill You as Katy Keiffer chats with expert Ted Genoways. Ted Genoways is editor-at-large at OnEarth, the magazine of the Natural Resources Defense Council. He has also contributed to a number of other magazines such as The Atlantic, Bloomberg Businessweek, Harper’s, Mother Jones, The New Republic, and Outside. His book, The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in October. This program was sponsored by Cain Vineyard & Winery. “The bigger issue is how these animals are raised in such an intense concentration and how that then creates a situation where manure is present in such concentration. The hog truckers don’t want to move the waste over large distances, and it wouldn’t be idea because there are spills. So, to me, the real solution is to have the raising of animals be spread out as it was up until these confinements became the next step in big agriculture in the 1970’s.” [20:00] –Ted Genoways on What Doesn’t Kill You


17 Mar 2014

Rank #2

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Episode 143: USDA takes a lesson from Dr. Mengele

This week on What Doesn’t Kill You , award winning journalist Michael Moss deconstructs his recent NY Times story on abused animals at the hands of USDA researchers. This program was sponsored by Route 11 potato chips. “There is a huge difference between research to promote the beef industry, and research to improve consumer safety.” [22:30] “It is becoming increasingly hard for me to go to a restaurant and blindly eat meat without knowing who raised it.” [29:00] –Michael Moss on What Doesn’t Kill You


16 Feb 2015

Rank #3

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Episode 14: Author Timothy Pachirat: “Every 12 Seconds Industrialized Slaughter And The Politics Of Sight”

Katy Keiffer has a deep discussion about slaughterhouses and transparency with the author of “Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight”, Timothy Pachirat. How do people deal with the routine slaughter of animals? How can we successfully compute and understand the practice of animal processing on a human and emotional level? Tune in and get an insiders perspective on transparency, morality and the many implications of eating meat. Carnivores and vegetarians alike can learn something new from this show. This program was sponsored by S. Wallace Edwards & Sons. “I do think there is something significant to the act of taking life…What happens to the way we think about these practices if we begin to collapse some of the distances that shield us from having to confront the realities that they demand?” “What I really want to get across is that there’s absolutely something that happens in the act of taking another life. The current industrialized meat model allows people to eat meat without confronting that something. I believe that is deeply problematic.” –Author Timothy Pachirat on Straight, No Chaser


5 Feb 2012

Rank #4

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Episode 135: Food News & Fad Diets with Marion Nestle

Katy Keiffer is rounding up the headlines and providing sharp commentary with guest Marion Nestle on a topical episode of What Doesn’t Kill You. Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health (the department she chaired from 1988-2003) and Professor of Sociology at New York University. Her books include the seminal Food Politics, Why Calories Count, Pet Food Politics, Safe Food and many more. She blogs at foodpolitics.com. Katy and Marion chat about everything form fad diets to FDA labeling rules. This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market. “Nobody needs genetically modified foods – we have foods. We don’t need them to be genetically modified.” [18:00] “Functional foods is the word given to foods that have some nutritional thing added to them above and beyond what they already contain.” [32:00] “I love the Paleo diet because it makes me laugh every time I think of it. The biggest intellectual problem in nutrition is trying to figure out what people eat. It’s really challenging figuring out what people ate yesterday, let alone 15,000 years ago.” [37:00] –Marion Nestle on What Doesn’t Kill You


1 Dec 2014

Rank #5

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Episode 72: Eben Bayer of Ecovative Design

Eben Bayer and Ecovative Design are revolutionizing the packaging industry using mushrooms and agricultural waste. This week on What Doesn’t Kill You, Katy Keiffer calls up Eben to get the scoop on Ecovative Design. Eben is the CEO and co-founder Ecovative, a bio-materials company that grows sustainable materials and products using unique living organisms. Ecovative has been recognized by the World Economic forum as a Tech Pioneer, for its potential impact on climate change by the PostCode Lottery Green Challenge, and recently won an environmental quality award from the EPA. Ecovative has been widely covered in the media, including articles in Wired Magazine, Popular Science, and Time. Tune into this episode to learn why mushroom mycelium offers a sustainable and earth-friendly alternative to foam. How can Mushroom Packaging change the food service industry? Hear how Eben hopes to implement these new technologies in building and insulation processes. This program has been sponsored by Fairway Market. Thanks to Dead Stars for today’s music. “Nature is an incredible toolkit of natural polymers… The food packaging marketing is 95% foam and plastic, where I think it could be 95% in the other direction- with natural packaging products instead.” [9:45] — Eben Bayer on What Doesn’t Kill You


