Green Grid Radio

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


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S3E8: One Nation Under Meat: The American Dream Strikes Back

This week we returned to the topic of meat production and food systems, exploring political and economic barriers to change in the U.S. and abroad, ways to move toward a less environmentally and socially destructive food system, and our own thoughts and perspectives on these critical issues. Like last week, we followed the wisdom of one of our guests, Dan Blumstein, and experimented with talking about food over food; Green Grid Radio team members Mallory, Adam, Erik and Diane discussed politics, education, climate change and energy, the world food economy, interconnections in the food system, local food, diversification, American eating habits and social norms, top-down versus bottom-up change, and more!

S3E8: One Nation, Under Meat: The American Dream Strikes Back

Image attributed to Meriwether, American Meat (2013)

Guests include: Stanford undergraduate student Caroline Hodge; Matt Rothe, Fellow at the Institute of Design at Stanford; Environmental Earth System Science Professor Rosamond Naylor, of the Center on Food Security and the EnvironmentGraham Meriwether, Director of the documentary American MeatEli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager at San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association; UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Professor Dan Blumstein, author of Eating Our Way to Civility; Professor Christopher Gardner of the Stanford School of MedicineVasile Stanescu, Stanford PhD candidate in the Program of Modern Thought and Literature; and Debra Dunn, co-founder of FEED Collaborative and Professor at the Institute of Design at Stanford.

Hosted by Mallory Smith and Erik Olesund.

Resources mentioned in this podcast: the American “Farm Bill“; “Quinoa’s Global Success Creates Quandary at Home,” from the New York Times (2011); “High-yield agriculture slows pace of global warming, say Stanford researchers,” from Stanford News (2010); Carnegie Mellon study comparing carbon emission reductions of eating local versus reducing meat consumption (2008); American Meat documentary.

Music featured by James Pants, Candlegravity, Dexter Britain, Sycamore Drive, Podington Bear, and Gable.

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S3E7: One Nation, Under Meat: A Tragic Love Story Of the American Appetite

The Green Grid Radio team sliced into a meaty topic this week: the broken American food production system, specifically focusing on meat. Today turkeys cannot naturally reproduce and must be artificially inseminated, 60 billion farm animals are annually killed for human consumption worldwide, and we consume eight times as much chicken as our grandparents did eighty years ago. What else is going on in meat production?

dinnerpartyThe Green Grid Radio team talking about meat at our dinner party.

Guests include: Stanford undergraduate student Caroline Hodge; Matt Rothe, Fellow at the Institute of Design at Stanford; Environmental Earth System Science Professor Rosamond Naylor, of the Center on Food Security and the EnvironmentGraham Meriwether, Director of the documentary American MeatEli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager at San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association; UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Professor Dan Blumstein, author of Eating Our Way to Civility; Professor Christopher Gardner of the Stanford School of Medicine; and Vasile Stanescu, Stanford PhD candidate in the Program of Modern Thought and Literature.

Hosted by Mallory Smith and Adam Pearson.

Resources mentioned in this podcast: “Give Thanks for Meat,” an essay by Jay Bost; FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) report “Livestock’s Long Shadow” (2006); Peter Singer’s book, Animal Liberation; the American “Farm Bill“; the American Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (1958); “Unnatural Turkeys” Freakanomics podcast (2011).

Audio featured, in chronological order, by Keshco, My Imaginary LovesChris ForsythShake That Foot, Dan Warren, Gable, MUTE, and Personal and the Pizzas.


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S3E6: Is the Sustainability Movement an Activist Movement?

The Green Grid Radio team thought about how American culture has changed since the 1960s in the most recent episode of Season 3. In looking at the sustainability movements on campus, we draw out (or try to draw out) some of the societal forces that have changed the way students tackle environmental problems. Stanford Sociology Professor Doug McAdam joined us to weigh in on social movements, noting “divesting from politics is the wrong impulse.”

fossilfreeThe Stanford Fossil-Free team making a stand against Keystone XL (Image attributed to Fossil Free Stanford , 2013).

Guests on this week’s show include Stanford students Nicholas Reale and Jorge Masero of the Civil & Environmental Engineering department; Gregory Hall and Ian Girard of the Stanford Solar Car project; and Naomi Cornman, Co-President of the Green Living Council; Stanford Sociology Professor and Director Emeritus of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral SciencesDoug McAdam;  Julie Muir, Community Relations Manager at Peninsula Sanitary Service, Inc; Dana Gunders, Project Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council; and Jacob Woodruff, Senior Scientist at SunPower Corp.

Hosted by Adam Pearson, Erik Olesund, Diane Wu, Mallory Smith, Sophia Vo.

