Green Grid Radio

Engaging and transformative reporting on the environment, energy, and sustainability


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S5E1: Coffee: Trouble Brewing?

Coffee is the second most traded global commodity after oil, employing millions of people to produce the 2 billion cups consumed around the world every day. But from production in developing countries, to global trade, to consumption in developed countries, the industry is plagued with some dirty secrets.

In this collaborative piece, Green Grid Radio and Making Contact team up to explore the lesser-known environmental and social justice costs of your morning coffee habit.

Jennifer Dunn reports from Colombia as she learns how Colombia’s small-scale coffee farmers are struggling to protect their crops and salvage their livelihoods. Mallory Smith hears from both sides of an ugly split in the fair trade movement, a movement which was first borne out of the desire to improve the lives of those who grow our coffee, but which some say has been co-opted by people with a different vision. And Laura Flynn decides to find out what happens to our little K-cups – those convenient single-cup brewing pods which seem like a miracle of modernity – once we throw them away.

Hosted by Mallory Smith and George Lavender. Contributing producers: Jennifer Dunn, Laura Flynn, Mallory Smith.

Featuring:

Coffee farmers Jairo Martinez, Mariana Cruz, Suzana Angarita

Jeff Goldman, former executive director of Fairtrade Resource Network

Jeff Chean, Principal and Chief Coffee Guy Groundwork Coffee

John Hazen, single-cup coffee machine owner

Rebecca Jewell, recycling program manager for Davis Street Transfer Station

Music:

Pensacola Twilight, Lee Rosevere

Cafetero, Christian Martinez

Grand Caravan, Blue Dot Sessions

Them Never Love No Bans, Hot Fire

La Boite a Sons – Contest Contributions, various artists

 

For more information:

Fair Trade Lite: Fair Trade USA moves away from worker co-ops

Hijacked Organic, Limited Local, Faulty Fair Trade

Roundup on Fair Trade USA/FLO Split

A Brewing Problem

Your Coffee Pods’ Dirty Secret

Kill the K-cup (video)

 


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Coming up in S5E1: Green Grid Radio Collaboration with Making Contact

Green Grid Radio will be back on air this Wednesday, March 25 for an episode about coffee, produced in collaboration with Making Contact, a social justice radio program.

This 3-segment episode follows the coffee bean from production to trade to consumption, sharing untold stories that might cast a dark shadow on your cup of dark roast.

Making Contact producer Jennifer Dunn ventures into the interior of Colombia to talk to coffee farmers about the struggles they face as vulnerable actors in an international play. I (Mallory) report on fair trade, discussing the controversial split in the movement that some say has jeopardized the very purpose of fair trade. And finally, Making Contact producer Laura Flynn explores a waste facility to find out what happens to Keurig’s plastic K-cups when we throw them away.

This episode will be played on radio stations at various times this week. Keep an eye out for the link to live stream this special collaboration, which we will post here soon! And as always, the show will be available on our iTunes podcast shortly thereafter.

mkt


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Xmas Markets in Berlin (S5 short)

Happy Festivus from Green Grid Radio!
Recently I was able to produce a short story for NPR Berlin on Xmas markets in Berlin. Exploring local traditions and describing alcoholic beverages in the central European alternative capital, it’s not typical GGR fare. We upload it here as a short bonus podcast to complement the last few episodes we are producing this production season. The version here is an alternative (longer) version to the one posted on the NPR website and originally aired on NPR Berlin.
Green Grid Radio has already entered a period of sporadic production. As the producing team has moved away from campus or on to the next stage in our unique lifelong learning experience (or maybe I should just say “lifelong experience”), we aim to tie up some of the remaining production loose ends and complete new episodes before June.

Continue reading


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Coming Soon . . .

Hello listeners! We’ve been quiet these past few months but will be back before the end of the year. Look forward to interviews with filmmaker Jeff Orlowski on his film Chasing Ice, and with author Ozzie Zehner on his book Green Illusions.

We’ll also be at Storylab this Friday at 1 PM with the Stanford Storytelling Project — stop by if you’re in town!

nuestro mundo se muere


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S4E8: Biome

I was born with a disease called cystic fibrosis (CF), the number one genetic killer of children in the United States. The most serious complication of the disease, which affects about 70,000 people worldwide, is the vicious cycle of chronic infection, inflammation and scarring in the lungs caused by defective chloride ion channels in the cell membrane.

Metaphorically speaking, the planet is diseased too. But while I can stand up and talk about my experience, the environment speaks to us in a language that is often incomprehensible to those who don’t study science. It speaks in a set of symptoms, signs that grow louder and clearer by the year.

In Biome, you’ll hear two stories that may not seem to have anything to do with each other. But be patient. I’ll walk you through a story of DNA and destruction, of colonization and conservation, of the body and the biome.

This piece was produced as part of The Senior Reflection in Biology.  Music used:

The Album Leaf – Blank Pages, A Day in the Life, Perro, Summer Fog, Shine

The American Dollar – Anything You Synthesize

This Will Destroy You – I Believe in Your Victory

Maneli Jamal – Us Against them

Antoine Dufour & Tommy Gauthier – Solitude

Josh Woodward – Together On Our Own

 


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S4E7: How The Tractor Ruined Farming

Green Grid Radio returns to the topic of food. This time, we go all the way back to the farm, and to the promise of the tractor. The tractor that promised to make life for farmers easier and our farms more productive.

In today’s episode, however, we meet a man who shares a story about the true impact the tractor had on farmers, and ultimately on our ability to grow food.

Hosted by Diane Wu, produced by Erik Olesund and featuring Matt Rothe.

Music used in this piece:

“TENNESEE HAYRIDE” (byJason Shaw)


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S4E6: Biofuels, or How GGR Learned about Popcorn-smelling Exhaust

A typical ethanol plant in West Burlington, Iowa (Big River Resources, LLC). Photo by Steven Vaughn/Agricultural Research Service. ID D802-2.

A typical ethanol plant in West Burlington, Iowa (Big River Resources, LLC). Photo by Steven Vaughn/Agricultural Research Service. ID D802-2.

Biofuels, mainly ethanol, now account for one-tenth of car fuel consumed in the United States and that number is set to rise. But are biofuels the silver bullet for the looming energy crisis? This week, Citlalli and Lindsay tackle that question head-on. They start their journey following the life cycle of fats, oil and grease in San Francisco and end up with a startling conclusion about the future of fuel in America. Along the way, they reveal a number of ethanol’s secrets. Like, did you know that if you convert all of the world’s main grains (corn, wheat, rice) into ethanol, you would only be able to supply half of all petrol consumption? Yup, and there’s more where that came from. Listen below for the full story.

Produced by Citlalli Sandoval and Lingzhi Jin. Guests include: Dogpatch Biofuels, San Francisco’s only biodiesel gas station; Karl Knapp, Associate Professor for Stanford’s Department of Civil Engineering; David Lobell, Associate Director of the Center for Food Security and the Environment at Stanford; and Eric McAfee, entrepreneur, VC and philanthropist in the renewables field. Music is “Tony Dubshot 04-Beta Stability” from the Free Music Archive.

 

 

 

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