9 Jun 2013

Rank #6

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Episode 178: Twilight Greenaway of Civil Eats

This week on _ What Doesn’t Kill You _, host Katy Keiffer is on the line with Twilight Greenaway, Managing Editor of Civil Eats.  Civil Eats is a daily news source for critical thought about the American food system, publishing stories that shift the conversation around sustainable agriculture in an effort to build economically and socially just communities.  The duo comment on the biggest food and food policy related stories published throughout the past year as well as highlighting Twilight’s article about the National Food Policy for the 21st Century and the Plate of the Union.  How is the food platform being weaved into the coming election cycle? Why is the mainstream media slow to engage these important topics? Tune in for further insight! “We know that our wages are stagnating, so as much as people would like to be able to vote with their dollar, their dollars are limited and that puts consumers in a bind.” [17:00] “Food is a blatant example of income inequality.” [32:45] –Twilight Greenaway on What Doesn’t Kill You


18 Jan 2016

Rank #7

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Episode 44: Erik Cutter on Hydroponics and Vertical Farming

On this episode of Straight, No Chaser, Katy Keiffer is talking with Erik Cutter of Alegría Farms and EnvironIngenuity. Tune into this episode to her Eric discuss the water retention benefits of certain drip hydroponic systems. Learn why Eric prefers hydroponics to organic row farming, and what the differences are between hydroponic and row crop seeds. At what point does vertical farming become as cost-efficient as vertical farming methods? Learn how hydroponics can be used as an educational tool for today’s youth, and how hydroponics can increase local food production in desert areas such as the American Southwest and the Middle East. This episode has been sponsored by Hearst Ranch. “We’ve got to get to a decentralized urban environment with may hundreds of small farms… We’re talking farm-to-table in minutes!” [16:45] “We’re not short on oil… we’re short on two resources: soil and water.” [23:20] — Erik Cutter on Straight, No Chaser


21 Oct 2012

Rank #8

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Episode 209: The Chain with Ted Genoways

On the season premiere of What Doesn't Kill You, host Katy Keiffer is joined by Ted Genoways, award-winning writer and editor, and author of The Chain: Farm, Factory, and the Fate of Our Food, a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Award for Writing and Literature. Tune in to hear them discuss the failings of the media throughout the recent election cycle, the dangers of forcing voter demographics to conform to stereotypes, the proliferation of anti-intellectualism, and the vital importance of grain commodities to this country and its economy, and more!


9 Jan 2017

Rank #9

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Episode 3: Occupy Against Big Food

On this week’s edition of Straight, No Chaser, Katy Keiffer is joined by food activists Erika Lade and Kristin Wartman to discuss yesterday’s Occupy Against Big Food Rally. Tune in and find out more about the growing movement to change our food system in this country. Can things be fixed by venture capitalists and corporations or do we have to take things into our own hands? Tune in and get inspired! This episode was sponsored by Fairway Market.


30 Oct 2011

Rank #10

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Episode 199: Talking Sustainability With Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Today on What Doesn't Kill You, host Katy Keiffer tells us about Joys & Trump-centric Sorrows before sharing her interview with Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, a Democrat representing Maine's 1st Congressional District. Pingree weighs in on food policy from organic farming to France's recent zero-food-waste law.


