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The Science Behind Your Salad
BASF Agricultural Solutions
The Science Behind Your Salad shines a spotlight on the innovation, technology, digital and sustainability for healthy food made by BASF in Agriculture.
Aug 16, 2023
Sweet and juicy, plump and delicious: In this episode of The Science Behind Your Salad we’re telling the story behind the production and innovation of fruit salad! Apples, peaches and watermelons come under the spotlight in our whistle stop tour of the sweeter crops we love to eat. We’ll hear from the lush orchards of England, the hot and dry peach fields of Northern Greece and the growers of a brand new Watermelon variety in Brazil as we take a snapshot of fruit production and innovation across the globe. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 13, 2023
Food Loss and Food Waste
If food waste could be represented as its own country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the United States, according to the UN's environment program. Each year around 2.5 billion tons of food is lost or wasted each year, leaving roughly 3.1 billion people without sufficient nutritious food to eat. In terms of carbon footprint, the resources needed to produce this wasted food has a carbon footprint of about 3.3 billion tons of CO2. In this episode of The Science Behind Your Salad, Jane Craigie explores ways that can help reduce the amount of food that is lost, both close to production - from farmers' fields, storage or transport, and food that is wasted from our homes - plus possible charitable and community outlets for excess food. Jane also discovers some future crops that may also help reduce the amount of food wasted and help to feed those missing out on food: look out for water lentils and sea squirts which could be coming to a plate near you soon. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 11, 2023
Vegetables are at the heart of a healthy diet. They are packed with vitamins and minerals and play an essential role in our physical and mental well-being. The global vegetable market is a multi-billion-dollar industry. For the past few decades, globalisation has enabled retailers to supply consumers with an abundant source of almost any variety of fruit and vegetables. Where once people relied on what could be grown in their locality at specific times of the year, now we don’t have to wait. But as the world changes and resources become scarcer, is there a role for increasing production of what’s able to be grown locally? Jane Craigie visits Mexico to witness a nation thriving as a result of its ability to export vast amounts of produce, and Bradley Magnus opens a window onto the future growing techniques that will keep us all fed with delicious vegetables for the coming decades. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 6, 2023
The first traces of wine production date back some 9,000 years to parts of the Middle East. Georgia is known for making some of the earliest wines by burying Kvevris, giant earthenware pots, filling them with grapes and allowing the fruit to ferment. Over the millenia, the production of wine has evolved and the market is now worth over $200 billion. In this episode of the Science Behind Your Salad, Jane Craigie visits the Pfalz region of Germany, famous for its incredible Rieslings, and discovers the sensual way that moths are discouraged from destroying the grape crops. Rod Phillips – Wine writer and historian: https://www.rodphillipsonwine.com/ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 20, 2022
Holiday Bonus Episode: Celebrate Grapes
In this bonus episode, we’ll explore the meaning of grapes from a seasonal perspective. During the holidays, grapes play an important role – both in liquid and solid form. We talk to a winemaker who is working on non-alcoholic wine. His goal is to approach the same quality and taste levels of the alcoholic counterparts. Our second guest is a BASF Agricultural Solutions employees from Philippines. Grapes (and other fruit) have a high relevance in the local cuisine – and are part of a new year tradition. We wish you a restful holiday season and a happy new year. Subscribe to “The Science behind your Salad” wherever you get your podcasts, so you don’t miss an episode – you'll hear from us again in 2023 with lots of more exciting stories (stay tuned for further insights around grapes coming soon!) Learn more about the non-alcoholic wines from Christian Nett here (in German only) Learn more about the “Twelve Grapes” tradition on Wikipedia. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 28, 2022
Loved by Ernest Hemingway in a sandwich, around 4.5 milliion tonnes of onions are grown globally each year. While Hemingway ate his onions raw, the vegetable is truly versatile and is the basis of sauces and stews, and can be a condiment on meats such as hotdogs and burgers and much, much more. Onions are a staple crop, traded globally. They can be easily stored and transported, but there is one trait that makes the onion stand out: when you chop it, they bring tears too your eyes. But not anymore: 30 years of crop breeding have led to the Sunions. It’s an onion that is less pungent, sweeter and it doesn’t make you cry. We explore the development of this groundbreaking new variety. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 6, 2022
Not every crop relating to what we eat is edible. The table dressing also plays a valuable roll with crisp white tablecloths and beautifully folded napkins. In this episode we focus on the way that sustainability of cotton crops can be traced from the seed to the manufacture and selling of products made from the fabric - a success story in Greece. In order to demonstrate the role blockchain technology can play in each step of the process, a unique fashion show has been staged in a cotton field in Komotini/Greece, and we were there to meet the farmers and scientists involved in the project. Meanwhile in the USA, a nation at the forefront of developing the industry and one of the world's top growers, we dip into the troubled past and the role slavery played in the success of cotton and explore new developments in seed breeding to ensure the crop can continue to be successful in the face of climate change. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Aug 3, 2022
We are currently facing significant challenges to our food supply. A global pandemic, a war on the ground in the breadbasket of Europe, a volatile climate, plus a growing population, have all led us to a pinch point. In this episode of The Science Behind Your Salad we examine the threats to our food supply and explore the possible solutions, innovations and approaches that could keep the ever-growing number of hungry mouths fed. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 30, 2022
