Foodie Pharmacology Podcast

Figs! Gods, Wasps and Stranglers with Dr. Mike Shanahan

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