Sustainable Dish Podcast

My guest on this episode is Dr. Sylvia Karpagam, who is an Indian Public Health doctor, writer, researcher, and advocate of the right to health and the right to food, particularly in the marginalized communities in India. In this episode, we talk about:

  • Causes of malnutrition in India, including the political and cultural denial of nutritious animal foods to members of their communities.
  • How 80% of India actually eats animal foods and it’s a dangerous myth that it is a vegetarian country.
  • How the EAT-Lancet group and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are propagating (and profiting from) this myth at the expense of the country.
  • Role of dominant social classes and how they influence cultural foods, traditional eating, and food policies.
  • The protein restrictions in school children's diets and how it affects them as they grow.
  • How most of India's beef is raised by small pastoralists on small parcels of land.
  • How eating beef has resulted in lynching and murder and likely skewed nutrition survey results.
  • And her current research and how we can support better science.

We reference her Right to Food Campaign, and discuss these articles:

Despite Nutrition Benefits, Most BJP States Keep Eggs out of Mid-Day Meals
Akshaya Patra imposing vegetarian food mono culture on children
Taboos around serving eggs in mid-day meals need to go
India is Not a 'Vegetarian Country' Like the EAT-Lancet Report Would Have Us Believe
The Meaning of India's 'Beef Lynchings'

Sylvia can be found at:

Blog –

Twitter –

This episode is brought to you by Blue Nest Beef. There's a lot of choices for "better" beef out there and the folks at Blue Nest Beef are grassfed pioneers who've perfected all the steps it takes to make better beef even better. Not only is their beef delicious, but it comes exclusively from American ranchers who have been certified by the National Audubon Society as ranchers who are regenerating our land and bird habitats. If you're looking for better beef, visit their website here and use the discount code "2BUYBLUENEST" for 15% off your first order!

Thanks, and enjoy the show!

Direct download: Episode_117_Dr._Sylvia_Kapagam.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:17pm EDT

​"No cow, no grass, no birds," says Marshall Johnson, Vice President of the National Audubon Society and Executive Director of Audubon Dakota and Audubon Conservation Ranching.


In this episode, we discuss Marshall's calling to birds and the prairies, the great influence of our indigenous populations on our past, present, and future grasslands, how birds are a strong indicator of the health of an ecosystem, and how we, as conservationists, along with well-managed cattle can call on our nation's history to restore our soils.

Direct download: Episode_116_Marshall_Johnson_Audubon_Society.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:34pm EDT

With the ongoing pandemic, small and midsize farmers have been looking for new and creative ways to get their products into consumers' hands. For Bart and Wendy Morris of Missoula-based Oxbow Cattle Company, that question was already on their minds many years ago.

The duo constructed a store on their ranch property called the F2M, or farm to market store, that operates entirely based on the honor system. The Morris’ restock the freezers and let shoppers peruse, pick, and pay all on their own. The system may make some farmers weary for potential theft, but so far the F2M has been nothing but a benefit.


We discuss their backgrounds, advice to farmers getting started, what they wish more farmers knew, and more! Be sure to keep up with Bart & Wendy on Instagram where they share daily scenes from ranchlife, usually on horseback. And if you’re ever near Missoula make sure to put the F2M on your agenda.

Direct download: Episode_115_Bart__Wendy_Morris_of_Oxbow_Cattle_Co.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:09pm EDT

It’s not uncommon these days to hear about someone ditching city life to try their hand at farming. For Edlin Choi, leaving the city behind was a no brainer. After working for a variety of startups in both San Francisco and New York, Edlin found himself presented with an ideal opportunity to see his farm dreams come to life. Telling your family and friends that you are leaving your tech job and life in the city to start your journey to becoming a farmer can be daunting however. Edlin shares with us how he went about breaking the news and how he dealt with a bit of skepticism from his family regarding his choice.

Direct download: Episode_114_Edlin_Choi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:35pm EDT

Pilar Egüez Guevara, PhD is director and founder of Comidas que Curan, an independent education initiative to promote the value of traditional foods through research and film. Her documentary Raspando coco (Scraping coconuts) received several awards and was presented at film festivals in the United States, Europe and Japan. You can find her on and

Direct download: Episode_113_Pilar_Eguez_Guevara.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm EDT

Jon Venus is a physique athlete based in Norway. Over the past 5 years, he's become a prominent vegan influencer on YouTube, Instagram, and his own coaching community, yet recently has made the decision to incorporate animal products into his diet in an ethical, sustainable way. In this episode, we discuss his experience transitioning away from veganism, the reactions from his family and his community, and his intentions to eat more locally and sustainably.

Direct download: Episode_112_Jon_Venus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40am EDT

In this episode of Sustainable Dish, we chat with Brandon Howley of Happy Hollow Beef, a multi-generation ranch in East Texas outside of Dallas. The founder of Happy Hollow is Chuck Howley, an NFL star who is heralded by many as one of the greatest linebackers in Dallas Cowboys history. After serving in the military, Brandon returned to the family ranch.


One of Brandon’s first goals for the family ranch was to explore grass-finished beef and direct marketing to local consumers. Although transitioning to grass-finished beef may seem like a matter of simply changing what the cattle eat, it can be a far more complex process.

Direct download: Episode_111_Happy_Hollow_Ranch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:55pm EDT

In the latest episode of the podcast, Lauren interviews shepherdess, Jacqueline Smith, of Central Grazing Company. They discuss raising sheep, creating a 100% traceable leather supply chain, and how we, as consumers, can learn that farmers not only regenerate ecosystems, but can also provide food, clothing, and community.

