thanks everybody for coming. this is a
session next generation of the Real Food Campaign My name is Lisa Stokke, and my
organization is Next 7, a partner of the Real Food Campaign. How many of you have heard of the Real Food Campaign? do you know what it is? beautiful thank you I’m sorry son of
introduce our cattle really quickly this is Dan kitchens probably all know
botanas but he’s the father executive director of my dream Food Association
maybe you may not know that he started the room for the campaign before the fa
sol and to my right here this is jonas hunter and he is working closely with us
to look with campaign and kind of talking has to do a lot of really
important management and operational and strategic and vision vision tasks within
citizen science that next seven is launching and also the overall role for
the campaign and this is lydia stony and she is helping us to you know to program
management for real science which is the outreach which will explain more with
citizen sciences we live in Colorado Lea’s
and she has been spending a lot of good time other examples there in Boulder
County and talking with the Latin so far so she’s gonna share about some of her
experiences of that and we just I just want to say we want to make this like to
be a really interactive and we want to hear from you too so we’re gonna spend a
little time sharing with you giving you some updates probably people want to
have some updates and then we’re gonna open it up and we just want to be able
to have a good conversation so alright thank you
yeah just I saw almost everyone raised their hand something yes what the real
food campaign was but I think it’s probably worth just reviewing a
background historically what we’re endeavoring to accomplish and where
we’re at and then let’s give some perspective to this next phase you know
broadly I think people are familiar with the concept of we’re trying to
effectively build a spectrometer that a consumer can use at the grocery store to
figure out relatively how good food is or farmers market or wherever and
there’s a bunch of steps involved in doing that you know the obvious step is
to build a spectrometer itself the first generation of which we built a couple of
years ago in 2017 and released here and that’s sort of that’s the that’s the
physical thing the background component which is necessary which has not
occurred yet is to define what quality is we as animals can discern flavor
variation in the tomato or a peach with our tongues or our noses and have some
pretty good insight into that but as far as a piece of hardware you know an
algorithm a set of data that’s used to define this is in the 80th percentile
this is the 20th percentile that functionally has not occurred there is
no empirical definition of the variation of nutrient levels in food as of yet and
so in 2018 we built a lab in Michigan to begin that process and we worked with
just two crops carrots and spinach and ran almost 1,000 samples of those two
crops through the lab and identified variations in nutrient levels depending
on what which elements from compounds you were looking
at if it was an element like a copper or zinc or calcium or potassium or sulfur
molybdenum the variation we found was between four hundred and eighteen
hundred percent which means basically this karat has as much copper in it as
those four carrots or this spinach has in it as much iron in it as those
eighteen leaves of spinach which is a quite profound variation much larger
than I think is oftentimes considered to be the variation in food out there an
interesting aspect of what we found was that the there was no correlation
between organic and conventional there was no coalition between store-bought
and and sort of farmers market so that meant there were some quote-unquote
conventional carrots in the grocery store they were more nutritious than
organic carrots in the grocery store and there were actually more nutritious than
organic carrots from the farmers market etc so there was no buy label or point
of our point of purchase there was no ability to predict nutritional value
which we hypothesize would be the case because our understanding is that’s how
the crops are produced that matters not the label that they’re marketed under
and so again 2018 we built the lab when we assess those two crops and 2018 we
broadened the scope of the number of crops we sampled to include lettuce
spinach cherry tomatoes and grapes we’re still in the process of sampling crops
this year we will probably continue through the end of the year and if
people actually do want to engage with us in this citizen science this year
there is an opportunity there to do that so we can perhaps get back to that later
I think primarily this conversation is focused towards next year and more
systemic data collection so I said we predicted that there was a correlation
between how the crop was produced as nutrient levels and so this year in 2019
we built out the capacity for farmers to input information about how the cups are
produced so soil type fertility program management practice cultivars climate
data that sort of thing and then send in the soil and the crop to the lab and so
we can begin to correlate in environmental conditions with nutrient
levels and that’s the process that’s ongoing Gregg who’s over here in the
corner and Dan who run the lab I spoke with I believe it was Dorn
this morning on some of the results that came this you know from this year’s work
other we’re still looking at so one of the struggles we’ve had is one of
capacity and the logistics of doing all this work raising the money running the
lab digesting the samples building the codes etc etc is quite significant and
we have not I would say done a very good job of reaching out to the people are
our partners farmers other organizations to sort of more actively engage in this
data collection process and that’s what next seven is stepping in to actively
support as you know in this project in the coming year and so that’s really the
the frame I think of the competition today is engaging people whether they’re
consumers or growers or organizations in actively doing the data collection
