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Raising Kale Podcast


Welcome to the Raising Kale Podcast
with Amber Stott

Raising Kale graphic

Raising Kale tackles honest food issues served with joy. What does broccoli have to do with a chefarmer in Illinois and a school kid in California? And what is a chefarmer anyhow? If eating your vegetables can make you healthier, listening to Raising Kale will make you smarter–without any snooty side effects. Raising Kale shares vegetable stories from across America. I’ll talk to chefs, community activists, healthcare providers, and even elementary kids. 

LISTEN NOW! Raising Kale Promo

The series hails from America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, Sacramento, California, hosted by Amber Stott, Chief Food Genius of the nonprofit Food Literacy Center. 

You don’t have to run a business or have a visionary idea to help improve our food system. We need these people–but we also need you! You can plug into the amazing projects that exist around the country, and during each episode, I’ll tell you how. 

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Are you a kale raiser? Email us your story!


Sn 2, Ep. 8: The New Face of Cooking Classes
Lisa Gross

In this week’s episode, we hear from Lisa Gross, owner of League of Kitchens. She’s the founder of a business that at every level values women in ways that are revolutionary. Packed into one company, she has managed to capture what America needs most right now: meaningful cultural exchange, putting women at the center of the story, celebrating diversity, celebrating immigrants, and being revolutionary by paying women for their talents (talents, I will add, that have been taken for granted historically as household “duties”). 

As the daughter of a Korean immigrant and a Jewish New Yorker, Lisa Gross was raised on one grandmother’s denjang-guk and the other’s matzoh ball soup. Her company, The League of Kitchens, which employs immigrant women as in-home cooking instructors, is borne out of her passion for New York City, her love of cooking, and her connection to the immigrant experience. Lisa is an artist, educator, and social entrepreneur.

Sn 2 Ep. 8: Lisa Gross

Kara  Heckert

Sn 2, Ep. 7: Farm Politics
Kara Heckert

This week, I speak with Kara Heckert, a regional director at the nonprofit American Farmland Trust. Its mission is to save America’s farms and ranches. Kara works there on agricultural sustainability and natural resource conservation in California. America’s farmers are facing some very real challenges right now. Wildfires, drought, loss of farmland, and a history of discrimination. In this episode, we look more closely at all these issues. 

“Supporting our local agriculture and farmland needs to be looked at as a public health issue. Local food is seen as healthier… local farming is better for the climate… there’s all sorts of benefits.” 

Sn. 2 Ep. 7: Kara Heckert

Michael Bosworth

Sn 2, Ep. 6: The Rice Farmer
Michael Bosworth

In this week’s episode, I talk about rice with farmer Michael Bosworth. Michael is a different kind of rice farmer. While the majority of California rice is grown for sushi, Michael has shifted to nurturing unique varieties of grains grown less with a focus on yield and instead with a focus on flavor. His new company, True Origin Foods, was a small idea before the pandemic hit. 

Today, with the rise in home cooking and the growing consumer desire to buy local, Michael’s business model is thriving. Michael Bosworth is founder and CEO of Next Generation Foods, and co-founder of his newest venture, True Origin Foods, an artisan rice and pantry staple food brand. He’s a California farmer, born and raised! 

Sn 2, Ep. 6: Michael Bosworth

Joan Smith

Sn 2, Ep. 5: The Date Farmer
Joan Smith

This week’s episode, I speak with Joan Smith, a date farmer whose fruits are so delicious they’ve been featured in magazines! She shares her favorite date recipes, fun facts about date plants, tales of her farm dogs, and how she makes a point to give back to her community! 

Dates are such a fascinating desert fruit. They grow on date palm trees, which may be one of the oldest cultivated trees in the world, dating back over 5,000 years. They’re not only tasty, but they’re a pretty cool food to learn about, too.

Today’s guest teaches us all sorts of fun facts. I learned so much talking to her! 

