Roots Talk! Podcast Episode 5

— What Local Foods Really Cost



A Podcast Interview with University of Iowa Associate Professor Brandi Janssen

In the fifth Roots Talk! podcast, Rootstalk editors Eva Gemrich and Dru Greenwood interview Brandi Janssen (, a Clinical Associate Professor for University of Iowa’s Occupational and Environmental Health Department. Janssen has been committed to helping consumers better understand the complexities of sustainable agriculture, and visited Grinnell’s campus last Spring to give a comprehensive talk about some of her findings. During her presentation she debunked many of the myths we as consumers embrace concerning how healthy and safe the local foods movement really is. Farming is an incredibly strenuous occupation and unfortunately many of the economic, physical, and mental stressors farmers endure are not acknowledged by the very people consuming the fruits of their labor. In order to fully understand the labor that goes into bringing crop from farm to table it is imperative that we learn about what goes on behind the scenes. Janssen goes into detail about the process of accessing labor, how farmer and farmer’s market relationships work, and the alarming ways in which agricultural labor puts farmers at high risk for mental and emotional distress.

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