Audio featured in this episode: ROTC sit-in at Old Union*, Stephen Schneider Memorial Lecture 2013, John F Kennedy Inaugural Address, data clip (and other sound effects from freesound.org), excerpts from a Claremont Colleges 3/4/13 Divestment eventBlue DucksPodington BearBroke For FreeInnocent BanditsKing Felix, Johnny RipperAoiroooasamusi, and Dustin Wong.

*Stanford University, Office of Vice President and General Counsel, Records (SC0178). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


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S3E5: The Lowest Hanging Fruit is The One in the Landfill

In this week’s episode, we’re covering food waste!! Listen below for some myth busting on expiration dates and the real story of what’s happening to those compostable forks.

P1040603A picture from our tour of the Newby Island Resource Recovery Park’s compost facility. This is a compost windrow before it gets filtered. Photograph by Diane Wu.

Guests include Stanford student Nicole GaetjensJulie Muir, Community Relations Manager at Peninsula Sanitary Service, Inc; Dana Gunders, Project Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council; and Elena Stamatakos and Mahta Baghoolizadeh, volunteers with the Stanford Project on Hunger.

Hosted by Diane Wu and Mallory Smith.

Resources mentioned in this podcast include stilltasty.com (Is your leftover pizza still good?), American Wasteland (Want to read a whole book about this?), and this NRDC report  (here are the highlights). Here’s more on the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.

Music featured, in chronological order, by Bad BatsAbe Sada, Cranston, The LibraryAnnsMark Neil, Krackatoa.


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S3E4: Overfished or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Cocaine Cowboy Fisheries and Love Catch Shares

Global consumption of fish is on the rise, and so we critically need to effectively manage how we catch fish and how much of it we catch. On “Overfished,” the Green Grid Radio team begin dives into this topic and understand what strategies may address the problems we see today in the open waters. We take perspectives from an economist, consumers, and even a fisherman.

A vessel with a trawling net, courtesy of EDF.

Image courtesy of EDF, EDFish blog (2013).

Featured voices are Professor John Lynham of the University of Hawaii, Stanford PhD candidate Dane Klinger, fisherman Hans Haveman of H&H Fresh Fish, salmon aficionado Elena Lawson, and Stanford undergraduate students Emma Budiansky and Tiffany Li. Hosted by Adam Pearson and Diane Wu.

(In case you’re interested, the FAO report mentioned in the episode is available here, while the study on fishermen opposing catch shares  can be found here. Music featured this episode includes: Love Cult, Johnny Ripper, Tristeza, Las Ardillas, The Curious Mystery, & Balmorhea).


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S3E3: Stanford Energy Week – Live from White Plaza!

S3E3: Stanford Energy Week - Live from White Plaza!GGR Producers Adam Pearson, Erik Olesund and guests Debra Dunn, Sarah Triolo (photograph by Diane Wu).

As Earth Day approaches on the Stanford campus, Green Grid Radio and other environmentally-minded affiliates on campus are reaching out to the broader Stanford community for engagement. Wednesday in White Plaza featured Green Grid Radio broadcasting live during the Stanford Energy Club’s Energy Showcase event. With technical assistance from producer Diane Wu and KZSU engineer Mark Lawrence, Green Grid Radio brought a solar-powered (literally– see our photo below!) episode with an appropriate lunch-time focus on food systems.

S3E3: Stanford Energy Week - Live from White Plaza!Solar-powered radio (photograph by Diane Wu).

We had a great, lengthy discussion with our guests this week, Ms. Debra Dunn and Sarah Triolo. Sarah recommended this supplemental reading from the New York Times on some of the “nasty things happening in our food system” today. Thanks to all the audience input and for the support out in White Plaza. Take a listen below, and see you next week!


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S3E2: A Breezy Introduction to the Basics: Wind Energy 101

SWEPThe SWEP team working on installing a wind anemometer at the Berkeley Marina (Image attributed to SWEP, 2013)

This past Thursday, the Green Grid Radio team spoke with Dr. Jeff Mirocha, a scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. We were also joined by guest panelist Aaron Burdick, a graduate student in Stanford’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. We’ve explored a lot of issues related to wind energy technology on the show in previous episodes, but this time we went back to the basics to gain an understanding of some oft overlooked fundamentals. What are the mechanics of making electricity from wind? How efficient is wind energy? What kinds of engineering challenges are wind engineers currently working to overcome?

Aaron provided many insights about the topics discussed with Dr. Mirocha, and shared his experience working with the Stanford Solar and Wind Energy Project (SWEP).

Note: During the show, we mentioned that wind energy delivered about 6% of America’s electricity in 2012. After the show aired, we found that as of 2012, wind energy comprised 6% of American electricity generation capacity, but only delivered about 3% of American electricity that year. We apologize for the error!

Listen here: