Pete Marczyk and Rocky Mountain PBS bring Great Ingredients to the screen

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Eating healthy can seem easy when all you have to do is go to the store and buy the products labeled "organic." But Pete Marczyk wants you to know where those products come from. On his new Rocky Mountain PBS show, Great Ingredients, Marczyk is traveling all over the state to find the best locally grown foods, like peaches from the Western Slope and free-range chickens from northern Colorado.

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Julie Speer, producer and director at RMPBS, has known Marczyk, co-owner of the two Marczyk Fine Foods stores (and a frequent contributor of recipes to Cafe Society), for a long time. So when she was given the idea of doing a show about food, she immediately thought of him. "I've never met anyone who loves food as much as he does and who knows as much about food as he does," Speer says. He quickly agreed to host the show, bringing his passion and knowledge about food to the table.

What's important to both Speer and Marczyk is educating viewers about where their food comes from. "Largely, our food has been industrialized," Speer explains. "There's sort of a shift in consciousness nowadays, though, where people are starting to understand some of the choices that we've been making with farming and with food -- pesticides, obesity, all these processed foods. This is really something that we're trying to tackle."

But more than showing the problems of the food industry, the series wants to show solutions, by highlighting farmers and food distributors who are keeping it local and organic. "There's a system that can be much more harmonious, when farmers are growing locally, when they know who's going to be buying their products, when it doesn't have to be driven across the country," Speer says.

Education is an important factor for any PBS show. But Speer wants Great Ingredients to be more than just informative. "What we're hoping to do is create a show that is both educational and entertaining. And I think that's something also that Pete brings to it -- he's really funny, he has a great personality," she says.

Great Ingredients premiered online in September and is currently only on the web; this is the first online series for the network. "We're hoping to maybe bring some of our traditional audience to the web, but more so to build sort of a new generation of PBS viewers," Speer explains. In late November, Rocky Mountain PBS will be airing short spots of the show on television; the hope is to get the full series on the air sometime next year.

To watch more webisodes and learn more about the show, visit the Rocky Mountain PBS website.

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