Sn. 2, Ep. 5: Joan Smith

Tess Masters

Sn 2, Ep. 4: The Blender Girl
Tess Masters

As Americans search for ways to cook more at home with limited time, the blender provides easy answers. It’s a useful tool in our search for healthier eating, too. What easier way to turn kale into breakfast? 

No one cooks with a blender better than my friend, Tess! 

Tess Masters is an actor, lifestyle personality, and cookbook author. She’s been featured in the LA Times, Washington Post, Glamour, and more. She was recently the spokesperson for KitchenAid. She runs the popular website, The Blender Girl. 

Sn 2, Ep. 4: Tess Masters

Melissa Lanz

Sn 2, Ep 3: Healthy Family Meals
Melissa Lanz

Today’s guest is one of these Americans–a busy mom who wanted to leave a better food legacy for her family, so she started a meal planning company, The Fresh 20. In this episode, we talk about her tips for being practical in the kitchen, how she raises healthy children, and how she feels inside her healthier body. 

Melissa Lanz is a former marketing executive who quit her day job to focus on healthy food. She’s an author of the book The Fresh 20, and runs a meal planning service with the same name. She’s been featured in The New York Times, Instyle, among others, and as a contributing editor for Shape Magazine. She’s also a wonderful cook, a mother, and a good human. 

Sn. 2 Ep. 3: Melissa Lanz

Beth Lee

Sn 2, Ep. 2: Publishing Jewish Recipes
Beth Lee

 It’s an exciting time to meet the heroes hard at work preserving the food traditions of their ancestors and sharing them with the rest of us. Beth Lee is one of these heroes. 

Beth Lee shares recipes from her multicultural family on her website, OMG! Yummy. Her recently released cookbook is a journey into the baking traditions of the Jewish diaspora, called The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook. 

Sn 2, Ep 2: Beth Lee

Sara Bernal

Sn 2, Ep. 1: The Urban Farmer
Sara Bernal

We start Season 2 in America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, Sacramento, California. Our farmer, Sara Bernal, works on an urban farm that’s run by the nonprofit, Center for Land-Based Learning.  

Sara Bernal is a farmer, a community activist, a rad human, and a true Kale Raiser! She has lived and worked around the world from Bangladesh to Italy, but it’s in West Sacramento, California where she’s transforming her community through food. She’s the program manager for the nonprofit Center for Land-Based Learning, where she runs an urban farm program that trains new farmers, feeds the hungry, and tirelessly makes the world a better place.

Sn. 2, Ep. 1: Sara Bernal

Gavin Rossdale

Sn 1, Episode 13: Gavin Rossdale
Rock Star in the Kitchen

When Rockstar Gavin Rossdale of the band Bush heard about this podcast, he offered to lend his celebrity status to help us get the word out. When he’s not singing and playing guitar, Gavin’s passion is cooking! If he wasn’t a musician, he would have been a chef.

David Lebovitz

Sn 1, Episode 12: David Lebovitz
Cooking from California to Paris

David Lebovitz started his culinary career at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, working with Chef Alice Louise Waters (episode 4 guest). He’s been featured in Oprah, Bon Appetit, and many more culinary publications. In 2019, Saveur magazine awarded his website their first-ever Blog of the Decade. David shares his journey from washing dishes in a strip mall steakhouse to living and cooking in Paris.

Sn 1, Episode 12: Promo

 Danielle Nierenberg

Sn 1, Episode 11: Danielle Nierenberg
The Power of Consumers

Danielle Nierenberg is the president and co-founder of the nonprofit think tank, Food Tank. The nonprofit focuses on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. In other words, they keep consumers informed about issues affecting our food. Danielle has traveled the world to learn about solutions to our broken food system.

