The Science Behind Your Salad

Crossing the globe to discover how the best ingredients that end up on our tables are grown

The Science Behind Your Salad is an awarded podcast for the whole world. We’re not only in search of the best food on the planet, we’ll be telling the stories behind how that food is grown. We’ll hear about new technology already revolutionizing the way crops are grown and the stories of the farmers and growers striving to do the biggest jobs on earth, putting food on our plates every day in the face of huge challenges of limited resources.

Winner Gallery

The podcast series are the winners of the following international and communication awards.

You can listen to all podcast episodes below on these channels

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Latest Episode: Coffee

More than 3 billion cups of coffee are drunk every day but how did the bean inside a fruit become synonymous with kick starting our mornings with a caffeine hit to wake us up? Jane Craigie speaks to growers and traders who explore the history and culture of coffee and look to the future when the climate and growing conditions are looking likely to become more volatile. Jane discovers how coffee can be at the heart of social enterprises, empowering female workers and enabling communities to develop a social and economic infrastructure.

Our first guest: Gloria Gummerus

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Gloria is a coffee farmer in second generation. She gave up her career as a beauty expert, came back to her hometown and decided to dedicate her life solely to coffee. She had several goals: to offer great quality coffee, bring about prosperity in the region, nourish an abundant agroforestry system and change certain paradigms. Being that the North Rift Valley (The Breadbasket) is, since colonial times, a region recognized mainly for maize, Gloria also wanted to make the region recognized for coffee. The coffee growing conditions –the wind, the altitude, and the land– are near perfect. So, when she and her husband Jarmo bought their farm in Trans Nzoia County, they were pleasantly surprised to discover they stood on one of the oldest coffee estates in the region. They named their coffee estate Sakami, inspired by their daughters' names: Sheila, Saar, and Nakami. Today, Sakami Ranches Ltd. is a trademark. Coffee grows intermingled with macadamia, avocado, dairy, and vegetables. Her coffee is reaching exciting corners of the world. She was the Founder Member of Women in Coffee Kenya Chapter, and with all of these, the reputation of Kenya and women in coffee positively spread. She works very closely with the farmers, encouraging them to grow their own trees and taste their coffee. "Most farmers in the region didn't even know how their own coffee tasted," says Gloria, "and that's one of the first things I did when we started working together." Gloria is one of the pioneers in green and regenerative farming. Today she is a Board Member of New KPCU representing coffee growers.

North Of The Rift Women In Coffee (NORT)

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Smallholder farmers like NORT operating family-owned farms in developing rural areas play a very important role for local food security. However, the famers have limited access to agricultural know-how, services, and markets. BASF is working with these farmers in different countries e.g., coffee growers in Kenya and Mexico. The objective is to improve the quality of life for coffee growers by increasing their coffee’s yield and quality.

NORT is a women association based in the North of the Rift Valley, Kenya. Five women, Susan, Dr. Rosebella, Jane, Gloria and Maria Tonje are the founders of NORT. The aim is to leverage on the various strengths and expertise of women in the region to fully take up their position in the value chain of the coffee industry. NORT has been able to directly trade their coffee to the Netherlands. This collaboration has connected them to various roasters across Europe and far wider markets. This group has demonstrated that coffee indeed brings people together. BASF is collaborating with small holder farmers like NORT helping transition to sustainable food systems by embracing agricultural innovation and technology for growers at all levels.

Get in contact with our guests & experts

Scenic aerial view of the Seine river and green fields in French countryside.

Episode: Water


Past podcast episodes


After twenty years of creating award winning radio shows for the BBC, Fresh Air Production now make high quality podcasts for brands. Working for organisations such as Shell, WWF and Audi, they create podcasts that stand out from the crowd with broadcast-quality journalism and production. They use the intimacy and immediacy of audio to tell fascinating and powerful human stories.  

Presenter – Jane Craigie

I see the world in people and their stories.

Jane Craigie


Jane is an agriculturalist, a traveller and a marketer. She lives on a smallholding in north east Scotland where she keeps livestock and grows her own fruit and vegetables. 

Jane was brought up in Cyprus, India, Turkey and the UK and, aged 16, she decided agriculture was the industry she wanted to work in, and it was communicating the wonders of the industry that have always been her passion.

Jane has a science degree in agriculture, a post-graduate qualification in marketing and she is deeply involved in the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists, a membership organisation that represents journalists and communicators from 54 countries in all regions of the world.  

Producer and Journalist – Martin Poyntz-Roberts 


Martin has almost 20 years’ experience as a journalist and producer working on a variety of subject matters from natural history television to live news radio. He was at the helm of BBC Radio 4’s Costing The Earth series for much of his time at the BBC, produced several documentaries about President Trump and has recently carried out undercover filming for a BBC series in Malaysia. He recently won a Lovie Award for The Big Steal Podcast.

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