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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S4E2: Dumpster Diver Interceptors

The first time we dove into the topic of food waste, Diane visited a compost facility, Erik spent an afternoon with the leftover food distribution initiative, the Stanford Project on Hunger, and Dana Gunders of NRDC gave us the low-down on one of her recent reports.

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Food waste reduction campaign in Saudi Arabia. Photo by Diane Wu.

40% of food that is prepared in the US is wasted, dropped in the trash, untouched. This is alarming, especially when we consider all the water, fossil fuel energy, time, and effort involved in delivering food. The Green Grid Radio team became preoccupied by this sobering reality and decided to be more proactive about reducing food waste. We decided to pull back our hair, grab some gloves, and give dumpster diving a chance.

Beyond the novelty of the experience, can dumpster diving be a strategy in a broader effort to reduce our community’s impact? Can it move the food waste needle?

Listen here:

The next GGR episode coming in January will investigate the fermented, flushed world of biofuels.

Produced and co-hosted by Diane Wu and Adam Pearson and featuring GGR staff Erik Olesund and Mallory Smith. The voices of interceptors, friends, and guests on this podcast include: Stephanie Pollack and Maxine Lym . Resources mentioned this episode include: The Dating Game, a recent NRDC report on food date labels and food waste: and Stilltasty.com, a “shelf life guide” website. The music that graced our ears came from: Kevin MacLeodKeep Them AliveMalt.Tabulated Soundsnisei23Tussle, krackatoa, and Derek Mendez.

We’re inspired by many local groups addressing food waste head-on, including: Be Healthy Tulare;  Tulare CA Food Bank; Stanford Glean; Stanford Project on Hunger . If there are people and initiatives minimizing food waste in your community, please let us know via twitter and we’ll include them in this post!


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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.