Direct download: Central_Grazing_Co_6.9.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:57pm EDT

This pandemic has highlighted many weaknesses in our global food system, including food shortages and the need for more resilient, local food systems. For one artisanal cheese maker in the North East, however, these problems created a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how local food can solve pandemic-related food supply problems.


In today’s podcast, we speak with Pete Messmer, Head Cheesemaker at Lively Run Dairy in Interlaken, NY, about how Coronavirus has affected his business. The farm processes milk from roughly 600 goats from around the area into a variety of artisanal cheeses that it supplies to local restaurants as well as producing cow’s milk cheese.

Direct download: Lively_Run_Dairy_5.19.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15am EDT

The regenerative agriculture movement advocates for new ways to raise crops and livestock but what about the supply chain? In this episode of Sustainable Dish, we chat with Sam Garwin, a regenerative food business consultant whose role in the food system reaches far beyond consulting.


Take a listen to learn more about Garwin’s personal journey from vegetarianism and software sales to her life now as a meat-eater and butcher, working with big food companies, and a little daydreaming about what our ideal regenerative food system would look like.

Direct download: Episode_108_-_Sam_Garwin_-_5.5.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:25am EDT

Regenerative ranching is a balance between agriculture and nature, using mindful restoration methods and making space for the wild.


In the latest podcast, Lauren speaks with Doniga Markegard, a wildlife tracker, regenerative rancher at Markegard Family Grassfed and author of Dawn Again: Tracking the Wisdom of the Wild and Wolf Girl: Finding Myself in the Wild.


They discuss how to retain, protect, and restore the wild spaces around them while nurturing the "wildness" that's innate within each of us and the habitats we influence.

Direct download: Doniga_Markegard_on_Ranching_Motherhood__Reconnecting_with_Nature.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm EDT

In this episode, we talk to Jamie Ager of Hickory Nut Gap Farms outside of Asheville, North Carolina.


Jamie and his team at Hickory Nut Gap have created many of their own supply chain systems to keep their farm running, growing, and accessible to their community. We dive into how regenerative agriculture goes beyond regenerating soil and our climate and regenerates consumers' connection to their food, educates them to the costs of food production, the challenges farmers face and how they can be a part of the process for supporting better meat.


If you're a farmer looking to diversify your profits and connect with your customers or if you're a customer interested in the inner-workings of a regenerative farm, this episode is for you!


Learn more about Hickory Nut Gap here, and be sure to listen to our other episodes here.

Direct download: Jamie_Ager_-_Hickory_Nut_Gap_Podcast_4.7.20.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:59pm EDT

In honor of Women’s History Month, our next podcast features Kate Estrade of Local Cooling Farms. In this episode, we discuss modern farming, the improvements on her soil's and animal's health as she's adopted rotational grazing and regenerative agriculture, farming with her husband, and the fulfillment she feels as a 1st generation "Farm-Her."

If you are interested in farming or starting your own homestead, listen to this episode! It may be just the inspiration you need to take the leap and become involved in your own food production!

Be sure to download this episode and let us know your favorite takeaways on social!

Know of a good resource for female farmers? Let us know by sending a note to

In honor of Women’s History Month, our next podcast features Audra Mulkern, founder of The Female Farmer Project and forthcoming documentary film project Women’s Work: The Untold Story of America’s Female Farmers. Mulkern also hosts a podcast dedicated to featuring female farmers and providing a way for them to share their stories, struggles, and successes.


Be sure to give it a listen and let us know your key takeaways!

Our next podcast guest shines a light on black farmers in celebration of black history month. Justin Butts may be young, but he’s already accomplished an impressive resume. He’s served in the armed forces, studied at the Culinary Institute of America, and launched his own soap business, Butts Brothers, sourcing lard from the Kune Kune pigs that he raises. 


In his newest gig as livestock coordinator for Soul Fire Farm, Justin is working diligently to help the community learn more about livestock production, eating meat, and the joys of nose-to-tail dining. This work constitutes the culmination of so many skills and interests that he’s touched on throughout his career including juggling multiple projects, a passion for delicious food, and reconnecting people with the food that they eat. He also shares his experiences as a black farmer and offers advice for other people of color who are interested in getting involved in food system work through farming or other avenues.


This episode was a joy to record! Be sure to give it a listen and check out the work of Justin and Soul Fire Farm!

Direct download: Justin_Butts__On_being_a_top_chef_soap_maker__farmer_at_Soul_Fire_Farm.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:37pm EDT

The Sustainable Dish Podcast is BACK!
I've been hard at work with book and film edits and the podcast has been a bit silent lately.
Until now! In this new episode, I introduce my co-host, Lauren Stine, discuss why I chose to make Sacred Cow, and share my favorite parts of this film-making journey. We have an exciting lineup of future guests, so be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast streaming platform to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest.
This isn't the first time we've heard from Lauren. In my first interview, we discuss how one of her goats was stolen from her farm by vegan activists. Be sure to give it a listen for further context on Lauren's background.
In this show, we talk about my introduction into film with the short documentary, Soft Slaughter, and my hopes and takeaways from my experience making Sacred Cow.
Lauren highlights her favorite blog post, Books for Meat-Curious Kids, and how we need more resources for children and young people to learn about better meat.
Lastly, we discuss our lineup of future guests, how you can submit requests, and stay up-to-date by signing up for my weekly newsletter.
As always, thanks for listening!