November 2, 2020
“Gene bank” may sound like something out of a Sci-fi movie – but they are actually really important in the real world! Gene banks are a type of biological repository where genetic material is stored. When it comes to crops, gene banks hold the future of food, and include seeds, plant cuttings and more. Join Dr. Quave this week as she chats with Dr. Ren Wang, the Director General of the China National GeneBank, based in Shenzhen, China.
#GeneBank #China #Crops
October 26, 2020
I speak with Dr. Tinde van Andel, an ethnobotanist that studies the traditional uses of crops and medicinal plants from Africa to South America. She shares the incredible story of how enslaved African women hid special rice varieties and other crop seeds in their hair braids in their escape from plantations to the forest, where thriving Maroon communities were established and persist today in Suriname. Prof. van Andel explains how her team and collaborators used interdisciplinary tools from the examination of historic records, herbarium samples, ethnobotanical interviews and genomics approaches to unravel this fascinating history of this important African crop.
#Rice #Africa #Suriname
October 19, 2020
I speak with Dr. Robbie Hart, Director of the William L. Brown Center at Missouri Botanical Garden. Robbie is an ethnobotanist and explorer with expertise in agrobiodiversity of the Himalayas, where he studies high-elevation plant ecology, climate change, and ethnobotany. He shares some insights into his work on these topics and also explains how to make a delicious cup of yak butter tea, a local staple in the Himalayas!
#Himalayas #Yak #Ethnobotany
October 12, 2020
I speak with Dr. Bruce German, a leading expert on the science of breastmilk. You may have heard of the saying, “Breast is best” when discussing the topic of infant nutrition. But, you may be wondering, is that really true? And what are the nutritional needs of babies that enables them to grow and develop in that critical early period of life? Incredibly, there are certain components in breast milk that specifically feed the gut microbiome and promote health early in life. Tune in to learn more about the exciting scientific breakthroughs emerging in this field!
#Breastmilk #Nutrition #Microbiome
October 5, 2020
I speak with Amy Stewart, a best-selling author of both fiction and non-fiction works. You may recognize some of her popular nonfiction titles in the realm of botany, such as The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Plants and Flower Confidential. We dive into some wicked plants that fascinate us both that can be found in the wild, your backyard or sometimes at the bar!
#Botany #Cocktails #Poisons
September 22, 2020
How many of you love hot sauce? What makes chili peppers so alluring to our palates? Well, it has a lot to do with pain and how our bodies react to pain stimulants like capsaicin. Join me as I speak with Dr. David Julius – an expert on pain receptors – as they discuss how humans sense certain spices, and what this means in the search for new non-opiate pain therapies.
#Pain #Spicy #Peppers
September 14, 2020
Join me as I speak with leading agricultural scientist, Dr. Cary Fowler, about the importance of seed banking and conserving crop diversity. Ever heard of the “Doomsday Seed Vault”? Though it may sound like something out of a sci-fi thriller – this important gene bank where millions of seeds are stored in a tunnel carved into the arctic ice – is 100% real. Tune in to this episode of Foodie Pharmacology to learn why saving seeds is key to the future of global food production in a changing climate.
#SeedBank #Crops #Conservation
August 31, 2020
I speak with award-winning author, Daniel Stone, about his book on the life and adventures of David Fairchild: The Food Explorer. If you enjoy delicious foods like avocados and the Meyer lemon, you have Fairchild and his team members to thank for bringing these crops into cultivation in the US! Daniel’s book is an edge-of-your-seat historic account of this work that reads like an adventure novel! Tune in to this episode of Foodie Pharmacology to learn more about this fascinating read!
#Explorer #Crops #Agriculture
August 24, 2020
I speak with Mark Blumenthal about his work on the science and safety of botanicals. Mark is the founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council, which is a leading, independent, research and educational nonprofit organization dedicated to disseminating accurate, reliable, and responsible information on herbs and medicinal plants. The topics of sustainability, problems with adulteration and safety of herbs, and how to learn more about the healing power of plants are all covered in this episode of the Foodie Pharmacology podcast.
#Herbalism #DietarySupplements #HerbalMedicine
August 17, 2020
I speak with ethnobotanist Dr. Bruce Hoffman about his work with the indigenous people of Suriname! Bruce discusses his work with the Amazon Conservation Team and shares what life is like in the Amazon! He explains how the ACT works with local Trio and Saramaccan communities to establish stingless bee hives as a source of local income for this medicinal forest honey. We also discuss what to do if you encounter a group of peccaries in the forest… (here’s a hint) climb a tree… FAST!
#Amazon #StinglessBees #Rainforest