Tag Archives: Sustainability

Food and Power: A Conversation With Phil Howard

In this week’s episode co-hosts Chris Askew-Merwin and Malavika Sahai talk food and power, with a focus on corporate control over the food industry. This conversation is based on an interview we air between Malavika and guest Phil Howard from Michigan State University, a professor and sociologist studying food markets and food systems. He has a new book out, entitled Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat?, and is perhaps most famous for his widely-circulated infographics about concentration of ownership in the food system. They talk taking back power through consumer purchasing power and sustainable movements in pre-existing markets.

The conversation between Malavika and Phil got us thinking about a previous show we had on sustainability in the craft beer industry, from November 2015. We review a clip from the episode, A Cultural Shift to Conservation, with Kris Spaulding of Brewery Vivant in which she discusses being a LEED certified brewery and profit sharing at Brewery Vivant.

Along with these fabulous content-rich interviews, we play some groovy tunes from Weird Al Yankovic and The Beatles. If you love the content we provide on It’s Hot in Here, please consider donating to WCBN during our fundraising week. There are some pretty neat premiums being offered in exchange for donations, and it’s your support that helps us continue to bring you this show!

One of Phil Howard's infographics on corporate power in the food industry. This one is on the soft drink industry, and Malavika and Chris discuss it on air on this week's show! For more information like this, check out his website https://msu.edu/~howardp/
One of Phil Howard’s infographics on corporate power in the food industry. This one is on the soft drink industry, and Malavika and Chris discuss it on air on this week’s show! For more information like this, check out his website https://msu.edu/~howardp/

Bug Appétit!

Did you know that insects form part of the traditional diet of an estimated 2 billion people on the planet? And that even those of us who actively avoid all contact with bugs can’t avoid ingesting a pound or two of flies, maggots, and other bugs without knowing it every year? Insects aren’t the future of food–they’re very much part of our present reality!

Continue reading Bug Appétit!

Financing Biodiversity Conservation: The Case of the Bird’s Head Seascape

This week’s broadcast debuts a new partnership between IHIH and Michigan Sustainability Cases (MSC), a new case-based learning platform which integrates podcasts into sustainability curriculum. Hosts Katie Browne and Andrea Kraus first speak with Laure Katz of Conservation International about her role managing the transition of the Bird’s Head Seascape, from donor-supported to fully financially self-sustaining — in four short years. Suffice to say the demands of such a challenge live little time for sleep.

We are then joined in studio by Peter Pellitier, a student of both coral and soil, who conducted research in Papua New Guinea and the Coral Triangle a year ago. Peter speaks to the importance of protecting marine biodiversity, as a foundation of livelihoods and buffer against climate change, and the difficulty of sustaining homegrown conservation initiative. Continue reading Financing Biodiversity Conservation: The Case of the Bird’s Head Seascape

Distilled Spirits, the Michigan Way

Our hosts Alex Truelove, Ed Waisanen, and Bailey Schneider  wrapped up our three part series, “Please, Drink Sustainably” with a vibrant discussion on distilled spirits with distiller and marketing director at Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, Michigan, Nick Yoder, and co-owner and operator of Cafe Zola in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Alan Zakalik.

Journeyman Distillery is an Organic Spirits Distillery, located in the EK Warren Historic Featherbone Factory, in Three Oaks, Michigan. They offer a variety of organic spirits such as vodka, gin and rum but mainly focus on whiskey.  The spirits are distilled, bottled, labeled, and packaged at their distillery. Journeyman Distillery puts a strong emphasis on maintaining sustainability in their practices from their location in a historic reclaimed factory to their spirits. This distillery started four years ago and has focused on being a sustainable and innovative business ever since. The spirits are made using certified organic ingredients sourced from the local farmers. The Journeyman Distillery Tasting Room offers a variety of food items, all made with organic ingredients from local farms.

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 10.31.31 PMNick helps Journeyman Distillery share the tales of its journey with the world. Nick is in charge of raising customer awareness and bringing consumers to the distillery to experience the spirits first hand. He pridefully proclaims to have extensive knowledge of spirits from his experience of distilling once a week.

