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Unearthed - Journeys into the Future of Food
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Unearthed - Journeys into the Future of Food

Author: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

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The way we produce and consume food is having a devastating impact on our natural world.

How can we avoid disaster, and feed the world well?

Unearthed: Journeys into the future of food, from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, explores our contemporary relationship with food: what are we eating? What is it doing to our health and the health of the planet? And how are livelihoods and agriculture changing before our eyes?

Take a journey around the world: from farming practises and biodiversity loss, to finding crops that can thrive in the face of climate change, all the way to our own shopping baskets and kitchens.

James Wong, Advolly Richmond and Poppy Okocha bring you insights, ideas and inspirational actions from artists, thinkers, chefs and  plant scientists who are all helping to make sure food and nature are secure and healthy for future generations.

Episodes 1 and 2 of this series will be released on Thursday 6th October 2022. You can catch up on the previous series of Unearthed - Mysteries From an Unseen World - right now on this podcast channel.

You can find out more about how Kew Science is helping to protect global food security by visiting kew.org.

Inspired by this series? Get involved online with #KewUnearthed

@kewgardens on Twitter

@kewgardens on Instagram
16 Episodes
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To round off this series, we’re heading into our own kitchens and examining how our food choices can make for better health and a better world.  Advolly Richmond is joined by plant scientists and top chefs to ask how the food industry can help challenge inequality and imbalances in our food systems, and how we can all make a difference, starting in our own kitchens.  Plant medicine expert Dr Melanie Jayne Howes explains how the chemicals in some plant foods have long served to ease ailments and improve health, and how we can look to the wild as a living medicine cabinet.  And Dr Megan Rossi, the Gut Health Doctor, unveils the incredible power of plants to support our gut microbiome, which we’re only just starting to realise can play a big part in great mental health. And the good news is that she doesn’t believe in cutting out the foods you love – just add plants!  When it comes to global and national food trends and fashions, our restaurants and industry leaders have a big responsibility and influence. That's why we wanted to talk to some top chefs for their perspectives. Chef Tom Hunt is author of “Eating for Pleasure, People and Planet” and an advocate for growing whatever you can to help connect with the origins of food – even if all you have is a windowsill. He explains how beans and pulses can improve your carbon footprint and discusses a future where we can prioritise both people and the environment in our food systems. Chantelle Nicholson owns Apricity restaurant in London. She shares her ethos for using regenerative food and embracing a circular economy all the way through to the supply chain of what goes on diner’s plates.   Founder of West African Food Brand Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, Zoe Adjonyoh shares her story of starting an ethical food business. From its roots cooking her Dad’s Ghanaian dishes, she tracks the story of supper clubs to sustainable and decolonised food, whilst educating people from outside food communities to embrace and enjoy world food and flavours.  And low-waste, planted-based chef Max La Manna invites us into his kitchen to hear about the 5 most wasted foods in the UK, and how you can turn them into some delicious, easy recipes!  You can find out more about how Kew Science is helping to protect global food security by visiting kew.org.  Inspired by this series? Get involved online with #KewUnearthed  @kewgardens on Twitter  @kewgardens on Instagram See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
If you have a window box, veg patch or allotment, how does the way you are growing food change your relationship with it?  In this episode of Unearthed, grower and forager Poppy Okocha hears how communities and farmers are producing food around the world, with the environment and changing climates in mind.   Food educator, agriculturalist and cook Dee Woods joins Dr Caroline Cornish to discuss how our modern relationship with food has distanced us from its production and the processes involved. Poppy meets a community growing project at Kew that’s benefitting from the powerful relationships and mental wellness benefits of getting to grips with the soil.  Kew Scientists Dr Nicola Kuhn and Dr Tiziana Ulian discuss how traditional growing practises can revive and enliven palates and local economies via sustainable, local crops. And Dr Caspar Chater tells how the humble bean could be a key part of the fight against global hunger and malnutrition.  You can find out more about how Kew Science is helping to protect global food security by visiting kew.org.  Inspired by this series? Get involved online with #KewUnearthed  @kewgardens on Twitter  @kewgardens on Instagram   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Foods of the Future