sending in the samples and broadening the base of knowledge we have a you know
I personally at least have a fairly ambitious goal of taking the tool that
we have now and re-engineering it and building sufficient lead our large data
sets to have a real slick mass-produced consumer calibrated unit that can really
hit the market broadly in two years and so for that to be accomplished one of
the things that has to occur is a much greater engagement on the ground with
people in this process we don’t know what the variation of in nutrient levels
and crops is until we can get samples in from all over the place different parts
of the country different varieties different management practices different
soil types we can’t correlate that with management until we get growers to share
that information so that’s the sort of the broad frame of where we’re at I’m
not sure if we’ll be appropriate and take a couple of questions now to see if
people have comprehended that before we move on to the next logistical stages
the data of the nutrients advice was there any kind of like comparison page
tests of people actually confirming that yes this higher nutrients there has been
some work to taste crops while they’re sampled and Gregg can confirm I don’t
think all of the crops have been done that way but some subset happen just to
be clear we’re not doing the nutritional assessments of the crops with the
spectrometer there’s a probably a really important point here that needs to be
understood that the spectrometer that we’re using right now is not testing
nutrient levels what so what is a spectrometer and how does it work maybe
we can just step back to that basic level I like to use the example of alpha
Centuri to explain this point people may have
heard of Alpha Centauri it’s a star it’s you know six light years away or
something it’s one of the closest stars to us which is not the Sun people have
heard of the Voyager 1 Voyager 2 there were you know probes that were sent off
in 1970s to study different planets and they’ve been going for 40-plus years and
they’ve reached the edge of the solar system they’re actually the probes that
have been sent farthest from Earth of anything that human civilization is sent
out and they’re about 12 light hours away at this point Alpha Centauri is 6
light years away if you ask any astrophysicist what Alpha Centauri is
composed of they’ll say well it’s you know 51% hydrogen it’s 48 percent helium
it’s 1% other gases and these levels and ratios they don’t know what Alpha
Centauri is made up of because they went there to sample it they know what Alpha
Centauri is made up of because they took a picture of the light that came from it
copper is an element in chemistry but it’s a vibration in physics it vibrates
at a certain frequency which is basically a color zinc is a element in
chemistry but it’s a vibration in physics and so when the astrophysicists
take a picture of the light coming off of Alpha Centauri they can effectively
see what it’s composed of and that’s spectroscopy that’s how you know
spectrometers work this tool we’ve got it basically reads the light coming off
of the Kerr or the light coming off of the cucumber
and that’s that so they couldn’t assess copper they had to practice with burning
copper seeing what color it was what the light was and then calibrating the
machine accordingly does that make sense sort of so basically what we’re doing
with the samples in the lab is when they come in be flashed a spectrometer at
them get a reading off of them which looks like peaks and valleys on the
graph it has no like levels of copper or levels of polyphenols it doesn’t say
anything like that all it says is peaks and valleys on the graph and then you
take that caret and you run it through the lab and you use benchtop equipment
to assess mineral levels to assess polyphenol levels to assess carotenoid
levels etc and so what we’re doing right now is we’re taking those spectral
signatures overlaying them on mineral levels trying to find patterns and then
telling the Machine this pattern means the 80th percentile this pattern means
the 40th percentile that makes sense so we’re not actually directly testing
copper with the spectrometer that’s not a capacity the spectrometer has perhaps
in future generations we will have that capacity for farmers in the field to
actually assess actual nutrient levels of the leaves while the plants are
growing that’s not where we’re at right now and that’s not what we’re trying to
accomplish with this consumer tool we’re trying to say this is the spectral
signature of a high quality carrot this is a spectral signature of a low quality
carrot and we’re training the machine to recognize those things and then that’s
the calibration that would be released so the tool we have now hopefully won’t
be able to tell you red yellow green in the grocery store or the farmers market
by next year yeah so the compounds and the leaf in the skin of a peach or the
skin of an orange correlate with the flesh of the peach or the flesh of an
orange you’re gonna have different compounds in the skin based on the
health of it as well as the flesh so we have to go through this process of
taking every single crop and looking at the data and trying to figure it out
it’s a scientific process yes the sheriff’s so we know we’re ready for the
discovery phase right now part of what you see in glued up there’s is our
starting this experiment to experiment what you know what is the assistant
science Moran that we’re developing how we’re going to reach out to the public
audience and in a very specific because the specific work we have to do is to
support support lab so there’s samples we have to get out
what’s our current age right now for next year next year we’re still talking
about this to talk about is in thousands I was maybe doing five and ten thousand
samples we’re gonna run to the lab next year so we need to get these samples
over here it’s my process so one aspect of the project is to collect all these
samples for risk and be able to calibrate the device so
what we’re looking at is in this process how do we engage how do we engage the
public in a conversation of nutrition the end goal
