Lunch Agenda
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Lunch Agenda is a virtual lunch date that offers us all a chance to be food activists. Kiko spent three years interviewing neighbors served by the Capital Area Food Bank about how they like to eat. She’s learned that in order for everyone in America to eat better, we need to listen to different perspectives from our own and pursue change on many levels. She’ll sit with doctors, parents, policymakers and more to hear their agenda for the food system, and will ask each guest for one action listeners can take to change things for the better.

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    What Our Region Grows: Briefing on Newly-Released Agriculture Report

    DYK that less than 3% of the tomatoes, potatoes, and blueberries consumed in the Washington, DC area are grown here? The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments just released a report that is the closest thing we have to a real-time snapshot of farming in the broader DC foodshed. Kiko is the first to interview Lindsay Smith, who coordinated the report as the Council’s Regional Food Systems Program head. We learn further insights about agricultural land use from Chris Van Vlack, a hay farmer and conservationist with the Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District.

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    Teaching Food, Episode 7: Mark Bittman on Teaching Home Cooks

    Through his New York Times columns, his 20 cookbooks and beyond, Mark Bittman has mastered the art of meeting the "student" where we are. His novel recipe formats--from the "Recipe Matrix" to "Vegan Before 6" to the "Choose Five" approach--have made cooking less intimidating, and more creative. In the last episode of Lunch Agenda's Fall "Teaching Food" series, Bittman reflects on his work as one of America's most famous teachers of home cooking.

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    Teaching Food, Episode 6: Teaching Food Growing

    How do city folks learn to grow food in their urban garden plots? And how do farmers learn to grow food in huge quantities on production farms, with all of the machinery, strategic planning, and environmental knowledge it requires? Kiko catches up with three food growing teachers: Shawna DeWitt and Attila Agoston of Mountain View Farm in Neersville, VA and Dana Bourne of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Grow NYC. We talk about what techniques they think are most important for rural and urban food growers to know, and get their recommendations for each of us to seek out agricultural learning opportunities wherever we live.

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    Teaching Food, Episode 5: Theory of Behavior Change

    What does it take to change the habits that dictate our every food decision? Kristy McCarron, who oversees all nutrition, culinary education and anti-hunger programs for the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, promotes a Theory of Behavior Change that relies on consistent, repeated practice and intentional maintenance of new habits. She's joined in studio by Dr. Kofi Essel, a Children's National pediatrician and George Washington University professor who tackles the health disparities caused by a lack of consistent access to healthy food in the doctor's office and the classroom.

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    Teaching Food, Episode 4

    Sasha Bernstein-Skon of The Cooking Project in San Francisco and Elizabeth Bennett-Parker of Together We Bake in Alexandria, VA are growing the pool of talent for the restaurant industry nationwide while providing life skills like confidence and self-sufficiency to their students. Kiko interviews the two entrepreneurs about how their non-profits teach culinary curriculums that open doors to careers in the kitchen.

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    Teaching Food, Episode 3

    As a culinary educator focused on eating well on a budget, JuJu Harris starts classes by sharing her own story of growing up with overweight parents and raising her children using SNAP and WIC benefits. During her popular cooking demonstrations, she imparts wisdom about buying food, getting the most value possible from what's in her kitchen, and growing what she can herself. On today's show JuJu shares a few of her favorite tips and reflects on the sacrifices required to teach food insecure neighbors about healthy eating.

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    Teaching Food, Episode 2

    Lola Bloom (Director of Food and Wellness at DC Bilingual) and Jenn Mampara (FRESHFARM's Director of Education) are together responsible for thousands of Washington, DC kids being schooled in cooking and gardening. Kiko digs into their approaches to aligning the classroom with the cafeteria in pursuit of healthier students.

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    Teaching Food, Episode 1

    Kiko kicks off the fall back-to-school season in conversation with the woman who may be more responsible than anyone for what is taught about food in school: Marion Nestle is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, emerita, at New York University, and author of ten books. She discusses her approach to Teaching Food, from cooking lessons in elementary school to political advocacy campaigns for college students.

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    BIG FOOD Stars, Episode 4

    America's favorite mac and cheese company Annie's Organic has blazed a trail in the regenerative agriculture movement by introducing soil-focused products and an agricultural scorecard. And because Annie's was purchased by General Mills in 2014, this means they can use the tool to track progress towards environmental sustainability across its myriad brands. So maybe instead of selling OUT, this is a smaller food brand selling IN? In our last BIG FOOD Stars episode, Senior Associate Marketing Manager Ali Kelley discusses how Annie’s product innovation and mission impact work is rippling across the General Mills portfolio.

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    BIG FOOD Stars, Episode 3

    We're in the middle of a national dairy crisis, with failing economics of the traditional small dairy farm coupled with the rise of factory mega-farms. So the time is right to look at how a BIG dairy company can do things differently. Melissa "Missy" Hughes, Organic Valley's Chief Mission Officer and General Counsel, comes on Lunch Agenda to school us on the company's co-op model, what's going on with America's dairy industry, and the impact we can have through our choice in the milk aisle.

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