Foods of the Future

2022-11-1738:521

With so many of our favourite foods facing extinction, including bananas, chocolate and coffee, what will be on our kitchen tables in the future? In this episode, James Wong looks at what actions we need to take today, to secure nutritious and disease-resilient food in the future. Hear from artists and designers Sharp and Sour on how they create installations to shock the public into the realities of food’s future plight. Dr Carly Cowell explains how it’s not just the varieties of foods we eat that are dwindling, but their nutritional content too, and warns of the impact this can have upon our health and wellbeing. We head to Wakehurst in Sussex to find out how scientists are exploring the adaptabilities of different kinds of banana, before Jack Plummer explains the plight of our beloved yellow friend in the Palm House back at Kew in London. And in Wakehurst’s Bethlehem Wood, two scientists explore a very exciting art installation: Flea and Folly Architect’s The False Banana Pavilion which looks at Enset: a well-known staple in parts of Ethiopia that could help challenge world hunger and provide a varied and nutritious solution in difficult climate conditions. Dr James Borrell and Dr Wenawek Abede explore this work in response to their research, and explain why diversity and variety are just so important in feeding the world. Did you know that fire may be a man-made problem in many cases, but in others, it’s a vital part of the natural development of ecosystems? Dr Ellie Wilding looks at how plants develop remarkable survival techniques in the face of this ever-increasing global phenomenon. And from the cloud-forests of Colombia, all the way to Edible Science: Kew’s Kitchen Garden, James Wong finds out how unique ecosystems and practices can teach us all how to farm, grow and eat more sustainably. Botanical Horticulturist and plot pioneer Helena Dove also has some tips for any home growers looking for inspiration from around the world.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This time, Poppy Okocha’s looking at our relationship with growing and producing foods around the world. She meets up with Jeremy Torz, one of the founders of Union Hand Roasted Coffee, to find out how one coffee brand is protecting producers and delicate environments in Ethiopia. Many livelihoods and traditions are being threatened by changing climatic conditions, yet many of these age-old practises hold clues to how we might produce food more sustainably and fairly in the future. This episode is packed with inspirational stories of how farmers are able to produce crops without sacrificing their local environments or livelihoods. Artist Helen Law explains how she explored our relationship with food from patch to plate, and was inspired by Kew Science and x-rays of some of the 2.4 billion seeds from the Millennium Seed Bank. Meanwhile Dr Aisyah Faruk tells how the foraging livelihoods of people in the Caucasus region are under threat in the face of climate change. Dr Mami Tiana Rajaonah heads up Kew’s Livelihoods team at the Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre. He shares how they worked with villages to change the habits of generations and cultivate yams sustainably whilst creating a thriving local economy. And Farmerama presenter Abby Rose shares the story of her family’s heartbreaking struggle against forest fires on their farm in Chile, as well as the insights she gained from developing a regenerative farming approach in rebuilding a thriving and healthy farm, starting with soil health!See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Advolly Richmond is exploring how food production methods and climate change today are exacerbating issues of biodiversity loss. As conditions change and human activity intervenes with environments, entire ecosystems are thrown out of balance, and the consequences for species are dire. We could be losing plants and species science hasn’t even named, all due to harmful agricultural practises and accelerating climate change. But Kew scientists and partners around the world are working to conserve species before it’s too late, by seeking out their wild relatives that have properties that can withstand the conditions of the future. We travel from the mountains of Sierra Leone to track down a rare but resilient wild coffee variety, to deep underground in rural Sussex, where Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank is conserving the world’s seeds for future science at Wakehurst. Dr Elinor Breman gives us a tour of this biodiverse bunker, and her colleague Dr Aisyah Faruk explains her work tracking down wild relatives of fruit and nut species in Georgia and Armenia. But it’s not just about finding alternative crops, as food journalist Dan Saladino explains: crop monocultures are leaving foods and ecosystems vulnerable to pests and disease. Meanwhile Dr Caspar Chater is in Edible Science: Kew’s Kitchen Garden, ready to explain how a more diverse approach to what we eat can help save the world, and Professor Phil Stevenson tells us about his work with pollinators, the critical species that make so much of food production possible.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
James Wong takes a look at what you can do at home, versus what big business and supermarket giants are doing to make sure our food choices are transparent and production is fair and sustainable. He speaks with the Former Director at Sainsbury’s and Kew Trustee Judith Batchelar, as well as Anna Taylor of the Food Foundation. Our food habits are exposing wild inequalities in our world: whilst more than 2 billion people are suffering with malnutrition worldwide, the amount of waste generated by supermarkets could feed up to 3 million. But making positive change isn’t out of our hands as individuals. Tessa Clarke of OLIO explains how our homes are some of the biggest culprits for food waste and emissions, and we find out how a foodie revolution is happening on our local streets and doorsteps. Artist Tanya Shultz of Pip and Pop tells us how they created an installation exploring food utopias and histories. Plus, Professor Phil Stevenson heads into one of Kew’s own kitchens to find out about an exciting plant-based and low-waste menu that’s waking up the public’s tastebuds.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We have a problem

