Kenneth Olsen, associate professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis, shares his research into red rice, a weedy form of cultivated rice that is a major problem for farmers in the southern United States. For the final podcast of our fall season, Olsen describes his research and explains why domesticated crops like rice are such a valuable tool for studying the genetics and evolution of plants.
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India has more hungry people than any other country in the world. Can biotechnology solve its problems? Professor Glenn Stone describes the controversies and debates surrounding the role of genetically modified crops in the developing world. Stone writes about food, farming, and biotechnology on his blog, FieldQuestions.
For activists such as Anne Moody in the civil rights movement, the simple act of ordering food at a restaurant was a dangerous act of protest. Professor Rafia Zafar explores this moment in time and discusses the ways in which food relates to ethnic, personal, and class identity.
Dr. Gayle Fritz decribes the Eastern Agricultural Complex, a group of crops grown thousands of years ago in what is now the eastern and midwestern U.S. These foods, which include a domesticated relative of quinoa no longer in existence, were grown before the arrival of corn and beans to North America.
Dr. Fiona Marshall shares her research into the wild ancestors of donkeys, and explains why understanding more about these animals is so important to farmers around the world.
Dr. Fiona Marshall explains how knowledge of early food production, especially in Africa, has changed over the last twenty years. Marshall's research has shed light on how changes in climate led to the domestication of animals in Africa long before the domestication of crops.
Professor Glenn Stone provides a brief history of industrial agriculture in the U.S., from the first era of hyper-industrialization shortly after World War II to the use of antibiotics in today's factory farms.
Professor Glenn Stone discusses the multiple meanings of 'sustainability' and describes his research into agricultural practices in Nigeria, India, and the U.S.
The following photo essay, by professor Glenn Stone, reveals the intersections between genetically modified (GM) crops and many core anthropological questions. For detailed analysis of each image, see the fully essay. To hear more from professor Stone about the use of biotechnology in India, listen to this week's podcast.