you know the mission of the campaign what’s our actual mission statement the
BFA is increased in quality the food supply so that works pretty close yeah
and what does that mean to the average person that’s that’s where there’s a
conversation so part of it is in individual conversations I believe in
sweet snack and another part is in us having regional communities involved and
both as well and the way this aligns with Max Evans bigger mission as well
next sentence mission is really around how do we raise you know our level of
awareness and what we’re eating we were acting to be able to create a room for
the next set of generations that’s here and beautiful so this is one aspect of
next seven next sentence mission and you know there
will likely be other programs as well the next sentence involved with but by
focusing on nutrition this is a key way to get into everyone’s lives and homes
and intrigue this greater creative conversation so we are really interested
to hearing people people’s ideas are about how we take this campaign to the
public there’s this facts will work collecting samples again we want to
start certainly I started their conversation a little bit about my
background I’ve done work with social businesses and nonprofits the last 10
years I was the founding executive director for kiss the ground and we one
of the first things that we did was taking this story in the soil story and
putting this meat of regenerative agriculture taking it from the people
that have started it like the reveal – and really making create up much more
than poverty so you know it’s the discovery process right now we’re gonna
invite everybody here thank you all for showing up to be part of this but it’s
very small first of all people are always so
excited here first time we’d approach this project to
be what’s the first question and concern is our meeting temple project insulting
I’m so nervous but they just can’t believe that
something like this that were really like out there engaging
everybody in this process with what look yeah just just so as an example
here I mean we’ve had a bit of a difficult time getting individuals to
commit to sending in a certain number of samples per week the lab we have a lab
in Michigan that’s our primary lab which has the capacity to run about 200
samples per week we’re just setting up a a satellite lab in Chico California
Chico State University is our first partner lab I’m not sure what their
numbers are 50 100 maybe per week but coordinating the logistics of the number
of samples being sent in to around the country is has been part of our struggle
from a very practical standpoint we now have the hardware the staff the process
the protocol the logistics to do this but we need help getting all this stuff
sent in from around the country this is the citizen science piece is how do we
engage people so what Lydia’s been doing in Boulder is
a new model that we started basically late this summer early this fall which
to me feels like it’s got a lot of potential and that is instead of having
you know a person here and a person here go to the farmers market go to the
grocery store go to their garden go to farms and have that sort of weight of
all the work on them it’s really to look at it at a community at a county at a at
a at a you know a region and say and this is a way to engage people from a
practical standpoint there’s 30 farms in your local farmers market there’s eight
grocery stores in your you know in your county would you like to know which farm
or which grocery store has the best quality food for a lot of people that’s
a much more practical thing that has more visceral relevance to them then
here’s a concept that we’re working on and there’s no way you can really engage
in it except send stuff in but it’s we need lots of money and it’s this grand
vision you know bringing it down to a local area where it seems is where
people are more likely to engage and say can you get a few friends together and
you know agree that you know the third Saturday of every month they’re gonna
each bring their shopping from a different grocery store
or different farmers market or different CSA bag we’re all gonna get together
maybe have a bottle of wine you know label everything stick in a box and ship
it out and so we can say to this community over here look in in you know
Boulder County we’ve got a full spectrum of analysis of what’s going on we can
say Marin County we in Westchester County whatever areas our other
organizations are their partners I’m looking at brigita here and thinking of
Weston Price you know we’ve got local chapters in Western prices examples
we’ve got NOFA chapters we’ve got all these other kinds of allies and
organizations that I would say would have an interest in doing this so what
are people’s relationships what are their communities what are their
thoughts etc but that’s really what you know Lydia has been doing here this fall
in boulders sort of getting that process up off off the road
I can’t think so we started off talking as she said with the head of the Boulder
County farmers market which is Denver and Boulder and Longmont and said here’s
what we’re doing and he said great you know there’s this idea that local food
is better than grocery store food and the farmers are struggling with
competition from their from the from the grocery stores so yes we’ll go I’ll talk
to all of our farmers and get them to submit samples and then we go to the
grocery stores and just get samples from there and send them all in and we can
have a report which says this is what the good stuff is this is where it’s not
yeah so Brigades question was what data do you need because you can’t get the
management data from the grocery store and that certainly is the case that
you’re not going to be able to get the full spectrum of how it was produced on
every every crop and we don’t expect that we certainly need a subset of crops
from farms directly where we can get that complete information and we call
those farm partners and really anybody who’s going to engage in that level of
depth is not really part of the citizen science side you know we generally try