We have a problem

2022-10-0626:58

The food we eat connects us to the wider world; to global history, cultures and traditions. But the practises we’ve ended up with today mean that our systems are failing and many of our favourite foods and farming practises are heading towards extinction.  In this first episode, Advolly Richmond explores the history of our relationship with food and how it’s led us to harmful modern-day production practices. She meets up with actor Ajay Chhabra and Kew’s Director of Science Professor Alexandre Antonelli for a frank discussion in the Palm House.  Author and food journalist Dan Saladino and Dr Caroline Cornish delve into the past and look at how contemporary consumption is starving our planet and contributing to global imbalances as well as environment-wrecking levels of waste and emissions.  Sounds worrying? That’s just the beginning of your journey into the future of food, because we’re about to meet the scientists, artists, thinkers and chefs who are working to make sure that our grandchildren can enjoy healthy, sustainable diets that are better for people and the environment. The future is in all of our hands. Will you join us?See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The way we produce and consume food is having a devastating impact on our natural world. How can we avoid disaster, and feed the world well? Unearthed: Journeys into the future of food, from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, explores our contemporary relationship with food: what are we eating? What is it doing to our health and the health of the planet? And how are livelihoods and agriculture changing before our eyes? Take a journey around the world: from farming practises and biodiversity loss, to finding crops that can thrive in the face of climate change, all the way to our own shopping baskets and kitchens. James Wong, Advolly Richmond and Poppy Okocha bring you insights, ideas and inspirational actions from artists, thinkers, chefs and  plant scientists who are all helping to make sure food and nature are secure and healthy for future generations. Episodes 1 and 2 of this series will be released on Thursday 6th October 2022. You can catch up on the previous series of Unearthed - Mysteries From an Unseen World - right now on this podcast channel. You can find out more about how Kew Science is helping to protect global food security by visiting kew.org. Inspired by this series? Get involved online with #KewUnearthed @kewgardens on Twitter @kewgardens on InstagramSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dirt on our hands: Overcoming botany’s hidden legacy of inequality  In this special episode of Unearthed, professional plant geek, author, and broadcaster James Wong explores the histories of inequality and personal experiences that lie behind a seemingly democratic and wholesome world of plants.  From the colonial history of plant collections and our perceptions of what form a ‘traditional’ garden should take, to accessing education, careers, and green spaces themselves, our relationship with nature is not without its barriers, some of which are still to be overcome. Joined by a panel of contributors, James debates what could be done to make the garden, and all that comes with it, open to all. Historians, practitioners, plant scientists and horticulturalists share their observations and knowledge on how the past and present are complicated by racial inequality, legacy of empire and an exploitation of land and people. In turn, RBG Kew is committed to revealing and restoring a story that has not often been told, and making its spaces more welcoming and reflective for the communities that are represented in the collections.   This episode features:  Advolly Richmond – a garden landscape and social historian and BBC Gardener’s World presenter.  Richard Choksey – a graduate of Kew’s diploma in botanical horticulture and landscape gardener who is currently studying for a Masters in global history.  Renee Cawthorne – Manager of First Nations Education and Engagement at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.  Kew botanist Sophie Richards leads an open conversation with Kew’s Director Richard Deverell on the path ahead.   And Tayshan Hayden-Smith tells James how his community gardening initiative created a vital place for connection in a West London housing estate, in the wake of Grenfell.   LINKS OF INTEREST: Grow2Know is empowering more diverse communities through horticulture http://www.grow2know.org.uk Royal Botanic Garden Sydney https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au Richard Choksey https://richardchoksey.wixsite.com/variationsoneden Advolly Richmond https://advolly.co.uk Find out more about the work Kew is doing at https://www.kew.org  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Time is running out for the world’s forests, ecosystems and the life they support. The consequences for human life and climate could be catastrophic – unless we take action now. In this episode James Wong speaks to scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to understand how forest loss and timber trafficking presents massive problems for future generations – and how they are tackling the illegal trade of wood He’ll also hear their different opinions on whether or not ecocide – or the deliberate damaging of environments – should be outlawed internationally. Subscribe to Unearthed: Mysteries from an unseen world on your podcast app to get a new episode each fortnight. And you can share the show or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #KewUnearthed. Follow @kewgardens for more insights into the magical, mysterious world of plants and fungi. www.kew.org With thanks to Hague Talks for use of this audio clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgQ9kVzy1TM https://www.haguetalks.com Find out how World Forest ID is using georeferenced wood samples to verify timber origin and species. https://worldforestid.orgSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