Sn 1, Episode 11: Promo

Michael Mazourek

Sn 1, Episode 10: Michael Mazourek
Making Purple Peas & Other Seeds

In this episode we hear from scientist Michael Mazourek, who’s designing new vegetables. He’s doing something radical with our food–he’s making it taste better! He is an actual kale raiser–as in, he breeds the seeds that grow vegetables. It all started with a challenge from chef Dan Barber to build a better butternut squash. 

Sn 1, Episode 10: Promo


Sn 1, Episode 9: Diana Flores
School Lunch Boss

Diana Flores wants to transform school kitchens into school restaurants. She serves as the director of Nutrition Services for California’s 3rd largest school district, Sacramento City Unified. It’s a low-income school district that’s cooking up 30,000 school lunches per day! Diana is proactively pushing back against heavy-handed restrictions that limit the quality of their meals. In this episode, you’re going to hear how school lunch is supposed to be done!

Sn 1, Episode 9: Promo

Robert Egger

Sn 1, Episode 8: Robert Egger
An Orignal Kale Raiser

In this episode we speak with Robert Egger, an original nonprofit kale raiser. He has started multiple nonprofits in his career, including DC Central Kitchen and LA Kitchen. He flips the script on what solving hunger looks like. His work is responsible for feeding seniors, giving jobs to the homeless, and training the formerly incarcerated–all in an effort to improve our food system. He describes a visit from President Obama, where formerly incarcerated culinary trainees were giving the President instructions in the kitchen. 

Sn 1, Episode 8: Promo

Aviva Paley & Tony Estrada

Sn 1, Episode 7: Aviva Paley & Tony Estrada
Jobs that End Hunger

This week we learn how food creates careers for people who were once considered unemployable. We’ll hear from Aviva Paley, co-founder of Kitchens for Good - an incredible job training program for the homeless and also talk to one of the program’s trainees about his new career as a vegan chef!

Sn 1, Episode 7: Promo

Lisa Lin

Sn 1, Episode 6: Lisa Lin
Cooking Chinese Food with Mama Lin

Since 2014, Lisa Lin of the recipe site, Healthy Nibbles, has featured healthy recipes like avocado toast with orange honey shrimp or easy blueberry smoothies. Hailing from America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, turning farmers market crops into healthy meals comes easily to her. 

A few years ago, Lisa started including something special on her website: her mom! Some of Lisa’s most popular recipes are classic Chinese dishes she’s learned from her mom, like scallion pancakes. 

Sn 1, Episode 6: Promo

Alexandra Garcia

Sn 1, Episode 5: Alexandra Garcia
Resilience through Breadfruit

Alexandra Garcia is passionate about improving the lives of people and the planet. She currently serves as the Chief Program Officer for the World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit founded by Chef Jose Andres. The organization’s goal is to change the world through the power of food. Listen to hear how Alexandra is building resilience though breadfruit!

Sn 1, Episode 5: Promo

Alice Waters

Sn 1, Episode 4: Alice Waters
The Kale Revolution

Alice Waters is widely known in California for her pioneering efforts to create California cuisine at her restaurant Chez Panisse, which focuses on farm-fresh, seasonal ingredients. She also established one of the first school-based programs, Edible Schoolyard, to inspire children to cook and eat this way. She’s an author, an activist, and a true kale raiser. 

Sn 1, Episode 4: Promo

Krystal Oriadha

Sn 1, Episode 3: Krystal Oriadha
How School Lunch Creates Racial Justice

How does food connect to social justice? And what does that have to do with school lunch? Our third guest Krystal Oriadha is the Senior Director of Programs and Policy for the National Farm to School Network. She’s raising kale all over the nation!

Sn 1, Episode 3: Promo

Ken Myszka

Sn 1, Episode 2: Ken Myszka
What’s a Chefarmer?

What is a Chefarmer? Our second guest Ken Myszka of Epiphany Farms diverted his career as a successful chef in elite restaurants, moved to Illinois to follow his heart and his values, and became a farmer–and quickly failed at everything. 

Sn 1, Espisode 2: Promo

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