to direct them directly to the lab ins and there’s a bunch more effort there in
putting together your two-year historical management practice records
and doing your weekly record-keeping since science I would just add to that
like Lydia she went out to the farms and she got samples of crops with the soil
like right underneath it so she went down like what four inches to get
samples and then four to eight inches so we go to Santa Paula did that three
times and I think that was what she was gonna referring to is that she was
having a lot of fun engaging with the farmers so even though you know it’s not
like the extent of being a farm partner there is that level of also going out to
the farms themselves and getting the soil I know I guess in a more practical
level for us today here I mean that is practical of course but an engagement
level with citizen science we’re working to give people a process for plugging
into that right so there’s an application process you know the lab has
been handling that I think in 2020 we’re going to be working much more closely
with them on that bedding so they can do more of what they’re they’re you know
really great at and we need them to do which is like doing the sampling and the
testing and the analysis so on next seven org backslash citizen science you
can go there and apply to be a data printer actually are going to sign up
and then we will contact you because we need to have these these leaders I mean
really citizen science we want people to we need people to really take ownership
of it right and have people with you in your community you can live like Dan
said we have house parties but then you can also just have people in your
community your friends you know if you’re you know a part of any kind of
group I mean moms groups are really great you know I’m a mom I am I raise
four kids and their health and nutrition was really really important to me so if
I’d had access to something like this being able to send samples in write to
know where I could find the best food I think it’s just I mean I think it’s just
you know it’s brilliant it’s amazing I met I met Dan basically I’ve a long
history and advocacy and food and agriculture through another organization
I co-founded food democracy now and might a dream that I was standing in the
grocery store in the produce aisle you know looking for vitality in produce
because I thought well that’s what our kids really need you know they need
vitality they don’t need just no chemicals or no GMOs or whatever right
food is like what we get not what we don’t get right it’s what we gain from
it and also a relationship to that a relationship to the farmers and those
are all of the things that you know inform my decisions in feeding my kids
and so I had a dream that I was in a grocery store checking for vitality with
the device and I thought this has to be possible someone’s going to be doing
something like this and so I started asking around and they were like well I
think Jack kittredges son is doing something like that you should check
with his son and then I sat down and low and behold he was working on something
like that talking about it yeah so so so yeah
there’s so many ways to plug in into this I mean we need lots of you to do
that our son here thanks I have a question about feedback
loops so for example I love that you found a way to find a feedback loop for
participant scientists our community scientists to find like which grocery
store am I gonna go buy my carrots like that’s a real practical thing that
feedback is valuable and calibrating the device obviously chiefly valuable I’m
curious about the feedback loop of going to get soil samples at a farm instead of
being a partner a farmer partner and if that is a feedback loop so for instance
in my mind I went to oh yeah so if Lydia and I are out there taking farm samples
and sending them to the lab and we’re also drop shipping huge amounts of
produce to the lab then is the lab telling us which of our produce which
farm to go to to take that soil test or am i blindly taking soil tests that’s my
question the lab is telling you how to take a
soil test but really we haven’t you know which primers will let you on it there
on to the farm and lets you get your hands in the dirt and and dig it up and
send it off you know some people don’t really want
you assessing their stuff okay so yeah I mean there’s basically metadata the
concept of overlapping layers of data like you don’t need to have from every
carat the whole historical management practice but if you have some subset
that’ll help with the calibrations remember carat you don’t need to have
soil but if you have a subset that has soil that helps the calibrations okay so
if anybody familiar with AI and you know big data and algorithms and all these
fancy sounding words that are having more and more prevalent in today’s day
and age you really know everything about anything but if you know a few things
about a lot of stuff and it doesn’t all have to be the same it that you know the
more pieces you know the easier it is to pull out patterns so so those citizen
gathered soil samples that are available come in and they just support the
general intelligence of this the thing that everybody usually sends in is the
crop itself yeah and sometimes you have the soil that the crop grew in and
sometimes you have the soil the crop grew in and the information about how it
was grown know that me says yeah yeah so that’s basically the process yeah there’s there’s a couple of different
things that can happen in this campaign as well so for one we’re at Ranas
gathering gathering this data to calibrate the device getting people
involved but in the process we’re getting this valuable information back
to the consumer and we’re able to aggregate it as well
so the lab data of course is as much it’s much more so part of this as well
as we’re thinking about how do we map this data in a way that could have much
wider impact on the you know the overall way that we’re looking at food and
nutrition in the marketplace so this is another big aspect that we’re looking at
as well which is that in the process of gathering all this information there
