Managing insects on Michigan berry crops


Photo of a wasp on Michigan blueberries, provided by

By Ray Pringle

This week we talk with Dr. Rufus Isaacs from Michigan State University. Dr. Isaacs focuses on managing pests to berry crops in Michigan. Collaborating with farmers throughout the state, his work helps to determine which pests are impacting farms. Farmers provide insight into ongoing issues and Dr. Isaacs works to figure out the best solutions to assist them. Check out what he has to say about his work and the work being done across Michigan.

What makes a healthy diet? A table, no TV and fresh food

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Photo art provided by Michigan League for Public Policy


LANSING – Households that eat family-style meals together at the table with the TV off may have healthier diets than families who don’t.

And that has implications for benefits such as lower risk of obesity, greater diet quality and healthier eating habits, according to researchers from the University of Michigan and their collaborators.

Identifying which components of family meals to promote may improve child nutrition, they said in a recent study.

Continue reading What makes a healthy diet? A table, no TV and fresh food

Coffee drinkers willing to pay for more than taste

red-bean-lot-2918151.jpgRaw coffee beans, photo provided by

By Eric Freedman

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Connoisseurs of specialty coffees seem willing to pay a lot more for their cup of joe if they know the beans come from farmer cooperatives.

How much of a premium for a 12-ounce cup? Customers say they would pay $1.31 more for what otherwise would be a $2.51 cup, according to a newly published economics study done at an independent specialty coffee shop in Lansing, Michigan.

Why that willingness to open their wallets wider for java?

Continue reading Coffee drinkers willing to pay for more than taste

Helping immigrants and refugees find community through gardening

Vanessa Garcia Polanco

By Ray Garcia Pringle

Thousands of immigrants come to the United States on a yearly basis, with Michigan typically taking in about 5,000 a year. Immigrants and refugees new to the Lansing area receive assistance from a variety of organizations, with help from people like Vanessa Garcia Polanco. Garcia Polanco works in food security in the form of farming and gardening. Through the use of community gardens, immigrants and refugees have the ability to grow food they might otherwise not have access to and feed themselves as they seek employment.

Listen to our interview with Garcia Polanco here.

Feeding Sheep Can Lead To Using Less Fossil Fuels


Photo Provided By Yuko Frazier

By Ray Garcia Pringle

Yuko Frazier spearheads the Ypsilanti-based Project Mow, which uses sheep to tend to large plots of lands overgrown with unwanted vegetation. Project Mow’s concerns lie in reducing the use of fossil fuels for tasks like plant removal, but also in a sustainable way of keeping the sheep fed. Many of the efforts made involve re-using materials that would otherwise be thrown out but can make a healthy snack for sheep.

Listen to the podcast here.