4 years ago, 15 year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse lost her life to a severe sesame allergy. In this episode, James Wong speaks to Natasha’s parents Tania and Nadim, who worked with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to confirm the plant substance that caused their daughter’s death and on their fight to change the law. We hear from the experts: Professor Monique Simmonds OBE explains how Kew was able to help, and Professor Richard Ellis from the University of Reading discusses the risks and safety protocols behind our plant-based foods. Subscribe to Unearthed: Mysteries from an unseen world on your podcast app to get a new episode each fortnight. You can follow the work of the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation at www.NARF.org.uk And you can share the show or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #KewUnearthed. Follow @kewgardens for more insights into the magical, mysterious world of plants and fungi. www.kew.orgSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this episode James Wong learns how there’s nothing weirder and more wonderful than the everyday. Hear about the depression trials that have seen sufferers tripping on magic mushrooms, and the zombie fungus that causes ants to explode. Fungi may get a bad press for growing on your shower curtain or fridge, but there’s so much more to this amazing kingdom, so we gave it a whole episode. James meets mycologists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to hear about the amazing collections and some of the mysteries only just being uncovered; from your porcini to your laundry Subscribe to Unearthed: Mysteries from an unseen world on your podcast app to get a new episode each fortnight. And you can share the show or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #KewUnearthed. Follow @kewgardens for more insights into the magical, mysterious world of plants and fungi.   www.kew.orgSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Deep in some of the world’s most hard-to-reach places lies a wealth of plant knowledge that could offer the next life-saving cure. In this episode, James Wong explores how Kew scientists works alongside remote communities on the ground to understand plants’ medicinal properties. And there’s a history lesson in it too, as James learns of the enormous impact that humble quinine, (found in your G&T), had throughout colonialism through to the world wars.   What is yet to be discovered? And what do we stand to lose if we do not protect and respect world ecosystems? Subscribe to Unearthed: Mysteries from an unseen world on your podcast app to get a new episode each fortnight. And you can share the show or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #KewUnearthed. Follow @kewgardens for more insights into the magical, mysterious world of plants and fungi. www.kew.orgSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Plants have the power to cure – and also kill. In this episode we hear how a spurned woman murdered her lover with just a mysterious plant substance. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew was instrumental in the race to identify the material, and how it was used, so to bring the killer to justice. James Wong hears how specialist plant knowledge uncovered the mystery from forensic samples, and a medical toxicologist shares the real challenges doctors face from plant toxins. Subscribe to Unearthed: Mysteries from an unseen world on your podcast app to get a new episode each fortnight. And you can share the show or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #KewUnearthed. Follow @kewgardens for more insights into the magical, mysterious world of plants and fungi. www.kew.orgSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
One wintery morning in 2014, somebody stole a tiny and extremely rare waterlily from the collection at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It was never seen again, and they were never caught. James Wong begins his journey into the mysterious world of plants and fungi by looking at the criminal underworld of plant trafficking. Speaking to Border Force, Kew scientists and advisors, James learns about the little-appreciated fight to protect plants from extinction, exploitation, and smugglers hiding on the web – and how many of us are guilty of ‘plant blindness’. Subscribe to Unearthed: Mysteries from an unseen world on your podcast app to get a new episode each fortnight. And you can share the show or join the conversation on social media with the hashtag #KewUnearthed. Follow @kewgardens for more insights into the magical, mysterious world of plants and fungi. www.kew.org https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/border-forceSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Trailer

Trailer

2020-07-1601:26

James Wong introduces "Unearthed", launching August 5th 2020.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Comments (3)

sourav sutradhar

please Continue

Nov 13th
Reply

Isobel Holland

Thank you. This episode has chimed with me on so many points. This is a vitally important subject for all of us. There are many cultural and creative areas that are middle class ghettos because the pay is so dreadfully low. The impact of exclusion in practice on our society should not be underestimated.

Mar 11th
Reply

Happy⚛️Heritic

Very excited about this new podcast-

Oct 22nd
Reply
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