Announcing the Planet Forward Podcast

Announcing the Planet Forward Podcast
Related Topics:
Colleges & Education, Food, Sustainability

From the start, Planet Forward has been a platform featuring inspiring content, and empowering storytellers. But we also take pride in being a creative space for new voices and storytelling experimentation.

I’m proud to announce that we’ve been experimenting, too. And today we launch our premiere Planet Forward Podcast!

Get involved!

Your stories will help shape this podcast in the future. We’re looking for fresh voices and new ideas — the innovations that can move the planet forward.

Do you have a story we should share?

Want to suggest a topic to explore?

Do you want to be interviewed on the Planet Forward Podcast?

Email Zack at

Our host is a rising star from our community. Zack Smith, from SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), dazzled us with his talent when he entered a podcast in the 2017 Planet Forward Storyfest competition. The prize that year, by the way, was a trip to the Amazon rainforest with the renowned Dr. Tom Lovejoy. And happily, Zack traveled with us and produced a story from “Camp 41” featuring Tom!

So, in partnership with ESF, we launch the Planet Forward Podcast. Zack dives right in with a delicious debut. This item may not be on your plate yet but it may be one recipe for a sustainable diet. We’re talking about — wait for it — crickets.  

Jiminy! Could this really be a tasty and sustainable protein option to feed the world’s growing population?

Zack speaks with Shobhita Soor, CIO of Aspire Food Group, about bug farming. Then he interviews another star student, Katherine Baker, from Columbia University. She’s a Planet Forward Senior Correspondent, who considers crickets from her public health perspective.

Special thanks are due John Barth at PRX and producer Rachel Aronoff for getting us off the ground. John, Rachel, the first cricket burger is on us!

Zack’s take on all this:

“The process of producing this pilot and working with producer Rachel Aronoff, PRX, and the Planet Forward team was incredible. I had never worked with a producer before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. From researching potential story leads to developing interview questions, conducting the interviews, editing, script writing, editing the scripts, and editing some more, this was a truly a process of learning on the job — and accountability. I’ve heard of the friendship that forms in these collaborative work environments, and this was my first experience with it. For that, I am so thankful.”

Shobhita was interviewed from Aspire Food Group’s palm weevil operation in Ghana. Zack’s favorite question: did she grow up wanting to be a bug farmer! You’ll hear the answer in the podcast but Zack gives a hint: “I felt it was a good point of reflection for those of us who want to make a difference through our work. It may take a different form than we imagined.”

So, do crickets actually taste good? Don’t hold your nose, find out at our Planet Forward Podcast pilot right here.

Let us know what you think. Send us your cricket recipes. Pitch a story. Email us at

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agriculture, correspondents, crickets, environmental storytelling, feeding the planet, pfcorrespondent, planet forward podcast, podcast

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