Skip to Content

You can do WHAT with seaweed???

October 31, 2023

Season 1, Episode 20



Joan Salwen has a thing for cows. After all, she grew up helping her grandfather tend to the livestock on his farm in Iowa. But as an adult, Joan was shocked to learn that cows are pretty terrible for the environment: they burp huge amounts of methane, a destructive greenhouse gas driving climate change. So she built a company, Blue Ocean Barns, around a surprising solution: making feed with a red seaweed native to Hawaii that dramatically reduces cows’ methane emissions when they eat it in small amounts. It’s an innovation that could make farmers like Joan’s Grandpa Mo heroes in the fight to slow climate change. 

In the Season One finale, Joan tells Dwayne about her many professional pivots, from software engineer to middle school English teacher to startup founder; and shares what she’s learned from farmers about how we can all care for our planet. Plus, Joan shares fun facts about cows! 

Almost There Logo

Almost There

A podcast about what it takes to make transformational change.

All Episodes

All episodes

    • Tiana Epps Johnson portrait with text: Almost There30 min

      Want to protect democracy? Hug an election official.

      Season 1, Episode 19

    • Sriram Shamasunder portrait with text: Almost There47 min

      The marvelous connections between poetry and medicine

      Season 1, Episode 18

    • Sara Zewde portrait with text: Almost There35 min

      The anti-slavery roots of America's public parks

      Season 1, Episode 17

    • Dia Tellefson Torres portrait with text: Almost There31 min

      If farmworkers pick the food, shouldn’t they get a seat at the table?

      Season 1, Episode 16

    • Sheila Davis portrait with text: Almost There33 min

      What the AIDS epidemic taught this nurse about keeping the world healthy

      Season 1, Episode 15

    • David Domenici portrait19 min

      Is it possible to build a great school in a prison?

      Season 1, Episode 14

    • Shari Davis portrait with text: Almost There31 min

      You—yes, you—can decide how the government spends money

      Season 1, Episode 13

    • Amy Back portrait with text? Almost There31 min

      Following the data to a fairer criminal justice system

      Season 1, Episode 12

    • Chuck Yarborough portrait with text: Almost There35 min

      How to teach history in a divided America? Let students think for themselves.

      Season 1, Episode 11

    • 32 min

      Could virtual reality make us better coworkers?

      Season 1, Episode 10

    • 40 min

      Native life is everywhere. Just look around.

      Season 1, Episode 9

    • Image of Aisha Nyandoro32 min

      What’s possible when Black mothers have the financial freedom to dream?

      Season 1, Episode 8

    • 31 min

      What if we let asylum seekers fix our immigration system?

      Season 1, Episode 7

    • 34 min

      How does it feel to be known as a “felon” forever?

      Season 1, Episode 6

    • 35 min

      Young people: here’s how to run for office—and win

      Season 1, Episode 5

    • 33 min

      What you learn when you sail around the world without a compass

      Season 1, Episode 4

    • 34 min

      This profoundly simple act can save the lives of millions of Black women

      Season 1, Episode 3

    • 35 min

      Our buildings are making us sick. Can they heal us instead?

      Season 1, Episode 2

    • 36 min

      How to tell ourselves the truth about the history of slavery

      Season 1, Episode 1



    Stay Up to Date

    Stay informed with the latest from us.

    Get our newsletter