The Just Food Podcast

We are excited to introduce season two of Just Food, our signature podcast series.  This season’s stories highlight incredible people that push the expansion of justice and health throughout our food systems.  The series is once again produced by the Berkeley Food Institute, in partnership with the UC Berkeley Advanced Media Institute at the Graduate School of Journalism.

Please also experience the moving stories of the Season One, on iTunes; see the gallery of photos of the persons interviewed, get the transcript, read the story, and listen on SoundCloud here, or subscribe through the Apple Podcasts app, PodBean, or your favorite podcast player.

For Those Who Serve: The Restaurant Professionals

Release Date: April 19, 2018

We learn that 90% of restaurant workers report experiencing sexual behavior that is scary or unwanted. We find that the system that allows this behavior to fester is rooted in concepts from feudal Europe and slavery. We then learn about solutions, personified in the subjects of our interview.

Listen to Episode 1, Season 2 on iTunes here.

Read the story, get the transcript, and listen to Episode 1, Season 2 on Soundcloud here.

Ecoliteracy: Teaching Children About the Origins of Food

Children from Cleveland Elementary School in Oakland speak with their Eco-literacy teacher Mary Schriner during their food festival, Little Red Hen Day.
Release Date: May 3, 2018

With or without a large kitchen, children can be taught about real food, our food sources, and the complete food system. Mary Schriner, an ecoliteracy instructor at Cleveland Elementary School in Oakland, teaches children about everything from eggs to wheat to cooking it all, with the help of principal Peter Van Tassel and an army of volunteers. The community support is heart-warming—and surprising.

Listen to Episode 2, Season 2, on iTunes here.

Read the story, get the transcript, and listen to Episode 2, Season 2 on Soundcloud here.

Rethinking School Lunch: Health Equity

Release Date: May 17, 2018

More than 900 million meals are served to children in California schools each year.  some children consume as much as two-thirds of their calories at school. But school meal programs have suffered over the last 10 years from major budget cutbacks, declining quality of food, and disconnection with community food needs.Within Oakland Unified School District, innovative efforts are changing how children are nourished. Now other districts are looking toward Oakland’s example

Listen to Episode 3, Season 2, on iTunes, here.

Read the story, get the transcript, and listen to Episode 3, Season 2, on SoundCloud here.

Small Farms and Land Access: Farm Dreams Deferred

Release Date: May 31, 2018

Small farms currently supply more than 80% of food in the US. The USDA recently stated that half of the more than 2 million farms in the US generate less than $10,000 worth of crops and livestock in a year. The movement toward growing at least some of one’s own food, and to source food from small organic farms, is growing rapidly. But farmland prices have doubled since 2004, and large-scale agricultural businesses are rushing to purchase farmland nationwide.

Seventy percent of U.S farmland is expected to transition to another owner over the next 20 years. Will our food sources survive the pinch?

Your Food, Through the Eyes of Farmworkers

Release Date: June 14, 2018

Migrant Farmworkers possess a profound knowledge of the crops they pick season after season. But do the tough conditions under which they work color their perspective of the food we eat—indeed, the food they eat? Do they love the food with which they work as much as we love it?  What is their visceral reaction to certain fruits or vegetables, based on their experiences on the farms? The answers may surprise you.

SNAP in the Age of Political Chaos

Release Date: June 28, 2018

Many individuals who are eligible for SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, are now wary of using the program because current nebulous and ever-changing Federal rules have put them in fear of their status as legal residents. New rules that could jeopardize a person’s citizenship status because of SNAP participation are constantly being proposed. Effects of the fear of retaliation by Washington have hurt children the most. This episode examines the drastic changes in the SNAP program, and California’s commitment to finding moral high ground.


Pilot: Harvesting Equitable Food

Farmworkers in a strawberry field
April 18, 2017

In this first episode, we explore a new, opt-in certification program for farms. The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is a unique collaboration between workers, growers, and retailers that improves working conditions, pesticide management, and food safety—producing better fruits and vegetables while providing farm workers with higher pay and greater protections.

Listen to Episode 1 on iTunes here.

Read the story, get the transcript, and listen to Episode 1 on SoundCloud here.

Feeling the Sting: What Can Be Done to Protect Pollinators

The farm is full of native pollinators, such as this bumble bee.
September 21, 2017

We learn about how California agriculture has been impacted by dwindling bee populations and what farms can do in response—not only to protect honeybees, but also to restore native pollinator species.

Listen to Episode 2 on iTunes here.

Read the story, get the transcript, and listen to Episode 2 on Soundcloud here.

Youth Environmental Academy volunteers work at different outreach events to teach the community about the adverse health effects of sugar-sweetened beverages and share healthier food options. Photo by the Ecology Center.

We follow the story of the nation’s first sugar-sweetened beverage tax here in Berkeley—from how the measure came into law in 2014 to how the tax and the revenue it generates are shaping the health of Berkeley residents today.

Listen to Episode 3 on iTunes here.

Read the story, get the transcript, and listen to Episode 3 on Soundcloud here.

The Changemakers of CHAMACOS: Pesticides and Public Health

COSECHA Youth Researchers.
October 19, 2017

A longitudinal study called CHAMACOS has been measuring the impact of pesticides on child development for over 15 years. We hear from high school students in Salinas, California who are working with UC Berkeley scientists to learn more about how agricultural chemicals affect the health of their community.

Listen to Episode 4 on iTunes here.

Read the story, get the transcript, and listen to Episode 4 on Soundcloud here.

Healthy Soil in Richmond’s Concrete Jungle

November 2, 2017

A common and significant challenge for urban agriculture is the health of the farm’s soil. Often, the land has been used for different purposes over the years, possibly contaminating the soil or stripping its nutrients. We follow the journey of UC Berkeley soil scientists and Urban Tilth—a nonprofit based in Richmond, California—as they work together to transform a vacant plot into a working farm.

Listen to Episode 5 on iTunes here.

Read the story, get the transcript, and listen to Episode 5 on Soundcloud here.

CalFresh on Campus: Breaking the Stigma of Food Insecurity

November 16, 2017

California consistently has one of the lowest enrollment rates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—also known as CalFresh at the state level. This issue of low participation extends to college campuses, where food insecurity levels are disproportionately high. We learn about recent measures taken by the California government and UC Berkeley to get more students enrolled in CalFresh.

Listen to Episode 6 on iTunes here.

Read the story, get the transcript, and listen to Episode 6 on Soundcloud here.