In recent years, increased attention is being paid to the ways in which food is produced and consumed. In this series, Arts & Sciences faculty offer insights into agriculture, from its beginnings thousands of years ago to the debates over biotechnology and the cultural impact of food within communities.

image fotopedia: l.bailey_beverley, lrargerich

December 31, 2012

Weedy Rice and Evolution

Farms/Food: Episode #8

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.

November 19, 2012

Food and American Culture

Farms/Food: Episode #6

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.

October 29, 2012

Ancient Crops of the Midwest

Farms/Food: Episode #5

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.

October 17, 2012

The Donkey Story

Farms/Food: Episode #4

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.

October 15, 2012

Back to the Beginning

Farms/Food: Episode #3

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.

October 3, 2012

Agriculture as Industry

Farms/Food: Episode #2

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.