3 Oct 2016

Rank #11

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Episode 115: Lethal But Legal with Nicholas Freudenberg

Nicholas Freudenberg is Distinguished Professor of Public Health at CUNY’s School of Public Health at Hunter College. He is also co-director of the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College. He has written or edited five books and more than 75 scientific articles on urban health policy, HIV prevention, community mobilization for health and the role of food policy in health. Recently, Nicholas wrote Lethal but Legal, a book outlining the ‘corporate consumption complex’. Tune into this week’s edition of What Doesn’t Kill You to hear Nicholas uncover the roots of corporate dominance, the problems with current tax laws, and externalization. Why should government be the only type of organization to monitor industry? How can a society overturn the ‘corporate consumption complex’ and expose the problems of globalization? Find out all of this and more on this week’s episode of What Doesn’t Kill You! Thanks to our sponsor, S. Wallace Edwards & Sons. “Companies propose voluntary guidelines that are much looser than what public health professionals suggest, and then they don’t even follow those guidelines!” [14:35] “Today many regulatory agencies lack the resources, but only government- as an independent voice- can monitor these industries.” [16:00] — Nicholas Freudenberg on What Doesn’t Kill You


16 Jun 2014

Rank #12

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Episode 68: Ten Years of Food Politics with Dr. Marion Nestle

Dr. Marion Nestle joins Katy Keiffer for this week’s What Doesn’t Kill You to talk about the tenth anniversary of her seminal book, Food Politics. Tune into this episode to hear Dr. Nestle and Katy talk about the inspiration for the book, and how cancer research influenced ‘the food movement’. Why is Dr. Nestle optimistic about the future of health and good food? Listen in to find out Dr. Nestle’s opinions about Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ campaign, and why food labeling is duping consumers into believing that junk food is healthy. This program has been brought to you by Route 11 Potato Chips. Thanks to Dead Stars for today’s music. “When we started Food Studies at NYU in 1996, there was only one other school that had something like that, but now- everybody has some sort of food program.” [7:50] “That’s where policy comes in; there’s a reason why some foods cost less than others, and it’s not because one is cheaper to produce.” [12:00] — Dr. Marion Nestle on What Doesn’t Kill You


12 May 2013

Rank #13

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Episode 212: The Food Movement Divided

In a recent article for Forbes magazine, journalist Nancy Huehengarth parses the divides within the progressive food movement between those that want immediate and complete change and those who work within the channels to effect change from within. Later she discusses the incoming administration and the fight for a food policy.


30 Jan 2017

Rank #14

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Episode 162: Water with Brooke Barton

Water is one of the most important issues in the world right now. Access, supply, regulation, law… H20 is central in almost every agricultural conversation. Today on What Doesn’t Kill You, Katy Keiffer is joined by Brooke Barton, senior director of Ceres’ water program, directing the organization’s research and engagement with investors and corporations on the financial risks and opportunities related to water scarcity and quality. Brooke specializes in analyzing how large food and beverage companies are addressing water risks in their operations and agricultural supply chains. She is the author and co-author of numerous reports, including Feeding Ourselves Thirsty: How the Food Sector is Managing Global Water Risks, The Ceres Aqua Gauge: A Framework for 21st Century Water Risk Management, and Water & Climate Risks Facing U.S. Corn Production.. This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery “You can’t talk about agriculture without talking about water supply, water regulation and water law. The conversation is painfully lacking.” [02:00] “There should be no election where people don’t scrutinize the polling history of their wanna be elected representative on issues of environmentalism and social justice.” 42:00 –Katy Keiffer on What Doesn’t Kill You “There’s growing competition for water everywhere you look.” [07:00] –Brooke Barton on What Doesn’t Kill You


27 Jul 2015

Rank #15

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Episode 54: Superbugs with Maryn McKenna