Waves of golden flowers can currently be seen rippling in the wind across many parts of the world as the oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) harvest is approaching. But it is in Canada that the crop is a real success story. Oilseed rape grown there is a derivative known as canola. Canola oil is a highly versatile oil used for both animal and human consumption. The oil is low in saturated fats, so it is very healthy. In this episode we hear from farmers who produce rich golden oils and dressings from rapeseed and we hear about a real farming gamechanger for canola growers: InVigor canola seed. A hybrid canola seed that not only increases yield but also reduces something that is the bane of canola and rapeseed growers around the world: pod shatter. Pod shatter leads to millions of dollars of seeds being lost when the pods that contain the so-called ‘black gold’ – the seeds that are crushed to make the oil – are shattered by wind and rain before the farmers can get the crop in. With the pod shatter reduction technology, this can now be a problem consigned to the past. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Apr 6, 2022
In this episode we discover the story behind the sweet, crisp, crunch of the salad leaves. From iceberg to Lollo Rosso, from radicchio to endive, the choice of salad ingredients is extensive. The flavours are equally varied from peppery to pea flavoured and plenty in between. We discover the story of the Frenchman who spent his days dressing the salads of London’s High Society in the 1800s and we explore the subterranean growing techniques that could revolutionise the way leaves are cultivated in the future. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Feb 7, 2022
Every year 350 million tonnes of soybean are grown. More than three-quarters of global soy is fed to livestock for meat and dairy production. Most of the rest is used for biofuels, industry or vegetable oils. Whilst just 7% of soy is used directly as food for us to eat, the crop is packed with protein and is a valuable contributor to global health. This episode looks at breakthroughs in the production of the crop and we look at some of the foods that are made from soy from milk to tofu. It’s a vital crop that, if produced sustainably, could be a gamechanger when it comes to improving nutrition. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Dec 17, 2021
Holiday Bonus Episode: Celebrate Wheat
In this surprise bonus episode, we’ll talk about the meaning of wheat from a seasonal perspective: Different Christmas food habits around the world, explained first-hand from BASF Agricultural Solutions employees. Thanks to all colleagues for joining the podcast to share about the meaning of wheat during holiday season. We wish you a refreshing holiday season and a happy and healthy new year. Subscribe to “The Science behind your Salad” wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss an episode – you'll hear from us again in 2022 with lots of more exciting stories. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nov 25, 2021
Wheat Part Two
In this, the second episode exploring the importance of wheat as a crop globally, we discover the ways in which farmers can safeguard their crops against a host of challenges such as the weather and crop diseases. The end result of all of the toil spent by the farmers around the globe working on their wheat crops? Fantastic tasting bread, pasta, cakes, biscuits and even beer. Jane Craigie bakes her own bread and whilst doing so meets a super-hero in the world of wheat: Revysol! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Oct 11, 2021
Wheat Part One
The story of wheat begins 10,000 years ago and becomes the tale of the biggest crop on the planet. Wheat covers more of the earth than any other crop and is a leading source of vegetable protein for all of us, wherever we are in the world. From early origins in the ‘Fertile Crescent’ which is modern day Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan where three simple grasses came together to become one species, the crop has become synonymous with bread, pastries, pizzas, pasta, noodles, biscuits and cookies, pies, cereals, muffins. The list is virtually endless. So how do scientists ensure that farmers can grow enough of the crop to feed an ever-growing population of hungry mouths, in the face of challenging climatic conditions? In this episode of The Science Behind Your Salad we explore the world of hybrid wheat: the breeding of a crop that will provide resilience for the coming decades. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Sep 7, 2021
Seeds are the building blocks of agriculture. You can have the perfect land, the most fertile soil and optimum growing conditions, the perfect climate and all the latest technology, but without good quality seed, you're not going to produce anything. The Science Behind Your Salad explores the world of seeds: from edible snacks and salad toppers, to the ways in which scientists ensure that farmers have the best quality seed possible to give their crops a good start in life and to ensure that those who needs seeds have regular access to the supplies they need. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jul 19, 2021
Rice Part Two
In the second episode devoted to one of the biggest crops on the planet: rice, Jane Craigie explores the way in which rice production in Australia is producing some of the world’s highest yields whilst using minimal amounts of water, and improving wildlife habitats. Across the globe Erik Andrus is in Vermont, USA where he practises Aigamo – the Japanese method of raising rice crops along side ducks. And Russell Reinke from IRRI explains the origins and development of Golden Rice that could deliver vital doses of vitamin A to those most at need. We explore the background to this controversial crop and look at how the story is everchanging. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Jun 21, 2021
Rice Part One
Rice is staple food for over half the world’s population, and when you think of how the crop grows, an image of shimmering paddy fields, with ankle deep water springs to mind. In this episode of The Science Behind Your Salad we discover that this method of rice production is a huge contributor of greenhouse gases and so the tide is turning away from the paddy field system, towards something called Direct Seeded Rice. We also discover the way to cook perfect, plump, fluffy rice. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 17, 2021
Jane Craigie traces the origins of the humble tomato from a small hairy specimen to a juicy plump red fruit, and discovers the science and technology behind the delicious ingredient. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
May 11, 2021
The Science Behind Your Salad Trailer
The Science Behind Your Salad will shine a spotlight on the innovation, technology, digital and sustainability for healthy food made by BASF in Agriculture. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.