could be something powerful that we can do as well the six crops right now are
carrots spinach lettuce cherry tomatoes kale and grapes how many years of data
do we want to take how many do we need to take we don’t need to have the same
data from the same farm multiple years that certainly is great the the end game
of this whole process which maybe in a couple of years a pretty good basic
standard for this is high quality this is low quality I hope we’ll be evolving
over time the vision that I’ve got is that if we have you know the current
status of the supply chain right now which is that most crops are standing in
the 15th percentile of what’s possible if if we begin to make that information
evident to consumers and they start to demand the stuff that’s in the 50th and
60th and 70th percentile and that leaves the shelves the stuff on the 15th
percentile sits there that there’s going to be a back loop to growers to buyers
etc to improve quality and so functionally what was in the 15th
percentile now or two years from now may be in the fifth percentile because
everybody has started do a better job so the vision is that this is a
continuously evolving process it’s going to be going on year after year we you
know the reason you get this the crops from a farm with the management practice
data is so you can give other farmers recommendations about what works and
what doesn’t so the reason you be collecting samples over time year after
year is to improve the calibration of what’s
good and what’s not so it’s a you know were at this point moving forward on a
year-by-year basis like one of the next obvious steps we’d like to accomplish
and what can we possibly accomplish if I didn’t make it clear ahead of time or at
any point previously this entire project is being done open source as in
everything is being done in the Commons all the information is freely available
all the engineering is really available all the app development is freely
available which means that there’s no investment money in it which means that
it’s being funded entirely by donations which means that we can’t do anything
close to what we’d like to do because we don’t have the cash for it so
theoretical ideals are not what we’re dealing with so much as practical
logistics of what’s the priority to move forward yeah yeah so you mentioned
demand or more nutritious crops that driving they that’s the hope yeah so
what if potentially we find that what produces the nutritious crops is higher
cost situation where the crops or the produce is now more expensive just more
limited to to the people who are have privileged wealth etc yeah certainly a
potential concern the question was about you know what’s the cost of production
and if more expensive more nutritious crops are more expensive to produce then
what happens that people can’t afford the best stuff I’ve gotten this question
a number of times so my experience as a farmer and a lot of the experience of
other people in this space is that the more well you work with nature as in the
microbes on up the lower your cost of production is the greater the plant
health the greater the pest and disease resistance
the the greater the percent of yield potential that plant realizes the lower
your cost of fertilizer lower your cost of insecticides and fungicides the lower
your equipment costs so while it’s theoretically a possibility that this is
the case what all the data we have now seems to suggest is that the more we
work in harmony with nature not only does the cost of production go down but
the nutritional value goes up so it’s one of those magical little like Nexus
points where there’s eight bottom lines that are positive so and that would be
mobile C and that would be a way like now if you’re able to prove that you
have two apples and they’re both the same price one’s got higher nutrition
then the engagement that we’re doing with the community knows to see if the
decision would be simple you’re gonna choose the one that has higher nutrition
the same because I’m wondering you know a lot of people know that better like
higher nutritious crops are better for us but we don’t necessarily always make
that choice and what’s the what’s the cutoff there what’s the disconnect at
this point we have no way of knowing whether this bag of carrots is more
nutritious than that bag of carrots or not
all we have are labels like local and organic and in many cases what we found
so far is that local organic do not correlate with better nutrition so it’s
an education process it’s a investigation process and an
engagement process I guess cs50 looks like and I mean this is where
nex-7 is is also playing a big role we’re
looking at the consumer this you’ve identified Lisa a this this friend of
yours as a at your fuckin same name you know I can’t
okay let’s carve Susan as this one particular okay here’s a yours consumer
who has a buyer who has a specific profile you know a mother or this or
that and you know how do we how do we shift the perception that nutrition is
that valuing nutrition has a benefit that’s worth any increase in price if
there is one so that’s some of the work that’s some of the work that we’re
aiming to do is is in education and you know in gathering green people together
having people talk about this just having it nutrition be important yeah
yeah yeah well since Jonas mentioned that profile my friend we didn’t had
that and we had a working session and I was trying to communicate you know cuz
I’ve got out there and you know I guess in this world for for a while I’ve been
eating and advocating for organic and small farmers and local farmers and
local agriculture where I was raised in Iowa and then more nationally through my
other nonprofit organization and I I think you know there’s there’s some idea
out there right that people are kind of realizing that there’s all these metric
points right and so for me it’s about connecting the dots so one of the metric
points is that oh our soil doesn’t have as many minerals in it right how many
people are aware of that right well kinda heard that right and so I’ll be
honest I’ll just say that for a long time I was like that’s really a bummer