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 10.32.03 PMAlan Zakalik has owned and operated Café Zola alongside Hediye Batu since 1996.  Alan and Hediye deliberately choose their suppliers to ensure that they serve the highest possible quality of food and beverages. Alan emphasizes that they try to buy local and organic when possible. Café Zola has an exquisite bar menu and serves many craft liqueurs. Alan discussed traditional polish cherry liqueur making, something that anyone can do at home.

Sustainability in the local alcohol industry has remained a constant throughout this series. Producing distilled spirits requires more energy than beer and wine production, and almost of the water used in the distillation process ends up as waste. To combat this, many local distillers are purchasing grain from local organic farmers, reusing liqueur barrels, and turning their waste into energy.

Michigan’s Wine Industry, Uncorked

Our second segment in the three part series, “Please, Drink Sustainably” takes our hosts Alex Truelove, Becca Baylor, and Rebecca Hardin to the vineyards of Michigan with the help of Black Star Farms‘ managing member and winemaker, Lee Lutes, and principal and co-founder of 5 Lakes Energy, Liesl Clark.

Continue reading Michigan’s Wine Industry, Uncorked

A Cultural Shift to Conservation: Craft Beer in Michigan

In this first episode of our three part series called “Please, Drink Sustainably,” our guests Kris Spaulding, co-founder of Brewery Vivant, and Brian Tennis, owner and operator of the Michigan Hop Alliance taught hosts Harry Rice, Becca Baylor, Ed Waisanen, and Alex Truelove all about the sustainability innovations in beer production happening right here in the mitten.

Continue reading A Cultural Shift to Conservation: Craft Beer in Michigan

Cherries of Change: Adaptation by Michigan Farmers

20151030_132737It’s the finale of our three part series on climate change. This week our hosts Becca Baylor, Ed Waisanen, and Alex Truelove investigate the implications of climate change on agriculture, especially on cherries in northern Michigan.  They are joined on the phone by Jim Nugent, the director of the Leelanau Conservancy; Nikki Rothwell, the coordinator of the Northwestern Michigan Horticultural Research Station; and in studio by Dr. Paige Fischer,  Assistant Professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment.
Continue reading Cherries of Change: Adaptation by Michigan Farmers

Flourishing within Limits to Growth

This week we are on the phone with Dr. Brian D. Fath, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Towson University, and a major contributor to the newly published book, Flourishing Within Limits to Growth: Following nature’s way. We are joined in the studio by Joey Zhouyuan Li, a Ph.D student in the School of Environment at Tsinghua University, China, who is currently a visiting scholar at Towson under Professor Fath. We also welcome two new additions to the IHIH team: first-year SNRE master’s students Alex Truelove and Ed Waisanen. Alex recently transitioned to SNRE from a career in music and is studying Sustainable Systems at SNRE. Ed is an Ann Arbor native who has recently returned to Michigan to study Environmental Policy and Planning.

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Science and Social Conflicts in Climate Planning: The View from Ethiopia

This week’s show brings our listeners more than an hour of in-depth analysis and lively conversation on the challenges of climate change planning, both in Ethiopia and across the diverse governance landscape of East and North Africa. Tying in closely with a case study newly developed by a team of SNRE students for the pilot project “Michigan Sustainability Cases,” the broadcast explores the complexity of crafting effective and equitable adaptation policy. Specifically, we ask how national adaptation plans are made? By and for whom? What are the decision-making criteria? And what could these criteria fail to account for? Bringing together legal, anthropological, and environmental expertise, the broadcast takes adaptation policy as the starting point for a broad-ranging dialogue on climate change impacts, social conflict across ethno-linguistic groups, and national planning as a tool of marginalization.

Continue reading Science and Social Conflicts in Climate Planning: The View from Ethiopia

Mackinac Pipeline + Project in Gabon + IHIH Summer Vamping

*Vamping is to repeat a short, simple passage of music until otherwise instructed.

In today’s show, we focus our chat on the Michigan Mackinac pipeline and recent SNRE grad Katie Browne’s experience on capacity-building projects in Gabon. In addition, we vamped about our favorite non-American foods and non-English languages, and shared a letter from Rebecca Hardin in Hyderabad, India about her sustainability-case teaching experience to scholars from around the world. Continue reading Mackinac Pipeline + Project in Gabon + IHIH Summer Vamping