Cain, Crispin — Craft Whiskey: What It Is and How it’s Made

Whiskey:  Scotch, Irish, Absinthe and Moonshine, among others, are the topics of this edition of Radio Curious.  Our guest is Crispin Cain, an artisan liqueur maker, distiller and co-owner of Greenway Distillers and American Craft Whiskey, based in Redwood Valley, California, about 10 miles north of the Radio Curious studios. We met in his office of at the Greenway distillery on October 27, 2017, and began our visit sampling some his most tasty products.  After a few sips I turned on the recorder and asked Crispin Cain to describe the distilling process.

The book Crispin Cain recommends is “Writings from Ancient Egypt,” by Toby Wilkinson.  

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Herm, Eric — Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth

From the Radio Curious archives we visit with Eric Herm a 4th generation farmer from Ackerly Texas and author of, “Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth: A Path to Agriculture’s Higher Consciousness.” Herm is transitioning his family farm into an organic farm. He recently returned from a march that began in Baltimore, Maryland, in October, 2011, and ended in front of the White House in Washington D.C. to oppose the use of genetically modified organisms, GMO’s. When we visited with Eric Herm from his farm in Ackerly, Texas on October 24th, 2011 began when I asked him to describe his experience in Washington D.C.

The book that Eric Herm recommends is, “The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture,” by Wendell Berry.

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Eric Schlosser: Do You Really Want to Eat That? (Archive)

Fast food is what many people eat in America, and increasingly in other countries. It is advertised to be fun, tasty, and easily available. Americans spend more money annually on fast food than is spent on higher education.

Eric Schlosser is our guest in this archive edition.  He’s the author of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Schlosser writes that it is not only what is served for human consumption that is the problem, but the art of mass-marketing to children through organized promotions and ads for the products—in school busses, hallways, and even bathroom stalls—has serious side effects on society.

Working conditions for employees at meat-packing plants and the resulting contamination of the product resulted in the July 19th, 2002 recall of 19 million pounds of beef. In addition to the acute health hazards of contamination, a fast food meal often contains more fat in one meal than the average person needs in a day.

This interview was originally recorded in mid-summer 2002.

The book he recommends is “Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing,” by Ted Conover.  Click here to listen to a two-part series with Ted Conover, recorded in 2001.

Click here to listen to the interview with Eric Schlosser.

Joy, Melanie Ph.D. — Why People Eat Some Animals and Not Others

Why do we eat some animals and not others? That is the topic of this conversation with Melanie Joy, Ph.D. She is the author of “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism.” 

Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. Carnism is essentially the opposite of vegetarianism or veganism; “carn” means “flesh” or “of the flesh” and “ism” denotes a belief system. Most people view eating animals as a given, rather than a choice; in meat-eating cultures around the world people typically don’t think about why they find the meat of some animals disgusting and the meat of other animals appetizing, or why they eat any animals at all.

The interview with Melanie Joy, Ph.D. was recorded in Ukiah, California on November 29, 2010 and began when I asked her to describe the term ‘carnism.’ 

The book she recommends is, “Food Revolution: How your diet can save your life and our world,” by John Robbins.

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Herm, Eric — Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth

Eric Herm is a 4th generation farmer from Ackerly Texas and author of, “Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth: A Path to Agriculture’s Higher Consciousness.” Herm is transitioning his family farm into an organic farm. He recently returned from a march that began in Baltimore, Maryland and ended in front of the White House in Washington D.C. to oppose the use of genetically modified organisms, GMO’s. We spoke with Eric Herm from his farm in Ackerly, Texas on October 24th, 2011 and asked him to describe his experience in Washington D.C.

The book that Eric Herm recommends is, “The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture,” by Wendell Berry.

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Feigin, Keith — Liquid Gold on Lovers Lane

This program is about honey. We visit with Keith Feigin, owner of Lovers Lane Farm, at his bee keeping center in Ukiah, California. We discuss bees on the loose, how they orient themselves to a new location, communicate with each other and how Keith harvests the “liquid gold.”  Keith was just leaving to catch up with some bees on the loose when I arrived, and that’s when our conversation began in mid August 2011.

The book that Keith Feigin recommends is the “Secret Life of Bees,” by Sue Monk Kidd.  You may contact Keith Feigin via email at loverslanefarm@gmail.com.

This interview was recorded on the streets of Ukiah and at Lovers Lane Farm in Ukiah, California on August 15, 2011.

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Blank, Les — The Chef of Film Making

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Les Blank, film maker extraordinaire. Les Blank will receive the Albert Maysles award at the 2011 Mendocino Film Festival where his films “Burden of Dreams” and “The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins” will be presented.  John Rockwell, writing in The New York Times, describes Les Blank as, “…a documentarian of folk cultures who transforms anthropology into art.”

Though he had a long fascination with films, his career turned to film making after he saw “The Seventh Seal,” by Ingmar Bergman.   Our conversation, which was recorded by phone from his home in Berkeley, California on May 23, 2011, began when I asked him why he makes films.

The films Les Blank recommends are “The Seventh Seal” and “Through a Glass Darkly,” both by Ingmar Bergman.

Les Blank’s website is www.lesblank.com

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Joy, Melanie Ph.D. — Why We Eat Some Animals and Not Others

Carnism is the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat certain animals. It is the opposite of vegetarianism or veganism; “carn” means “flesh” or “of the flesh” and “ism” denotes a belief system. Most people view eating animals as a given, rather than a choice; in meat-eating cultures around the world people typically don’t think about why they find the meat of some animals disgusting and the meat of other animals appetizing, or why they eat any animals at all.  This is the topic of a conversation with Melanie Joy, Ph.D., author of , “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows, an Introduction to Carnism.”

The interview with Melanie Joy, Ph.D. was recorded in Ukiah, California on November 29, 2010.  Joy’s website is www.carnism.com The book she recommends is, “Food Revolution: How your diet can save your life and our world,” by John Robbins.

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Clement, Brian R. Ph.D. — Do We Really Need Dietary Supplements?

Do we need supplements to our diet? Does a normal balanced diet of food supply us with the nutrition we need? Our guest in this edition of Radio Curious argues that the supplement industry is confusing and misinformed, encouraging consumers to buy supplements we don’t need. Brian R. Clement is the author of “Supplements Exposed: The Truth They Don’t Want You To Know About Vitamins, Minerals, And Their Effects On Your Health.” His book examines the dietary supplement industry, what so called natural supplements from his perspective really contain and how they can affect our health for better and worse. I spoke with Brian Clement by phone while he was on an excursion in Mexico on November 9th 2009 and began by asking him about the drive to promote the supplement industry.

The book recommended by Brian Clement was “The New Gold Standard,” by Joseph Michelli.

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Fairlie, Jim — Founding Farmers Markets In Scotland

As part of a series of Radio Curious on tour in Scotland,  we interview Jim Fairlie, the organizer of Farmers Markets in Scotland. Jim is a farmer by trade at Logie Almond Farm near Perth in the southern end of the Scottish Highlands. A decade ago, following the mad cow disease crisis, Jim Fairlie saw the need for farmers to market their own produce rather than rely on Government subsidies. After returning from a holiday in France, where he was blown away by the local markets, he set up Edinburgh’s much celebrated monthly farmers market, which now attract as many as 10,000 visitors. In our conversation we discuss how the farmers market movement gained momentum and the trials and tribulations of getting farmers and consumers to understand each other’s needs.

I spoke with Jim Fairlie at his farmhouse kitchen table near Perth, Scotland on May 17th 2009. We began with his story of how farmers markets in Scotland began.

The book Jim Fairlie recommends is “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” by Lionel Shriver

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