especially being caught up in Iowa I was like this is just you know this is a
disaster right what are we gonna do this and I kind of felt like there was
only so much and it depleted and depleted and then we were just kind of
screwed yeah and then and then I met Dan and it was like oh wow maybe we’re not
so screwed right maybe we can you know bring back that life and that vitality
and so for me I mean that’s really that’s that’s one of the most hopeful
stories I mean our story is a story of something really beyond hope because
hope is kind of like a you know as sit back kind of thing right and so this is
a place where we can engage in that you know what we call vital action right
source we’re not just saying oh I hope this is gonna be good I think this could
be good but we’re really engaging in it that’s why this citizen science piece I
think is just so exciting right we’re reaching out to just kind of I haven’t
really I hate to put like any kind of label in anybody but average people
people when I say average people I mean people in this campaign people who are
not agronomist people who are not farmers but people who you know care
about the food that they for their body people who care about the you know their
growing bodies of their young children right or if they’re pregnant or you know
they care about you know and I have a lot of people care about the soil right
no top soil ever losing and our clean water and I think most everybody has
some level of care about that and so for me this is the engagement piece so I
tell people if you care about nutrition if you care about children if you care
about environment if you care about water if you care about land if you care
about seed if you care about climate there’s a place for you in this this is
vital action towards that end right not even an end it’s hard to even find the
language around it right but it’s vital action towards restoration yeah thank
you good thanks it sorts restoration and regeneration
regeneration that’s a buzzword kind of now especially
in agriculture but what’s regeneration regeneration is life’s way of continuing
itself right it’s a natural process it’s embedded in
each one of us it’s embedded in seed it’s embedded in soil it’s embedded in
all of life all of nature and all we have to do is like not interrupt it we
can engage it and facilitate it and this is just a really easy way for all of us
to do that because we have wonderful interaction with farmers and scientists
and and all of it I’m super excited about this but a Rachel I’m really
excited about it too one question on the practical side of being engaged as a
citizen science person do I need to buy a refractometer is my first question no
no no spectrometer nope okay I just send my vegetables the process basically as
it exists now is that you you fill out an application form which currently is
on real food campaign org and I admittedly is a little bit wonky for
some so Lisa gave a new URL which is more simple we are planning to have that
updated and more streamlined by the time that the spring happens but if you want
to be engaging right now what was the next 710 org slash citizen science is
one place where you can sort of give us your name and then you’ll be reached out
to and real food campaign org is a place where you can go and fill out the the
whole survey we pay for the samples we pay for the shipping we pay for
everything you know as far as those costs are concerned I don’t think we pay
people to buy the crops themselves to eat know so it’s on you to buy the
carrots and the spinach but all the lab work and all the shipping basically
covered you do not need to have a spectrometer we’re basically getting the
samples into the lab and doing all that data collection on the samples in the
lab thank you for that my other question around engagement is
that because I’m a little bit of an into I like to think about things of
aggregate and at the conference the last time I attended I saw a wonderful
genetics and human genetics and nutrition studied down on magnesium
which luckily earlier in the morning I took a soil sample test reading and
talked about magnesium being gone in the soil so it’s very connected and the
aggregate value of some of the genetic abnormalities that lead to disease in
our society can be solved if we have this nutrient-dense food so when I when
I can’t I do care about water refuting my family’s food but I’m not the
self-interested consumer I’m like the society they’ll change consumer and I
want to be able to turn other people on to that too so I’m kind of I’m
interested in doing this at this level and I’m interested in this other level
and I’ll just say there’s going to be a panel discussion I think in this room
tomorrow afternoon Kathleen dichiara and Jordan Schmitt talking about that exact
topic of mineral deficiencies chronic illness nutrient levels and food you
know systemic systemic reversal of chronic illness through food that has
nutrition in it so yeah it’s a very important visceral topic I think for
people and one back there too but yeah is that like a handout I could download
and print out and give to the so they know what it’s about or the
process of working with the real food campaign team and integrating so we’re
gonna have all that it might be a good opportunity right now we have I’m just
I’m feeling like there’s so many people here that have been key to that we’ve
asked to come and one person over here is faith Reeves she’s been a really
amazing day together in Iowa Fairfield Iowa and I would love for her to have an
opportunity of time yours for her to share some of her experience she’s been
doing it for over a year two years yeah and then up there Dan Travis is your
hand down dan is a part of the real food campaign lab he rents it alongside Greg
who’s sitting right next to him and right now it’s all really very personal
if you have questions if you’re like oh I gotta send in these samples but you
know I don’t know if you know how I should send in my lettuce leaves or
whatever you know Lydia when we kind of threw her into the field she had some
questions and we just put her right on the phone with Dan you got a lot of her
