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The Power of One Plate at a Time with Ken Botts: PYP 176

Ken Botts

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.

Both inspired and burdened by that understanding, Ken worked his way through many positions in food service until he discovered that he could put his talents to use creating a better world.

Currently food policy manager at the Humane Society of the United States, Ken's work touches millions of lives and is having a huge impact on animal welfare, human health, and environmental regeneration.

From his bio: “His mission in life is to help make the world a better place, one plate at a time.” Love it!

Ken and I just got off the phone, and due to the fact that we discussed an exciting breaking story, I'm going to pretend I'm a real journalist and ride the news cycle for all its worth 🙂

[powerpress]

We discussed:

  • his work with hospitals, school districts, the military, and universities
  • his struggle working for a Chinese fast food group
  • the inspiring lessons of Jamba Juice
  • creating an all-vegan dining call at the University of North Texas in 2010
  • how university dining halls have changed since the old days (the 1980s, in Ken's and my case)
  • promoting the plant-based options as great-tasting food, not vegan food
  • food as a recruitment and retention tool for universities
  • how millennials are dictating the direction of our food policy and culture
  • me: “but people still love bacon” / Ken: “people love the taste of bacon”
  • the Sea World story
  • the importance of Blackfish
  • why vegan and animal rights and animal welfare organizations need to work together
  • sage advice on activism from Gene Bauer of Farm Sanctuary
  • next step: the broiler chicken industry
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.

Links

The Humane Society of the United States

Ken Botts on Facebook

Blackfish documentary

Sea World

The Humane Society press release

Sea World's press release

Diet for a Small Planet (ignore the stuff on protein combining, if it's in the edition you find 😉

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Music

The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.

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Music

The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.

Gratitudes

Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Peter W Evans – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – Michael Leuchten – Sarah Johnson – Katharine Floyd – Meryl Fury – for your generous support of the podcast.

Disclosure

This post may contain amazon affiliate links. I may receive compensation from your actions on such links. It don't cost you a dime, tho.

4 comments on “The Power of One Plate at a Time with Ken Botts: PYP 176

  1. Jessica Eiss says:

    This was so informative and intially, I felt the same way, as you, like helping or supporting Sea World was going against the grain. Listening to another point of view was very interesting and made me re-evaluate some of my own beliefs. Great podcast!

  2. Michele says:

    Another great podcast! So encouraging to know this guy is at the helm. His cooperative spirit was a joy to listen to. We ARE stronger together. I, for one, am quite hopeful about the Seaworld movement. some people wake up more slowly than others, but they do wake up! Let’s be kind and patient.

  3. david byczek says:

    My niece graduated from North Texas last year. She’s not 100% vegan, but the vegan dining hall was the only place she ate on campus because the food was so good. It was nice to learn about how Ken started this dining hall and how it’s spread over so many campuses over a such a short time. I’m glad he’s now working on amusement parks. With a young son, we frequent many of them and the choices are very limited or nonexistent.

  4. Fantastic interview! Thank you for bringing attention to this incredibly important work being done by Ken Botts, Kristie Middleton and HSUS. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to meet Ken today at one of their trainings!!!

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