June 29, 2020
This week, we dive into the stories behind one of my favorite summertime fruits – figs! As a kid, I was never a fan of fig-based cookies, but my mind was totally changed when I first encountered a lush, ripe fig tree during fieldwork in southern Italy. I plucked a large green skinned fig off of a tree and as I bit into it, the rows of pink flowers inside were revealed. The flavor and texture was just incredible! This delicious treat was the result of an interesting relationship between the plant and local insects. I speak with Dr. Mike Shanahan, whose work weaves together the mythology, history and ecology of one of the world’s most and diverse groups of plants, covering their starring role in religion, to their potential to restore rainforests, halt the loss of threatened and endangered species, and even limit climate change. We chat about his book, Gods, Wasps and Stranglers: The Secret History and Redemptive Future of Fig Trees, and cover just about any questions folks could have about this amazing plant group!
#Figs #Botany #Ecology
June 22, 2020
Gina Rae La Cerva is a geographer, environmental anthropologist, and award-winning writer who has traveled extensively to research a variety of environmental and food-related topics. On this episode, I speak with Gina about her new book: Feasting Wild: In Search of the Last Tamed Food. Throughout human history, food was frequently procured from the wild – whether fished from the sea, foraged from meadows, or hunted in biodiverse rich forests. What once was the norm is now something all too often reserved for the wealthy. We explore the topics of foraging, hunting, and humankind's relationship with the wild!
#Forage #WildGame #Hunting
June 15, 2020
Fungi are everywhere. They coat our skin, hide beneath the soil and flourish along the forest floor, intertwined between myriad plant species – both dead and alive. They are responsible for transforming rocks into soil, making medicines, psychedelic drugs, food, poisons and ink, among many other roles. On this episode of Foodie Pharmacology, I speak with mycologist and author, Dr. Merlin Sheldrake, who reveals this hidden entangled world of fungi to us in his newly released book, Entangled Life: How Fungi Make our Worlds, Change our Minds, and Shape our Futures.
#Fungi #Mushrooms #Ecology
June 8, 2020
What do you do when seeds are in short supply? Is there a way to transform kitchen scraps into viable plants in your garden? I asked these and so many other questions about vegetative propagation of Dr. Chris Gunter, our guest for this episode of Foodie Pharmacology! Chris is a professor of Horticultural Science and the Extension Vegetable Production Specialist for the commercial vegetable industry in North Carolina, working with commercial vegetable growers to maintain a high quality of life through the use of integrated, economical and environmentally sound production practices. His main emphasis is with the Solanaceous (tomato, pepper) and Cruciferous (cabbage, broccoli) cropping systems. He's also a leader in the area of fresh produce safety for the fresh produce industry in North Carolina.
#HomeGarden #Vegetables #Gardening
June 2, 2020
On this episode of Foodie Pharmacology, I share some insights from a field study that I conducted with one of my collaborators on a beautiful volcanic island located in the Mediterranean sea. Pantelleria is the largest of the Sicilian isles and populated by roughly 7,000 inhabitants, and visited by tourists who come to the island to enjoy its numerous natural attractions such as the Specchio di Venere, a geothermally-heated lake with healing muds, archeological sites such as the Byzantine tombs, and local foods and beverages such as capers and the passito wine.
#Italy #Pantelleria #Ethnobotany