questions answered so right now we we are in that phase of like getting all
that information for people together to make it a more simple and streamlined
process which is why we’re really wanting to engage with you this is just
kind of a soft launch of the citizen campaign piece out to the broader public
so your thoughts are like really helpful for us your questions and all of that
it’s it did you want to say something you know coming
being a small farmer talking to other farmers at farmers markets I traveled
around the region just showing my enthusiasm for the beautiful produce
that they had in most cases I was able to get the produce just donated you know
if you’re coming from a you know a heart-space on it usually you
can just get it donated but I definitely recommend being ready and willing and
honoring the hard work that they put in but also last year there was an
opportunity where we were able to forward those results to the farmer and
so they were able to see those results is that an option this year and so
that’s extremely valuable for those farmers and that’s another in is to
basically say you know hey this is what we’re doing you know get the get the
information the update information from the real food campaign so you’ll have a
little handout you introduce yourself you know try not hit them at the busy
time for sure you know go early or go late you know just watch your markets
and then you know I would just basically introduce myself
and ask if I could go to their farm and it was okay you know I was able to meet
the farmers at their farm gate say I’m gonna take you know six samples here
today and I’m going to take six soil samples along with those produce samples
and when this information is ready I’m gonna send you a link where you can view
your data and so having the data in a digestible form for lay farmers who
aren’t necessarily able to read that CSV or but you did you ended up having a
really digestible format that was like here and I love the I love the
percentile adage this year and so that really helped and then yeah with the
grocery stores just going in and meeting the produce manager telling them who you
are what you’re doing why you’re doing it and really expressing that love and
desire of nutrient-dense food and local and you know just say I’m here to I’m
here to just check out what’s what’s what’s happening in the carrot world and
so I just need two of these two of these two of these two of these and you know
it’s just making friends you know making friends coming from
really grounded space from a heart space making friends and just saying we’re
just trying to increase the quality of the food supply and thank you for being
a part of it help that being said Brigade his request for
a two-page or you know write-up for the farmers I think probably is a really
good suggestion that we don’t have and so one thing I’d love to be getting out
of the event here in the next 40 minutes is what are some other things that you
think you would like to have that would support you in actively engaging so I’m
not sure where all the Greg you’ve got one microphone does lady back there the
red shirt who’s been waiting for a long time yeah if there’s a but people who
haven’t had a chance to say anything yet yes sir if somebody wants to manage the
crowd I don’t think your microphones turned on it’s on the bottom no that’s
it you had mentioned that you were interested in looking at this on a more
like societal level which i think is really important my question is I can
see where this technology is an easy sell for people that are already buying
the carrots has there been any discussion about how to reach the people
that aren’t buying the carrots because they feel like those are the people that
really really need this because they’re the most at risk for some of these
degenerative diseases that come from the lack of nutritionally rich food and I
don’t know if there’s any way to even incorporate that I mean that’s a pretty
big reach but I just didn’t know if that discussion had happened at all in terms
of this technology you know we’re one small organization
partnering with a couple other small organizations trying to sort of find the
lowest hanging fruit as it were to work with so there are other communities and
organizations and networks that are addressing those things I know that in
the human health quote-unquote world the you know
insurance companies and places like that there’s this thing called food as
medicine which I think Catherine couches we talking about tomorrow I believe
which is a big burgeoning space where the insurance companies are realizing
that their costs go down really rapidly and quite significantly
if people are more healthy and it just coincidentally seems to be that when
people eat fresh fruits and vegetables they get more healthy so there’s all
these protocols and processes in place where you know your insurance premium
decreases you know $200 per month if you join a
local CSA or whatever some some companies will you know bias see as they
share for every person in the company so there’s a bunch of interesting stuff
going on in that broader space I’m not sure if John’s gonna be talking about
his ideas tomorrow with how we can oh Kathleen’s yeah yeah and and how to
engage people potentially yeah and so you know just connect with your food
bank and then connect with the farmers or the market growers or whoever and
just make those connections where a little bit of you know grow a row
there’s a great grow program and so getting the produce you know a little
bit of extra donated produce into your food bank could go a very long way and
especially if you’ve already you know informed or enlightened to that grower
as to you know what is possible with nutrient-dense food production and then
speaking to your institution speaking to your hospitals speaking to your schools
there are governmental programs that will support a percentage of the budget
that is allotted the USDA will a lot a certain percentage of the budget for
local and so if you’re you know it’s like keeping that money in the community
and so trying to talk to those farmers who then can collaborate with the
