PYP 198: Ed and Amanda Smith on Leadership, Community, and Health

Ed and Amanda Smith are the co-founders of Healthfest, a three-day annual event in a small Texas town that's become an unlikely hub of plant-based nutrition in the United States. Marshall, Texas, population 27,000, is smack in the middle of the "stroke belt." Where beef is king, hunting is a rite of passage into manhood, and if it ain't deep-fried, it ain't food. And there, where Ed served as mayor, is where they decided to bring plant-based knowledge and practice. Read more »

PYP 194: Ellen Jaffe Jones on “I’m not speeding up; they’re all slowing down”

I ran into Ellen Jaffe Jones at the Raleigh NC Vegfest, where she was inspiring young and old to get off their butts and embrace a healthy, active, vegan lifestyle. We had met on Skype for a podcast interview more than three years ago, but this was the first time we had met in person. And since I've become a runner, I badly wanted a copy of her new book, Vegan Fitness For Mortals. As one of the most decorated track and field athletes in the country (and getting more and more competitive as her non-plant-based rivals slow down and quit as their bodies decline), she has a lot to teach me about running well and sustainably. Read more »

PYP 192: Tad Hargrave on Healing from Whiteness

Tad Hargrave is an environmental activist and marketing teacher whose heartfelt wisdom and elegant and ethical strategies inspired and guided much of my own thinking when I was in the online marketing field. We've stayed in touch over the years, and as Tad is a prolific writer, I spend a fair amount of time pondering his pensive and powerful essays on, basically, how to be a courteous and committed ally to those on the planet who are suffering. Read more »

PYP 176: Ken Botts on the Power of One Plate at a Time

Ken Botts has been in food service for over 35 years, since he discovered the financial rewards of frying chicken and slinging pizza as a teenager trying to pay for his own car insurance. At age 18, he discovered Diet for a Small Planet, by Francis Moore Lappé, and made the connection between the food we eat and the world we inhabit. Read more »

PYP 161: Eric O’Grey on Being Rescued by an Obese, Middle-Aged Dog

Eric O’Grey co-stars in a 6-minute video that’s been viewed over 50 millions times. He’s been on NPR, Rachael Ray, Oprah.com, and Today.com. He runs multiple marathons a year, advocates for animal rescue and plant-based diets, and is in the process of inking a book deal. All because of a scruffy, obese, middle-aged rescue dog. Read more »

PYP 158: Sandi Kronick on Facilitating a Sustainable Food System

Sandi Kronick is founder and CEO of Eastern Carolina Organics (ECO), an innovative food hub company that connects medium-scale organic farmers with local and far-flung markets. Located in Durham, NC, ECO is part of a new breed of mission-driven for-profit companies looking to help us eat better within a capitalist framework. Read more »

PYP 157: Keegan Kuhn on Not Hurting Anybody and Questioning Authority

Keegan Kuhn was raised with two rules: don’t hurt anybody, and question authority. Judging by what’s he’s become and what he’s accomplished, I think those two rules may comprise a necessary and sufficient philosophy of child-rearing. Keegan is an accomplished bio-intensive farm and garden developer, a social activist, and a documentary filmmaker whose latest project, What the Health?, promises to rip the cover off the pharmaceutical / medical / agricultural conspiracy to ruin our health. Read more »

PYP 147: Vlad Chituc on How (Not) to Change Hearts and Minds

Vlad Chituc is a behavioral economics researcher at Duke University. He works with Dan Ariely at the Center for Advanced Hindsight, and focuses on issues of ethics, morality, and decision-making. When we chatted briefly a few weeks ago about his veganism and his commitment to reduce animal suffering, I was struck by his contrarian views and the really cool research behind them. Read more »