June 14, 2021
This week, we ask some big questions about the origins of our food and how it connects people from across the globe. I speak with Dr. Colin Khoury, a crop diversity researcher who has spent more than 20 years trying to understand the state of diversity in the global food system. Colin shares how collaborative work brings together multidisciplinary expertise to inform conservation strategies for crops and their wild relatives, develop conservation indicators for international agreements, and support evidence-based decision making toward more sustainable food systems. Learn more about his work by reading his scientific papers and follow him on Twitter at @ColinKhoury
#Crops #Biodiversity #FoodSystems
June 7, 2021
This week, we explore one of the most important botanical families for food crops and medicine! Ever heard of nicotine or atropine? These tropane alkaloids from the Solanaceae family are just a few examples of pharmacologically active compounds from this group. I speak with Dr. Sandra Knapp, a world renown expert in the taxonomy of the Solanaceae, about tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, chili peppers and more! Want to learn more about this family? Check out the Solanaceae Source. Access the Broken Planet exhibit at the Natural History Museum London.
#tomato #potato #CropWildRelatives
June 1, 2021
What lessons can we learn about human behavior from the plant kingdom? I chat with Dr. Beronda Montgomery, a writer, professor, and science communicator. Her research focuses on how organisms (primarily plants) maintain a sense of self, where they are, and what behaviors they should pursue to support their success. Dr. Montgomery is author of a new book Lessons from Plants. Learn more about her work at her website at berondamontgomery.com or follow her on Twitter: @BerondaM and @PlantLessons or Instagram: @Beronda_M and @PlantLessons
#Plants #Botany #garden
May 24, 2021
This stimulant ingredient has captured the imaginations (and taste buds) of humans over the centuries! You may be surprised at all of the steps that it takes to transform cacao seeds from the chocolate tree into the chocolate bars and beverages we love. This week, I speak with Dr. Nat Bletter about the history and chemistry of chocolate. He also gives us a unique walk through all of the steps to processing chocolate—including some fascinating insights on the fermentation and tempering stages. Learn more about Nat’s work with chocolate or order some tasty bars to sample at Madre Chocolate (@madrechocolate on Instagram and Facebook). You can also check out is YouTube channel or follow him on Instagram and Facebook at @NattyByNature808 for more for more info on ethnobotany and gardening.
#chocolate #cacao #ethnobotany
May 17, 2021
Did you know that in some cultures, humans are believed to transform into forest animals as a part of the hunting tradition? Or that the elderly may transform into the fierce jaguar in the last phases of life? This week, I speak with Dr. Glenn Shepherd about topics ranging from medicinal plants and poetry, to the life cycle and different cosmologies that shape the ways that humans perceive the processes of aging and death. We also explore how certain psychoactive plants and fungal endophytes (including ergot alkaloids cultivated in sedges!) are used by Indigenous groups in medicine. Learn more about Glenn’s work in the Amazon on his blog Notes from the Ethnoground, and follow him on Twitter @TweetTropiques or on Facebook and Instagram @ethnoground_photography
#ethnobotany #Amazonas #psychoactive
May 10, 2021
Food is our most intimate and powerful connection to each other, to our cultures, and to the earth. This week, I speak with Navina Khanna, co-founder and the Executive Director of the HEAL (Health, Environment, Agriculture, and Labor) Food Alliance, a national alliance of organizations building collective power for transformed food systems across race, sector, and geography. We explore how community action can transform food systems to support access to healthy food that is fair to the people who grow, distribute, prepare, and serve it. Learn more about how to get involved at the HEAL website (https://healfoodalliance.org/), or follow them on Twitter @HEAL_Food or on Facebook and Instagram @HEALFoodAlliance.
#FoodJustice #Advocacy #ClimateAction
May 3, 2021
When it comes to food, there are many labels, many choices, and even more confusion for the everyday consumer! But there is a way to cut through the chaos and find the best choices for you and your family. This week, I speak with guest Sophie Egan, author of “How to be a Conscious Eater: Making Food Choices That Are Good for You, Others, and the Planet.” Tune in to learn about some simple tips for how to use your purchasing power in support of your health and that of the planet.
#nutrition #food #ClimateAction
April 26, 2021
Fermentation is fabulous! Yes, absolutely fabulous! It is what transforms otherwise standard staples like milk, grains, or grapes into a dizzying array of flavorful value-added products that serve as ambassadors to the food culture and intricate environments from which the ingredients originate! This week on Foodie Pharmacology, I speak with Katie Quinn about her new book “Cheese, Wine and Bread” which takes us on a journey through England, Italy and France in the search of how fermentation transforms our foods. Learn more about the book on her author website and check out her YouTube channel and the Keep it Quirky podcast! You can also follow Katie on Instagram at @qkatie.
April 19, 2021
If you use botanical teas and dietary supplements, this episode is for you! I speak with Dr. Ann Armbrecht, director of the Sustainable Herbs Program and author of her latest book, The Business of Botanicals. We dive in to the business of herbal medicines, dietary supplements, and all of the different ways that medicinal plants enter the marketplace. We discuss how plants move from global sources to the grocery store aisle. Follow her on twitter at @AnnArmbrecht for news on upcoming webinars!
#supplement #botanical #herbal
April 12, 2021
How did the diversity of plants that we enjoy today on our dinner plates come to be cultivated across the world? Initially, valuable crops were transported by ship, but many of these specimens died in transit. Invention of the Wardian case—a glass topped plant box—was a game changer in keeping plants alive on long sea voyages. I speak with Luke Keogh, historian and author of The Wardian Case: How a simple Box Moved Plants and Changed the World to learn more about the fascinating history of this innovation.
#plants #crops #botany