institutions and so it’s just you know what are you willing to do you know or
well who can you encourage to to pick up the baton but um and then definitely go
to John’s talk tomorrow cuz he’s gonna or if ya can you hear me
hey so maybe this belongs in a different session I don’t know you can say if us
but my question is you’re collecting a lot of data and it’s obvious what the
benefit is to the consumer spread it seems like there’s an awful lot of data
that we can learn as growers you know what are the best practices and so could
you speak a little bit about that and what you’re learning and where you’re at
on that and what kind of data you’re collecting I got something to say but
great can go first those who were here first thing this morning may have heard
john kemp announced a project for AI agronomist in collaboration with BFN RFC
and you know foundationally from my perspective there’s a couple basic
things you’re trying to accomplish here one to give consumers the ability to
choose what food they purchase based on its inherent additional value and two to
be able to support growers in making management decisions to improve
inherited additional value the last thing we want to do is an organization
that’s founded by farmers is to leave farmers feeling really up the creek when
they bring their crops to drop them off they’re told by their buyer sorry
doesn’t mean standard so that is something we absolutely want to be
avoiding and so foundationally we talk you know this year we have 100 farms
doing this complete data you know collection about the historical dynamics
and they’re in season dynamics that what the AI agronomist is designed to do is
to support farmers who are willing to say this is my soil type this is my
fertility program this is in port this is mice this is where I live this is
what I’ve done this is what I want to grow what’s the best things I can do and
that’s what we’re actively designing for is not only to give consumers the
ability to choose based on quality but to give farmers the ability to manage
based on quality and our thought is if we can support both ends of that
spectrum then there’s going to be this race to the top where you know
presumably consumers hard to say you people like faith I go to go to the
farmers market to their to the grocery store and talk to the produce manager in
the corner spenders aren’t hearing about it and luckily we’ve got you know we’ve
been I think they’ll do a really good job of keeping this grassroots
word-of-mouth buzz growing and building without coming out and making false
claims but as we start to get closer to the time when we’re going to be able to
do this I think that buzz is building and so there’s gonna be more pressure on
farmers to say you know produce based on quality as opposed to produce based on
volume and we absolutely want to support that how by working with as many farmers
as possible to collect data about how they’ve managed what’s going on in the
field this year and how it correlates to nutrient levels once we can correlate
management with nutrient levels then we can support farmers and say change this
management practice and this management practice and you’re likely to increase
nutrient levels we can give direct agronomic recommendations in field in
season to shift done I’ve mentioned a couple of times John I carry an
economist and what I’m going to talk about the bar is kind of the future of
food but the point that’s relative to here markets have never fed poor people
most people are hungry because they’re poor and relying on markets won’t do
that and that’s the reason we have government food assistance programs and
the problem is our government food assistant programs have become about as
impersonal as the markets so we’ve got more people that are food insecure now
than we had back in the 1960s in spite of the programs so we need to think of
different ways of getting good food to low-income people in addition to that
now the food that they can afford to gets it is making them sick they’re
ending up buying junk food so we’re gonna have to address that problem in a
different way and that’s what I want to talk about tomorrow it’s how we deal
with that and how it relates to getting good food good nutritious food for
everybody and I think we could start with the low income people or we have a
government programs where we could use those funds and use them better and then
build on that I did have a question you mentioned about organic food not testing
higher are you testing the research I’ve seen in
I’m certainly not an expert in this and I hope I get the names right but the
primary difference they found between organic and conventional food have to do
with higher levels in antioxidants flavonoids polyphenols are you testing
it would detect those kinds of differences we are testing both
antioxidants and polyphenols and those studies that have been out there have
talked about averages and this is actually a really important point that
I’d like to make every time I talk about this because it’s a big difference
between the average and the variation and so what when the USDA goes and you
know defines what’s in a carrot like there’s a USDA you know this is what’s
in a carrot quote-unquote and what the USDA does is they go around the country
they’ve got I think it’s twelve different zones and they go and go to a
couple different grocery stores in each zone geographically they buy crops off
the shelf they send them to a lab the assay them for a suite of different
nutrient levels they take the top 10% of the variance the highest nutrient levels
and throw them out they take the bottom 10% and throw them out and then they
average what’s left and they say this is what’s in a carrot now there’s not an
average human there’s not an average you know Pig there’s not an average cow
there’s not an average cucumber and so what we’ve done with our lab work
starting last year was to say we want identify the variation we don’t want to
see what the average is we want to see what the range is and so this was when I
said earlier a four hundred to eighteen hundred percent variation that was
nutrient levels like in carrots from four parts per million copper to 16