• Summary

  • Interviews with Food Writers about their New Books Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/food
    New Books Network
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Episodes
  • May 23 2022
    Grain traders wandering across the steppe; the Russian conquest of Ukraine (in the 18th century, that is); boulevard barons and wheat futures; railroads; the first fast food breakfast; and war socialism. It’s all crammed into this discussion of wheat, and what it wrought, with Scott Nelson. Scott Reynolds Nelson is the Georgia Athletics Association Professor of the Humanities at the University of Georgia. Author of numerous books, his latest is Oceans of Grain: How American Wheat Remade the World (Basic Books, 2022) and it is the subject of our conversation today. Al Zambone is a historian and the host of the excellent podcast Historically Thinking. You can subscribe to Historically Thinking on Apple Podcasts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/food
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    1 hr and 14 mins
  • May 23 2022
    A powerful movement is happening in farming today—farmers are reconnecting with their roots to fight climate change. For one woman, that’s meant learning her tribe’s history to help bring back the buffalo. For another, it’s meant preserving forest purchased by her great-great-uncle, among the first wave of African Americans to buy land. Others are rejecting monoculture to grow corn, beans, and squash the way farmers in Mexico have done for centuries. Still others are rotating crops for the native cuisines of those who fled the “American wars” in Southeast Asia. In Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming (Island Press, 2022), Liz Carlisle tells the stories of Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian American farmers who are reviving their ancestors’ methods of growing food—techniques long suppressed by the industrial food system. These farmers are restoring native prairies, nurturing beneficial fungi, and enriching soil health. While feeding their communities and revitalizing cultural ties to land, they are steadily stitching ecosystems back together and repairing the natural carbon cycle. This, Carlisle shows, is the true regenerative agriculture – not merely a set of technical tricks for storing CO2 in the ground, but a holistic approach that values diversity in both plants and people. Liz Carlisle is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at UC Santa Barbara, where she teaches courses on food and farming. Born and raised in Montana, she got hooked on agriculture while working as an aide to organic farmer and U.S. Senator Jon Tester, which led to a decade of research and writing collaborations with farmers in her home state. She has written three books about regenerative farming and agroecology: Lentil Underground (2015), Grain by Grain (2019, with co-author Bob Quinn), and most recently, Healing Grounds: Climate, Justice, and the Deep Roots of Regenerative Farming (2022). She is also a frequent contributor to both academic journals and popular media outlets, focusing on food and farm policy, incentivizing soil health practices, and supporting new entry farmers. She holds a Ph.D. in Geography, from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. in Folklore and Mythology, from Harvard University. Prior to her career as a writer and academic, she spent several years touring rural America as a country singer. Susan Grelock-Yusem, PhD, is an independent researcher trained in depth psychology, with an emphasis on community, liberation, and eco-psychologies. Her work centers around interconnection and encompasses regenerative food systems, the arts and conservation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/food
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    52 mins
  • May 23 2022
    Lives of Weeds: Opportunism, Resistance, Folly (Comstock Publishing, 2021) explores the tangled history of weeds and their relationship to humans. Through eight interwoven stories, John Cardina offers a fresh perspective on how these tenacious plants came about, why they are both inevitable and essential, and how their ecological success is ensured by determined efforts to eradicate them. Linking botany, history, ecology, and evolutionary biology to the social dimensions of humanity's ancient struggle with feral flora, Cardina shows how weeds have shaped—and are shaped by—the way we live in the natural world. Weeds and attempts to control them drove nomads toward settled communities, encouraged social stratification, caused environmental disruptions, and have motivated the development of GMO crops. They have snared us in social inequality and economic instability, infested social norms of suburbia, caused rage in the American heartland, and played a part in perpetuating pesticide use worldwide. Lives of Weeds reveals how the technologies directed against weeds underlie ethical questions about agriculture and the environment, and leaves readers with a deeper understanding of how the weeds around us are entangled in our daily choices. Mohamed Gamal-Eldin is a historian of Modern Egypt, who is interested in questions related to the built environment, urban history, architecture, social history and environmental ecology of urban centers in 19th and early 20th century Egypt, the Middle East and globally. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/food
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    55 mins

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