Maryn McKenna is talking resistant bacteria with Katy Keiffer on this week’s Straight, No Chaser! Maryn is an independent journalist and author who specializes in public health, global health and food policy, and a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University. She is a blogger for Wired, a columnist and contributing editor for Scientific American, and writes frequently for national and international magazines including SELF, TheAtlantic.com, Nature, The Guardian, and more. Her work has also appeared in Health, China Newsweek, MSNBC.com, CNBC.com, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Boston Magazine, Chicago Magazine, the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Heart Healthy Living and Georgia Trend among other publications. She is a regular contributor to the Annals of Emergency Medicine.She is the author most recently of SUPERBUG: The Fatal Menace of MRSA. Tune into this episode to learn how agriculture and human medicine are responsible for germs like MRSA. Hear why meat production facilities need to take more responsibility in the realm of food safety. How have today’s active lifestyles encouraged increased medical antibiotic usage? Find out on Straight, No Chaser! Today’s program has been sponsored by Tabard Inn. “The bacteria (from raw chicken) can get onto things that you might not be cooking to death- lettuce, for instance… We are putting a big burden on the consumer.” [9:45] “The rapid rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is due to overuse in all areas of human life.” [13:10] “Is properly raised food only something that people with money can afford?” [25:00] — Maryn McKenna on Straight, No Chaser


27 Jan 2013

Rank #16

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Episode 127: Dr. Gail Hansen

Katy Keiffer and Dr. Gail Hansen dissect the new protocols on antibiotic use announced recently by Perdue on a brand new episode of What Doesn’t Kill You. Gail is the Senior officer for Pew’s campaign on human health and industrial farming, a project aimed at phasing out overuse of antibiotics in food production. She has served on or chaired numerous state and federal infectious disease committees, as a scientific advisor for several national and international conferences, and is an adjunct faculty member at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She has authored several peer-reviewed publications on various infectious diseases and public health topics and has provided practical training in applied epidemiology to public health scholars. This program was brought to you by Cain Vineyard & Winery. “It’s important to remember that the bacteria are resistant to antibiotics not the chickens.” [06:30] Dr. Gail Hansen on What Doesn’t Kill You


29 Sep 2014

Rank #17

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Episode 302: National Young Farmers Coalition

Caitlin Arnold is National Regional Manager for the National Young Farmers Coalition. She is joined by Alicia Harvie from Farm Aid to discuss the challenges to new and beginning farmersThe holiday season is all about food and community. There’s no better time to show your support for food radio by becoming a member! Lend your voice and help HRN continue to spreading the message of equitable, sustainable, and delicious food – together, we can change minds and build a better food system. Go to heritageradionetwork.org/donate today to become a crucial part of the HRN community.What Doesn't Kill You is powered by Simplecast.


10 Dec 2019

Rank #18

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Episode 288: Agroforestry, an ancient concept with future implications

New interest in an ancient agricultural technnique brought together several thousand educators, scientists, and activists at a conference in France. With Erik Hoffner of Mongabay.com. It's HRN's annual summer fund drive, this is when we turn to our listeners and ask that you make a donation to help ensure a bright future for food radio. Help us keep broadcasting the most thought provoking, entertaining, and educational conversations happening in the world of food and beverage. Become a member today! To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we have brand new member gifts available. So snag your favorite new pizza - themed tee shirt or enamel pin today and show the world how much you love HRN, just go to heritageradionetwork.org/donate What Doesn't Kill You is powered by Simplecast.


18 Jun 2019

Rank #19

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Episode 15: Food Safety Attorney Bill Marler: Raw Milk

This week on Straight, No Chaser, Katy Keiffer has an in-depth conversation on raw milk and food borne illness with Bill Marler, the managing partner of the Seattle law firm Marler and Clark, and a nationally recognized expert in food safety. Tune in and learn about some of historical context behind raw milk and some of its inherent risks. Can we find a safe way to distribute raw milk? Is the risk worth the reward? What other problems do we face concerning food borne illness? Find out the answers to these questions and more! This program was sponsored by Fairway Market. “People read studies the way they want to read them. There are some nutritional enzymes that are denatured during pasteurization, but those are things that can be picked up in other food items that don’t carry as high a risk as raw milk.” “The difficulty with food borne illness analysis is that most people don’t report mild illnesses.” “You have to look at raw milk from a historical perspective. The rational for pasteurization was that in the teens and twenties, the major causes of food borne illness and death was consuming raw milk.” “I think you will see a continued development of states dealing with the raw milk issue.” –Food borne illness lawyer Bill Marler on Straight, No Chaser


12 Feb 2012

Rank #20