Global
Agriculture

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 a 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 meet the scientists searching for the next innovative breakthroughs in food production, we’ll hear about new technology already revolutionizing the way crops are grown and the stories of the growers.

And we’ll meet the farmers, those pioneers striving to do one of the biggest jobs on earth, putting food on our plates every day in the face of huge challenges.

Woman-in-kitchen.jpg

You can listen to all episodes below on these channels

Four BASF Agricultural Solutions employees spoke with us about christmas food habits.

Holiday Bonus Episode

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.

Leistungsstarker Hybridweizen von BASF wird Landwirten stabilere Erträge und hohe Qualität bieten und den Anbau einer der weltweit wichtigsten Nutzpflanzen fördern.

Our latest episode Wheat (Part Two)

In 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!

Our first guest: Alison Bentley

Alison Bentley on a wheat field

Alison Bentley is the director of CIMMYT’s Global Wheat Program and the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat (WHEAT). Alison and her team are working on developing improved wheat germplasm which is distributed to around 200 cooperators in wheat-producing countries worldwide,  and is responsible for the derived varieties being grown on more than 50% of the spring wheat area in developing countries. Prior to joining CIMMYT in November 2020, she worked in the UK focused on translation of fundamental scientific breakthroughs into tangible impacts for the agri-food sector. Alison has a doctorate in agricultural science and a PhD in agriculture from The University of Sydney, Australia.  

Our second guest: Dieter Strobel

Dieter standing in a greenhouse with sprouts

Dieter has been leading the technical development of Revysol for European cereal crops. He is networking with leading scientists from formulation development, delivery optimization, fungicide research, marketing and registration for the evaluation of fungicide projects. Grown up on a farm and trained as a farmer, his practical background helps to connect agricultural science with practical value. "My passion is to explore new solutions that help to unlock the yield potential of cereal crops, leading to a more efficient and sustainable produce", said Dieter.  He holds a degree in agricultural science; won the AgroScience Award 2006, and the BASF Innovation Award 2013. 

Get in contact with our experts on LinkedIn and find more information about seeds.

Close-up of soybeans

Episode Soybeans

COMING SOON

Healthy Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with Cheese and Croutons_Shutterstock 246281896

Our latest episode 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 and muffins etc. 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. 

Different vegetables, seeds and fruits

Episode Seeds

 

Seeds are the powerhouse of the agricultural world. Often tiny, energy packed sources of fruit and vegetable crops, without seeds we wouldn’t be able to produce food for the planet’s hungry mouths.

But, as we’ll discover in this episode of The Science Behind Your Salad, we don’t just plant them, we can eat them too as nutritious snacks and as healthy salad toppers. But once in the ground, ready to germinate and fulfil their potential by growing into crops and then being harvested to be eaten, farmers do everything that they can to protect and nurture the seeds. Crop scientists are working constantly to find new ways to improve and protect seeds to give farmers the best chance they can to improve their yields. Join Jane Craigie as she delves into the world of seeds and as she munches a few too during the process.

Rice-field.jpg

Episode 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.

Tuna salad with rice and vegetables on black dish

Episode Rice (Part One)


In this episode we discover that the method of paddy 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 and fluffy rice. 

Tomato.jpeg

Episode Tomatoes

How did the humble tomato rise from its early beginnings as a small, hairy fruit to become one of the most celebrated and versatile crops on the planet? We trace the journey of the fruit from the mountain slopes of Mesoamerica to the giant of the salad bowl – and beyond – today. It’s a fruit that forms the base to many dishes all around the world: from ragus to curry dishes. So what does the future hold for the bright red, juicy tomato?

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

Jane-Craigie.jpg
I see the world in people and their stories

Jane Craigie

Presenter

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-Poyntz-Roberts_square1x1.jpg

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.

Related topics