May 2021: The Produce Moms Podcast Month in Review
Jun 07, 2021, Updated Jun 14, 2021
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Let’s take a look back at our May 2021 Podcast Episodes.
May was a month filled with education on The Produce Moms. Not only did we learn about several phenomenal products and companies helping us stay healthy, but we kicked off a series to bring awareness to the crisis with America’s family and Consumer Sciences educators.
Dr. Susan Hewlings, Professor at Central Michigan University And Director of Scientific Affairs Nutrasource, busted through the myth that coconuts, CBD and cannabis are bad for us! Not all saturated fat is bad, and Dr. Hewlings works with the Coconut Coalition of the Americas to educate consumers and health professionals about the current scientific research related to coconuts and fats. She also works with Nutrasource/GRAS Associates, a contract research organization that provides research and regulatory guidance for companies in the dietary supplements, CBD and the cannabis spaces, to help consumers learn the real facts about these incredibly healing ingredients that get a bad wrap.
Dr. Lori Myers, Senior Director with the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, and Dr. Jan Bowers, Executive Director at the Family and Consumer Sciences Education Association, told us about a project that is part of a higher education challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture they’re working on that’s shining a light on the critical shortage of family and consumer sciences educators we have in America. They discuss how we can reduce overlap in education across the nation and fill these positions.
About 35 million Americans dealt with food insecurity before COVID-19, but once it hit, that number rose to 50 million. College students have started and grown The Farmlink Project, a movement working with farms across the U.S. to take surplus produce off their hands and give it to those who are in need most. Especially with restaurants being shut down and produce marketing specs, farms often have produce that just goes to waste when it could be fed to citizens who don’t have enough to eat.
Y’know those tiny, plastic (well, almost plastic) closures that keep your bags of potatoes, apples, lemons, onions and bread sealed? Those closures are from Kwik Lok, a company that has certified all of their products 100% free from human trafficking and is a major player when it comes to food safety. Kwik Lok has also recently developed a new closure called Eco-Lok which is made from a starch resin and uses 20% less plastic in each closure.
There’s a huge interest by high school and college students to enter careers in “people-centric” sciences, like family and consumer sciences, but there’s a shortage of FCS educators. There are a number of reasons why this is happening and projects like a new grant from the USDA are working to recruit, prepare and support new educators. Even when students do enter into a family and consumer sciences educator role, they tend to go back to their hometown, rather than to areas where FCS teachers are scarce.
Imagine having one child just fine, but then having to go through tens of thousands of dollars worth of IVF, surgeries, IUIs, pills, medication and treatment to try and conceive again. This was what Beth McCarthy Smith, founder of Simplicity Holistic Health, dealt with until she started her holistic healing journey with juices. Now she’s helping everyone from the juice novice to the health expert enjoy the healing and nutritional benefits of cold-pressed juices and detoxes.
May 2021 Podcast Episode 154
The three C’s you thought were bad for you
That’s right! Coconuts, CBD and cannabis all have incredibly healthy attributes that Dr. Susan Hewlings, Professor at Central Michigan University And Director of Scientific Affairs Nutrasource shared with us. Dr. Hewlings has done her research, too. As the director of scientific affairs at Nutrasource/GRAS Associates, a contract research organization that provides research and regulatory guidance for companies in the dietary supplements, CBD and the cannabis spaces, Dr. Susan’s job is to connect science with marketing.
Not only that, Dr. Susan works with the Coconut Coalition of the Americas to educate consumers and health professionals about the current scientific research related to coconuts and fats. Moral of the story? CBD isn’t psychoactive, like you might think, and instead, it can help you with pain relief, decreasing inflammation, sleeping better, enhancing your mood and decreasing anxiety. And when it comes to the fat in coconuts, it’s actually a great addition to a healthy diet.
May 2021 Podcast Episode 155
Bringing awareness to Family and Consumer Sciences education
Dr. Lori Myers, Senior Director with the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, couldn’t have said it better when she said, “our family and consumer sciences professionals are on the front lines solving some of society’s most pressing issues.”
Dr. Myers and Dr. Jan Bowers, Executive Director at the Family and Consumer Sciences Education Association, are spearheading a project that is part of a higher education challenge grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, to overcome national shortages in the family and consumer sciences education sector and improve the education system altogether. There’s been a critical shortage of family and consumer sciences educators for over 30 years that’s taking a toll on our children’s education. Not only that, the infrastructure of the FCS system needs a lot of work to reduce gaps and overlaps in education and training.
May 2021 Podcast Episode 156
College kids that are eradicating food insecurity across America
Jacob Dudley, a student at the University of Wisconsin Madison studying economics and environmental studies, and Rani Zimand, a student at the University of Washington studying food systems, nutrition and health, are co-leaders for the Farmlink Project, a movement to fight food insecurity by repurposing surplus produce. The project was inspired out of COVID-19 when founders James and Aiden were desperate to help those in need. They rented a U-Haul pickup, grabbed eggs from a local farm and took them to a food bank, which sparked the idea that this needed to become something more.
The Farmlink Project works to contact farms nationwide that might have a surplus of produce or produce that’s edible but unmarketable. Farmlink works to transport the food and then place it in locations where the need is highest. Farmers no longer have to get rid of the nutritious produce they worked so hard to grow, and we can finally make a dent in the nearly 50 million individuals that deal with food insecurity in the U.S.
May 2021 Podcast Episode 157
The tiny product making a huge, global impact (that’s probably in your house!)
Who would’ve thought the tiny bag closures that keep your bags of potatoes, apples, lemons, onions and bread sealed are a part of a huge impact… one that’s reducing food waste, reducing our carbon footprint and taking a stand against human trafficking. When Stephanie Paxton-Jackson and her sisters inherited Kwik Lok from their father, they were committed and determined to make the world a better place.
Not only is reliability and safety at the core of their business, but they’ve also created a new closure called Eco-Lok which is made with a starch resin and uses 20% less plastic in each closure. They have also been able to certify that all of Kwik Lok’s products are 100% free from human trafficking.
May 2021 Podcast Episode 158
We need more FCS teachers, but student’s don’t think there are jobs
Even though there’s a huge shortage of family and consumer sciences teachers, jobs aren’t being filled up. It isn’t that there’s interest. Many high school and college students are interested in “people-centric” sciences, but there’s a misconception that there aren’t any jobs. The reality is, plenty of students (even high schoolers) get job opportunities or promises months before they’re ready to fill the position.
Part of the problem is that students can now pick a job anywhere they want in the country, so locations that need educators the most struggle to keep their family and consumer sciences programs alive. The USDA’s grant is helping the issue by giving resources to recruit, prepare and support new educators. Colleges like Purdue are even offering programs that help someone transfer their degree or transition their current educational background.
May 2021 Podcast Episode 159
The woman who swapped martinis for juices you can’t ignore
Beth McCarthy Smith, founder of Simplicity Holistic Health, was living a ‘typical American lifestyle’ by having the occasional martini here, burger there, wining and dining clients and not putting too much effort eating healthy. Beth’s eyes opened when she and her husband struggled with infertility issues when they were trying to conceive their second child. After boatloads of surgeries, IVFs, IUIs, drugs and several miscarriages, Beth started down a holistic healing journey that changed her life.
Beth is on a mission to help others understand what detoxing, healing the blood and the gut can do for any of their health issues, but not through a one-size-fits-all approach. Her juices and cleanses are meant for the beginner up to the advanced health expert, so no matter where you are in your health journey you can drink delicious juices and get the lasting benefits.
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To see a list of all our past episodes, visit www.the356758a9b8.nxcli.net/podcast/